Congress ponders TikTok ban after CEO’s grilling

Discussions of a potential ban on TikTok in the United States are expected to heat up this week after the CEO of the social media app was grilled by House members during a blockbuster hearing last week.

Congressional leaders from both chambers and parties have backed bills that could lead to the Chinese-owned app being banned, while Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has explicitly said he would support a national ban on TikTok.

“The House will be moving forward with legislation to protect Americans from the technological tentacles of the Chinese Communist Party,” McCarthy said in a tweet on Sunday.

What that legislation will look like remains unclear, but will likely be a topic of conversation among lawmakers this week.

Also this week, House and Senate committees are slated to hold hearings on recent bank failures, after Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank were seized by regulators earlier this month. The collapses spooked markets and raised concerns about future bank runs.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold an oversight hearing this week featuring testimony from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas — his first appearance before the 118th Congress. A number of GOP House members have expressed a desire to impeach Mayorkas.

Additionally, former interim Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is set to testify at a Senate hearing on the company’s alleged union busting.

On the legislative front, the House is slated to take up a major energy package — given the esteemed H.R. 1 nomenclature — and the Senate is expected to hold a final vote on legislation to repeal the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) for the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.

TikTok in the crosshairs

Fallout from last week’s heated TikTok hearing will likely continue to reverberate on Capitol Hill this week, as lawmakers look toward legislation targeting the app, which is used by some 150 million Americans.

McCarthy on Sunday said the House would move ahead with legislation pertaining to TikTok, writing on Twitter “It's very concerning that the CEO of TikTok can't be honest and admit what we already know to be true—China has access to TikTok user data.”

McCarthy told reporters last week that he supported Congress moving to ban the app, but said he wanted to "make sure we get it right."

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday, during which lawmakers from both sides of the aisle expressed concerns about national security threats, data privacy, the spread of misinformation and safety for minors.

TikTok is owned by Chinese-based company ByteDance, a fact that has fueled the worries over data privacy and national security. However, TikTok’s chief operating officer blasted the hearing, saying it "felt rooted in xenophobia.”

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (Ill.), the top Democrat on the House select committee on competition with China, told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that the hearing “created more concerns” regarding the popular social media app.

A number of TikTok-related bills have been introduced this Congress, including one bipartisan measure that would give the federal government the ability to ban the app. The Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology Act (RESTRICT Act) would direct the Commerce Department to review and mitigate risks posed by technology that has ties to foreign adversaries, including China, North Korea, Iran, Russia, Cuba and Venezuela.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Senate Republican Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) introduced the bill, which currently has nearly two dozen bipartisan co-sponsors. The White House endorsed the measure earlier this month, and Warner on Sunday said the bill has received “strong interest from the House.”

“I think they wanted to get through their hearing. And, clearly, while I appreciated Mr. Chew's testimony, he just couldn't answer the basic question,” Warner told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told the CBS show “we'd love to see that passed by the Congress, so that the president can have additional tools and authorities,” referring to the RESTRICT Act.

Separately, House Republicans earlier this month advanced a separate measure — titled the Deterring America’s Technology Adversaries Act (DATA Act) — which would allow the president to possibly ban software applications, including TikTok.

It specifically calls for amending an existing exemption under the Berman Amendments — which restrict the president from regulating informational materials to encourage the exchange of ideas across country — so it does not pertain to “sensitive personal data.”

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the sponsor of the bill, told “Fox News Sunday” this weekend “I think Congress is going to move forward on this.”

“One thing you saw from the hearings in a bipartisan way that both sides of the aisle were standing together saying this is a threat to our children and we need to stop it,” he added.

Hearings on Silicon Valley Bank collapse

Senate and House panels are set to hold hearings this week on this month’s collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, marking the first congressional events looking into the failures.

On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs is scheduled to hold a hearing titled “Recent Bank Failures and the Federal Regulatory Response.” Those slated to testify are Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Martin Gruenberg, Federal Reserve System Board of Governors Vice Chairman of Supervision Michael Barr, and Undersecretary for Domestic Finance Nellie Liang.

On Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee is slated to hold a hearing titled “The Federal Regulators' Response to Recent Bank Failures,” featuring the same trio of witnesses.

Federal regulators took over Silicon Valley Bank on March 10 after a significant run on the bank amid liquidity issues. Two days later, state regulators seized Signature Bank in New York.

The collapse of the two banks sparked a blame game on Capitol Hill. Democrats generally cited a 2018 deregulation bill that former President Trump signed into law, despite the fact that 49 Democrats and one Independent who caucuses with Democrats voted for the measure. Some Republicans, on the other hand, blamed the collapse on Silicon Valley Bank pursuing “woke" strategies, while others have pointed to inflation and raised questions about regulators.

The failures have also prompted discussion about what action Congress can take in response to the collapses.

“The House Financial Services Committee is committed to getting to the bottom of the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank,” House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) wrote in a statement.

“This hearing will allow us to begin to understand why and how these banks failed,” the pair continued. “We will conduct this hearing without fear or favor to get the answers the American people deserve.”

Mayorkas to testify before Senate panel

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is heading to Capitol Hill this week for his first hearing before the 118th Congress. The DHS secretary is slated to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing.

The hearing comes as Republican lawmakers, particularly those in the House, have harshly criticized Mayorkas, arguing that he has not made enough of an effort to secure the southern border and decrease the influx of migrants into the U.S.

In February, a coalition of House Republicans introduced a second impeachment article against Mayorkas. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the sponsor, accused him of being the “chief architect of the migration and drug invasion at our southern border,” and said the increase in migration was a “willful and intentional” violation of the secretary’s oath of office.

House Republicans, however, have been split on how to move ahead on Mayorkas.

Former Starbucks CEO Schultz to testify

Former Starbucks interim CEO Howard Schultz is scheduled to testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee this week on the coffee chain’s treatment of union organizing efforts.

The hearing, titled “No Company Is Above the Law: The Need to End Illegal Union Busting at Starbucks,” is scheduled to begin on Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Schultz’s testimony comes after weeks of back-and-forth between the executive and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has accused the company of not bargaining in good faith after a number of employees working at shops across the country have unionized.

