Val Demings on Government Reform
I remember at the police department we had a policy that said you could not be a member of nor associate with extremist groups. If you were found out it was grounds for immediate termination. I think it is very important for those who protect us, whether that's the military, whether that's law enforcement, whether that's elected officials, I think that there should be major steps taken to hold them accountable and get them removed from the powerful, influential position that they may hold.
Congressional Summary: Sets forth procedures for admission into the United States of the state of New Columbia.
Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (DCist.com, Sept. 2014): The Argument Against: Congress does not have the authority to grant statehood to D.C.; the 23rd amendment, which gave D.C. three electoral votes, would have to be repealed before statehood was granted. Washington is a wholly urban, one-industry town, dependent on the federal government far in excess of any other state. Moreover, with Congress no longer having authority over New Columbia but dependent on it, New Columbia could exert influence on the federal government far in excess of any other state.
Supporters reasons for voting YEA: [Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC; the District of Columbia has one representative to Congress and no Senators; Rep. Holmes can introduce bills but her vote does not count]: This 51st state would have no jurisdiction over the federal territory or enclave that now consists of the Washington that Members of Congress and visitors associate with the capital of our country. Those would remain under federal jurisdiction. The New Columbia Admission Act was the first bill I introduced in 1991. Statehood is the only alternative for the citizens of the District of Columbia. To be content with less than statehood is to concede the equality of citizenship that is the birthright of our residents as citizens of the United States.
Supporters reasons for voting YEA: (BrennanCenter.org): Too many Americans go to vote on Election Day only to find their names are not on the voter rolls--often, wrongly deleted. The US is on the verge of a new paradigm for registering voters: automatic, permanent registration of eligible voters, which would add up to 50 million eligible voters to the rolls.
Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (Gov. Christie's veto message on the "Democracy Act", Nov. 2015): Christie called a provision establishing automatic voter registration that requires New Jerseyan to opt out a "government-knows-best, backwards approach that would inconvenience citizens and waste government resources for no justifiable reason." Automatic voter registration would have added 1.6 million people to the state's voter rolls.
Opposing argument from the Heritage Foundation, 2/1/2019: HR1 federalizes and micromanages
the election process administered by the states, imposing unnecessary mandates on the states and reversing the decentralization of the American election process. What HR1 Would Do:
Legislative outcome: Passed House 234-193-5 on 3/8/19; received with no action in Senate thru 12/31/2019
The impeachment inquiry into Donald J. Trump uncovered a months-long effort by President Trump to use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election. President Trump's scheme subverted U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine and undermined our national security in favor of two politically motivated investigations that would help his presidential reelection campaign. The President demanded that the newly-elected Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, publicly announce investigations into a political rival that he apparently feared the most, former Vice President Joe Biden, and into a discredited theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
To compel the Ukrainian President to do his political bidding, President Trump conditioned two official acts on the public announcement of the investigations: a coveted White House visit and critical U.S. military assistance Ukraine needed to fight its Russian adversary.
The [Congressional report on Impeachment] describes the second charge against President Trump: obstruction of Congress. President Trump did everything in his power to obstruct the House's impeachment inquiry. Following his direction not to cooperate with the inquiry, the White House and other agencies refused to produce a single document in response to Congressional subpoenas. President Trump also attempted to muzzle witnesses, threatening to damage their careers if they agreed to testify, and even attacked one witness during her live testimony before Congress.
To their great credit, many witnesses from across government--including from the National Security Council, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense--ignored the President's unlawful orders and cooperated with the inquiry. In the end, however, nine senior officials followed President Trump's direction and continue to defy duly authorized Congressional subpoenas.
Other Presidents have recognized their obligation to provide information to Congress under these circumstances. President Trump's stonewall, by contrast, was categorical, indiscriminate, and without precedent in American history. The Constitution grants the "sole Power of Impeachment" to the House of Representatives. Within our system of checks and balances, the President may not decide what constitutes a valid impeachment inquiry. Nor may he ignore lawful subpoenas for evidence and testimony or direct others to do so. If a President had such authority, he could block Congress from learning facts bearing upon impeachment in the House or trial in the Senate and could thus control a power that exists to restrain his own abuses.
