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House vote to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas fails, thwarted by Republican defections

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a dramatic setback, House Republicans failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, forced to shelve a high-profile priority — for now — after a few GOP lawmakers refused to go along with the party’s plan.

https://apnews.com/article/house-republicans-impeach-homeland-security-secretary-mayorkas-8209736501ed4fe12e4b164443d6a8a9?

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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Epic double debacle

It's 10 minutes of humiliation that will live in House lore:

  • Speaker Mike Johnson last night lost by one vote — a Republican vote! — the first impeachment of a Cabinet official in 148 years. Then the House rejected the GOP's heavily hyped package of aid for Israel.

Why it matters: Even in an era of ousted speakers and wild, daily internal disarray, these back-to-back defeats were epic.

House Republicans were fuming and embarrassed after the twin defeats on impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and military aid for Israel — a bill that was a GOP chess move against President Biden.

  • GOP lawmakers openly criticized leaders for bringing the bills to the floor without the votes to pass them.

"I just don't understand why we can't do the one thing the American people want," said Rep. Cory Mills (R-Fla.).

  • "'Frustrating' is not the right word. … It's maddening," Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-Wis.) told Axios.

🖼️ The big picture: It's part of a broader pattern of House Republican leaders struggling for wins in the narrowly divided chamber — largely due to divides in their own conference.

  • After unseating Speaker Kevin McCarthy, with the power gap that followed, Republicans are now failing to muster muscle on bills that would help them keep their majority at the polls in November.

What happened: The Mayorkas vote failed after three Republicans — Reps. Ken Buck (Colo.), Mike Gallagher (Wis.) and Tom McClintock (Calif.) — joined Democrats in voting against it.

  • The final Israel vote was 250 for and 180 against, which fell short of the two-thirds majority needed for passage. 14 Republicans joined Democrats in voting against the bill. 46 Democrats voted for the bill.

Between the lines: The Israel vote was an important House GOP counter-measure as the Senate struggles to pass a bill to fund Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and border security.

🏛️ Being there: In a dramatic scene, Republicans on the House floor urged the three GOP "no" votes to flip.

  • When that failed, GOP leaders flipped a fourth vote to "no" so they could try again when House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) returns from cancer treatment.
  • Leaving the chamber, conservative Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) called the result "shameful," telling Axios: "I mean, what the hell are they thinking? We should have gotten this done."

Rep. Max Miller (R-Ohio), a former official in the Trump White House, chalked up the standoff on national security funding to "bad decision-making" by House GOP leaders.

  • Republican leaders are vowing to bring impeachment back to the floor — as soon as they have the votes.

Reporting by Axios' Andrew Solender, Juliegrace Brufke and Justin Green.

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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Senate Republicans block bipartisan border package, then scramble to find support for Ukraine aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wartime aid for Ukraine was left hanging in the Senate Wednesday after Republicans blocked a bipartisan border package that had been tied to the funding, then struggled to coalesce around a plan to salvage the aid for Kyiv.

https://apnews.com/article/congress-ukraine-aid-border-security-386dcc54b29a5491f8bd87b727a284f8?

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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🔁 Senate's endless border loop

After Republicans blocked the bipartisan border bill today, the Senate attempted to move forward at 3pm ET on a package of Israel and Ukraine funding stripped of any border security provisions.

  • The procedural vote sat open for more than four hours before Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) finally sent members home for the night.

Why it matters: Senate leadership has been working feverishly behind closed doors to determine a path forward, which will likely require a deal on amendments demanded by GOP senators.

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who voted against the border bill, said he would not vote to move forward with the foreign aid package until there was an agreement to hold amendment votes related to border security.
  • Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) — who also voted against the border bill — echoed that sentiment, telling Fox News that "we should first secure our southern border" before proceeding on Israel and Ukraine aid.

What to watch: Schumer said he would adjourn the Senate until noon "to give our Republican colleagues time to figure themselves out" — but that he's committed to holding a vote on the foreign aid package tomorrow.