More than 350 of the company’s stores have voted to unionize since the first one, in Buffalo, N.Y., voted to do so in December 2021. Starbucks has tried to crack down on the unionizing efforts by utilizing methods that, according to the National Labor Relations Board, are unlawful.

Sanders announced earlier this month that the Senate panel would vote on issuing Schultz a subpoena. But before the vote, Schultz agreed to testify. Last week, Schultz — who was set to step down in the beginning of next month — announced that he was stepping down immediately, two weeks earlier than planned.

“I look forward to hearing from Mr. Schultz as to when he intends to end his illegal anti-union activities and begin signing fair first contracts with the unions," Sanders wrote in a statement last week.

House to take up energy package; Senate expected to hold final vote on AUMF

The House this week is scheduled to consider a major energy package, titled the Lower Energy Costs Act. The legislation received the title of H.R. 1, signaling that it is a top priority for the House Republican conference.

The package aims to, broadly speaking, accelerate the approval process for energy projects. It also includes provisions that zero in on bolstering mining and domestic production of oil and gas.

The office of House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) said the measure “reduces expenses across the board for American families by unleashing American energy and restoring our energy independence” in a floor lookout released Sunday night.

In the upper chamber, senators this week are expected to hold a final vote on a bill to repeal the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) for the Invasion of Iraq and the 1991 Gulf War AUMF. The Senate advanced the legislation in a 68-27 vote earlier this month.

A cloture vote is scheduled for Monday evening, and then the chamber could vote on a number of amendments. Final passage could come on Tuesday or Wednesday, sending the measure to the House.

McCarthy signaled support for the legislation last week, telling reporters during the House GOP retreat in Orlando “I’m into it.”

“I don’t have a problem repealing that,” he added.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will work from home this week after announcing this weekend that he completed impatient therapy following a fall that left him with a concussion.

Senate, House committee hearings

A number of Senate and House committees are scheduled to hold hearings this week on various topics, including the situation at the southern border and the 2022 midterm elections.

  • House Oversight and Accountability’s Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services: “FDA Oversight Part I: The Infant Formula Shortage”
    • When: Tuesday at 10 a.m.
    • Witness: Frank Yiannas, Former deputy commissioner of food policy and response at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • House Oversight and Accountability’s Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic: “The Consequences of School Closures: Intended and Unintended”
    • When: Tuesday at 10 a.m.
    • Witnesses: David Zwei, author and investigative journalist at The Atlantic, New York Magazine, The Free Press; Tracy Beth Høeg, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, epidemiologist, private practice physician; Virginia Gentles, director of the Education Freedom Center at the Independent Women’s Forum
  • House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability: “Biden’s Growing Border Crisis: Death, Drugs, and Disorder on the Northern Border”
    • When: Tuesday at 10 a.m.
    • Witnesses
      • Panel I: Reps. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), Pete Stauber (R-Minn.)
      • Panel II: Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council; Robert Quinn, commissioner of New Hampshire’s Department of Safety; Laura Dawson, executive director of the Future Borders Coalition; Andrew R. Arthur, resident fellow in law and policy and the Center for Immigration Studies
  • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials: “Government Response to East Palestine: Ensuring Safety and Transparency for the Community”
    • When: Tuesday at 10 a.m.
    • Witnesses: Debra Shore, regional administrator for Region Five at the Environmental Protection Agency; Anne Vogel, director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency; Wesley J. Vins, health commissioner of the Columbiana County (Ohio) General Health District
  • House Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs: “Examining Progressivism’s Impact on an All-Volunteer Military”
    • When: Tuesday at 2 p.m.
    • Witnesses: Jeremy Hunt, media fellow at the Hudson Institute; Brent Sadler, senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense; Meaghan Mobbs, senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum
  • House Committee on Oversight and Accountability: “Overdue Oversight of the Capital City: Part I”
    • When: Wednesday at 10 a.m.
    • Witnesses: D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson; D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen; D.C. Chief Financial Officer Glen Lee; D.C. Police Union Chairman Greggory Pemberton
  • House Foreign Affairs Committee: “Oversight, Transparency, and Accountability of Ukraine Assistance”
    • When: Wednesday at 10 a.m.
    • Witnesses: Diana R. Shaw, deputy inspector general performing the duties of the Inspector General at the State Department; Nicole L. Angarella, acting deputy inspector general, performing the duties of the Inspector General at the U.S. Agency for International Development; Robert P. Storch, inspector general at the Defense Department
  • Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government: Examine the Missouri v. Biden case
    • When: Thursday at 9 a.m.
    • Witnesses: Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.); Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry; D. John Sauer, special assistant attorney general at the Louisiana Department of Justice

House Republicans pass bill to ban federal officials from pressuring tech platforms on content

House Republicans passed a bill on Thursday that seeks to ban federal officials from promoting censorship, a measure Republicans brought to the floor in response to what they say are efforts by the Biden administration to persuade social media companies to suppress certain information.

The measure, titled the Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act, passed in a party-line 219-206 vote.

The legislation specifically calls for prohibiting “federal employees from advocating for censorship of viewpoints in their official capacity,” which includes recommending that a third party should “take any action to censor speech.”

According to Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), the lead sponsor of the measure, the bill would expand limitations under the Hatch Act to prohibit federal employees from encouraging censorship on private sector internet platforms.

Republicans accuse Democrats of pressuring social media companies to suppress content — including about Hunter Biden and the origins of COVID-19. They also point to platforms limiting the reach of or adding fact checks to posts containing misinformation about the 2020 election and the coronavirus pandemic.

When introducing the measure in January, the bill’s sponsors — Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Comer — cited what they said were instances when federal officials in the Biden administration “used their positions, influence, and resources to police and censor ordinary Americans’ speech expressed on social media platforms.”