The evidence shows clearly that President Trump has assumed this power for himself and, left unchecked, the President will continue to obstruct Congress through unlawful means.
Impeachment is the Constitution's final answer to a President who mistakes himself for a monarch. When the President concludes that free and fair elections threaten his continued grasp on power, and therefore seeks to corrupt or interfere with them, he denies the very premise of our constitutional system. The American people choose their leaders; a President who wields power to destroy opponents or manipulate elections is a President who rejects democracy itself.
As Madison recognized, 'In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it control itself.' Impeachment is the House's last and most extraordinary resort when faced with a President who threatens our constitutional system. It is a terrible power, but only 'because it was forged to counter a terrible power: the despot who deems himself to be above the law.' The consideration of articles of impeachment is always a sad and solemn undertaking. In the end, it is the House--speaking for the Nation as a whole--that must decide whether the President's conduct rises to the level of "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" warranting impeachment.
The House is Constitutionally entitled to the relevant information in an impeachment inquiry. The House has the power to issue subpoenas and demand compliance in an impeachment investigation.
The Supreme Court has long recognized that, "[w]ithout the power to investigate-- including of course the authority to compel testimony, either through its own processes or through judicial trial--Congress could be seriously handicapped in its efforts to exercise its constitutional function wisely and effectively." This principle is most compelling when the House exercises its "sole Power of Impeachment."
President Trump's obstruction of the impeachment inquiry violates fundamental Constitutional principles. The Senate should convict President Trump of Obstruction of Congress as charged in the Second Article of Impeachment.
President Trump unilaterally declared the House's investigation "illegitimate." President Trump's White House Counsel notified the House that "President Trump cannot permit his Administration to participate in this partisan inquiry under these circumstances." President Trump then directed his Administration categorically to withhold documents and testimony from the House.
The facts are undisputed. As charged in the Second Article of Impeachment, President Trump "[d]irect[ed] the White House to defy a lawful subpoena by withholding the production of documents" to the Committees; "[d]irect[ed] other Executive Branch agencies and offices to defy lawful subpoenas and withhold the production of documents and records from the Committees"; and "[d]irected current and former Executive Branch officials not to cooperate with the Committees."
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Senate races 2021-22:
AK: Incumbent Lisa Murkowski(R)
vs.Challenger Kelly Tshibaka(R)
vs.2020 candidate Al Gross(D)
AL: Incumbent Richard Shelby(R)
vs.U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks(R)
vs.Ambassador Lynda Blanchard(R)
vs.Shelby staffer Katie Britt(R)
AR: Incumbent John Boozman(R)
vs.Candidate Dan Whitfield(D)
AZ: Incumbent Mark Kelly(D)
vs.Sen. Kelli Ward(? R)
vs.CEO Jim Lamon(R)
vs.Challenger Blake Masters(R)
vs.A.G. Mark Brnovich(R)
vs.Energy executive Jim Lamon(R)
CA: Incumbent Alex Padilla(D)
vs.State Rep. Jerome Horton(D ?)
vs.2018 Senate candidate James Bradley(R)
vs.Candidate for San Diego city council 2020 Lily Zhou(R)
CO: Incumbent Michael Bennet(D)
CT: Incumbent Richard Blumenthal(D)
vs.Challenger Joe Visconti(R)
vs.2018 & 2020 House candidate John Flynn(R)
FL: Incumbent Marco Rubio(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Val Demings(D)
vs.U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson(D)
GA: Incumbent Raphael Warnock(D)
vs.Navy vet Latham Saddler(R)
vs.Appointed Senator Kelly Loeffler(R ?)
HI: Incumbent Brian Schatz(D)
vs.Former State Rep. Cam Cavasso(R ?)
