House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) participates in a television interview with Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)clock iconUpdated 35 min ago
Today, the Republican-led House passed two abortion-related measures. One condemns attacks “on pro-life facilities, groups, and churches,” while the other forces medical practitioners to provide care to infants who survive an abortion — a very rare occurrence. Neither is expected to advance in the Senate, but the measures underscore a marked change in messaging on the issue now that Republicans control the House chamber.
President Biden had no public events Wednesday but accompanied first lady Jill Biden to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where doctors removed two lesions that were found to be basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, the White House announced in a letter from Biden’s doctor. Before departing from the White House, Biden spoke briefly with reporters about the temporary Federal Aviation Administration outage that caused travel disruptions across the country.
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On our radar: Biden to talk inflation, Harris to talk climate Return to menu
House Republicans focused their attention on abortion Wednesday; on Thursday, they’ll tackle oil sales to China. Here’s what we’ll be watching:
Biden will deliver remarks on the economy and inflation from the White House. Later, he will speak at a memorial service for former defense secretary Ash Carter.The House is back at it. The chamber is expected to work on a measure to protect the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve from China.Vice President Harris will visit the University of Michigan and speak about the climate crisis. The event will be moderated by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.Analysis: New GOP committee chairs face learning curve Return to menu
While some Republicans say the fresh blood is a boon, others warn it’s not so easy to lead with a lot of experience, writes Paul Kane.
Paul writes that the last time House Republicans moved from the minority into the majority, Jodey Arrington was serving in the administration of Texas Tech University. Mark Green was running a hospital staffing company. And Jason T. Smith was serving in the Missouri state legislature.
Now lawmakers Arrington (R-Tex.), Green (R-Tenn.) and Smith (R-Mo.) are taking over three of the most important legislative committees for the new Republican majority in the House.
The latest: Trump campaign officials got subpoena asking new questions about Jan. 6 Return to menu
A wide-ranging subpoena sent to Trump campaign officials last month shows new areas of investigative interest as part of the Justice Department’s extensive Jan. 6 criminal probe, according to a copy reviewed by The Washington Post, and lawyers say a grand jury focused on the day’s events and related fundraising has increased its activities in recent months.
The subpoena was received in early December, according to a former Trump campaign official who provided the document to The Post on the condition of anonymity because a criminal investigation is ongoing. The document seeks more than two dozen categories of information, and includes some questions that were not part of a series of similar subpoenas reviewed by The Post that were sent to several dozen people in September.
One part of the four-page legal document asks recipients to reveal if anyone other than themselves are paying for legal representation — and if so, to provide a copy of the retention agreement for that legal work. At least one other former campaign official also received the subpoena, according to that person’s lawyer, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid drawing attention to his client.
The subpoena seeks any communications or information about Dominion and Smartmatic, two voting technology companies that were subjected to a barrage of false conspiracy theories floated by advisers to President Donald Trump. That request seems designed to gather what campaign officials might have been saying privately at the time Trump backers were publicly disparaging those firms in the wake of Joe Biden’s 2020 victory.
The subpoena shows the Justice Department is interested in other Trump entities besides the Save America PAC — which The Post and others reported earlier this year was a subject of inquiry by investigators.
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Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Wash.), who delivered one of the more stunning Democratic upsets during the midterm elections, mocked her former Republican opponent’s decision to challenge her in 2024.
It’s official: Joe Kent is running for Congress in #WA03 again. He announced his candidacy on Steve Bannon’s show, no less. 🙄 Clearly he didn’t learn that people in #WA03 don’t want a representative who cozies up to extremists and white nationalists.
— Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (@MGPforCongress) January 11, 2023
Joe Kent, a far-right candidate, said in a separate tweet that he’s running to unseat the “woke” Gluesenkamp Perez, who defeated him in November by about 5,000 votes.
The latest: Biden’s legal team found additional classified documentsReturn to menu
President Biden’s legal team found additional classified documents when it searched another location after finding secret government papers in a different Biden office in early November, according to a person familiar with the investigation.
As Devlin Barrett, Matt Viser, Tyler Pager and Perry Stein report, that discovery came after Biden’s personal lawyers discovered classified documents at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, an institute in downtown Washington that Biden started after serving as vice president. People familiar with the matter said that discovery involved about 10 classified documents.
Noted: Rep. Frederica Wilson, during abortion debate, says she was ‘forced to carry my dead baby’Return to menu
Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.) said she was “forced to carry my dead baby.”
Wilson shared her experience on Wednesday as the House debated abortion-related measures. The debate, she said, made her relive “one of the most painful times in my life.”
Wilson, on the floor, said that she always wanted to have multiple children. When she married and became pregnant in 1968, she said, was “ecstatic.” But she said she and her husband found out at seven months that her baby stopped moving and was pronounced dead in vitro.
Analysis: Has Biden actually not built ‘one meter’ of border wall? Return to menu
Meeting with the leaders of Mexico and Canada on Tuesday, President Biden received an unexpected bit of praise.
“You, President Biden, you are the first president of the United States in a very long time that has not built even one meter of wall,” Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said. “And we thank you for that, sir — although some might not like it.”
