KETR

Susan Davis

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is considering changing the lineup of the House Intelligence Committee to include some of President Trump's most vocal defenders in Congress.

"If Democrats are going to turn Intel into the impeachment committee, I am going to make adjustments to that committee accordingly, for a short period of time," McCarthy told Politico on Tuesday. A spokesman for McCarthy confirmed his comments to NPR.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Updated 6:40 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives approved two measures pushing back at Turkey, a sign of significant bipartisan ire at a longstanding NATO ally following the country's offensive into northeastern Syria.

The first measure was a symbolic resolution labeling the deaths of roughly 1.5 million Armenians from 1915 to 1923 in the Ottoman Empire, which is now modern-day Turkey, as a "genocide." It passed 405-11, with 3 members voting present.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced in a letter to Democrats on Monday that the House will vote to formalize the procedures in the ongoing impeachment inquiry of President Trump.

The resolution will outline the terms for public hearings, the disclosure of deposition transcripts, procedures to transfer evidence to the House Judiciary Committee and due process rights for Trump.

Senior Democratic aides said the resolution will be released on Wednesday, with a House vote on Thursday.

Over a six-month period in 2017 and 2018, nine lawmakers — eight men and one woman — were forced out of office, either by resignation or by early retirement, over varying degrees of allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior or tolerance of such behavior.

At the height of the #MeToo era, then-Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., directed lawmakers to come up with a new set of rules intended to change the culture of Capitol Hill.

Updated at 4:29 p.m. ET

Republican members of Congress disrupted the closed-door proceedings of the House impeachment inquiry, preventing a Pentagon official from giving her testimony.

Arguing that the inquiry's interviews should not be held behind closed doors, GOP lawmakers entered the secure area in the Capitol Wednesday where witnesses are typically questioned.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Congressman Elijah Cummings has died at the age of 68 years old. A Democrat, he was widely admired as a principled leader both on Capitol Hill and in his hometown of Baltimore. Here he is talking at Morgan State University's commencement back in May.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

And for some context on that conversation recorded earlier today, we have NPR's congressional correspondent Susan Davis, who was listening in.

Hi, Sue.

SUSAN DAVIS, BYLINE: Hey, Ari.

Republicans who support President Trump say the next three weeks are crucial to determine whether Trump can keep Republicans united behind him or if emerging cracks break open even wider.

Their growing concern is that the White House is not acting with enough urgency to combat the whistleblower fight.

They're calling for a more coordinated but also direct and aggressive strategy, similar to the one used when Republicans defended Brett Kavanaugh when Trump nominated him for the Supreme Court.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, now the lead lawmaker in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump, says his panel will be working through the scheduled upcoming two-week congressional recess.

"I can tell you it's going to be a very busy couple of weeks ahead," Schiff told reporters. The chairman said the committee is scheduling hearings and witness interviews, as well as working on document requests and possible subpoenas.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled legislation this week that would give the federal government sweeping new authority to regulate and lower the cost of prescription drugs. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declared the bill dead on arrival and told Politico it amounts to "socialist price controls."

In an exclusive interview with NPR, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has not changed her mind on pursuing impeachment but is ready to change the law to restrain presidential power and make it clear that a sitting president can, in fact, be indicted.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., unveiled her long-anticipated plan to lower the cost of prescription drugs on Thursday. It is a priority shared by President Trump, fueling a glimmer of hope that there is a deal to be had on the issue ahead of the 2020 elections.

"It is transformative," Pelosi said of her plan."We do hope to have White House buy-in."

Three weeks after Democrats took control of the U.S. House in the 2018 midterm elections, about 40 reelected and recently defeated lawmakers in the centrist Republican Main Street Caucus gathered at the Capitol Hill Club to sift through the electoral wreckage.

The caucus — then led by Reps. Rodney Davis of Illinois, Jeff Denham of California, Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida and Fred Upton of Michigan — was scheduled to hold its regular meeting with the outside group that inspired its name, the Republican Main Street Partnership, led by president and CEO Sarah Chamberlain.

Back home in Iowa for the August recess, Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley is making the case in this conservative state for a sweeping drug bill, even though many in his party do not support it.

"One of the few times, if it isn't the only time, that I've been chairman of various committees that I haven't had at least a majority of Republicans on my side," Grassley conceded at a town hall meeting in Aurelia this week, but he added: "It's probably more valuable to have the president on your side."

Update at 6:22 p.m. ET

President Trump announced an agreement on a two-year budget deal and debt-ceiling increase.

The deal would raise the debt ceiling past the 2020 elections and set $1.3 trillion for defense and domestic spending over the next two years.

The invitation reads: Jim Clyburn's World Famous Fish Fry.

World famous?

"Well, it's my world," Majority Whip James Clyburn said, chuckling. "And anybody else who would like to claim space in it." When it comes to South Carolina Democratic politics, it's hard to argue. Clyburn, at 78 years old, is the most influential Democrat in the state, which explains why most of the 2020 Democratic presidential field is headed to Columbia, S.C., next Friday for a chance to appear by his side.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Maybe you know colleagues who keep a sweater or a blanket at their desks to stay warm as the air conditioning tries to ice them out. Alternatively, maybe you have a co-worker who always comments on how warm the space is.

Either way, it's evident that the battle for the thermostat is being waged in offices and homes across the United States.

It's the debate that Tom Chang and his wife have been having for more than a decade.

Rep. Liz Cheney does not mince words, but when it comes to her own political ambitions, the Wyoming Republican has nothing to say right now.

"I don't have any announcements to make about that," a tight-lipped Cheney told reporters at a recent press conference dominated by questions about her political future.

Updated at 4:19 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will convene a meeting Wednesday morning to hear from Democrats on whether to move forward with impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

Pelosi, a public skeptic of impeachment, is confronting a rising tide of support for it among rank-and-file House Democrats and members of her own leadership team. Democrats are outraged by the Trump administration's ongoing effort to stymie congressional oversight into the president, his administration, and the findings in special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

More than a decade ago, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared victory over the Bush administration in a clash between Congress and the president's assertion of executive privilege to try to block members of his administration from testifying as part of a congressional oversight investigation.

"It's a triumph for the balance of power, checks and balances, the Constitution of the United States," Pelosi said in March 2009.

If House Democrats ultimately begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump, last week will be remembered as one of the pivotal turning points.

Trump's decision to invoke executive privilege over the full report by special counsel Robert Mueller is prompting impeachment skeptics like Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., to reconsider.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Attorney General William Barr's refusal to appear before the House Judiciary Committee did accomplish one thing, according to Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md.

"They have succeeded in building a near unanimous sense in the Democratic Caucus that the executive branch of government is in defiance of the Constitution and the rule of law," said Raskin, a former constitutional law professor who sits on both the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.

Pages