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Sunday, May 26th

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US Capitol Police investigate cocaine discovery at headquarters

US Capitol PoliceThe United States Capitol Police (USCP) said they are launching an investigation after a small bag of cocaine was discovered inside its headquarters.

Police found a “roughly one-inch by one-inch zip lock bag with a small amount of a white powdery substance, which field tested positive for cocaine.”

It was found on the floor inside the Capitol Police headquarters, in an area that’s used for a staging spot for furniture and supplies and is “heavily trafficked” by employees and various contractors, USCP said in a release.

The bag was found by an officer just before 1 p.m. Wednesday and was immediately reported to a supervisor.

USCP headquarters is not at the Capitol, but a few blocks away on D Street and Second Street.

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Johnson’s ‘intuition’ clashes with data on illegal voting

Johnson's intuition clashes with facts

The GOP unveiled a bill last week to bar noncitizens from voting in federal elections — prohibiting something that’s already illegal to address a problem lawmakers can’t prove exists.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) was candid last week in telling reporters that Republicans are motivated by intuition in seeking another law that would limit voting to U.S. citizens.

“We all know, intuitively, that a lot of illegals are voting in federal elections. But it’s not been something that is easily provable. We don’t have that number. This legislation will allow us to do exactly that — it will prevent that from happening. And if someone tries to do it, it will now be unlawful within the states,” Johnson said in a Wednesday press conference on the Capitol steps.

Federal law since 1996 has banned noncitizens from voting in federal elections, and many states have passed laws that do the same for local elections.

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Bob Menendez corruption trial to begin: ‘I look forward to proving my innocence’

Bob Menedez trial begins

The criminal corruption trial of Democratic US senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey is scheduled to get under way in a Manhattan federal court Monday, with prosecutors preparing a colorful tale of a greedy politician with a fondness for gold bullion, fast cars, and almost half a million dollars in cash found hidden around his home.

Menendez, 70, insists he is innocent of the 16 felony charges brought against him by the US attorney’s office of the southern district of New York, including bribery, extortion, obstruction, and acting as a foreign agent.

But prosecutors allege he used his considerable power and influence as chair of the Senate foreign relations committee to illegally smooth over lucrative business deals for several associates with the governments of Egypt and Qatar.

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Democratic Senator calls US report on Israel war conduct ‘woefully inadequate’

Van Hollen

Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) described the Biden administration’s review of Israel’s war conduct in the Gaza Strip — which acknowledged the likely violation of international humanitarian law using U.S. weapons — as “woefully inadequate,” but did not indicate a ban on arms transfers.

“If this conduct complies with international standards, God help us all,” Van Hollen said in a call with reporters shortly after the State Department transmitted its report to Congress.

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Bernie Sanders and Ro Khanna reveal bill to ‘cancel all medical debt’

Sanders and Khanna reveal bill to cancel medical debt

Two prominent progressive lawmakers, the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders and California congressman Ro Khanna, revealed on Wednesday a new bill aimed at eliminating medical debt.

The bill, introduced with Oregon senator Jeff Merkley and Michigan congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, would create a federal grant program to cancel all existing patient debt and amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to block creditors from collecting past medical bills. The legislation would also update billing requirements for medical providers and alter the Consumer Credit Reporting Act to prevent credit agencies from reporting information related to unpaid medical bills, alleviating the risk of such debt damaging patients’ credit histories.

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Pete McCloskey, Republican who tried to unseat Richard Nixon, dies aged 96

Pete McClosky dies at 96

Pete McCloskey, a pro-environment, anti-war California Republican who co-wrote the Endangered Species Act and co-founded Earth Day, has died. He was 96.

A fourth-generation Republican “in the mold of Teddy Roosevelt”, he often said, McCloskey represented the 12th congressional district for 15 years, running for president against an incumbent Richard Nixon in 1972.

He battled party leaders while serving seven terms in Congress and went on to publicly disavow the GOP in his later years.

Years after leaving Washington, McCloskey made one last bid for elective office in 2006 when he challenged Richard Pombo of northern California’s 11th district in a primary race that McCloskey described as “a battle for the soul of the Republican party”.

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House blocks Greene’s resolution to oust Johnson

House blocks MTG attempt to oust Mike Johnson

The House on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to protect Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) from a conservative coup, torpedoing an effort by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) to oust the GOP leader from the top job.

The chamber voted 359-43-7 on a motion to table Greene’s motion to vacate, preventing the removal resolution from hitting the floor for a vote.

The final vote — which was widely expected amid bipartisan opposition to the ouster gambit — deals a major blow to Greene, who filed her measure more than a month ago and had threatened to trigger it ever since.

It means Johnson, who won the gavel in October following the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), will remain in the top job. But the vote puts him in the precarious position of being a GOP Speaker propped up by Democrats, which could earn him the ire of conservatives.

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