What to Know in Washington: House to Vote on Meadows’s Contempt

House Democrats take aim at Mark Meadows today with a vote on holding Donald Trump’s former White House chief of staff in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena related to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Lawmakers will also look to resolve the the threat of U.S. default, with votes to raise the debt limit until late next year.

Here’s what Bloomberg Government is tracking for Tuesday.

Congressional Schedule:

  • House members are scheduled to vote on the resolution finding Meadows in contempt and a bill to combat Islamophobia.
  • The Senate plans to vote on a measure to raise the U.S. debt ceiling.
  • Click here for a complete list of today’s hearings and markups.

Biden’s Agenda:

  • President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff will attend a Democratic National Committee holiday celebration in Washington at 6:15 p.m., where the president and vice-president will speak.

House to Vote on Holding Ex-Trump Aide Meadows in Contempt

The panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol voted unanimously last night to recommend that the U.S. House hold Donald Trump’s last White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, in criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to testify.

The 9-0 recommendation and a report justifying the action now goes to the full House for a floor vote today, Billy House reports.

“The Select Committee’s report referring Mr. Meadows for criminal contempt charges is clear and compelling. As White House chief of staff, Mr. Meadows played a role in or was witness to key events leading up to and including the Jan. 6th assault on the United States Capitol,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mass.), chair of the House Select Committee on Jan. 6, said before the vote.

Thompson said Meadows, after agreeing to cooperate with the House inquiry, “changed his mind and told us to pound sand.”

“This happened the same day his book was published,” Thompson added. “The same book that goes into detail about matters the Select Committee is reviewing. It also details conversations he had with President Trump and others—conversations we want to hear more about.”

Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and the committee’s vice chair, said “text messages provided by Meadows that leave “no doubt” the White House knew what was happening as the assault on the Capitol unfolded. Read more from Billy House.

Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
Thompson at last night’s committee meeting.

ALSO HAPPENING ON THE HILL:

  • The Senate will vote today on legislation lifting the government’s debt ceiling to stave off the risk of a default, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, without saying how much the increase would be. Senate passage, which requires only a simple majority, would send the debt limit measure to the House, where Democratic leaders have promised quick action. Democrats have said they want to raise the debt limit enough to extend U.S. borrowing authority until after the 2022 midterm elections. Read more from Laura Litvan.
  • Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) emerged from a phone meeting with Biden still uncommitted to voting for the president’s economic agenda by year’s end. “We’re just talking about different iterations, that’s all,” Manchin said about the call. “We’re engaged,” he added. White House spokesman Andrew Bates called the conversation “constructive.” Biden and Manchin, Bates said, “agreed to follow up with one another in the coming days.” Read more from Laura Litvan.
  • Lawmakers in the House and Senate are close to agreement on legislation aimed at punishing China for the alleged oppression of the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, according to two people familiar with the discussions. A deal would set up a potential vote on the legislation before the end of the year if Senate committees sign off and the measure can be squeezed into the schedule. Read more from Daniel Flatley.
  • Some international passengers would be able to bypass security re-screening during layovers at U.S. airports under a pilot program advancing in Congress. The proposal will be considered by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee tomorrow as lawmakers look to boost the return of tourism now that the U.S. has reopened to vaccinated foreigners. Read more from Lillianna Byington.

Around the Administration

Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized China’s “aggressive actions” in Asia while laying out plans to more closely integrate U.S. allies and security partners in Asia. During a key policy speech in Jakarta today, Blinken underscored U.S. efforts to deliver high-quality infrastructure and vaccines to the region while working closer on security issues. He said the Biden administration doesn’t want conflict in Asia, and would ensure competition with China doesn’t veer into a “catastrophic” conflict. Read more from Peter Martin.

An association of 41 major Hispanic organizations is readying to urge Biden to pick a Hispanic person to serve on the FCC, should Gigi Sohn’s nomination fail in the Senate. Republican senators increasingly are calling for Biden to withdraw Sohn’s nomination, citing fears she will push for heavy-handed regulations. Some GOP lawmakers also take issue with Sohn’s past tweets in which she attacked conservative media outlets. Read more from Maria Curi.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will have its first judge appointed by Biden after the Senate confirmed Lucy Koh yesterday. Koh, a U.S. District Judge in the Northern District of California, will be the first Korean-American woman to serve as a U.S. federal appeals court judge. She was confirmed by a vote of 50-45. Read more from Jordan S. Rubin.

Jennifer Abruzzo, the new general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, wants more injunctions against bosses and says “plenty” of gig workers are misclassified as independent contractors, Businesweek’s Josh Eidelson reports from his interview with Biden’s top labor lawyer. Read more.

A divided Supreme Court left in force New York’s requirement that state health-care workers be vaccinated against Covid-19, refusing to order exemptions for 20 providers who said they object to the shot on faith-based grounds. Read more from Greg Stohr.

  • Meanwhile, leading scientists cautioned that the level of immunity against the coronavirus among South Africa’s population due to earlier infections may be masking the severity of illness caused by the omicron variant, Antony Sguazzin reports.
  • But, a two-shot course of Pfizer’s vaccination may offer 70% protection against being hospitalized with the Covid-19 omicron variant, South Africa’s largest medical-insurance provider Discovery said. Read more from Janice Kew.

What Else We’re Reading

  • Democratic governors are facing a messaging conundrum over concerns about threats to democracy in the 2022 elections, CNN reports. Governors are concerned that attempts to meddle with the certification of the Electoral College count and partisan takeovers of the voting infrastructure aren’t front of mind for the electorate after nearly two years of the coronavirus pandemic and economic panic. CNN’s Edward-Isaac Dovere has more.
  • Many Republicans are warning that the next debt limit fight will be different, the Washington Post reports. Conservative lawmakers, anticipating the GOP retaking one or both congressional majorities in next year’s midterm elections, are already calling for and strategizing around a fiscal clash in 2023, insisting on using the threat of federal default to place new curbs on government spending and reduce the $28 trillion national debt, Mike Debonis reports.
  • Sen. Manchin is concerned the expanded child tax credit in Democrats’ tax and spending plan is both the most underpriced item and the biggest inflation-driver, Axios reports. While Manchin’s concern over the credit could trigger elimination of the program, it’s also an indication he’s engaging with the White House about how to reduce the plan’s price tag to a level he can support, Hans Nichols reports.
  • Federal nutrition assistance and agricultural infrastructure top the list of solutions that would help feed Native Americans, many of whom struggled to keep meals on the table during the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey finds. Almost half of Native American and Alaska Native survey respondents suffered food insecurity as Covid-19 outbreaks ravaged the U.S., the Native American Agriculture Fund, the Food Research & Action Center, and the University of Arkansas’ Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative reported today. Read more from BGOV’s Megan U. Boyanton.

To contact the reporters on this story: Zachary Sherwood in Washington at zsherwood@bgov.com; Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Giuseppe Macri at gmacri@bgov.com; Loren Duggan at lduggan@bgov.com; Michaela Ross at mross@bgov.com

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