Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Government Re-opens, Missing FBI Texts and more...

January 23, 2018
The Ponder News Web Site

Julia Brownly (D-CA, 26th) signs as Co-sponsor to Protect Net Neutrality
The Ponder News
“FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s decision in December to roll back net neutrality protections was incredibly concerning. I’m proud to sign on as an original co-sponsor supporting the Congressional resolution to reverse this action, so that the net neutrality protections put in place by President Obama are restored. Rather than ping ponging back and forth from one Administration to another, Congress should pass legislation to lay down permanent rules of the road for industry, while ensuring that net neutrality continues to inspire innovation, create jobs, protect free speech, and enable the advancement of civil rights.”

Andy Biggs (R-AZ, 5th)
The Ponder News
“This latest revelation from the DOJ is outrageous, but not surprising. Peter Strzok and Lisa Page believed that then-candidate Donald Trump was a threat to this country and appeared to be taking steps, as sworn members of law enforcement, to subvert the will of the American people. Now, it seems that many of their text messages may have suspiciously disappeared.

“Few Americans would ever be allowed to offer up a specious excuse for losing information required for audit. Why should our government be any different? How is this different than the Hillary Clinton erased emails?

“As I’ve maintained since last summer, Robert Mueller’s appointment as Special Counsel is tainted. His position is clouded by a disgruntled former FBI Director’s potentially criminal leaks of government memos to influence an ongoing investigation. At every step of Congress’s attempts to provide Constitutional oversight to the DOJ and the FBI, we have been met with unparalleled resistance. My patience is wearing thin. The FBI is not an independent agency, yet its leaders appear to think they do not answer to Congress or the President. They are wrong. If they continue to lose or withhold requested information, they will soon experience the consequences that Congress can – and should – provide.”

Missing FBI Text Messages
The Ponder News
On Sunday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed that it had failed to preserve five months of text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The end date of the missing texts coincides with the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Peter Strzok served on the Special Counsel’s team before being demoted due to the text messages he had sent to Ms. Page.
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Remarks by Vice President Mike Pence and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in Joint Press Statements
The White House
Yesterday, Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed Vice President Mike Pence to Israel and expressed Israel’s appreciation to President Trump and the Vice President for the historic decision last month to recognize Jerusalem as the capital.
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Ami Bera (D-CA, 7th)
The Ponder News
"This shutdown was a failure of leadership. Congressional leaders refused to sit down and hammer out a deal.

Washington is broken, but if we refuse to negotiate we’ll never fix things. Republican leaders have pledged that we will get to vote on critical issues, including a responsible budget, stabilizing the health care marketplace, and bipartisan immigration reform.

Congress is elected to serve the people. It’s time we stop bickering, roll up our sleeves, and get to work.”

Joyce Beatty (D-OH, 3rd)
The Ponder News
“I support keeping the government open, but Congress should not be funding government operations on a week-by-week basis that just kicks the can down the road. The House, the Senate, and White House are under Republican control, so I would expect that a long-term agreement could be reached to fund community health centers, natural disaster relief, teaching hospitals, and on a whole host of critical federal government programs and initiatives. We should not have to choose between funding our military and saving lives in our communities.”

Nanette Barragan (D-CA, 44th)
The Ponder News
“I voted against the fifth continuing resolution because we are right back where we started: another short-term funding bill that does not address critical bipartisan issues. I will continue to oppose any budget deal that does not protect Dreamers. And I will insist that any budget deal adequately funds community health centers, provides resources to combat the opioid crisis and offers relief for victims of natural disasters.”

Andy Barr (R-KY, 6th)
The Ponder News
“While it is three days late, it is nonetheless a positive development that enough Senate Democrats have finally agreed to what Republicans proposed all along: a short term funding bill that keeps the government open and operating, funds our troops, and ensures that millions of American kids can still access the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The end of Senator Schumer’s obstruction allows us to return to good faith negotiations on a longer term funding agreement and also clears the path for work on a strong immigration reform and border security bill.”

