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  • Writer's pictureMichael McAuliff

What Are They Doing To Us Today, July 19?

They’re doing plenty, even as everyone will pause (except for some progressives who are boycotting) to listen to Israeli President Isaac Herzog at 11. One thing to highlight for media types is a positive, bipartisan bill moving in the House Judiciary Committee to protect reporters — and the First Amendment — from government attempts to unmask confidential sources. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes in supporting the bill, presidents of both parties have been targeting reporters more aggressively in recent decades. The Protect Reporters from Exploitative State Spying, or PRESS Act, would grant protection to reporters (including citizens journalists, and covering cell phone numbers and email) from overly aggressive government prying and prosecution, with carefully tailored exceptions. Sponsors in the House include Kevin Kiley (R-Calif.) and Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.) on the right and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) on the left. In the Senate, the bill brings together people like Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah).

Also, today features another of the House’s attempts to link President Biden to some sort of crime, with the Oversight Committee bringing in whistleblowers who say that the Justice Department interfered with the investigation of Hunter Biden’s tax dodging. These particular whistleblowers are far more credible than others we’ve heard about, but the problem for Jim Jordan and James Comer is that none of them have the full picture, and their complaints really could just reflect judgement calls by folks at DOJ that they happen to disagree with. Here’s a Fox News story from the perspective of “Whistleblower X.” Here’s an NBC story looking at some of the folks backing the whistleblowers.

On The Floor

The House is in at 9, but recesses immediately to get ready for Herzog. They are returning to the bill to strip federal funding from from educational institutions that are used to shelter migrants. It also takes of the reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration with the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act. There are more than 100 amendments in order, which will likely be moved in block votes. This should run late.

The Senate takes up its version of the National Defense Authorization Act. It’s much more bipartisan than the House’s version, but we’ll see how it winds up after amendment votes. Exactly what would get votes and under what rules was still being negotiated in the Senate last night. Of interest to New Yorkers (and more than 25,000 people around the country), there’s a chance there will be an amendment to fix the funding problems with the 9/11 health program, but there were still a lot of moving parts last night. Remember, everything in the Senate needs to move by agreement, or any single senator can muck up the works for a long time.

At The Mics

9:45 - P.O. of Speaker McCarthy, Israeli President Herzog as they make their way from the Speaker's office to the Hall of the House. Unilateral coverage okay. Statuary Hall.

12:30 - Conference Chair Stefanik, House Republicans hold press conference to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Israel's statehood following the Joint Meeting address by Israeli President Isaac Herzog. HVC 200.

4 - Sen. Graham on GOP members on Supreme Court integrity. Senate Studio.

And somewhere around 2, Senate leaders hold their weekly availabilities in the Ohio Clock Corridor, after caucus lunches.

In The Hearing Rooms

9 - The Judiciary Committee marks up the PRESS Act mentioned above and The Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act, which would bar data brokers from selling your info to law enforcement and intelligence agencies. 2141 Rayburn. Stream here.

9:15 - The Committee on Natural Resources marks up on measures. 1324 Longworth. Stream here.

9:30 - The Small Business Committee has “Burdensome Red Tape: Overregulation in Health Care and the Impact on Small Businesses.” 2360 Rayburn. Stream here.

10 - Appropriations marks up the Fiscal Year 2024 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Bill. 2359 Rayburn. Livestream here.

1 - Oversight has “Hearing with IRS Whistleblowers About the Biden Criminal Investigation. 2154 Rayburn. Stream here. C-Span will also have you covered.

2 - Ways and Means has a hearing that pre-concludes “Biden’s Global Tax Surrender Harms American Workers and Our Economy.” 1100 Longworth. Stream here.

2 - The Science Committee has a “Members’ Day Hearing.” 2318 Rayburn. Stream here.

2 - Armed Services’ Subcommittee on Military Personnel gets in on the Supreme Court’s affirmative action ruling by looking at “Admissions, Curriculum, and Diversity of Thought at The Military Service Academies.” 2118 Rayburn. Watch here.

2 - The House Administration Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight does “Oversight of the U.S. Capitol Police Office of Inspector General.” Always interesting after the Jan. 6 insurrection. 1310 Longworth. Stream here.

Over in the Senate, go here for the hearings, where I usually look when I have a bit more time than today.


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