On the House floor Wednesday, Comer — who chairs the Oversight and Reform Committee — pointed to the group’s hearing last month when lawmakers “learned just how easy it was for the federal government to influence a private company to accomplish what it constitutionally cannot: limit the free exercise of speech.”

At one point during the hearing, Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) asked Yoel Roth, the former global head of trust and safety at Twitter, how many tweets were flagged and removed at the behest of the Biden administration.

Roth denied the characterization of the question, telling lawmakers that “tweets were reported and Twitter independently evaluated them under its rules.”

The hearing also featured references to the “Twitter Files,” reports by journalists that include internal communications between company employees and outside actors. David Zweig, who released one of the “Twitter Files” installments, said internal files from the company that he reviewed “showed that both the Trump and Biden administrations directly pressed Twitter executives to moderate the platform’s pandemic content according to their wishes.”

“It is inappropriate and dangerous for the federal government to decide what lawful speech is allowed on a private sector platform,” Comer said during debate on Wednesday.

“My bill, the Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act, makes this type of behavior an unlawful activity for federal officials to engage in — subjecting those who attempt to censor the lawful speech of Americans to disciplinary actions and monetary penalties,” he continued. “The federal government should not be able to decide what lawful speech is allowed — we have the First Amendment for a very good reason.”

Rep. Daniel Goldman (D-N.Y.) argued that the bill was unnecessary because of protections provided under the First Amendment.

“This bill purports to protect free speech from government censorship. And I agree, it’s a great idea. It’s such a good idea, in fact, that the Founding Fathers put it in the Constitution,”  Goldman said on the House floor Wednesday. “It’s called the First Amendment.”

“We don’t need a new bill to protect free speech because that is currently the law of the land. So we must ask ourselves: what is the point of this bill?” he added.

The congressman, who serves as lead counsel in former President Trump’s first impeachment inquiry, argued that the measure would allow malign actors to continue using social media “unfettered” or adverse reasons.

“H.R. 140 would effectively allow these and other foreign malign actors — who have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into online propaganda — to create chaos, mistrust, hate and confusion for Americans, to continue using social media platforms unfettered to wreak havoc on our democratic institutions, including the integrity of our elections,” Goldman said.

“It would do so by undermining the only defense that we have against these operations, which is the ability of our national security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to warn social media platforms and the public about the deployment of counterfeit accounts, disinformation and cyber surveillance by malign actors,” he added.

Lawmakers approved a number of amendments to the bill, including one that would prohibit law enforcement officials from sharing information with social media companies unless it pertains to speech not protected by the First Amendment — such as obscenity, fraud or incitement to imminent lawless action.

The measure also exempts actions from federal employees meant for “exercising legitimate law enforcement functions directly related to activities to combat child pornography, human trafficking, or the illegal transporting of or transacting in controlled substances and safeguarding, or preventing, the unlawful dissemination of properly classified national security information.”

McCarthy to lead congressional delegation to southern border

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is leading a congressional delegation to the southern border on Thursday, marking his first visit to the border since winning the gavel last month.

Republican Reps. Juan Ciscomani (Ariz.), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (Ore.), Jen Kiggans (Va.) and Derrick Van Orden (Wis.) — all first-term lawmakers — will accompany McCarthy on the trip. The group will be traveling within the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector, and they will be briefed and receive an aerial tour from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, according to McCarthy.

Ciscomani delivered the Republicans' State of the Union response in Spanish last week.

The trip comes a little more than one month after McCarthy won the Speakership in a 15-ballot election that forced him to give up a number of concessions to shore up support among the party’s right flank, including a floor vote on border legislation.

McCarthy made securing the border a key part of his agenda during the midterm elections, and in the lead-up to the Speaker race. In November, shortly after the midterms, McCarthy traveled to El Paso, Texas, and called on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to resign over his handling of the southern border — a gesture toward conservative Republicans who had been pushing for impeachment.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) in December said the Border Safety and Security Act would pass in the first two weeks of the new Congress, but it has not yet come to the floor because of disagreements within the party.

The legislation would allow Mayorkas to turn away migrants in an effort to reach "operational control" at the border. Some lawmakers, however, have raised concerns about the limits it would place on asylum.

Some Republicans have been adamant about impeaching Mayorkas. Earlier this month, GOP lawmakers filed a second bill to impeach the secretary. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) called Mayorkas the “chief architect of the migration and drug invasion at our southern border.”

McCarthy has on a number of occasions said he will not use impeachment for political purposes, vowing to launch an inquiry if a reason presents itself. He reiterated that stance last week.

“We will never use impeachment for political reasons. It's just not going to happen,” McCarthy said during a press conference when asked about a potential timeline for impeachment. “That doesn't mean if something rises to the level [of] impeachment, we would not do it.”

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security hired a law firm to help respond to a potential impeachment of Mayorkas.

Spartz won’t support McCarthy in denying Omar seat on Foreign Affairs committee

Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) said she will not support Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (Calif.) effort to deny Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, making matters more difficult for the GOP leader as he looks to follow through on his pledge to not seat the congresswoman on the panel.

Spartz also said she opposes McCarthy’s vow to block Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) from the House Intelligence Committee.

But while McCarthy has the power to unilaterally block Schiff and Swalwell from the Intelligence Committee, unseating Omar would take a vote of the full House, where Republicans hold only a narrow majority.

Spartz pointed to the Democratic-led moves in 2021 to strip Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) of their panel assignments — which she voted against — as a reason for her resistance.

“Two wrongs do not make a right,” Spartz wrote in a statement on Tuesday. “Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.] took unprecedented actions last Congress to remove Reps. Greene and Gosar from their committees without proper due process. Speaker McCarthy is taking unprecedented actions this Congress to deny some committee assignments to the Minority without proper due process again.”

“As I spoke against it on the House floor two years ago, I will not support this charade again,” she added. “Speaker McCarthy needs to stop ‘bread and circuses’ in Congress and start governing for a change.”

McCarthy has pledged to keep Schiff and Swalwell off the Intelligence Committee and Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee after Democrats kicked Greene and Gosar off their panels.

The Intelligence panel is a select committee, which means the Speaker assigns members in consultation with the minority leader. That authority also gives him the ability to unilaterally deny members seats on the committee. Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee, on the other hand, are chosen by each party and then ratified by the full House.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) has also expressed a coolness to denying Omar the committee seat after voting against booting Greene and Gosar from their panels in 2021.

“I'm going to treat everybody equally,” Mace told CNN. “I want to be consistent on it.”

That GOP opposition to not seating Omar on the Foreign Affairs Committee could present a math problem for McCarthy as he looks to make good on his vow in the narrowly split chamber.

Republicans can afford to lose only two more of their members, in addition to Spartz and Mace, and still deny Omar a seat on the committee. That number, however, could fall to three if Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) — who is recovering from injuries after falling 25 feet off a ladder — misses the vote. The Florida Republican wrote on Twitter on Monday that he will be “sidelined in Sarasota for several weeks.”

In 2021, 11 Republicans, seven of whom are still in Congress, voted with Democrats to boot Greene from her committees. Former Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) were the only two Republicans who voted to oust Gosar from panels.

It is unclear when the House will vote to ratify committee assignments. The House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee is scheduled to meet this week and complete committee assignments. Omar is expected to be put on the Foreign Affairs Committee, according to several sources familiar with the Democrats’ plans.

After that, the slates will go to the floor for approval.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) officially tapped Schiff and Swalwell for the Intelligence Committee in a letter this weekend to McCarthy, setting the foundation for a showdown over panel assignments for the pair.

McCarthy's frustrations with the trio stem from different areas.

Omar, a Somali refugee, has criticized the Israeli government and its supporters in the past, leading some to accuse her of antisemitism. The congresswoman was forced to apologize in 2019 after indicating that wealthy Jews were buying congressional support for Israel.

Republicans have accused Schiff of lying to the public while leading investigations into former President Trump, and McCarthy has pointed to Swalwell’s association with a suspected Chinese spy who helped fundraise for his 2014 reelection campaign. After the FBI told Swalwell about their concerns, he put an end to his ties with the Chinese national, who left for Beijing.

Both Schiff and Swalwell played prominent roles in Trump's impeachments.

“I’m doing exactly what we’re supposed to do,” McCarthy told reporters earlier this month, doubling down on his vows to deny the lawmakers assignments.

Jan. 6 committee releases final report

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol released its highly anticipated final report Thursday night, capping off the panel’s year-and-a-half-long probe.

The report, which spans 845 pages, was made public three days after the committee held its final meeting and unveiled several criminal referrals targeting former President Trump. During that presentation, members voted unanimously to adopt the expansive body of work.

The final document includes eight chapters, an executive summary and a list of 11 legislative recommendations, all of which are part of the committee’s responsibility of investigating the events surrounding Jan. 6 and putting forward suggestions to prevent a similar event from happening in the future.

“This report will provide greater detail about the multistep effort devised and driven by Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election and block the transfer of power,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the committee, wrote in a foreword in the report.

“Building on the information presented in our hearings earlier this year, we will present new findings about Trump’s pressure campaign on officials from the local level all the way up to his Vice President, orchestrated and designed solely to throw out the will of the voters and keep him in office past the end of his elected term,” he added.

The report was initially set to publish on Wednesday, but the committee punted the release to Thursday. The panel did not give a reason for the delay, but the announcement came a few hours before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered an address to a joint meeting of Congress.

The body of work largely details arguments and evidence the committee laid out during its series of public hearings this year. But for the first time, the panel outlined its full slate of legislative recommendations, including one that seeks to bar Trump from holding office in the future under the 14th Amendment.

The panel argued that Trump should not be allowed to serve in government office because the constitutional amendment prohibits people who “engaged in insurrection” from holding such posts. The committee pointed to Trump’s impeachment by the House on incitement of insurrection, cited the 57 senators who voted to convict him and referenced its criminal referral to the Justice Department on a similar charge.

The committee also recommended increased subpoena enforcement for Congress and more aggressive oversight of the Capitol Police, among other suggestions.

The release of the final report marks the final act of the committee’s sprawling investigation, which has been ongoing since the panel was created in the summer of 2021.

The group held 11 public presentations, interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses and poured over thousands of documents during the past 18 months to understand the events before, on and after Jan. 6.

As a precursor to the publication of the report, the panel made its final public presentation on Monday, during which members voted on criminal referrals to the Justice Department that target Trump.

The panel recommended that the agency investigate Trump for inciting, assisting or aiding and comforting an insurrection; obstructing an official proceeding; conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to make a false statement.

The referrals, while symbolic, do not have any legal heft because the Justice Department is not required to investigate recommendations from congressional committees.

But they nonetheless marked a significant moment in the committee’s quest to make its case to the American people that Trump was at the heart of a conspiracy to keep himself in the White House.

“In the Committee’s hearings, we presented evidence of what ultimately became a multi-part plan to overturn the 2020 Presidential election,” the report reads. “That evidence has led to an overriding and straight forward conclusion: the central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, whom many others followed.”

“None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him,” the report added.

Ahead of the release of the final report, the committee published the transcripts of a number of witness testimonies — including two conversations the panel had with Cassidy Hutchinson.

During those discussions, the former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows detailed an effort by what she referred to as “Trump World” to lessen the effect of her testimony and hold back information from investigators.

The referrals and release of the report and transcripts come at a particularly tenuous moment for Trump, whose third bid for the White House is struggling to pick up steam amid poor polls and mockery over a new business venture involving digital trading cards.

Updated Dec. 23 at 12:41 a.m.

Five things to know ahead of the Jan. 6 committee’s crucial week

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol is heading into a crucial week as it prepares to hold its final presentation, release a highly anticipated report outlining findings from the panel’s year-plus probe and vote on criminal referrals to the Department of Justice.

The votes on criminal referrals are expected during Monday’s business meeting, marking a significant step for the panel, which has said one of its goals is to prevent what happened on Jan. 6 from happening again.

The week’s closely watched events are the culmination of the committee’s sprawling investigation, which began months after last year’s deadly riot and has consisted of almost a dozen hearings, testimony from more than 1,000 witnesses and millions of documents.

Here are five things to look for as the committee kicks off a pivotal week:

Committee to vote on referrals Monday

Sunrise at the U.S. Capitol, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022, as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol prepares to hold its final meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington.

The committee will vote on criminal referrals to the Department of Justice (DOJ) during its final business meeting on Monday.

Multiple outlets reported on Friday that the committee will vote on urging the DOJ to pursue at least three charges against former President Trump, including obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress, insurrection and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

The referrals will be closely watched inside and outside Washington, but they are also largely symbolic. The DOJ is not obligated to consider recommendations from congressional committees and is in the midst of conducting its own investigation into Jan. 6.

Criminal referrals likely won’t be the only ones the panel considers. 

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the committee, previously said the panel was considering “five or six categories” for referrals. The committee has highlighted behavior that would be under the purview of the Justice Department, House Ethics Committee and professional organizations, such as bar associations.

“We’re focused on key players and we’re focused on key players where there is sufficient evidence or abundant evidence that they committed crimes, and we’re focused on crimes that go right to the heart of the Constitutional order such that the Congress can’t remain silent,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the committee, told reporters last week.

Raskin suggested earlier this month that the five Republican lawmakers who ignored subpoenas from the committee — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Reps. Scott Perry (Pa.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Andy Biggs (Ariz.) and Mo Brooks (Ala.) — could be referred to the Ethics Committee.

On Sunday, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the panel, told CNN's "State of the Union" that the committee has considered censure and ethics referrals.

Asked last week if he or any of his GOP colleagues are concerned about being referred for criminal contempt for ignoring subpoenas, McCarthy told reporters “no, not at all, we did nothing wrong.” 

The committee could also be mulling referrals to bar associations as a rebuke to the lawyers who assisted Trump in his quest to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Panel to release full report on Wednesday

Representatives sit on the dais as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, July 12, 2022.

The committee is set to release its report, which will be comprised of eight chapters outlining the findings of the panel’s months-long investigation, on Wednesday.

Those chapters, according to Politico, will closely correspond with the evidence presented at its nine public hearings this year. The committee will also provide an executive summary.

After Monday's business meeting, the panel is expected to release certain materials, including an executive summary of the report, details on referrals, and additional information about witnesses who have appeared before the committee, according to a select committee aide.

But on Wednesday, the public will get access to the full report, including “attachments and some other things,” according to Thompson. The public may have to wait longer, however, to sift through transcripts of witness interviews.

Committee to release legislative recommendations

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) speaks during a House Jan. 6 committee hearing on Thursday, October 13, 2022 to focus on former President Trump’s efforts to remain in power following his 2020 election defeat.

Monday’s business meeting will also feature some legislative recommendations, Thompson told reporters, which are core part of the Jan. 6 committee’s purpose.

“A lot of our work is also focused on recommendations, legislatively what needs to be done to prevent coups, insurrections, political violence and electoral sabotage in the future,” Raskin, who is a constitutional law expert, said in the Capitol last week.

“And in some sense that’s the heart of it because we think there is a clear, continuing, present danger to democracy today,” he added.

The House has already passed one legislative proposal crafted by members of the committee — the Presidential Election Reform Act, which clarifies the vice president’s role in certifying elections and significantly increases the number of lawmakers needed to object to the certification of a state’s electors.

But Raskin told reporters that the measure was “a very minimal first step.”

In September, he laid out a laundry list of areas the committee wanted to address following its investigation.

“We want to strengthen and fortify the electoral system and the right to vote. We want to do what we can to secure the situation of election workers and keep them safe from violence. We want to solidify the states in their determination that private armed militias not operate in the name of the state. You know, we don’t have any kind of federal law or policy about private armed militias,” the Maryland Democrat said.

It remains to be seen what the scope of the final recommendations will be. And they will be released just as Republicans take control of the House, leaving no time for the Democratic majority to pursue legislation.

Asked last week if there is any regret that the recommendations are coming at such a late stage, Raskin told reporters “I hope that they will have an impact on the thinking of Congress going forward.”

DOJ will finally get committee’s report Wednesday

The Department of Justice logo is seen at their headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, August 5, 2021 prior to a press conference regarding a civil rights matter.

The DOJ has spent months requesting evidence from the panel as it conducts its own investigation and on Wednesday it will finally get its hands on the committee’s final report.

Attorney General Merrick Garland had said the department would like to view the transcripts and other materials “so that we can use it in the ordinary course of our investigations.”

In June, the DOJ wrote in a court filing that the committee’s refusal to share information was making its work more difficult.

“The Select Committee’s failure to grant the Department access to these transcripts complicates the Department’s ability to investigate and prosecute those who engaged in criminal conduct in relation to the January 6 attack on the Capitol,” a letter in the filing read.

“Accordingly, we renew our request that the Select Committee provide us with copies of the transcripts of all the interviews it has conducted to date,” it added.

But Thompson told reporters last month that the DOJ would have to wait until the final report was published to view evidence the committee collected throughout its year-and-a-half investigation. 

The DOJ will finally get its wish on Wednesday, when the committee’s report is made available to the public — including those who work in the agency.

Cheney, Kinzinger to have final moments in the spotlight

Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.)

Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) are seen during a House Jan. 6 committee hearing on Thursday, July 21, 2022 to focus on former President Trump’s actions during the insurrection.

Monday’s business meeting will also mark a swan song of sorts for Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who are departing Congress at the end of this month after breaking from the Republican Party and denouncing Trump.

Cheney, one of two Republicans serving on the panel, is leaving the House after losing reelection over the summer, in part because of her participation on the Jan. 6 committee.

She has emerged as an outspoken critic of Trump, using her prominent position as vice chair of the committee to lay out the case that the former president was responsible for what happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

It is a main reason why she lost reelection last year to Wyoming lawyer Harriet Hageman, who Trump handpicked to challenge Cheney after she voted for his impeachment and joined the Jan. 6 committee.