As Philip Bump notes, this is probably not the most politically helpful thing for López Obrador to have offered, given that Biden had just visited the border a few days before, including a stretch where a tall wall was in place. Biden’s trip was meant to send a message that he was taking the increase in people seeking entry to the United States seriously; having the president of Mexico thank him for not doing the primary thing that his critics think he ought to be doing was a bit off message.
Analysis: What the GOP’s breaking point on George Santos could be Return to menu
The best thing that ever happened to Rep. George Santos (R) — politically speaking, at least — is the circumstance under which he was elected, Aaron Blake writes. The newly sworn-in New York congressman comes from a swing district and joins one of the narrowest House majorities in American history.
But every situation has its breaking point. And Santos, thanks to his many lies about his background (which may include potential crimes), is certainly going to test just how long House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and his party can shrug the situation off.
The latest: Barbara Lee tells colleagues she intends to run for Senate in Calif. Return to menu
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) told colleagues that she intends to run for the U.S. Senate in 2024, according to a person familiar with the conversation, revealing her plans to join a race in which several House Democrats showed interest this week.
As Dylan Wells reports, Lee informed fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus of her thinking, according to the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private deliberations. Lee’s remarks did not amount to a formal announcement, said this person, who added that Lee is “getting her ducks in a row and figuring things out” and has spoken to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) about her intentions.
This just in: House Republicans pass two abortion-related measuresReturn to menu
House Republicans passed two abortion-related bills Wednesday afternoon, despite protests from Democrats — and some of their own. Neither measure is expected to be taken up by the Democratic-controlled Senate.
First, by a vote of 220-210, the House passed the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” which would force doctors to provide care to infants that survive an attempted abortion, a situation that is rare.
While experts and some Democratic lawmakers argued that there were already protections for infants included in a 2002 law, the legislation adds new penalties, including fines or imprisonment of up to five years for health-care providers who do not comply.
The latest: First lady Jill Biden has two cancerous skin lesions removed Return to menu
First lady Jill Biden had two cancerous skin lesions removed on Wednesday, the president’s physician said, and all cancerous tissue was fully removed from both.
Biden underwent a scheduled outpatient procedure at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center that is commonly known as Mohs surgery, said Kevin O’Connor, physician to the president, in an update after the procedure on Wednesday.
During that procedure, doctors confirmed that a small lesion above Biden’s right eye was basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer. O’Connor said doctors also identified a small lesion on Biden’s left eyelid during the procedure; the appearance of that lesion was also consistent with basal cell carcinoma. All cancerous tissue was fully removed from both lesions, he said.
On our radar: Nebraska governor to announce Sasse’s Senate replacement ThursdayReturn to menu
Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen (R) will announce his appointee to the U.S. Senate on Thursday. This appointee will fill the vacancy left by the departure of Republican Ben Sasse, who stepped down on Jan. 8 to become the president of the University of Florida.
It’s widely expected that former Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts (R), Pillen’s predecessor, will replace Sasse. Ricketts, who was term-limited, served as governor from 2015 to 2023. He ran for the Senate seat in 2006 but lost to former senator Ben Nelson (D), who left the office in 2013.
The latest: More N.Y. Republicans are calling on Santos to resignReturn to menu
More top New York Republicans, including freshman Rep. Anthony D’Esposito and the chairman of the state GOP party, on Wednesday called on Rep. George Santos (R) to resign over his fabrications in his biography that have prompted inquiries into his finances and campaign spending.
As Azi Paybarah reports, D’Esposito said Santos told “outright lies,” and “does not have the ability to serve in the House of Representatives and should resign.” He is the first elected GOP House member to pressure Santos to step down.
Noted: Friends or foes? Biden and Mexico’s López Obrador are both.Return to menu
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador kicked off a meeting with President Biden on Monday by complaining that Washington had been neglecting Latin America for years. He called for a huge new U.S. aid program for the region, The Post’s Mary Beth Sheridan and Kevin Sieff report.
The American president read his prepared remarks and then looked up at López Obrador.
“The United States provides more foreign aid than every other country, just about, combined,” he said, adding that it was distributed around the world. “Our responsibility just doesn’t end in the Western Hemisphere.”
Analysis: The rise and fall of the gas-stove rebellion Return to menu
Some Republicans are complaining about a move the Biden administration has not even taken: banning gas stoves in private homes.
To hear Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Tex.) tell it, the Biden administration’s latest (nonexistent) decision — is among its most insidious:
“I just think it’s pathetic that they’re doing this,” Jackson said in an interview on Newsmax Wednesday morning. “I mean, there’s so many other things they should be worried about right now. How about focusing on the crime in our cities or the fentanyl? Or, you know, our problems overseas with Russia and China and Iran and what’s going on over there or, you know, all the other issues that we have in this country with the economy?”
As Philip Bump notes, the Biden administration wasn’t recommending anything related to gas stoves. In an interview with Bloomberg News, one member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) indicated that the commission would “take action” on gas stoves, adding that “products that can’t be made safe can be banned.” But this was one comment from one commissioner, not a statement that the CPSC was undertaking the procedural steps needed to effect such a ban, much less to impose one unilaterally.