Josh Hawley Introduces ‘PELOSI Act’ to Ban Congress from Trading Stocks

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has introduced the “PELOSI Act” which would ban members of Congress, as well as their family members, from holding or trading stocks.

The legislation, known as the Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments (PELOSI) Act, references former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who was called out last year after her husband, Paul Pelosi, bought up to $5 million in stock in a semiconductor company right as the Senate was passing legislation to massively subsidize the semiconductor industry.

Pelosi was also among a group of Republicans and Democrats who beat the market in 2021 with hundreds of millions of dollars in stock trades. Others who faired the best include Reps. Austin Scott (R-GA), Brian Mast (R-FL), French Hill (R-AR), John Curtis (R-UT), and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX).

Hawley, who introduced similar legislation last year, said the practice must end.

“For too long, politicians in Washington have taken advantage of the economic system they write the rules for, turning profits for themselves at the expense of the American people,” Hawley said in a statement.

“As members of Congress, both Senators and Representatives are tasked with providing oversight of the same companies they invest in, yet they continually buy and sell stocks, outperforming the market time and again,” he continued.

Hawley’s PELOSI Act would ban members of Congress and their spouses from holding, acquiring, or selling stocks while in office. The legislation gives members and their spouses six months after taking office to divest stocks they hold or put them in a blind trust.

If members of Congress or their spouses are found to be in violation of the legislation’s rules, they would have to forfeit any profits to the United States Treasury. Violators would also be prohibited from deducting those losses on their income taxes.

The legislation gives the House and Senate ethics committees full power to fine members of Congress for such violations and would be required to publicize them to the American people. In accordance with the bill, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) would be required to audit members of Congress to ensure they are complying with the rules.

“While Wall Street and Big Tech work hand-in-hand with elected officials to enrich each other, hardworking Americans pay the price,” Hawley said. “The solution is clear: we must immediately and permanently ban all members of Congress from trading stocks.”

Banning members of Congress and their family members from trading stocks is hugely popular among likely American voters.

Last year, a Trafalgar Group survey revealed that 76 percent believe Congress has an “unfair advantage” when it comes to the stock market. Only five percent support permitting congressional stock trading.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here.

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A House United: How Prayer Played a Central Role in Electing a Speaker

Editor’s Note: This wonderful article from The Washington Stand, published by the Family Research Council, details how fervent prayer for unity helped to bring about an excellent result in the US House of Representatives, after multiple votes for a Speaker of the House. Read the original article here.

By Joshua Arnold

___

In the wee morning hours of Saturday, January 7, the 434 members of the United States House of Representatives swore an oath to “bear true faith and allegiance” to the Constitution. After 15 votes, they had finally chosen a House speaker and could all take the oath of office. A short time earlier, seven of their number had acted out their true faith and allegiance to a different, higher governmental authority.

“We have a prayer caucus in the House,” explained Representative Mike Johnson (R-La.) on FRC’s “Pray Vote Stand” (PVS) webcast. “We gather for prayer, for example, the beginning of each week… and ask the Lord for His wisdom and discernment and guidance.”

Plea for Unity

As Friday dawned with the House no closer to choosing a Speaker, “we were in a real bind,” Johnson confessed. So, the prayer caucus gathered to pray in the House chamber “in the early morning before the session began. … We repented to the Lord for our individual transgressions, and those collectively as a legislative body, and as a people, as a nation. And we asked for His divine guidance.”

“I believe the Lord has answered the prayers of many because there was an outcome in which I believe the Congress is stronger,” remarked FRC President Tony Perkins, who hosted PVS. “Last Friday, as the future looked questionable — there was a lot of angst, a lot of tension — you and your colleagues gathered on the floor of the House to pray.”

Johnson agreed. “My specific prayer in that circle was, ‘Lord, the House is divided. We know that a house divided cannot stand. And we ask you to unite this House.’ And in short order, that’s what happened. And I tell you, this morning at the meeting with all the House Republicans, I think this group has never been more united than it is right now.”

Miracle

In four rounds of voting during the Friday session, 20 Republicans who had opposed Kevin McCarthy’s bid for speaker changed their votes to him or “present,” enabling him to win a majority with 216 votes on the 15th ballot.

“The core group that joined together on that floor for prayer [is] accustomed to praying together, because we do it routinely,” said Johnson. “We pray for individual prayer requests, often of our constituents and those that we know who are struggling. And it’s just a great time of unity and bonding.”

“Friday’s events proved the power of prayer in miraculous ways,” said Representative Greg Steube (R-Fla.), one the members who prayed on the House floor. “We lifted the speaker’s race up to the Lord, and immediately after the prayer of seven members, 14 members changed their vote. And, by the end of the day, it had concluded, and we had a speaker. My church and many others prayed together at the same time, and the power of the Holy Spirit was seen in the results thereafter. I want to thank Jon and Jolene Hamill of Lamplighter Ministries for the prayer.”

Steube’s office provided The Washington Stand with a copy of his prayer on the House floor, which read in part,

“Father God, we lift up to You the seat of authority of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. We bring this seat literally before the Throne of the Ancient of Days, in the highest Court of the Kingdom of God. We ask for Your verdict of justice in favour of the saints. … Forgive the sins that have taken place by those stewarding this seat, including all sexual immorality, abuse of power, abuse of children, unjust bloodshed, occult sacrifice, betrayal of national interest, etc. Ultimately, they are all a betrayal of You. Please forgive these grave injustices. …”

Prayer and Politics

Another member who knelt in prayer was Representative Tim Walberg (R-Mich.). “As a person of faith, I believe in the power of prayer — both in calm and challenging times,” he told TWS. “Before the vote took place, my colleagues and I bowed our heads and knelt on our knees in the well of the House to seek God’s guidance and ask that His almighty hand continue to watch over and sustain our great land.”

Johnson said that many “committed, solid believers” serve in Congress. “They’re not always the ones you see on TV, but they are the ones that I believe in many ways are holding the country together. And we’re seeking God’s providence, guidance, and direction every single day. There’s always been a remnant that God works through, and this group here believes that that’s still possible.”

Perkins noted this prayer on the House floor was “in sharp contrast to the efforts we’ve seen in recent years to remove God from Congress.” Last spring, in response to Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) quoting from the book of Deuteronomy, Representative Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) retorted, “What any religious tradition describes as God’s will is no concern of this Congress.”

“This is a spiritual battle,” Johnson added. “When people of faith have their voices censored and silenced routinely and increasingly, it’s a threat to the survival of the republic. I mean it; this is not hyperbole.”

But no one interrupted the Friday morning prayer circle. “Desperate times lead people to turn to God,” said Perkins.

The Wednesday before last, The Washington Stand reported on the unanimous outpouring of prayer for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin. In seeming answer to those prayers, Hamlin was safely discharged from the hospital this Wednesday, nine days after the 24-year-old suffered cardiac arrest on-field during Monday Night Football.

___

Photo: The White House.

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2022 Midterms: Did Democrats Win on Abortion?

Former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who led a Republican takeover of the House way back in 1994, summed up the results of the November 2022 midterm election as producing “a surprising outcome.” The election, he concluded, was “the least predictable election in my lifetime.”1

Like many conservative pundits, Gingrich had predicted a “red tsunami” with Republicans winning up to 50 House seats and taking control of the Senate. This did not happen. There was not a blue wave or a red wave. The opposition party took the House and failed to take the Senate.

Exit polls and election results showed Republicans doing well in solid Republican states, while Democrat voters performed well in swing states by mobilising their base and winning enough independent voters to prevent a red tidal wave. Both parties could claim victory, but neither party received a mandate from the electorate. The polls showed a continuation of a deeply divided electorate. Moreover, neither party is highly regarded by the voters.

Exit polls and election results belie a narrative presented by some pundits that abortion was the decisive issue in the 2022 midterms. Data suggest a more complex outcome concerning the role the abortion issue played. Similarly, a closer look at the midterm results shows that this issue, the quality of the candidates, reaction to Trump, and the youth vote all need to be parsed. In this Report, we will look at the abortion issue in the midterms, before turning in a subsequent Report to other lessons to be learned from the 2022 election.

Voters Not Wild for Either Party

Any discussion of the 2022 election needs to begin with a simple observation: Although Republicans won more than 3 million more votes overall than did the Democrats, voters in general are not wild about either party.

Nor are they wild about either President Biden or former President Donald Trump. In casting their votes for House seats, voters told exit pollsters that their decision largely depended on how they viewed Biden or Trump. Neither man was actually running for office, yet 32 percent of the voters cast their votes to oppose President Biden, while 30 percent voted to oppose former President Trump.2 It’s difficult to think of a midterm election in which the former president was such a big factor.

Voters regarded Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy less favourably than either Trump or Biden. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was viewed by voters even less favourably than McCarthy.3 Maybe in this polarised environment no party leader can win high favourability ratings from the electorate, but voters are signalling that there is lack of strong leadership. In a divided electorate, with voters not high on either party, marginal issue-oriented voters take on greater importance.

Mixed Results on Abortion

Exit polls and election results reveal that voters are extremely divided on the issues. Republicans expected inflation, crime and the border to favour their candidates. Democrats sought to emphasise social issues such as abortion, specifically reaction to the Dobbs decision overruling Roe v. Wade. Let’s look at the claim by some commentators that the 2022 election was simply about abortion, which allowed Democrats to erect a dam against the red tide.

The effect of the abortion issue on voting patterns is hard to discern from the November 2022 election. Fox News exit polling found that only ten percent of voters said that abortion was “the most important issue facing the country.” The 58 percent of voters with “enthusiastic,” “satisfied” or “dissatisfied” views on the Dobbs decision overwhelmingly voted Republican. (The 39 percent who were “angry” aboutDobbs overwhelmingly supported Democrats.)4 This finding provides further evidence that the abortion issue was a more complex issue than mainstream media tried to make it.

In the 2022 midterms, Democratic candidates overall ran hard on the abortion issue. Speaking before the election at an event sponsored by the National Democratic Committee behind a huge sign reading “Restore Roe,” President Biden promised to protect abortion rights by codifying Roe into federal law if Democrats could elect more Democrats to the Senate and keep control of the House:

“If we do that, here’s the promise I make to you and the American people: The first bill I will send to Congress will be to codify Roe v. Wade. And when Congress passes it, I’ll sign it in January, 50 years after Roe was first decided the law of the land [sic].”5

Earlier Biden had signed an executive order defending the ability to cross state borders to obtain an abortion and to ensure access to chemical abortions. Biden’s pledge reflected the administration’s ideological commitment to “reproductive rights” and a political reading of the pre-election polls that showed that over half of the voters said that the Dobbs decision had made them more motivated to vote.

What’s the Matter with Kansas?

Democrats had a good reason to feel confident that the abortion issue favoured them. In August, Kansas voters rejected a pro-life amendment to their state constitution. Close to 60 percent of the voters voted against an amendment called “Value Them Both” that would have removed the right to abortion that the Kansas supreme court had discerned in the state constitution. The amendment would have allowed the state legislature to impose restrictions on abortion. Prior to the statewide vote, Republican state legislators proposed a complete ban on abortion at any stage.6

The Kansas statewide vote was without doubt a blow to the pro-life movement. The prominent pro-life activist and founder of Live Action, Lila Rose, called the results of the election a “tragic setback for Kansas.”7 It was, but the results are ambiguous. The “Value Them Both” measure read,

“Regulation of abortion. Because Kansans value both women and children, the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion. To the extent permitted by the constitution of the United States, the people, through their elected state representatives and state senators, may pass laws regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, laws that account for circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or circumstances of necessity to save the life of the mother.”8

Confused voters might have cast a negative vote in opposition to granting state legislators the right to “pass laws” on abortion that consider rape or incest.

Whether all Kansas voters really understood what they were voting on might be unclear, but the pro-abortion movement spent double the amount spent by the pro-life movement to defeat the amendment.

While the amendment failed, Kansas still restricts abortion. Abortion is limited after 22 weeks of gestation, and then can occur only when a mother’s life is in danger or a major bodily function is at risk. The state requires mothers to undergo an ultrasound before an abortion may be conducted.

Nationalising Abortion

Whatever the nuances of the Kansas abortion law and the failed attempt to amend the Kansas constitution, Democrats and pro-abortion activists took this vote as a strong signal that the issue favoured their side in the 2022 midterms. No wonder that Biden called for the federal codification of Roe.

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham’s proposal to pass a federal statutory ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy appeared to play into Democrat hands. At a Democrat fundraiser held on October 18 in New York City, Biden described Graham’s bill as another sign that Republicans had become “more extreme in their positions.”9

By proposing national abortion restrictions, Graham, in effect, accepted the premise of Biden’s call for abortion law to be nationalised.

Roe had nationalised abortion law through a court decision; the Democrats (joined by Graham) now wanted to nationalise abortion law through federal legislation.

In race after race, Democrats pounded on the abortion issue by painting a picture of their opponents as extremists. In New York, for example, Democrat candidate Governor Kathy Hochul made abortion her key issue. Her opponent, Lee Zeldin, did not back away from his pro-life views, and closed a Trump gap of 20 points in 2020 to only five points. While Zeldin lost, it was probably not because of the abortion issue.

Pro-life Republicans gained House seats, including two suburban New York City districts where registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans. Remarkably, four New York Congressional seats flipped from Democrat to Republican.

At least 12 strongly pro-life Republican governors were elected and not a single one was unseated.10 In Florida, incumbent Governor Ron DeSantis won re-election in a landslide even though his well-funded opponent Charlie Crist tried to make abortion a major issue. In April 2022, Governor DeSantis signed the Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Act to protect the lives of Florida’s most vulnerable by prohibiting all abortions after 15 weeks of gestation. In signing the bill, DeSantis expressed what should have been the response for every Republican candidate running in 2022:

“House Bill 5 protects babies in the womb who have beating hearts, who can move, who can taste, who can see, and who can feel pain. Life is a sacred gift worthy of our protection, and I am proud to sign this great piece of legislation which represents the most significant protections for life in the state’s modern history.”11

The Arizona Dilemma

Democrat charges of “extremism” against abortion ignored many, many surveys that show Americans support a ban on abortion after 15 weeks, unless for the health of the woman. Indeed, the vast majority of American voters believe that the absolute right to abortion should be restricted. They oppose what Democrats ran on in 2022. Americans, in general, abhor taking the life of a viable baby. So do Europeans.12

From the outset, though, many Republicans found themselves on the defensive on the abortion issue. In the Arizona races for governor and Senate, Republican candidates Kari Lake and Blake Masters were bludgeoned on their pro-life stances.13

Arizona abortion law created a confusing situation. An Arizona territorial law dating back to 1864 made abortion illegal in all cases except to save a life of a mother. In March 2022, however, the state legislature passed a law banning abortion after 15 weeks except to save the life of the mother.

When the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe last June, Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich asked that the decades-old injunction blocking the enforcement of the 1864 law be lifted. A Tucson state superior judge agreed and lifted the injunction. Planned Parenthood appealed the decision, and on October 7, shortly before the election, a three-judge panel sided with Planned Parenthood, holding that the injunction prevented the 1864 law from being imposed.14 As things now stand, the Arizona law blocking abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy remains in effect.

This legal confusion placed gubernatorial candidate Lake and Senate candidate Masters in a bind as to whether to support a complete ban (the 1864 law) or the 15-week ban (the 2022 law). Simply responding that the courts should decide the issue looked like a cop-out, especially when their Democrat opponents, Katie Hobbs running for governor and Mark Kelly, up for reelection as incumbent senator, declared that they stood firmly for “reproductive rights for women.”

Matters became more muddled when Lake told a Phoenix talk show radio host that abortion should be “rare and legal”, then corrected herself that it should be “rare but safe.”15 When pressed for whether she would support future legislation allowing abortion in cases of rape and incest — both outlawed under the total abortion ban or the 15-week ban — Lake said she refused to address “hypotheticals” as to what the state legislature might pursue in its next legislative session. Her opponent, Hobbs, hammered Lake as a “dangerous” fanatic.16 When voter margins are so thin (Lake lost by a little over 10,000 votes), every vote counts.

Where Abortion Did Matter

Within hours of the initial November returns, John Della Volpe, director of polling at the Harvard Kennedy School, tweeted,

“One thing I know already. If not for voters under 30… tonight would have been a Red Wave.”17

Voter registration among age 18-25 voters was higher than in 2018, but actually youth turnout fell from what it was four years ago.

Measures restricting abortion were defeated in Republican states Kentucky and Montana, showing that enough Republicans crossed over to join Democrats to protect legal abortion. Pro-abortion measures won in Michigan, California and Vermont as well. In Arizona, and other states, the youth vote went heavily to Democrats.

Arguably, as political consultant Dick Morris concluded, abortion was the key factor in defeating Herschel Walker in Alabama’s run-off election in early December. Citing exit polls, Morris noted that over a quarter of voters said abortion was the single most important issue to them, and these voters broke overwhelmingly for Democrat incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock.18 Walker was not helped by an accusation that he had paid for a girlfriend’s abortion in 2009.

On the other hand, strong pro-life Republicans won in strong red states. They were not hurt on the abortion issue, and, in fact, they might have been helped by their pro-life positions. Where abortion really mattered was in purple states. For most voters — Democrats and Republicans — abortion was not the primary issue. For strong Republican voters, the election was about inflation, crime and the border — and Biden. For others, it was about staying the course with Biden, not disrupting things too much, and let’s see what happens.

Still, abortion did matter for some voters — especially younger women and some suburban women. Their attitudes were shaped in the immediate aftermath of Dobbs. Whether abortion will be as hot an issue for these voters in 2024 remains to be seen. In the end, economic issues usually trump social issues.

A Strategy for Republicans

Republican candidates need to plan how to tackle the abortion issue next time around. First, they should take a clear position on abortion, specifically supporting a 15-week ban, at a minimum. Second, they need to state categorically that they are opposed to late-term abortion, while Democrats support abortion up to birth and sometimes even afterwards. Average Americans overwhelmingly support restricting abortion.

Pro-life organisations should and will mobilise for the next election. The biggest threat to pro-life state statutes will come from more statewide votes promoted by pro-abortion interests, who have won the last few statewide votes concerning abortion. Pro-life religious leaders — Catholic, Protestant, Mormon and Muslim — should step forward to speak on behalf of life.

The pro-life movement won a major legal victory with Dobbs but must now raise money and make its case to the citizenry. Pro-life is not a minority position. It is a position that most Americans agree with. It’s a matter of life or death.

___

References

  1. Jeffrey H. Anderson, “The Elections, By the Numbers”, City Journal, November 18, 2022.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Trump had a favourable rating of 39 percent, while only 41 percent gave Biden a
    favourable rating. McCarthy’s favourable rating was 27 percent. Pelosi’s favourable
    rating was 25 percent.
  4. Ibid. Whether voters were “enthusiastic,” “satisfied” or “dissatisfied” with the Dobbs decision, they still voted Republican by a 50-point margin. “Angry” voters voted Democratic by a 71-point margin.
  5. MJ Lee, Jeremy Diamond and Kevin Liptak, “Biden promises abortion rights law as Democrats try to rally voters“, CNN, October 18, 2022.
  6. Michael Gryboski, “Kansas voters uphold abortion right in state constitution, defeat Value Them Both amendment“, Christian Post, August 3, 2022.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Caroline Downey, “Kansas Votes to Uphold Constitutional Right to Abortion in First Ballot Measure since Dobbs“, Yahoo News, August 3, 2022.
  9. MJ Lee, Jeremy Diamond and Kevin Liptak, “Biden promises abortion rights law as Democrats try to rally voters“, CNN, October 18, 2022.
  10. The pro-life governors elected include Kay Ivey of Alabama, Ron DeSantis of Florida, Brian Kemp of Georgia, Brad Little of Idaho, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, Henry McMaster of South Carolina, Kristi Noem of North Dakota, Bill Lee of Tennessee, Greg Abbott of Texas and Mark Gordon of Wyoming.
  11. Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Bill to Protect the Lives of Florida’s Most Vulnerable“, April 14, 2022.
  12. Mary Rooke, “Most Americans Want An Abortion Ban After 15 Weeks: POLL“, Daily Caller, July 5, 2022; Dr Susan Berry, “Poll: Majority of Likely Voters Support Limits on Abortion After 15 Week Pregnancy“, Breitbart, June 8, 2021.
  13. MAGA Hot Mic: Arizona GOP Gubernatorial Nominee Kari Lake“, Democrats, October 28, 2022.
  14. Arizona court ruling makes abortions legal again – for now“, The Guardian, October 8, 2022.
  15. Jonathan J. Cooper, “Kari Lake walks back ‘rare and legal’ abortion comment“, AP, October 5, 2022.
  16. MAGA Hot Mic: Arizona GOP Gubernatorial Nominee Kari Lake“, Democrats, October 28, 2022.
  17. A.B. Stoddard, “Republicans Blame Trump — What about Abortion?Real Clear Politics, December 21, 2022.
  18. Dick Morris, “Abortion Key in Georgia Runoff”, December 9, 2022.

___

Originally published in the Mindszenty Report. Photo: BigStock

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Rand Paul Slams “Emasculated Republicans” For Accepting Bloated Spending Bill

Rand Paul Slams “Emasculated Republicans” For Accepting Bloated Spending Bill


Rand Paul Slams “Emasculated Republicans” For Accepting Bloated Spending Bill

“We have completely and totally abdicated the power of the purse”

Steve Watson

Senator Rand Paul has blasted Republicans who are going along with a huge bloated $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill without even reading it.

“The Omnibus will be 3000 pages. We’ll get it two hours before they want to pass it. No one will read it,” Paul told Fox Business host Larry Kudlow. 

“If 41 of us said no and held our ground until there was a compromise we could force Democrats to reduce spending,” Paul urged.

The Senator further warned “We have completely and totally abdicated the power of the purse. Republicans are emasculated. They have no power, and they are unwilling to gain that power back.”

Last night, the Senate approved a one-week extension of funding, therefore averting a partial government shutdown that was scheduled to begin this weekend.

The measure gives lawmakers an additional week to negotiate and pass the more comprehensive omnibus bill which funds all federal agencies through the fiscal year.

Commenting on GOP Senators who are supporting the bill, Paul stated “This brings upon us the lie that Republicans really are fiscally conservative.”

“The Democrats aren’t. They will not pretend to be fiscally conservative. Not one of them up here gives a darn about the debt,” the Senator further asserted.

“Republicans all profess to, but when you make them vote on the PAGO resolution (pay as you go), that we can’t have new spending without offsetting it, they always vote to exempt it,” Paul further proclaimed.

“I mean what do Republicans stand for?” Kudlow chimed in, adding “We need lower spending, we need less government, we need lower taxes and regulations, we need a growthier economy.”

“You got J. Powell and the Fed today, senator, basically saying their restrictive policies are gonna lead to a recession next year. Fiscal policy, if it were growthier…might stop the inflationary wave, might stop the Fed from printing money, where is the GOP, why is this so hard?” the host continued.

“Balancing the budget, how hard would it be?” Paul responded, adding “If we passed 2019’s budget… if we passed that today, the budget would balance. That’s how much spending has grown over the past three or four years.”

“All that COVID spending is baked in and we’re bankrupting the country,” Paul further warned, noting “we’re adding debt faster than we’ve ever added it in the history of the country.”

*********

(TLB) published this article from Summit News

Header featured image (edited) credit: Kudlow/Paul/FOX News screen shot

Emphasis added by (TLB) editors

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Report: U.S. Intelligence Agencies Are Keeping From Congress Key Information About Covid Origins

Report: U.S. Intelligence Agencies Are Keeping From Congress Key Information About Covid Origins

U.S. intelligence agencies are obstructing congressional oversight by failing to disclose relevant information about Covid-19’s origins and potential connections to a Chinese bioweapons program, finds a new report from the Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence. The HPSCI Republicans led by Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio found “indications that SARS-CoV-2 may have been tied to China’s biological weapons research program and spilled over to the human population during a lab-related incident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).”

U.S. intelligence agencies, along with corporate media and Big Tech, scrambled at Covid’s release to censor suggestions the virus leaked from a lab working on gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Publications such as The Federalist that reported on evidence for the lab leak theory were punished by internet censors.

Wenstrup confirmed during a press conference on Thursday that “right now, there’s no evidence that it came from nature.” He also said China’s communist government likely benefitted from misleading reports that Covid originated in a Chinese wet market, instead of from a government-run lab.

“Since the People’s Republic of China has not been transparent in sharing information, the IC is uniquely situated to provide relevant information. However, the IC has thus far failed to inform the public and failed to keep its Congressional oversight committees fully informed about what it knows,” the report states. “The IC owes the American people greater transparency on the information it already has and must be fully transparent to those in Congress with oversight responsibility.”

Instead of “adequately” addressing lab leak theories, the committee said various intelligence agencies — including the CIA, FBI, DHS, the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Defense Intelligence Agency, the Department of Energy’s Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, and the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security — “downplayed the possibility that SARS-CoV2 was connected to China’s bioweapons program based in part on input from outside experts.”

Not only did intelligence bureaucrats fail to disclose to Congress which “experts” they relied on to reach that conclusion, they also omitted important information from the declassified version of their classified assessment.

These discrepancies, the committee stated, “could have been shared without damaging national security” but were not supplied. Even after “dozens” of rounds of congressional demands, intelligence agencies failed to “disclose to the public its confidence level regarding this bioweapons assessment.” They also “failed to correct claims” in accordance with new information that “undermined a key assertion in the report.”

“These omissions likely skewed the public’s understanding of key issues and deepened mistrust,” the committee noted.