  • It's unclear as of now how Republican senators will escape what appears to be an endless loop of border conditions.
  • Once they do, the House GOP has signaled it's ready to reject whatever the Senate passes.

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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🏛️ Dems brace for impeachment encore

House Democrats are expecting a second GOP attempt to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas next Tuesday, Axios' Andrew Solender reports.

Why it matters: Democrats' rare full attendance, along with three GOP defections, led to the stunning defeat of the first impeachment attempt last night. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), the sole absence, could return from cancer treatment next week.

Between the lines: Getting all members to show up and vote is, in the words of one Democrat, "always a crapshoot."

  • Members can be unexpectedly waylaid by illness, family emergencies, weather — and, in the case of Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), a presidential campaign.
  • Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), in a shocking twist last night, cast the deciding vote in a wheelchair and hospital scrubs. He was recovering from abdominal surgery and was rushed to the Capitol to vote.

What they're saying: Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) took a victory lap after GOP leadership's staggering failure on back-to-back votes yesterday.

  • "I always say to my colleagues ... don't bring a bill to the floor unless you know you have the votes," Pelosi, a famously skilled vote-counter, told MSNBC.
  • "And in order to know you have the votes, you have to have some in your back pocket."

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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⛰️ Montana Senate shakeup

More bad news for Senate Republicans: Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), a member of the hard-right Freedom Caucus, is preparing to announce a Senate campaign as soon as this weekend, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Rosendale's entry into one of the most important Senate races of 2024 is a nightmare for the NRSC, which has sought to clear the GOP primary for decorated military veteran Tim Sheehy.

  • Rosendale, a 2020 election denier who voted to oust Kevin McCarthy as House speaker, has popular appeal with Montana's GOP grassroots — but it's unclear where he stands with Trump.
  • During the 15-ballot speaker election last January, Rosendale was famously photographed declining a phone call from Trump as the former president sought to rally GOP rebels around McCarthy.

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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Immigration advocates seek restart after Senate deal flops

WASHINGTON — Immigrant advocacy groups that opposed the bipartisan Senate deal to overhaul U.S. immigration law called for restarting policy discussions as the bill failed Wednesday in the U.S. Senate.

https://floridaphoenix.com/2024/02/07/immigration-advocates-seek-restart-after-senate-deal-flops/?

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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Washington's wobbly leaders

President Biden is an "elderly man with a poor memory." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) doesn't have a firm grip on his conference. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) can't stop making rookie mistakes.

Why it matters: Washington's top leaders are stumbling and fumbling in public, giving their detractors fresh material — and free shots — to question their competence, Axios' Hans Nichols reports.

Driving the news: A week defined by GOP dysfunction took a sharp turn today after special counsel Robert Hur released a scathing report alleging that Biden "willfully retained" classified materials after his vice presidency.

  • Hur concluded no criminal charges were warranted, but he characterized Biden's memory as "significantly limited" and dedicated swaths of the 388-page report to Biden's inability to recall simple facts — including the years he was vice president and when his son died.
  • The special counsel suggested it would be difficult for a jury to convict an 81-year-old former president of a "serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness."

Between the lines: The timing could not have been worse after a week in which Biden twice confused current European leaders with their dead predecessors — France's François Mitterrand and Germany's Helmut Kohl.

The other side: In the House, meanwhile, Mike Johnson made a series of unforced tactical and strategic errors.

  • He brought an impeachment vote of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the floor without knowing the outcome. Embarrassingly, it failed.
  • Johnson's gambit to send the Senate a $17.6 billion package for Israel also backfired, when it failed to win the required two-thirds support on the floor.

Then, Johnson signaled he was going to pick sides in Montana's contentious GOP Senate primary and support hard-right Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) over Tim Sheehy, the preferred candidate of the NRSC.

  • After Punchbowl News reported on his plans, the blowback was fierce.
  • After speaking with NRSC chair Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Johnson reversed course on the endorsement — but then announced he would donate to Rosendale's campaign.

In the Senate, the 81-year-old McConnell watched a key legislative goal — linking money for Ukraine to border policy changes — take unrelenting fire from his own colleagues.

  • Neither of his deputies — Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) or John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) — came to his defense.

What they're saying: Biden's lawyers aggressively pushed back on Hur's characterizations of the president's memory, saying such "gratuitous" comments "have no place" in a DOJ report — especially one that does not recommend charges.

  • Johnson appeared to be sanguine about his setbacks, telling reporters, "Everybody take a deep breath. It's a long game."
  • McConnell has vowed to press forward but also claimed that his critics didn't have the numbers to take him down. "They had their shot," he told Politico.

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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🎁 Shades of Comey

Hur's bombshell report has handed major new ammunition to former President Trump and his Republican allies, who have already made Biden's mental faculties a centerpiece of their campaign attacks.

  • "A man too incapable of being held accountable for mishandling classified information is certainly unfit for the Oval Office," House GOP leadership said in a joint statement.
  • Trump used the report to claim a "two-tiered system of justice," though Hur explicitly outlined "several material distinctions" between the two classified documents cases — including Trump's alleged obstruction.

Why it matters: It's not just Republicans — 75% of voters in a recent NBC News poll said they have concerns about Biden's age and fitness for office, including half of Democrats.

Between the lines: Some Democrats noted parallels between Hur's report and former FBI director James Comey's infamous July 2016 press conference about Hillary Clinton.

  • Comey declined to bring charges against the former secretary of state and Democratic nominee for her handling of classified information, but he criticized her as "extremely careless."
  • "Adjectives and adverbs, those have no place at this point. ... It's exactly what you're not supposed to do, which is putting your thumb on the scale that could have political repercussions," former federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann told MSNBC.

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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Republicans can’t take ‘yes’ for an answer when Trump says ‘no’

If you want to see what happens when a dog catches a car, look at Republicans in Congress.

https://floridaphoenix.com/2024/02/09/republicans-cant-take-yes-for-an-answer-when-trump-says-no/?

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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Congress is looking at expanding the child tax credit again. Who would benefit?

WASHINGTON — The bipartisan tax package passed by the U.S. House last month is not a done deal, but the proposal’s supporters say it could restore some poverty-reducing benefits that reached millions under the pandemic-era child tax credit expansion.

https://floridaphoenix.com/2024/02/11/congress-is-looking-at-expanding-the-child-tax-credit-again-who-would-benefit/?

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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🎉 Scalise in "complete remission"

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) is in "complete remission" after taking time away from Congress for cancer treatment, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) announced today.

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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Biden age plot

House Republicans are activating a weekslong, perhaps monthslong, plan to keep questions about President Biden's mental state in the spotlight, Hill sources tell me.

  • The GOP planning includes hearings and possibly subpoenas for documents and recordings.

Why it matters: Sources close to House GOP leaders are blunt that they don't think it even matters what they find. These sources think that any fight will make the White House look bad — and keep a huge Biden vulnerability in the headlines.

Three House committee chairs wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland last evening to demand a transcript — plus any recordings — of Biden's interview with special counsel Robert Hur.

  • Hur wrote that he won't charge the president with mishandling classified documents, but wrote that Biden suffers from a "poor memory."

Next, we're told, House Republicans plan to seek testimony from Hur — and would ask him both about how Biden's storage of sensitive documents could have hurt national security, and about the president's mental acuity in the interview.

  • The attorney general acknowledged on "60 Minutes" in October that "usually, the special counsels have testified at the end of their reports."

👂 What we're hearing: Hur's testimony could be blockbuster. Even some Democrats think so. And they think it would be worse because of the Biden team's combative response.

  • Democrats will try to undermine anything Hur says because he was nominated by President Trump. But Hur can point to past praise from Democrats about his professionalism.
  • A person close to Biden quipped: "With the newfound GOP interest in classified documents, maybe they'll have a field hearing at Mar-A-Lago, in the flooded server room."

Between the lines: Top Democrats recognize how potentially lethal the age issue is for Biden, 81, as he seeks a second term, which would keep him in office until age 86.

