Members on the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack on 6 January are moving closer to issuing subpoenas to Republican members of Congress to compel their cooperation in the inquiry – though it has started to dawn on them that they may be out of time.
The panel is expected to make a final decision on the subpoena question over the next couple of weeks, according to sources directly familiar with internal deliberations, with House investigators needing to start wrapping up their work ahead of public hearings in June.
While the members on the select committee remain undecided about whether to subpoena Republican members of Congress, their refusal to assist the investigation in any way has caused the sentiment to turn towards taking that near-unprecedented action, the sources said.
The shifting view has come as a result of the dismay among the members in January, when House minority leader Kevin McCarthy and others turned down requests for voluntary cooperation, turning to anger after three more of donald trump‘s allies last week refused to cooperate.
What has changed in recent weeks in the select committee’s assessment is that they cannot ignore the deep involvement between some Republican members of Congress and the former president’s unlawful schemes to overturn the results of the 2020 election, the sources said.
The recent letters to House Republicans Mo Brooks, Andy Biggs and ronny jackson – Trump’s former White House doctor – provided just a snapshot of the entanglement, the sources said, with the Trump White House, and potentially the militia groups that attacked the Capitol.
House investigators are particularly interested in any potential connections between Republican members of Congress and the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys militia groups, the sources said, since those groups were actually involved in the riot element of January 6.
New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has emerged as one of her party’s leading voices for abortion rights. She tore into the supreme court at a press conference at the Capitol last week, her fury evident during a three-minute tirade in which she framed the issue as a “life or death” battle.
On Sunday, she followed up with an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union in which she called it the “biggest fight of a generation.”
Gillibrand urged her party to stand up to Republicans seeking to abolish the constitutional right, and called the draft US supreme court opinion leaked last week, revealing a conservative-leaning super-majority supports overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision, “bone-chilling ”.
She told CNN:
This is the biggest fight of a generation … and if America’s women and the men who love them do not fight right now, we will lose the basic right to make decisions, to have bodily autonomy and to decide what our futures look like.
Here’s the Guardian’s maya-yang on Gillibrand’s call to action:
The US Senate will today channel a week of anger, acrimony and fractious debate over abortion rights into the formal step of setting up a vote to enshrine a woman’s right to the procedure into law.
By passing cloture (the official term for cutting off debate), senators will move towards a floor vote Wednesday on legislation proposed by the Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal. Abortion rights defenders have been demanding action ever since the supreme court’s draft ruling overturning the 1973 Roe v Wade opinion was leaked last week.
Democrats know the legislation is doomed to fail, because it won’t reach the 60 votes it needs in the bitterly divided chamber.
But Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer will not consider it an outright failure. He’s playing a longer game, in which he sees Republicans’ refusal to support abortion rights working in Democrats’ favor in November’s midterms. After all, polls show overwhelming support nationally among voters for abortion rights.
“Every American will see how every senator stands,” Schumer said at a press conference Sunday in which he called the supreme court’s draft ruling “an abomination.”
With Democrats predicted to lose control of one or both chambers of Congress in November, some see the abortion debate coming at a fortuitous time. Comments by Mitch McConnellthe Republican senate minority leader, as reported by The Hill, that a national abortion ban “is possible”will only serve to strengthen pro-choice activists’ outrage.
This Bloomberg article examines how the Democratic party is tapping into voters’ fury over abortion to avoid a midterms blowout.
We’ll keep you abreast of today’s developments as they happen.
While we wait, here’s a look at how Republicans in numerous states are moving in the opposite direction, and towards even more restrictive abortion legislation.
Good morning, happy Monday, and welcome to the blog! It’s a brand new week in US politics, but some familiar themes are playing out.
The Senate will pass cloture (that’s the official term for cutting off debate) today to set up a vote Wednesday on legislation to codify a woman’s right to abortionfollowing last week’s bombshell supreme court draft ruling ending almost half a century of constitutional protections for the procedure.
The vote will fail, because it won’t reach the required 60 votes. But that’s not the point. The Democrats’ strategy is to force Republicans to vote to defeat it, thus showing where every senator stands on the issue and providing a stick to beat them with for the midterm elections later this year. Polls show overwhelming support nationally among voters for abortion rights.
What else we’re watching today:
- Joe Biden and the vice-president, KamalaHarris, will speak from the White House at lunchtime about expanding high speed internet access. We’ll see if they take questions about the abortion debate.
- The House panel investigating the 6 January insurrection is closer to issuing subpoenas for senior Republicans, but beginning to realize it’s running short on time.
- The House itself is not in session, but the Biden administration is keeping up pressure on lawmakers to pass requests for covid-19 funding and $33bn in aid for Ukraine.
- White House press secretary Jen Psaki delivers her first briefing of the week at 3pm.
And a reminder that we’re covering all the developments in the Ukraine conflict in our live 24-hour blog here.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism