WASHINGTON — Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said this week he plans to hold a hearing on “the need to restore faith in the moral standards of the Supreme Court” after revelations that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas accepted luxury vacations from a donor. Mainstream GOP, but failed to disclose.
The hearing, which Durbin said will take place “in the coming days,” will provide a peek at the ethics policy and disclosure requirements required for those sitting on the nation’s highest court and give Judiciary Committee member Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, an opportunity to publicly lobby for repairs.
Last month, the Judiciary Conference updated its guidance on financial disclosures, but lawmakers like Durbin say more action is needed. However, because of the separation of powers doctrine, legal scholars have argued that Congress does not have the power to impose ethics rules on the Supreme Court. Any bill that attempts to impose disclosure requirements on the Supreme Court may not pass through the Republican-led House of Representatives.
Harlan Crowe, the conservative Texas real estate billionaire who lavished trips and gifts for Thomas, has given millions of dollars to Republican candidates and Republican political action committees. Recent contributions include nearly $185,000 to the Republican Congressional National Committee in the most recent election cycle, when Rep. Tom Emmer, 6th House Rep.y district, headed the group.
But Harlan has also donated to the campaigns of a handful of Democrats, including Don Samuel, who is running against Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-5.y Neighborhood, last year’s Democratic primary. Harlan gave Samuel’s campaign $2,400.
Other Democrats who have recently received contributions from the Crow are former Democratic Sen. Kirsten Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va. These donations were made when the two were blocking a major Democratic bill that would promote clean energy.
Dean Phillips says Diane Feinstein has to go
Deputy Commodore Phillips D-3Research and development The district, and Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., raised eyebrows this week when they said longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein should resign, sparking a storm of criticism from fellow Democrats.
Democrats include former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others who have questioned why House members would put their weight on an issue involving the US Senate.
“This is interesting to me,” Pelosi told reporters. “I don’t know what political agendas at work go after Senator Feinstein that way. I’ve never seen them go after a man who was sick in the Senate that way.”
Democratic Senator Chris Murphy also said that calls for Khanna and Phillips to resign were hypocritical.
“There have been senators who have been away from the chamber for an extended period of time… Mitch McConnell, for example, has been out of the Senate for a few months,”
Murphy said. McConnell, the Senate minority leader, is recovering from a fall.
Feinstein, D-Calif., has been absent from the Senate since late February after being diagnosed with herpes zoster. Her absence, along with that of Sen. John Fetterman, D-Penn., who has been hospitalized with depression but will return to work next week, has left the Senate evenly split, 49-49 between Democrats and Republicans as well as denying Democrats a majority in the Senate Judiciary Committee. , disabling the nominations.
Feinstein, who is the oldest member of the Senate at 89, announced in February that she would not run for re-election in 2024.
But Khanna said she must leave the Senate immediately. He was the first to say Feinstein had to go.
“It is time for Senator Feinstein to resign,” Khanna wrote on Twitter. “We need to put the country before personal loyalty. While she has enjoyed public service throughout her life, it is clear that she can no longer perform her duties. Not speaking out undermines our credibility as the elected representatives of the people.”
Phillips quickly seconded that tweet.
“I agree with @RoKhanna,” Phillips wrote on Twitter. Senator Feinstein is a wonderful American whose contributions to our country are immeasurable. But I think it is now a dereliction of duty for those who agree to remain silent.”
Phillips was the first Democrat to say that President Biden should not run for re-election and that “the country will be well served by a new generation of dynamic, well-equipped, persuasive Democrats.”
Phillips also called for new leadership in the House before Pelosi, 83, former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, 83, and former Democratic Rep. Whip Jim Cleburn, 82, stepped down last year, paving the way for younger leaders.
Feinstein released a statement shortly after Khanna and Phillips pressed for her resignation.
“When I was first diagnosed with shingles, I expected to return by the end of my work period in March. Unfortunately, my return to Washington was delayed due to continuing complications related to my diagnosis.” I intend to return as soon as possible once my medical team advises that it is safe for me to travel. .”
However, the California senator also asked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, to ask the Senate to allow another Democratic senator to temporarily take her place on the Senate Judiciary Committee “until I can resume the work of my committee.”
This and that
In a speech next Monday on Wall Street, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is expected to put forward some GOP demands that will win the Republican support needed to increase the debt limit.
The plan includes limiting the growth of all non-defense expenditures to 1% annually next year, banning student loan forgiveness, establishing work requirements for food stamps and other social programs, and implementing a House Republican energy plan that includes Rep. Pete Stober’s simplification proposal. and the speed of permitting mining on federal land.
The GOP plan would also seek to recover unspent federal COVID relief money that may be in state and city coffers. It is unclear how much, if any, of uncommitted funds Minnesota and its municipalities have.
Meanwhile, this week, national Democrats chose the Midwest over the South as the site for their 2024 national convention.
Chicago and Atlanta were both in contention, but concerns about non-union employees at Atlanta hotels and Chicago’s promise to raise money to fund the convention put the Windy City ahead.
“The DNC returns to the Midwest, an important Democratic stronghold: Illinois along with Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota — part of the “blue wall” — were crucial to the 2020 victory of President Biden and Vice President Harris and the success of the Democrats,” the Democratic National Committee said in a statement. 2022 midterm elections.