  • Even many Biden allies were aghast at his evening news conference last week to blast back at Hur's allegations about his forgetfulness about major events. Biden just raised more questions, speaking haltingly and mixing up the presidents of Mexico and Egypt.

The GOP letter gave the Justice Department a deadline of next Monday to produce the records. On a separate track, House Republicans are preparing to call Hur to testify, likely before the House Judiciary Committee. They admit they have both political and evidentiary aims:

  • "Someone might ask him if Biden is unfit to lead," a leadership source told us. "Give him a chance to frame it."

Three focal points of any hearing, the source said:

  1. The national security implications of Biden's document storage when he was out of office.
  2. The president's fitness for office.
  3. The Justice Department's handling of the investigation.

🥊 Reality check: Republicans could face hypocrisy blowback for this focus. In the federal documents case in Florida, Trump faces 32 felony counts related to unauthorized retention of national security secrets.

  • Republicans are "going to focus on something that will draw even more attention to Trump's #1 vulnerability in the election: his potential criminal guilt," said a person close to the White House.

The other side: Ian Sams, the White House spokesman on investigations, said last week that administration officials will "look at" releasing a transcript of Biden's interview with Hur — perhaps a redacted version because of the classified topics involved.

  • Axios' Alex Thompson contributed reporting.

Read the letter ... Go deeper: Biden forms task force for handling docs ...

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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Some GOP senators shy away from Trump threat he won’t aid ‘delinquent’ NATO allies

WASHINGTON — Republican and Democratic senators on Monday distanced themselves from comments Donald Trump made about NATO over the weekend, when the GOP front-runner said the United States might not assist those countries should Russia expand its war in Europe.

https://floridaphoenix.com/2024/02/12/some-gop-senators-shy-away-from-trump-threat-he-wont-aid-delinquent-nato-allies/?

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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Senate overwhelmingly approves Israel-Ukraine aid, with future uncertain in the House

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a defense aid package for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, including humanitarian assistance for Palestinians, that now faces a difficult path in the Republican-led House of Representatives. 

https://www.jta.org/2024/02/13/politics/senate-overwhelmingly-votes-for-israel-ukraine-aid-with-passage-uncertain-in-the-house?

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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House's Ukraine showdown

The Senate's overwhelming passage of a $95 billion foreign aid package this morning has backed House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) into a corner.

Why it matters: Johnson is betting that his GOP members won't go rogue and help Democrats force a floor vote on the aid bill, which would be a dramatic and embarrassing blow to his speakership.

The big picture: While Johnson's obstinance on Ukraine has the full support of former President Trump and his allies, the inexperienced House speaker is facing pressure everywhere else he turns.

What they're saying: "There's no question that a Senate bill put on the floor in the House of Representatives would pass. ... The speaker knows that," President Biden said in remarks from the White House today.

  • "We've heard all kinds of rumors about whether the House supports Ukraine or doesn't. It seems to me that the easy way to solve that would be to vote," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), a staunch Ukraine supporter, told Politico.
  • Even Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), an anti-Ukraine member of the House Freedom Caucus, admitted today: "If it were to get to the floor, it would pass — let's just be frank about that."

What we're watching: House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) vowed today to "use every available legislative tool" to pass funding for Ukraine, Israel and Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

  • The statement was widely viewed as a reference to a "discharge petition," a once-obscure method of allowing 218 members — a bipartisan majority — to circumvent the speaker and force a House vote.
  • Jeffries declined to disclose his strategy at a press conference, but he claimed there are "more than 300 bipartisan votes" in the House for the foreign aid package.
  • Johnson, who preemptively rejected the Senate's foreign aid package last night in protest of its lack of border security measures, told reporters today that he would "certainly oppose" a discharge petition.

Between the lines: GOP hardliners have repeatedly defied Johnson over the last several months, but the appetite for rebellion among the moderate Republicans likely to support Ukraine aid remains untested.

