Liz Cheney Joins House Committee Investigating Capitol Invasion

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), in a masterful power move, has named Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) to serve on the select committee investigating the attack on the Capitol by a mob of pro-Trump supporters.

You can’t say it’s not a bipartisan committee when you CHOOSE a member of the other party to take part.

From The Hill:

To lead the committee, Pelosi tapped Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee who had authored the bill creating the independent commission.

Pelosi’s other picks are House Administration Committee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.).

House Minority Leader Andrew McCarthy will be allowed to name 5 members to the select committee.

Republicans could have elected to form a bipartisan investigation committee but voted that down.

House Votes 289-137 To Hit “Pause” On Syrian Refugees Coming Into U.S.

Last night, the House voted 289-137 to pass a bill that would effectively stop a program allowing Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the U.S. until those refugees are “certified” by national security agencies that they don’t pose any security risk.

The vote was 289-137, with 47 Democrats joining 242 Republicans in favor of the bill, creating a majority that could override President Barack Obama’s promised veto.

It’s not sure if the bill will pass in the Senate; and if it does, would it have a similar veto-proof margin?

The current vetting process for refugees takes from 18 – 24 months, and includes several steps involving the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.

If the past proves as any kind of prelude, of the refugees who have come to the US from Syria so far, 50% are children, 25% are over the age of 60, and 2% are “combat age” males who emigrated without family members, according to Business Insider.

The Hill reports that, of those, none have been found to have committed any terrorist attacks in the US.

According to Lavinia Limon, of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, refugees already undergo the most intensive security screening process of any people allowed to enter the U.S.

“The average processing time is two years.” Limon added that the program purposely focuses on those who are the least likely to engage in terrorism.

“[T]he program emphasizes admitting the most vulnerable refugees including widows with children, the elderly, and infirm who are unlikely to pose a threat,” she said in a statement emailed to ThinkProgress.

“We can be pretty confident about the screening that’s in place,” Newland said, and added that those who are taking jabs at it haven’t done their homework. “It seems to me that it’s a political gesture rather than anything based on real evidence that would be cause for concern.”

Republican House IRS Investigation Finds No Connection To White House

Congressman Darrell Issa, who led IRS investigation which showed no connection to White House

A House Republican investigation looking into possible IRS violations released right before the Christmas holiday reveals no link to the White House in the tax-exempt status scandal.

The report says conservative groups were given improper scrutiny for more than two years from 2010 to 2012. It says senior IRS officials covered up the misconduct and misled Congress about it.

The report specifically faults eight senior IRS leaders who “were in a position to prevent or to stop the IRS’s targeting of conservative applicants.”

The eight include former Commissioner Douglas Shulman, former acting Commissioner Steven Miller, and Lois Lerner, who used to head the division that processes applications for tax-exempt status.

But so far, investigators have not released any documents showing that anyone outside the IRS directed the agency to mistreat conservative groups or even knew it was going on.

It’s common in politics to release news right before the holidays or late on Friday afternoons as most people aren’t paying close attention to the news cycle. Clearly, Issa doesn’t want a wide audience to know his investigation clears the White House of any wrongdoing.