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Who Is Austin Scott? Congressman Announces Run Against Jim Jordan for Speaker

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Austin Scott

Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia’s 8th District announced Friday morning that he would be running against Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) for House Speaker.

“I have filed to be Speaker of the House. We are in Washington to legislate, and I want to lead a House that functions in the best interest of the American people,” Scott wrote on X.

Earlier today, Scott told CNN correspondent Manu Raju that the GOP’s removal of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy “makes us look like a bunch of idiots.”

READ MORE: GOP Rep. Don Bacon Says Republicans Would Rather ‘Yell and Scream’ Than Govern

Though Scott has been in Congress since 2011, he’s not as well known as Judiciary Chair Jordan or Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), who recently withdrew from the Speaker race. Scott serves on several committees in the House, including the Committee on Armed Services and its readiness and intelligence subcommittees; the Committee on Agriculture; and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and its CIA and NSA subcommittees. He’s also a member of the International Conservation Caucus, a bipartisan caucus devoted to the conservation of natural resources.

Scott is less conservative than Jordan, though he still holds many of the standard Republican positions. He’s against gun control, same-sex marriage, abortion and marijuana legalization. While he did sign an amicus brief supporting Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit contesting the 2020 election results, he also joined a letter saying Congressmembers had no authority to object to Electoral College votes without an investigation. He also spoke out against the January 6 riots, and attended the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

In 2001, when Scott was in the Georgia House, he was the first Republican to align with Democrats in removing the Confederate Stars and Bars from Georgia’s state flag. In 2021, he was appointed to the commission to rename military bases named for Confederate figures. The following year, the commission recommended the military proceed with the plan to rename the bases.

Scott could be the choice for Republicans put off by Jordan. Jordan is the favorite among the far-right House Freedom Caucus, and his supporters include Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and former President Donald Trump. Critics of Jordan, however, include former athletes at Ohio State University, where Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach until 1994.

Jordan is accused of ignoring sexual abuse by team doctor Richard Strauss during his time at the school. Jordan denies the allegations, saying he never heard of any abuse happening. However, Jordan declined to participate in an investigation into the abuse allegations. The investigation later found that Strauss’ abuse was an “open secret” among coaches and other team officials.

One wrestler, Adam DiSabato accused Jordan of calling him “crying, crying, groveling, on the Fourth of July … begging me to go against my brother, begging me, crying for half an hour,” according to the Guardian.

“That’s the kind of cover-up that’s going on here. He’s a coward. He’s a coward,” DiSabato added.

 

 

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House Republicans Move to Upstage SOTU With New Hur Investigation Subpoena and Hearing

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While continuing to defend their impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden, despite the testimony or credibility of numerous star witnesses collapsing, Republican House Chairs Jim Jordan and Jim Comer on Tuesday announced they have issued a subpoena to Attorney General Merrick Garland for “records, including transcripts, notes, video, and audio files, related to Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigation” of President Biden’s mishandling of classified information.

Hur cleared the President of any criminal wrongdoing, while deviating from DOJ guidelines by making partisan attacks on the President’s memory.

Despite the entire “Burisma” conspiracy again imploding, Chairman Comer and Chairman Jordan have continued to promote false claims surrounding President Biden.

Comer on Tuesday claimed now-indicted former FBI source Alexander Smirnov, who reportedly got the Burisma falsehoods from Putin’s Russian intelligence, “never was a key part” of his investigation into the President.

READ MORE: At the White House Johnson Says Biden Must Use Executive Orders After Calling Them ‘Gimmicks’

Jordan’s and Comer’s remarks have drawn the scrutiny of several former federal prosecutors, including U.S. Rep. Daniel Goldman (D-NY), who last week warned they could be opening themselves up to conspiracy charges. Monday night Rep. Goldman made his allegations clear: “Jordan is now conspiring with Putin to interfere in the Nov election.”

The deadline Comer and Jordan gave the Attorney General is March 7, the date President Biden is scheduled to deliver his State of the Union Address, as NewsNation Washington Correspondent Joe Khalil noted.

Republicans, along with Fox News, have been concerned over reports President Biden’s team wants to use the State of the Union as a “reset.” Far-right Fox News Business host Maria Bartiromo expressed great concern about the State of the Union Address as she noted Republicans have legislation that would block President Biden from delivering the annual address, at least from inside Congress.

As Axios reported last week, Republicans have been planning ways to take the “spotlight” away from President Biden’s control, and turn it back onto him.

READ MORE: Democratic Senators Now ‘Daring’ Republicans to Block IVF Protections: Report

“Biden’s ownership of the national spotlight will be brief. Just five days after his speech, House Republicans will hold a hearing with special counsel Robert Hur, whose report cleared the president of mishandling documents but called him a ‘well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,'” reported Axios’ Mike Allen and Alex Thompson. “Republicans tell Axios they hope to make the hearing a blockbuster, including pressing Hur about Biden’s fitness.”

CBS News adds that Comers and Jordan’s “committees have been trying to show for months that Mr. Biden was enriched by his family’s foreign business dealings and accepted bribes, but have so far uncovered no wrongdoing by the president. Their impeachment inquiry took a hit when one of their key witnesses was recently charged with lying about the first family’s business dealings.”

See the video above or at this link.

