Beto O’Rourke, speaking at the National Action Network, said he would sign a bill to establish a commission to study reparations for slavery, Newsday reports.
He also said he would bring back federal consent decrees to oversee local police departments accused of civil rights offenses, per WNYC. The decrees were used under the Obama administration but have fallen out of favor under Donald Trump.
O’Rourke also called for new voting rights legislation, according to the New York Post.
A Senate committee approved a bill Wednesday to fine companies that spam Americans with illegal robo-calls, the Hill reports.
The bill would give the federal government the power to slap offenders with fines of up to $10,000 per call. The Senate Commerce Committee voted unanimously to advance it.
House Judiciary Committee approves subpoena for Mueller report
The House Judiciary Committee has voted to authorize a subpoena for the Mueller report. The vote was 24-17, along party lines, per CNN.
Committee chairman Jerry Nadler has said he’ll give Attorney General William Barr some time to turn over a full, unredacted version of the report before serving the subpoena. He says he’s prepared to go to court if the Justice Department does not comply.
Donald Trump is now back to threatening to close the US-Mexico border, this time if Congress does not act on immigration.
He previously threatened a border closure if Mexico did not act to restrict migration, but then backed off saying he was satisfied with Mexico’s efforts.
The House of Representatives is expected to pass a resolution Wednesday calling on the Justice Department to halt its effort to get Obamacare overturned in the courts, the Washington Post reports.
The resolution calls the move “an unacceptable assault” on Americans’ health care. It is non-binding.
Several Democratic presidential candidates are speaking today at Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network convention.
Beto O’Rourke, Andrew Yang, and Julian Castro are scheduled to speak today.
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer is poking some fun at O’Rourke’s penchant for climbing up on counters, per a Washington Post reporter.
Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, called it “reckless” and “irresponsible” to subpoena the Mueller report, per the Washington Post.
House Judiciary Committee debates subpoena for Mueller report
The House Judiciary Committee is currently meeting to discuss a resolution that would authorize subpoenas for special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report.
The committee is expected to authorize subpoenas for the report and to five individuals, the Wall Street Journal reports: former White House counsel Don McGahn, former White House communications director Hope Hicks, former White House aide Steve Bannon, former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, and Ann Donaldson, former chief of staff to the White House counsel.
“We have reason to suspect this administration’s motives,” committee chairman Jerry Nadler said at the hearing, according to WSJ. “The Mueller report probably isn’t the ‘total exoneration’ the president claims it to be. And, in any event, this committee has a job to do.”
Three Democratic senators will introduce legislation Wednesday to allow young immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to work jobs on Capitol Hill, CNN reports.
The DACA program gives the immigrants, who were brought to the country illegally as children, authorization to work legally in the United States. But a little known law says only US citizens and legal permanent residents can get jobs and paid internships in Congress, according to CNN. Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Catherine Cortez-Masto of Nevada and Dick Durbin of Illinois will introduce legislation that would allow DACA recipients, often called Dreamers, to get paid.
Donald Trump says he was “was never planning a vote prior to the 2020 Election” on a healthcare plan to replace Obamacare.
Trump’s administration has asked the courts to strike down the Affordable Care Act. He first claimed that Republicans would come up with a great plan to replace it, but later acknowledged no such plan exists and no effort will be made to get one through Congress until after the 2020 election.
Prior Trump efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare have failed to pass.
A Republican group is launching an ad campaign against Rep. Ilhan Omar, CNN reports.
American Action Network, a conservative advocacy group, will spend six figures on ads going after the Minnesota Democrat over her controversial statements about Israel, an official told the network. The ads charge that Omar “keeps hurling anti-Semitic slurs” and say House Democrats should “stand up to hate” and remove her from the Foreign Affairs Committee.
At least 14 major donors to Donald Trump’s inaugural committee got nominations to be US ambassadors, NBC News reports.
None have diplomatic experience. The nominee for ambassador to the Bahamas, Doug Manchester – who gave $1 million to the inaugural – was even unaware the island nation he was picked for is an independent country. He incorrectly told Congress during his confirmation hearing that it was a US protectorate, which has never been the case. The Bahamas was formerly a British possession, but has been independent since 1972. Manchester’s nomination has been stalled for two years, according to NBC.
Catching up on some election results from last night: Lori Lightfoot has been elected mayor of Chicago. She’s the first black woman to hold the job, and the first openly gay person. Her election is also remarkable because she is a political outsider who has never held elected office.
Meanwhile, a conservative candidate beat the favored liberal in crucial state supreme court election in Wisconsin, which is being seen as an ominous sign by Democrats there, Talking Points Memo reports.
And voters in Anchorage, Alaska rejected a proposal for a new alcohol tax, the Anchorage Daily News reports.
Kushner prepares plan to increase legal immigration
As Donald Trump pushes anti-immigration policies on multiple fronts, his son in law Jared Kushner has been quietly working on a plan to increase legal immigration to the United States, Politico reports.
Kushner, a senior adviser at the White House, has been working for months on the proposal, which would increase permitted numbers of both high-skilled and low-skilled workers.
The effort began in January when Kushner convened meetings with business and agriculture organizations, people involved in the talks told Politico. It could generate a proposal for Congress by the summer. Whether it gets that far may depend on whether Kushner or Stephen Miller, a hardliner on restricting immigration, who has not been involved in the talks, wins the day with Trump.
The news emerged hours after Trump further backed off his threat to close the US-Mexico border, saying Mexico has been cooperating to his satisfaction.
“I really wanted to close it. Now Mexico saying is no no no, the first time in decades, we will not let anybody through, and they’ve apprehended over a thousand people today, at their southern border and they’re bringing them back to their countries,” he said at a Republican dinner Tuesday night, according to ABC News.