IA: Incumbent Chuck Grassley(R)
vs.State Sen. Jim Carlin(R)
vs.U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne(D ?)
vs.Former U.S. Rep IA-1 Abby Finkenauer(D)
ID: Incumbent Mike Crapo(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
IL: Incumbent Tammy Duckworth(D)
vs.U.S.Rep. Adam Kinzinger(? R)
IN: Incumbent Todd Young(R)
vs.Challenger Haneefah Abdul-Khaaliq(D)
vs.Psychologist Valerie McCray(D)
KS: Incumbent Jerry Moran(R)
vs.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo(? R)
vs.2020 Congressional candidate Michael Soetaert(D)
KY: Incumbent Rand Paul(R)
vs.State Rep Charles Booker(D)
LA: Incumbent John Kennedy(R)
vs.Gov. John Bel Edwards(D ?)
MD: Incumbent Chris Van Hollen(D)
(no prospective opponents yet)
MO: Incumbent Roy Blunt(R)
vs.Gov. Eric Greitens(R)
vs.State Sen. Scott Sifton(D)
vs.Treasurer Eric Schmitt(R)
vs.Marine Officer Lucas Kunce(D)
vs.Attorney who waved gun at BLM protestors; 2020 GOP convention speaker Mark McClosky(R)
vs.U.S. Rep. MO-4 Vicky Hartzler(R)
NC: Incumbent Richard Burr(R,retiring)
vs.State Sen. Erica Smith(D)
vs.U.S.Rep. Mark Walker(R)
vs.Challenger Ted Budd(R)
vs.Gov. Pat McCrory(R)
vs.Justice Cheri Beasley(D)
vs.mayor of Beaufort, https://www.rettnewton.com/ Rett Newton(D)
ND: Incumbent John Hoeven(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
NH: Incumbent Maggie Hassan(D)
vs.Brig.Gen. Don Bolduc(R)
vs.Gov. Chris Sununu(R ?)
vs.Former Senator Kelly Ayotte(R ?)
NV: Incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto(D)
vs.NV Attorney General; Candidate for Governor 2018 Adam Laxalt(R)
NY: Incumbent Chuck Schumer(D)
vs.Challenger Antoine Tucker(R)
OH: Incumbent Rob Portman(R,retiring)
vs.State Rep. Dan Carter(? D)
vs.U.S.Rep. Tim Ryan(D)
vs.Challenger Bernie Moreno(R)
vs.U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan(D)
vs.OH GOP Chair Jane Timken(R)
OK: Incumbent James Lankford(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
OR: Incumbent Ron Wyden(D)
vs.QAnon adherent Jo Rae Perkins(R)
PA: Incumbent Pat Toomey(R,retiring)
vs.HSBC whistleblower Everett Stern(R)
vs.2Lt.Gov.nominee Jeff Bartos(R)
vs.Commissioner Val Arkoosh(D)
vs.Ambassador Carla Sands(R)
vs.Lt. Gov. John Fetterman(D)
vs.State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta(D)
vs.Past Congressional candidate & political commentator Kathy Barnette(R)
vs.State senator; son of former mayor Sharif Street(D)
vs.Congressman Conor Lamb(D)
vs.Candidate in 2020 House race Sean Parnell(R)
SC: Incumbent Tim Scott(R)
vs.State Rep. Krystle Matthews(D)
SD: Incumbent John Thune(R)
vs.State Rep. Billie Sutton(? D)
UT: Incumbent Mike Lee(R)
vs.Challenger Allen Glines(D)
vs.Challenger Austin Searle(D)
VT: Incumbent Patrick Leahy(D)
vs.Lt.Gov. David Zuckerman(? D)
WA: Incumbent Patty Murray(D)
vs.Challenger Tiffany Smiley(R)
WI: Incumbent Ron Johnson(R)
vs.County Exec. Tom Nelson(D)
vs.Treasurer Sarah Godlewski(D)
vs.Sports Exec. Alex Lasry(D)
vs.State senator Chris Larson(D)
Senate Votes (analysis)