Image of Jim Jordan via Shutterstock

 

 

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At the White House Johnson Says Biden Must Use Executive Orders After Calling Them ‘Gimmicks’

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Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson says President Joe Biden must issue executive orders to address the southern border, just days after scoffing at claims the President was considering using his executive authority, calling those orders “election year gimmicks.”

Republicans, with the assistance of – and some say, at the direction of – Donald Trump derailed a bipartisan  border bill several weeks ago.

Although the House is still on vacation, Speaker Johnson attended his first White House meeting with President Biden on Tuesday, along with Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

The President’s goal in gathering the congressional leaders together was to find a way to avoid a government shutdown, which will come after midnight Friday if the House and Senate cannot agree and pass legislation to fund the government.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the meeting “one of the most intense” of his career.

READ MORE: Democratic Senators Now ‘Daring’ Republicans to Block IVF Protections: Report

Schumer, McConnell, and Jeffries are all united in the need to pass legislation to help Ukraine battle Russian President Vladimir Putin’s illegal war.

Often after these meetings participants will hold a joint press conference outside the White House but Johnson opted to speak to reporters alone.

Defiant, and in opposition to the President, Leaders Schumer, McConnell, and Jeffries, Johnson declared that the southern border must be fixed before he could support funding critical military aid to Ukraine.

Pointing to “discussion about the supplemental spending package,” referring to the military aid bill, Johnson told reporters (video below): “I was very clear with the President and all those in the room that the House is actively pursuing and investigating all the various options on that, and we will address that in a timely manner.”

READ MORE: ‘How Extremism Is Normalized’: Schlapp Furious as Critics Slam CPAC Over Report of Nazis

“But again, the first priority of the country is our border and making sure it’s secure. I believe the President can take executive authority right now today to change that. And I told him that again today in person, as I’ve said to him many times, publicly and privately over the last several weeks, it’s time for action. It is a catastrophe, and it must stop and we will get the government funded and we’ll keep working on that.”

Last week, Politico reported Johnson, in addition to his “election year gimmicks” remarks, said: “The president suddenly seems interested in trying to make a change using the legal authority that he claimed until recently didn’t exist.”

Watch Johnson below or at this link:

Watch the videos above or at this link.

 

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Democratic Senators Now ‘Daring’ Republicans to Block IVF Protections: Report

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Democratic Senators led by U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) will ask unanimous consent on Wednesday to pass legislation to protect in-vitro fertilization (IVF), after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled frozen embryos are “children.” Immediately following that ruling, some medical facilities that offer IVF services paused those practices over fear they could be prosecuted.

“I warned that red states would come for IVF, and now they have. But they aren’t going to just going to stop in Alabama,” Senator Duckworth said Tuesday during a press conference announcing the legislation, The Hill reported. “Mark my words. If we don’t act now, it will only get worse.”

Many House and Senate Republicans quickly came out to claim they support IVF after the Alabama ruling, some at the direction or urging of Donald Trump and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), despite having voted for legislation that claims human life begins at conception. Because IVF can involve discarding frozen embryos, discarding them could put fertility clinics and physicians at risk, under the Alabama ruling.

Senator Duckworth has a PhD in human services and is the first U.S. Senator to give birth while serving in office. She “had her two daughters via IVF,” Axios reports, and “says that under Alabama’s ruling, her doctor’s decision to discard her non-viable embryos with her consent would’ve potentially been considered manslaughter or murder.”

READ MORE: ‘Conspiring With Putin’: Democratic Congressman Brings the Hammer Down on Jim Jordan

Over the past two years Sen. Duckworth has supported or sponsored legislation to protect IVF and “other assisted reproductive technology (ART) services.”

On Tuesday Duckworth announced “she’ll seek unanimous consent tomorrow in Senate on her bill to protect the right to IVF nationwide,” reports CBS News’ Scott MacFarlane. “She is quite noticeably daring Republican US Senators to attempt to block it.”

CNN reports, “The Life at Conception Act – which was introduced in January 2023 by GOP Rep. Alex Mooney of West Virginia and has 125 total Republican sponsors in the House, including House Speaker Mike Johnson – defines the term ‘human being’ to include ‘all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.'”

In one of numerous examples of incongruence between their stated claims and voting record, CNN adds that “GOP Rep. Michelle Steel of California, who represents a Biden-won swing district, was one of the Republicans who came out quickly on social media to express support for IVF and share her own struggles with infertility. She also said she opposes any federal restrictions on the procedure.”

“But Steel is also a co-sponsor of the Life at Conception Act — which Democrats have been quick to point out. Steel’s office has not yet returned a request for comment on how she squares those two positions, nor have other House Republicans who expressed support for IVF while being co-sponsors of the House bill.”

READ MORE: ‘How Extremism Is Normalized’: Schlapp Furious as Critics Slam CPAC Over Report of Nazis

Republicans have been “scrambling to contain the fallout” after the Alabama Supreme Court ruling, Reuters reported.

“Recent polls conducted by Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway, who worked in the Trump White House, and shared with Reuters showed widespread support for IVF and fertility treatments, even among those who oppose abortion,” Reuters added. “According to Conway’s firm, 85% of all respondents and 86% of women support increasing access to fertility-related procedures and services for individuals facing challenges in conceiving, including 78% of people who consider themselves anti-abortion and 83% of evangelicals.”

In 2022, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) killed Sen. Duckworth’s legislation to protect IVF, after objecting to it being passed by unanimous consent.

Watch below or at this link.

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