Congress urges Americans to stand against anti-Asian attacks

Jessica Wong, of Fall River, Mass., front left, Jenny Chiang, of Medford, Mass., center, and Sheila Vo, of Boston, from the state’s Asian American Commission, stand together during a protest, Thursday, March 12, 2020, on the steps of the Statehouse in Boston. Asian American leaders in Massachusetts condemned what they say is racism, fear-mongering and misinformation aimed at Asian communities amid the widening coronavirus pandemic that originated in China. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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UPDATED 7:09 AM PT — Tuesday, March 31, 2020

House Democrats have joined President Trump in condemning attacks against Asian-Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday, the chairs of the Asian-Pacific American Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Hispanic Caucus all backed a resolution that calls on “all public officials to condemn and denounce any and all anti-Asian sentiment.” It also proposes the government document hate crime incidents connected with COVID-19.

“We’re asking all fair minded Americans to educate others to learn about this and share facts, and speak about the fact that this is a global pandemic that’s not related to ethnicity,” stated Rep. Judy chu, (D-Calif.), chairwoman for the Asian-Pacific American Caucus. “And also, if people see something then say something, say something to make sure that people stop it, that they stopped this kind of verbal harassment and in some cases physical harassment.”

A report from the Asian-Pacific Planning and Policy Council documented more than 650 direct reports of Asian discrimination since March 18, 2020.

RELATED: White House economic adviser weighs in on impact of COVID-19 pandemic

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Democrat candidates make last efforts to rally voter support ahead of Tuesday’s N.H. primary

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, at a campaign event in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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UPDATED 10:23 AM PT — Monday, February 10, 2020

2020 presidential hopefuls are hoping to lock down voter support with New Hampshire’s Democrat primaries just around the corner. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) is eyeing a comeback after seemingly falling just short of first place in the Iowa caucuses.

Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg appeared to take the lead at the nation’s first test of electability in a shocking upset for the Sanders campaign. He managed to pull in a record 1,800 person crowd in a campaign event Sunday, which was the largest turnout among all Democrat candidates in New Hampshire.

During a Saturday Town Hall featuring his fellow contenders, however, Buttigieg was taunted by a large group of attendees. The group was protesting his acceptance of donations from billionaires and PACs.

Buttigieg also took a hit during last week’s Democrat debate when asked about the rise in African American arrests in South Bend after he took office in 2012.

“These things are all connected, but that’s the point,” he stated. “So are all of the things that need to change in order for us to prevent violence and remove the effects a systemic racism not just from criminal justice, but from our economy, from health, from housing and from our democracy itself.”

Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a campaign event, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Plymouth, N.H. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Meanwhile, a new Emerson survey showed Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) polling third place in New Hampshire, which is likely due to her performance at the Friday debate.

Klobuchar took fourth behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in Iowa. She attributed her rise in popularity to her message of unity and not budging to calls from the far-left to advocate for some of the controversial issues championed by progressives.

As for Klobuchar’s message to voters in New Hampshire:

“I’m the one with the receipts that can bring people with me. I think that’s why we have growing momentum in New Hampshire. And the most important thing, I’ve passed over 100 bills as a lead Democrat the U.S. Senate.”

New Hampshire voters will head to the polls Tuesday, where Sanders has recently dominated and as Buttigieg holds off on clinging to his more liberal agenda.

With President Trump’s approval numbers remaining steady, it will be up to the Democrat Party to find the nominee they believe can hold off a second victory for Republicans come November.

RELATED: Klobuchar Murder Case May Have Been Mishandled

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Draft of 2021 congressional budget shows Trump admin. efforts to cut wasteful spending

President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he speaks during the North Carolina Opportunity Now Summit in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

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UPDATED 9:45 AM PT — Saturday, February 8, 2020

President Trump is tackling wasteful government spending and the need for additional oversight in his new draft of the 2021 budget proposal. Ahead of its release to Congress next week, the administration is largely focused on several major nonpartisan fiscal cuts.

The U.S. national debt is at an all time high of $23.2 trillion and the president is taking issue with multibillion dollar end-of-year spending.

“(A) bloated federal government, with duplicative programs and wasteful spending, remains a critical threat to America’s future,” stated the budget proposal. “This agenda is focused on new strategies to reduce monetary loss, because protecting taxpayer money and making sure it is serving its intended purpose is a fundamental responsibility.”

This budget directive will likely earn praise from fiscal hawks in Congress, including GOP Sen. Joni Ernst. Ernst has made a name for herself as a spending watchdog. She has called out agencies over their expenses using the Twitter hashtag #MakeEmSqueal.

The lawmaker has championed the Swag Act, which would additionally require all federal agencies to publicly disclose how much they spend on public relations campaigns every year.

FILE – This March 22, 2013 file photo, shows the exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

In the 2021 budget, President Trump seemingly took from her legislation titled ‘Use It Or Lose It Spending Spree.’

