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Thursday, Mar 30th

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Sessions defends his record on civil rights at U.S. Senate hearing

SessionsRepublican Senator Jeff Sessions faced interruptions from protesters and questions from Senate colleagues over his record on race and civil rights as the first confirmation hearing for the president-elect's Cabinet nominees got under way on Tuesday.

Sessions, nominated to be attorney general, said allegations that he harbored sympathies towards the Ku Klux Klan, a violent white supremacist organization, are false.

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House GOP reverses course on gutting ethics panel

Megyn Kelly goes to NBCFollowing a public outcry, and tweeted criticism from President-elect Donald Trump, House Republicans reversed course Tuesday on a proposal to gut their own ethics watchdog.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called an emergency House GOP conference Tuesday around noon to scrap a proposed House rule that would have effectively declawed the Office of Congressional Ethics. The proposal, which House Republicans approved behind closed doors Monday night, would have defied Trump’s “drain the swamp” mantra aimed at making Washington more transparent and less cozy.

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Trump slams House move on ethics watchdog

TrumpPresident-elect Donald Trump criticized House Republicans on Tuesday for moving to gut an independent House ethics agency on Congress' opening day, saying lawmakers should focus on other priorities.

"With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it may be, their number one act and priority," the incoming president tweeted Tuesday morning.

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House Republicans gut their own oversight

Bob GoodlatteIn one of their first moves of the new Congress, House Republicans have voted to gut their own independent ethics watchdog — a huge blow to cheerleaders of congressional oversight and one that dismantles major reforms adopted after the Jack Abramoff scandal.

Monday's effort was led, in part, by lawmakers who have come under investigation in recent years.

Despite a warning from Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Republicans adopted a proposal by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to put the Office of Congressional Ethics under the jurisdiction of the House Ethics Committee.

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Congress rejects Obama veto of 9/11 bill; first override of his presidency

9/11 veto overridden by CongressThe House and Senate voted Wednesday to reject President Obama's veto of legislation allowing lawsuits against foreign sponsors of terrorism — the first successful override of a presidential veto since Obama took office.

The president had vetoed the legislation Friday because he said the bill — known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA — would infringe on the president’s ability to conduct foreign policy. It was the 12th veto of his presidency.

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The GOP Shut Down a Program That Might Have Prevented Dallas and Baton Rouge

GOP cut funds for vet studyAs the right-wing outrage machine would have it, the shootings of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge by U.S. military veterans were the fault of President Obama. “How many law enforcement and people have to die because of a lack of leadership in our country?” Trump recently wrote in a Tweet.

But seven years ago, when a little-known division in the new president’s Department of Homeland Security sought to explore the potential violence of returning veterans—one that might have aided local law enforcement with intelligence in Dallas and Baton Rouge—it was Congressional Republicans who succeeded in pushing to shut the program down.

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Dems release parallel Benghazi report ahead of GOP

John LewisDemocrats on the House Select Committee on Benghazi released their rebuttal to the Republican-led committee’s argument on Monday, before the GOP leaders published their own report.

The 339-page Democratic report aims to refute allegations expected to be made by Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) in what they have long claimed is a partisan witch hunt.

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