Kinzinger has also become a top GOP critic of Trump, though he opted out of running for reelection this year.

Despite their departures, the GOP duo has continued in their crusades against Trump, criticizing him for recent comments he made regarding the Constitution and for dining with noted white supremacist Nick Fuentes.

But Monday’s meeting will likely be the last time they can make the case against Trump with the audience and platform that come with being a member of Congress.

HBO announces documentary on Pelosi filmed by daughter

HBO is premiering a documentary next month that chronicles the congressional career of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) filmed by the Democratic leader's daughter, Alexandra Pelosi.

The documentary, titled “Pelosi in the House,” will debut on Dec. 13 on HBO and HBO Max, Warner Media, the parent company of HBO, announced on Monday. Alexandra Pelosi, an award-winning documentarian, produced and directed the film.

HBO said the younger Pelosi “offers a candid, behind-the-scenes chronicle of the life of her mother and Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, through her career milestones leading up to the inauguration of President Joseph Biden in January 2021.”

Footage in the film spans three decades, according to HBO, providing “a unique, longitudinal window into the life of a longstanding Democratic politician and history in the making.”

The public received a glimpse of Alexandra Pelosi’s footage last month, when the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol presented video filmed by the younger Pelosi during the Capitol riot. In it, the Speaker and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) were seen making urgent calls from secure locations amid the attack.

Other members of congressional leadership — Democrats and Republicans — were also featured in the dramatic footage, which depicted tense moments as the riot was underway.

In addition to Jan. 6, Alexandra Pelosi was with the Speaker in the Capitol earlier this month when she announced in a speech on the House floor that she will step down from leadership in the next Congress, ending her historic, two-decade reign atop the Democratic caucus.

The younger Pelosi was spotted walking with the Speaker and filming her while entering the Capitol that day. HBO’s announcement also features a photo of Alexandra Pelosi filming the Speaker in the Capitol that day.

The forthcoming film about the Speaker is Alexandra Pelosi’s 14th documentary film for HBO. She is also the director of “Journeys with George,” which followed former President George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign for president. The film won an Emmy in 2003.

HBO said the documentary on the Speaker “goes behind the headlines as it tracks Pelosi’s life in public office from her election to Congress in 1987 and becoming the first female Speaker of the House in 2007 through the 2020 election and President Biden’s inauguration.”

“Following Pelosi at both work and home in real time during consequential political moments in the country’s recent history, the film offers a unique look at American politics through her efforts on the Affordable Care Act, the COVID-19 relief package, two impeachments as well as a record of the events of January 6, 2021, following Pelosi and other lawmakers at a secure location as the crisis unfolded,” HBO added.

Seven incoming House members to watch

More than 70 incoming lawmakers will be sworn into the House this January after winning their races earlier this month.

Republicans are poised to control the House next year, with 220 seats having been called in their favor compared to Democrats’ 213. Two races remain uncalled. 

Next year’s crop of first-term lawmakers in the House includes 37 Republicans and 35 Democrats who hail from 32 states across the country.

Here are seven to watch:

Maxwell Alejandro Frost (D-Fla.)

Democratic candidate for Florida's 10th Congressional District Maxwell Frost speaks

Frost is set to become the first Gen Z member of Congress. The 25-year-old community organizer will represent Florida’s 10th Congressional District after beating his Republican opponent by roughly 20 percentage points.

He is poised to become a leading progressive voice in the next Congress, advocating for liberal policies and serving as a representative for the youngest generation of voters, which broke decisively for Democrats this cycle.

“[I’m] excited to be here with my future colleagues in the Progressive Caucus, because we’re gonna be pushing and pushing and pushing for a world that works for every single person, no matter who they are,” he said days after the election at a Progressive Caucus press conference at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In an interview with PBS, Frost said “the economy is top of mind” and zeroed in on affordable housing and increasing wages as key issues.

Frost characterized his victory as part of the “bigger puzzle” of getting more young people involved in government.

“I think it's important that we have young people at the table. Look, I'm not one of these people that say we need to take out all the old folks and just have young people. It needs to be diverse, right, in age, in race, in gender, in economic status and experience,” he said. 

Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.)

Rep.-elect Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.)

Hageman is sure to be the center of attention when she is sworn in as Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R-Wyo.) replacement.

Hageman, a Trump-endorsed attorney, overwhelmingly beat Cheney, one of former President Trump’s most outspoken Republican critics, in a primary this summer, all but assuring her the general election victory.

The constitutional and natural resource attorney will join the ranks of Trump defenders on Capitol Hill as the former president makes another run for the White House. She previously said the 2020 presidential election was “rigged” against Trump.

During her victory speech, the congresswoman-elect thanked the former president for his support.

“Today we have succeeded at what we set out to do: We have reclaimed Wyoming’s lone congressional seat for Wyoming,” Hageman said. “But I did not do this on my own. Obviously we’re all very grateful to President Trump, who recognizes that Wyoming has only one congressional representative, and we have to make it count.”

“His clear and unwavering support from the very beginning propelled us to victory tonight,” she added.

Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.)

Rep.-elect Daniel Goldman (D-N.Y.)

Goldman won’t be a new face on Capitol Hill — or to many Americans — when he gets sworn in next year.

The former federal prosecutor served as the lead counsel for House Democrats during Trump’s first impeachment investigation and hearings in 2019-2020.

Goldman, who was assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York for 10 years, has been a fixture on cable news since then, offering legal analysis on the myriad investigations involving Trump.

In Congress, the New Yorker vowed to be a “bulwark” against the former president.

“He will be front and center and in conjunction with the House Republicans that he still controls,” Goldman said of Trump during an interview with PIX on Politics Sunday. “I would expect to see more abuses of power and more excessive conduct that is extremist conduct, really, that the American people don’t want anymore. And I look forward to being in Congress as a bulwark against that.”

Aside from Trump, the congressman-elect said he plans to focus on housing, mental health treatment, substance abuse, homelessness and crime.

Derrick Van Orden (R-Wis.)