“What I can’t understand is how a bureaucrat, sitting in their cubicle at the Department of Energy or EPA, would think it was okay to spend taxpayer dollars on things like this,” said Ernst. “There are important things the federal government needs to do, buying fidget spinners and koozies is not one of them.”

Another proposal within the president’s budget will tackle improper and duplicate payments made by the federal government. According to an oversight report from the IRS, the agency mistakenly pays out approximately $140 billion annually to deceased people. Since 2005, the IRS has spent $1.2 trillion on improper payments.

Members of Congress can expect to read the rest of the proposals when the budget is handed to Capitol Hill on Monday.

Original Article

Impeachment vote may have undercut Dems’ efforts to subpoena White House officials

closeWhite House on Senate impeachment trial limbo, Trump's remarks on John DingellVideo

White House on Senate impeachment trial limbo, Trump's remarks on John Dingell

White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley weighs in on what's next for impeachment and the backlash over the president's comments on late Michigan Rep. John Dingell on 'Outnumbered Overtime.'

Within minutes of the vote to impeach President Trump Wednesday night, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals demanded that House Democrats explain whether the development undercut their legal demands for testimony from White House Counsel Don McGahn and for documents related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

The case could have broad implications for Democrats' efforts to obtain access to Trump administration officials and their files, as the impeachment proceedings afforded Congress greater legal authority to go to court and demand access.

In a pair of orders directed at both House Judiciary Committee Democrats and the Department of Justice, the appellate court sought arguments by Monday as to "whether the articles of impeachment render this case moot and whether expedited consideration remains necessary."

As they barrelled towards an impeachment vote, Democrats had argued that the case needed to be heard in January. Earlier this month, House Democrats had argued to the D.C. Circuit that the materials were needed primarily for impeachment purposes.

Trump speaks from White House after impeachment vote, announces Rep. Jeff Van Drew is joining the GOPVideo

"The Department of Justice (DOJ) takes extraordinary positions in this case,” the House Judiciary Committee said in a filing. “It does so to avoid disclosing grand-jury material needed for the House’s impeachment of President Trump and the Senate’s trial to remove him from office.”

READ THE DC CIRCUIT'S ORDER ON THE MCGHAN CASE

READ THE DC CIRCUIT'S ORDER ON THE GRAND JURY MATERIALS

Now that the impeachment proceedings have concluded in the House, the Democrats should explain whether they still seek to compel McGahn's testimony and, if so, whether it would be "in furtherance" of an impeachment inquiry or as a matter of "legislative oversight," the first D.C. Circuit order stated. It was signed by George H.W. Bush appointee Karen Henderson, George W. Bush appointee Thomas Griffith, and Clinton appointee Judith Rogers.

The White House has asserted longstanding executive privileges to bar McGahn from supplying documents and testimony to House investigators, saying internal White House deliberations must remain protected. McGahn’s interview with special counsel investigators factored prominently into the section probing whether the president obstructed justice, including a claim that McGahn disobeyed Trump’s call to have him seek Mueller’s removal.

White House counsel Don McGahn has been blocked by the White House from providing documents. The White House has cited privilege.

White House counsel Don McGahn has been blocked by the White House from providing documents. The White House has cited privilege. (Associated Press)

“On June 17, 2017, the president called [White House Counsel Don] McGahn at home and directed him to call the Acting Attorney General and say that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest and must be removed. McGahn did not carry out the direction, however, deciding that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre,” the report stated, referencing the Watergate scandal.

The report also revealed that when the media reported on the president’s request for McGahn to have Mueller removed, the president directed White House officials “to tell McGahn to dispute the story and create a record stating he had not been ordered to have the special counsel removed.”

PELOSI MOCKED FOR SHOOTING DOWN IMPEACHMENT QUESTIONS AT HEATED PRESSER

Concerning the Mueller grand jury materials, House Democrats similarly would need to explain whether they were needed as part of an impeachment probe, the appellate court said. That order was signed by Trump appointee Neomi Rao, as well as Rogers and Griffith.

Justice Department lawyers have argued that House Democrats already had sufficient evidence from Mueller's investigation, including copies of summaries of FBI witness interviews. A small amount of information was redacted from the report available to Congress in order to protect ongoing grand jury proceedings, as required by law.

In response, Democrats could argue that they intend to launch a new impeachment inquiry — risking significant political backlash — or they could attempt to justify their subpoenas based on more limited existing legislative authority.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, has suggested that she might hold the articles of impeachment in the House, without sending them to the GOP-controlled Senate.

That arrangement might be unconstitutional and wind up in its own court battle, former Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz argued in a column Thursday.

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"It is difficult to imagine anything more unconstitutional, more violative of the intention of the Framers, more of a denial of basic due process and civil liberties, more unfair to the president and more likely to increase the current divisiveness among the American people," Dershowitz wrote. "Put bluntly, it is hard to imagine a worse idea put forward by good people."

Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Original Article