Lou Barletta (R-PA, 11th)
National School Choice Week (NSCW) is held every January to celebrate effective education choice options for children in grades K through 12. NSCW celebrates all types of education choice – from traditional public schools to public charter schools, magnet schools, online academies, private schools, and homeschooling. This year, over 32,000 NSCW events will be held across the country from January 21 – 27. Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11), who is the father of two teachers, applauded the tremendous strides taken for school choice across America.

Jim Banks (R-IN, 3rd)
The Ponder News
"This shutdown was reckless and unnecessary. I am glad Senate Democrats have decided to reopen the government and get back to work.

“This legislation is important for northeast Indiana. It stops the job-killing medical device tax for two years, which is vital to employers and workers in our region. The legislation also extends CHIP funding for six years, an important program that serves 13,155 children in Indiana’s Third District.”

Brian Babin (R-TX, 36th)
The Ponder News
“Senate Democrats have finally come to their senses and agreed to end the #SchumerShutdown and re-open the federal government. But let’s be clear: For three days, Democrats in Congress held our troops and children’s health care hostage in order to get their way on illegal immigration. In the end, their reckless tactics did not work and common sense prevailed. It is my hope that my Democrat colleagues will have learned their lesson and start focusing on the concerns of America’s citizens. The American people deserve much better than politically manufactured shutdowns that put a hand full of illegal immigrants over the safety and security of the American public.”

'Lost' Texts From Anti-Trump FBI Agents Are Basis To Dismiss Russia Investigation, Experts Suggest
Daily Wire
Legal experts say the revelation that the FBI somehow "lost" five months worth of text messages from two anti-Trump FBI employees could form the legal grounds needed to dismiss Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

No Deal: Schumer Yanks Offer Of Funding For Border Wall
Hot Air
C’mon, did anyone expect otherwise? Knowing that he was going to get clubbed by liberals for caving on the shutdown, the least Schumer could do to save a little face and soothe the progressive id would be to tear up the offer he made to Trump last Friday to carve out a few billion for the wall. Democrats just got thwarted on a DREAM amnesty; at a minimum, Schumer’s now obliged to thwart Trump on his big ask too.

Aumua Amata (R - American Samoa, At Large)
The Ponder News
“Authorization of CHIP for six years is great news for American Samoa, and I’m pleased the unnecessary government shutdown ended quickly. The Children’s Health Insurance Program helps make sure health care services are available to many children. Once again, we can count on this important plan being available to take care of needs and help keep children healthy.”

The End of the Government Shutdown Has Opened a Torrent of Media Anger at Democrats
Western Journalism
The three-day-long government shutdown ended Monday, sparking accusations from mainstream media reporters and liberal activists that Democrats caved on immigration reform.

Senate Democrats originally forced a shutdown by refusing to support a spending bill. They were upset that it did not address the roughly 700,000 illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and were protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

But on Monday, lawmakers reached a deal to keep the government funded through Feb. 8.

Rick Allen (R-GA, 12th)
The Ponder News
“I am relieved that my Senate Democratic colleagues finally did what was right and joined Republicans to vote to fund the government. It is simply inexcusable that they kept funding for our troops and this government hostage for the past three days. We heard their message loud and clear ‘illegal immigrants are more important than American citizens' – and that is just plain wrong.”

US kills 150 ISIS fighters in Syria airstrike during government shutdown, Pentagon says
Fox News
While ISIS has lost 98 percent of its territory, the remaining 2 percent held by the terror group includes an area around the Syrian city of Al-Shaafah, where the strike took place. Top U.S. military officials believe the head of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is hiding in the area.

Ralph Abraham (R-LA, 5th)
The Ponder News
"Thanks to immense pressure from the American public and President Trump, Democrats in the Senate have finally agreed with Republicans to fund the government. Their shutdown accomplished nothing - it kept funding from sick children, risked pay checks for our troops and failed to resolve any immigration issue. Washington can come up with some crazy ways to waste time and money, but this pointless shutdown that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi orchestrated probably takes the cake."