Rep.-elect Derrick Van Orden (R-Wis.)

Van Orden will be closely watched in Congress next year, after the retired Navy SEAL attended the Jan. 6, 2021, rally on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., and walked to the Capitol afterwards.

He beat Democratic state Sen. Brad Pfaff to represent Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District in the House, flipping the Badger State seat red. He will replace retiring centrist Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), who held the seat since 1997.

Van Orden has struck a distinctly more bipartisan tone since his election, telling PBS Wisconsin, "I fully understand that 48 percent of the voters in this district did not support me and I plan on representing them as equally as the 52 percent that did." 

But he’ll join the ranks of Trump-backers in the House just as the former president continues his crusade to disprove the 2020 results and win another term in 2024. And he remains mired in controversy.

Van Orden contends he never entered the building on Jan. 6 and left the premises after “it became clear that a protest had become a mob.”

“When it became clear that a protest had become a mob, I left the area as to remain there could be construed as tacitly approving this unlawful conduct. At no time did I enter the grounds, let alone the building,” he wrote in an op-ed published by the La Crosse Tribune days after the Capitol attack.

But in June 2021, The Daily Beast published a photo of Van Orden before the Olmstead Lantern which, according to the Architect of the Capitol, is on Capitol grounds. According to The Washington Post, Van Orden has not called the authenticity of the photo into question.

Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.)

Luna is poised to become an outspoken member of the House Freedom Caucus, telling The Washington Post she plans to join the conservative group known for stirring controversy within the party after its political action committee endorsed her and funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars into her campaign.

The Air Force veteran also secured endorsements from Trump and Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.). She has said Trump won the 2020 presidential election and that voter fraud occurred.

Luna made history on Election Day, becoming the first Mexican American woman to be elected to Congress from Florida. Her victory over former Obama aide Eric Lynn flipped the Sunshine State’s 13th Congressional District red. She will replace former Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), who left the seat to run for governor.

Luna spent time with some of her future colleagues earlier this month when she attended a gathering of the Second Amendment Caucus. Kyle Rittenhouse — the teenager who was acquitted of homicide related to the killing of two people in Kenosha, Wis., during a protest in 2020 — was also in attendance.

Cory Mills (R-Fla.)

Rep.-elect Cory Mills (R-Fla.)

Mills, who has already aligned himself with a contingent of Republicans opposed to allocating more funding for Ukraine in its battle against Russia, will be a lawmaker to watch in Congress as it weighs whether to do just that.

Mills worked as a Department of Defense adviser during the Trump administration and appeared at a press conference with GOP House members last week where Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) unveiled a privileged resolution to audit the funds allocated to Kyiv by Congress.

The congressman-elect lent support to the measure.

“Americans deserve transparency of where their money goes. That is our job as elected officials,” he said at the press conference. Separately, the incoming lawmaker told Florida’s Voice, “I personally would not vote for any continuance of funding.”

The White House earlier this month asked Congress to appropriate more than $7 billion in additional support for Ukraine. Assistance to Kyiv has received broad support from Republicans in both the House and Senate, but a small faction of GOP lawmakers in the lower chamber — which could grow after Mills’s victory — has been opposed to more funding.

Mills, a U.S. Army combat special operations veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and received a Bronze Star in 2006, beat Democrat Karen Green to represent Florida’s 7th Congressional District.

Summer Lee (D-Pa.)

State Rep. Summer Lee

Lee made history earlier this month when she became the first Black woman to be elected to Congress from Pennsylvania. She beat Republican Mike Doyle to replace the 12th Congressional District’s retiring Democratic lawmaker, who is also named Mike Doyle.

The two-term state House member, lawyer and former labor organizer is expected to be a prominent figure in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. 

The congresswoman-elect is also rumored to be joining the “squad,” a group made up of progressive lawmakers of color in the House, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

“I think that what we are going to see is that our progressive movement is going to continue to endure because we are doing the work to bring new people in, to expand the electorate every single election cycle, but also to do the work and to lay that groundwork, even in districts where we’re not supposed to have, or don't usually have progressives,” she said at a Progressive Caucus press conference. “So our work continues.”

She told reporters after the event that she will be focused on issues like environmental justice, policing and increasing wages.

Lawmakers celebrate Pelosi: ‘A historical figure’

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement that she will step away from Democratic leadership next Congress marked a transformational moment on Capitol Hill Thursday, with liberals and even some Republicans offering praise and kudos to the California congresswoman.

In a highly anticipated address from the House floor, Pelosi, who has led the Democratic caucus for 20 years, said she will continue serving her San Francisco district in the lower chamber but will pass the leadership torch to a “new generation” of Democrats, many of whom have been waiting in the wings for a shakeup among the caucus’s top brass.

The House chamber erupted in a standing ovation when Pelosi, dressed in a white suit, wrapped up her speech.

A swarm of Democrats lined up to hug the outgoing Speaker following her remarks. Some even recorded the moment on their cellphones from the floor. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) brought his young daughter to witness the occasion.

“She’s a historical figure. She’ll be one of the top people in American history,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), a close ally of Pelosi. “This is a tough, strong, smart, courageous woman that knows how to listen to everybody, make a decision, [and] implement.”

“She’s just such a venerated leader,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said. “It was so dignified, you know, the way that she carried and carries herself in such a dignified fashion. She went on her own terms, and I think there’s just nothing but respect there for her.”

Few Republicans ventured to the House floor to witness the speech from Pelosi, who has long been villainized in GOP messaging. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) attended — and participated in the standing ovation after her speech.

But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who this week was nominated by Republicans to replace Pelosi as Speaker next year when the party controls the House, did not attend and said shortly after that he did not watch her speech.

“I had meetings. But normally the others would do it during votes. I wish — she could have done that. I could have been there,” said McCarthy, who once joked that it would be hard to not hit Pelosi with the Speaker’s gavel when he takes it over.

The GOP leader and the Speaker have a hostile relationship, particularly during and since the Trump era. Pelosi called McCarthy a “moron” after he criticized the mask mandate she instituted on the House floor during the coronavirus pandemic.

