House

This week: Jan. 6 panel returns to primetime, House takes up contraceptives bill

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol is taking its case back to primetime this week, holding what could be its final hearing of the summer, focusing on then-President Trump’s inaction during the riot.

The hearing, scheduled for Thursday at 8 p.m., is the panel’s eighth presentation since it began laying out its argument to the public last month that Trump was at the center of a conspiracy to keep himself in power. It is the second time the committee has made its case in primetime.

House lawmakers this week are also slated to vote on a bill protecting access to contraceptives, a direct response to last month’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. In a concurring opinion to the bombshell ruling, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called for reconsidering the case protecting a married couple’s right to use contraceptives — sparking fear and anger among Democrats.

On the Senate side, Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said he wants to hold a vote on a bill this week to allocate tens of billions of dollars to the domestic semiconductor manufacturing industry, aiming to boost the U.S.’s competitiveness with China.

Senate Democrats will also likely continue talks on a potential budget reconciliation package after moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he would not support adding climate spending or tax increases on the wealthy to the measure, citing the latest report showing soaring inflation.

Primetime Jan. 6 hearing

Thursday’s primetime hearing from the Jan. 6 committee will focus on Trump’s actions, or lack thereof, during the 187 minutes between when the president left the “Stop the Steal” rally on the Ellipse and posted a video on Twitter urging his supporters to leave the Capitol.

Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.), who is leading this week’s hearing alongside Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that the presentation will review “minute by minute” what Trump was doing during the 187-minute time frame.

“I will start out it’s pretty simple. He was doing nothing to actually stop the riot,” Luria said, referring to Trump.

Kinzinger told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the committee had “filled in the blanks” of what went on during that block of time.

The committee has not yet formally announced any witnesses for the hearing. Luria said the presentation will feature new faces the public has not seen during previous hearings.

The Virginia Democrat did mention one name — former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone. The panel interviewed Cipollone for more than seven hours earlier this month, after weeks of publicly urging him to sit down under oath.

On Sunday, Luria said the ex-White House counsel’s testimony was “very valuable,” teasing that clips of the conversation will be presented Thursday.

“This will be our eighth hearing. This is the end of this kind of grouping,” Kinzinger told CBS, adding that additional hearings may be held when the committee releases its final report, or if new witnesses come forward.

The committee also expects to receive information Tuesday from the Secret Service in response to a late-night subpoena issued on Friday requesting text messages and action reports related to the events of Jan. 6.

The request for information came after the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security told lawmakers that it could not obtain “many” text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 because they were deleting during a “device-replacement program.” The Secret Service has denied acting maliciously.

House to vote on bill protecting access to contraceptives

The House is scheduled to vote on a bill this week protecting access to contraceptives, less than one month after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas penned a concurring opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, suggesting the court revisit a married couple’s constitutional right to birth control.

The legislation, titled the Right to Contraception Act, would codify the right to obtain and use contraceptives, and the rights of healthcare providers to deliver contraceptives and relevant information to their patients.

The Rules Committee is scheduled to consider the bill on Monday. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) teed up the vote in a statement on Friday, directly targeting Thomas’ concurring opinion.

“In his concurring opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson, Justice Clarence Thomas made it very clear that the extremist ruling that ended Roe v. Wade could be used to overturn other precedents, and he specifically referenced the case that recognized Americans’ constitutional right to access contraception,” he said.

The justice said the high court should “reconsider” all substantive due process precedents the bench has set, including Griswold v. Connecticut, which protects access to contraception.

The House vote comes the week after the lower chamber passed a pair of bills protecting abortion access — a move in response to the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Senate to vote on bill to bolster semiconductor industry

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is looking to hold a vote this week on a bill to boost the semiconductor industry, which he has told his colleagues could come as early as Tuesday.

The legislation, titled the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America bill, would allocate between $52 billion and $54 billion in assistance to the domestic semiconductor manufacturing industry in an attempt to make the U.S. more competitive with China.

The bill also includes a tax credit for semiconductor manufacturers.

Passage of the bill would cap off more than a year of negotiations in the upper chamber, but it is unclear if the bill can secure 60 votes and overcome a legislative filibuster.

The bill isnot as expansive as a version of the bill that cleared the Senate in June 2021, frustrating some Democrats. The earlier legislation was worth an estimated $250 billion and would have funneled funds to scientific research, robotics, semiconductors and supply chains for critical items.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has threatened to vote against the measure, which he has called a corporate giveaway to massive microchip companies.

At least one Republican, however, appears to be on board — Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) last week expressed an openness to a narrow measure focused on the domestic semiconductor manufacturers.

The Kentucky Republican’s support is significant, considering over the July 4 recess he threatened to tank the entire legislative push if Democrats continued working on a budget reconciliation bill to lower drug prices and raise taxes on pass-through business income.

Talks continue on budget reconciliation bill

Senate Democrats are likely to continue discussions on a budget reconciliation bill this week, after moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he would not support adding climate spending and tax increases on the wealthy to the measure.

Manchin told Schumer last week that if Democrats want his help moving a reconciliation bill next month, it can only include a provision to lower prescription drug prices, and a two-year extension of expiring health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

That statement was a departure from his previous commitment to close a tax loophole on wealthy individuals and couples who are paid more than $400,000 and $500,000 in pass-through income — funds that would have been used to expand the assets available for Medicare’s hospital trust fund by three years.

The West Virginia Democrat said he had a change of heart after data released by the Labor Department on Wednesday showed that annual inflation hit 9.1 in June.

“I said, ‘Oh my goodness, let’s wait now. This is a whole new page,’” he told West Virginia broadcaster Hoppy Kercheval in an interview on Friday.

The senator said he asked Schumer to wait until the inflation numbers for July are released, and until lawmakers can review the Federal Reserve interest rates for July.

Tags Chuck Schumer Clarence Thomas Elaine Luria House Jan. 6 hearings Joe Manchin This Week

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