  • As the Government Affairs Institute's Matt Glassman points out in a useful thread: "The gap between 'what will you vote for if forced to vote' and 'what will you demand gets voted on' is huge."
  • "This is what makes discharge so hard. ... The problem is [the] cost of undermining the leadership agenda is so high that little rises to that level for most members," Glassman said — especially on an issue like Ukraine aid that Trump and the GOP base vocally oppose.

The intrigue: When he became speaker, Johnson vowed not to let Russia prevail in Ukraine.

  • A discharge petition could allow Johnson to play both sides — seeing the House pass a priority he claims to support while insulating him from the political blowback.

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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👀 Trump's final infinity stone

Just two of the 17 Republicans who have become senators since Trump took office in 2017 voted today to pass the Senate's foreign aid bill, Axios' Stef Kight reports.

Why it matters: Sen. Mitch McConnell has outlasted all the other major GOP leaders from the pre-Trump era, but he's running out of soldiers.

Zoom in: Trump isn't just pretending that he's won the Republican nomination — he's acting like it, directing his loyalists across the government and party apparatus.

  • At the Republican National Committee, Trump is pushing to install his daughter-in-law Lara Trump, election denier Michael Whatley, and campaign senior adviser Chris LaCivita as a triumvirate of loyal leaders.
  • The Senate GOP's campaign arm endorsed Trump-backed Kari Lake in Arizona today — a huge vote of confidence for a type of controversial candidate that McConnell has warned against supporting in the past.
  • McConnell and Senate GOP Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) are now a minority within a minority: Elected Republicans who refuse to endorse Trump despite his clear path to the nomination.

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phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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🏛️ Single vote sinks Mayorkas

With a historic vote that's all but certain to go nowhere in the Senate, the House impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of an influx of migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • Why it matters: It's the first time since War Secretary William Belknap in 1876 that a cabinet secretary has been impeached. Belknap resigned just before the House voted, Axios' Andrew Solender writes.

Yesterday's narrow vote — 214-213 — was the GOP's second attempt at impeachment following their shocking loss last week.

  • The House impeached Mayorkas on two counts, "willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law" and "breach of public trust."
  • Reps. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) and Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) voted with all Democrats against impeachment.

🔮 What's next: The office of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer — who called the vote a "sham" — said a trial will start when the chamber returns after Presidents Day.

ps:What a joke!! I guess we now can say, "see we have done something!!!!!"

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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U.S. Senate sends to the House a $95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly early Tuesday to approve a $95 billion emergency spending package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

https://floridaphoenix.com/2024/02/13/u-s-senate-sends-to-the-house-a-95-billion-aid-package-for-ukraine-israel-taiwan/?

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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"Serious national security threat"

A key House Republican today alluded to a "serious national security threat" ahead of briefings from Biden administration officials — a rare public airing of potentially sensitive topics.

  • The House Intelligence Committee sent a note to House members warning of a "destabilizing foreign military capability that should be known by all Congressional Policy Makers," Axios' Andrew Solender reports.

Committee Chair Mike Turner called on the White House to declassify all information related to that threat — a highly unusual step.

  • His committee's note called the unspecified threat "urgent." But House Speaker Mike Johnson said there is "no need for public alarm."

🔎 What's next: National security adviser Jake Sullivan is scheduled to brief congressional leadership about the threat tomorrow.

  • "I am a bit surprised that Congressman Turner came out publicly today in advance of a meeting on the books for me to go sit with him alongside our intelligence and defense professionals tomorrow," Sullivan told reporters.

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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GOP Speaker Johnson says House won’t be ‘rushed’ to approve aid for Ukraine as $95B package stalls

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Speaker Mike Johnson said Wednesday the U.S. House will not feel “rushed” to pass the $95.3 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and other allies, signaling a further stall over sending military hardware and munitions Kyiv badly needs to fight Russia.

https://apnews.com/article/house-speaker-johnson-ukraine-aid-06889e166a5417d5b4bc7795813e37ef?

ps:"Rushed?" What a joke!!

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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