“They’ve both [had] quite a career of how many decades they've been here working through,” McCarthy said of Pelosi and Hoyer on Thursday. “It's a whole new generation for the Democrats.”

Pelosi’s historic reign in Democratic leadership began in 2002 when she assumed the role of House minority whip. She later served as chair of the House Democratic Caucus and minority leader, but will be most remembered for her ascension to the Speakership in 2007, when she became the first woman to secure the gavel.

Throughout her eight years as Speaker, Pelosi helped usher in a number of massive legislative accomplishments: she oversaw the passage of the Affordable Care Act, helped authorize trillions of dollars of emergency relief during the pandemic and pushed through this year’s multi-billion dollar tax and climate bill.

The California Democrat also twice kicked off impeachment proceedings against former President Trump during his White House tenure.

“I just admire her focus, her workmanship, her dedication and her able to get things done and work with folks,” Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told reporters. “When I think of the accomplishments that we’ve made under her leadership, I’m glad that I had the opportunity to be here during those times.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), a close Pelosi ally who was first to hug the Speaker on the floor, called her California colleague “the most effective Speaker in the history of the United States.”

The Democratic praise for Pelosi was bicameral. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has served as Pelosi’s counterpart in the upper chamber for years, was present on the House floor during her remarks.

“I just left the floor of the House for one of the most emotional moments I’ve had in my career: the valedictory of Nancy Pelosi, one of the greatest legislators — and greatest people — I’ve ever met,” Schumer later said on the Senate floor.

“Few in American history have been as effective, as driven, as successful as Speaker Pelosi. She's transformed practically every corner of American politics, and unquestionably made America a better, stronger nation,” he added.

But as Pelosi heads to the leadership exits, some Democrats are emphasizing that the California lawmaker will remain a consequential figure in the party — regardless of the title she holds.

“She’s not gonna leave Dem leadership, she’s still gonna be a leader in this caucus, you know, without all the nightmares of us … without the pains in the asses she had to deal with all the time,” Dingell said. “She’s got a great deal of influence, we all know how smart she is, she’s gonna be able to pull people together. She’s going to be a voice people are gonna listen to.”

“I think that her being still involved will be helpful and it'll help us to get — get further faster,” Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) said.

Pelosi did get some praise from Republicans.

Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), who said he often speaks to Pelosi on the House floor about her granddaughter and his daughter who share a name, gave her a hug after her speech.

“We don't agree on a dadgum thing. And I prayed for her husband to get well. But I'm a Christian first, not a Republican,” Burchett said. “We still talk, and I think this country needs a little more than that.”

“We disagreed probably 99 percent of the time. But she's been a very effective Speaker for her own cause,” said Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.)  “She had a gracious presentation of well-prepared remarks. I think it was very appropriate.”

Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) was also present for Pelosi’s speech and hugged her afterward.

“Part of it was I was first up to present on legislation immediately after. But also, I believe it was a historic moment there, and I usually tend to sit in on those no matter who it is. And thirdly, it’s an Italian thing,” LaMalfa said.

Others, however, did not contain their glee at Pelosi leaving the Speakership. 

“I'm thrilled,” said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). “I think she's been the most destructive Speaker that we've had.”

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) chimed in with a tweet: “Good riddance!”

House Democrat eyes legislation to bar Trump from office under 14th Amendment

Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) is eyeing legislation that would bar former President Trump from serving in office under the 14th Amendment “for leading an insurrection against the United States.”

Cicilline, who served as an impeachment manager during Trump’s first impeachment, sent a letter to his Democratic colleagues Tuesday night previewing a bill to prevent Trump from holding office and soliciting co-sponsors for the measure.

It is unclear when the congressman plans to introduce the bill. The listed deadline for lawmakers to co-sponsor the measure is Thursday at noon.

The Rhode Island Democrat circulated the letter the same night Trump announced his 2024 campaign for president.

“Given the proof – demonstrated through the January 6th Committee Hearings, the 2021 impeachment trial, and other reporting – that Donald Trump engaged in insurrection on January 6th with the intention of overturning the lawful 2020 election results, I have drafted legislation that would prevent Donald Trump from holding public office again under the Fourteenth Amendment,” Cicilline wrote.

Trump was impeached for a second time in January 2021 on the charge of “incitement of insurrection” following the Capitol riot, but the Senate ultimately acquitted him. The House impeached him for a first time in December 2019 for “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress” over revelations regarding his dealings with Ukraine, though the Senate acquitted him of both charges.

Cicilline argued that Trump should be barred from holding office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, known as the “Disqualification Clause,” which says individuals should not be allowed “to hold any office” if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

The congressman said his bill “details testimony and evidence demonstrating how Donald Trump engaged in insurrection against the United States,” pointing to revelations from Jan. 6 select committee hearings.

“It specifically details how Donald Trump engaged in insurrection when he helped to plan and encouraged the insurgence on January 6th despite knowing that the election results were lawful; attempted to intimidate state and federal officials when they did not support his false claims and unlawful plans; tried to manipulate Mike Pence into unlawfully refusing to certify the election results, despite Mr. Pence’s and legal advisors’ assertion that he held no such authority; and supported the violent insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th, refusing for hours to denounce or act against the mob and putting thousands of lives in danger,” the letter reads.

If he introduces the bill, Cicilline will have to lay out the process for how the measure would use Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the text is vague.

“It is unclear whether Section 3 is self-executing, which, if it is not, would leave federal and state courts or election authorities without power to determine the eligibility of candidates unless Congress enacts legislation to permit it. Courts have produced mixed results on this question,” the CRS report reads.

“Section 3 does not expressly provide a procedure for its implementation other than Section 5’s general authority of Congress ‘to enforce [the Fourteenth Amendment’ by appropriate legislation,’” it adds.

Trump announced his intention for a third presidential bid Tuesday night at his Mar-a-Lago resort, telling the audience at the event "we always have known that this was not the end. It was only the beginning of our fight to rescue the American dream."

"In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States," he added.