The committee wants its report to encourage intelligence agencies to explore the ties between communist China’s weapons program and Covid-19. If those agencies continue to stonewall, the HPSCI says it welcomes a report from the Government Accountability Office.

“We have this responsibility to protect our national security and our national health,” Wenstrup told reporters. “And that’s why we’re looking into things. If something doesn’t add up, we have the responsibility on behalf of the American people to raise the issues so that we hope to be able to get people in front of us that would explain the differences between the two reports.”

Wenstrup also said that the committee plans to use its subpoena power if intelligence agencies refuse to disclose why there are discrepancies between the classified and unclassified reports.


Jordan Boyd is a staff writer at The Federalist and co-producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Her work has also been featured in The Daily Wire and Fox News. Jordan graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @jordanboydtx.

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Elise Stefanik: Twitter Lied to Congress About Shadow Banning Conservatives 

Elise Stefanik: Twitter Lied to Congress About Shadow Banning Conservatives 

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) exclusively told Breitbart News Friday that Twitter’s former CEO Jack Dorsey lied to Congress in 2018 about the platform’s policy of shadow banning conservatives.

“Twitter shadow banned conservatives, clearly interfered in the election, and then lied under oath about it,” Stefanik said.

“The House GOP Majority will investigate this abuse of power and put an end to Big Tech’s bias and targeted censorship,” she added.

According to the second round of “Twitter Files” released Thursday, several conservative media personalities, like Charlie Kirk to Dan Bongino, were shadow-banned on the platform under the guise of “Visibility Filtering”:

Dorsey testified to Congress in September 2018 that Twitter does not shadow ban Republicans.

“I want to read a few quotes about Twitter’s practices and I just want you to tell me if they’re true or not,” Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), said. “Social media is being rigged to censor conservatives. Is that true of Twitter?”

Dorsey responded, “No.”

“Are you censoring people?” Doyle followed up.

“No,” Dorsey said.

“Twitter’s shadow-banning prominent Republicans… is that true?” Doyle asked again.

“No,” Dorsey said.

In the same hearing, Dorsey was asked by then-Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) if Twitter discriminated against Republicans’ points of view.

“Do you discriminate more on philosophy, like anti-conservative versus pro-liberal?” Barton questioned.

“No, our policies and our algorithms don’t take into consideration any affiliation, philosophy or viewpoint,” Dorsey responded.

Dorsey appears to have also lied to the media. When Fox News’s Sean Hannity in 2018 if “Twitter has ever been involved in shadow banning,” Dorsey said no.

“We do not shadowban according to political ideology or viewpoint,” he responded:

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.

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Republicans Insisting The Party ‘Move On’ Are Daring Voters To Do The Exact Opposite

Republicans Insisting The Party ‘Move On’ Are Daring Voters To Do The Exact Opposite

It needs to be a rule for the Larry Hogan wing of the Republican Party that anytime they drone about it being time to “move on,” they’re required to say out loud exactly what it means to move on.

Because when the Wall Street Journal or Mitt Romney repeats that condescending line with absolute disdain, they’re not just talking about zeroing out the political viability of a single man who offends their delicate sensibilities. They’re talking about a complete memory-holing of the GOP’s shift from country club to Costco and the abandonment of all the issues that brought hundreds of thousands of new voters into the fold.

To this day, the Journal’s editorial board champions the influx of destitute migrants for the sake of “the U.S. labor shortage” (which has nothing to do with a lack of workers), even as millions of Republican voters say time and time again that they’re not interested.

This crowd, the Adam Kinzingers, the Liz Cheneys, and various other backbenchers of the party, aren’t really insisting that we “move on.” They’re demanding that we go back. Back to when the ruling Republican agenda was corporate tax cuts, a devotion to Israel, and everything else a very, very distant third.

Those Republicans are perfectly satisfied giving Democrats everything they want — welfare, both social and corporate — so long as they get to look strong by sending more money to military contractors in their districts (its own form of welfare).

Tired of the permanent bureaucracy’s hostility toward middle-income suburbanites? That’s just the way it is. Mad that Big Tech is abusing its communication monopolies to cancel out the voices of millions of people? Take it up with Twitter — if you can figure out how to contact someone.

And don’t even get started on the messy “culture wars” that are so beneath them.

What it means to “move on” is to drop all efforts to control the southern border, revert to when the U.S. wrote blank checks to NATO while asking for nothing in return (already there!), and resume the GOP’s favorite pastime of developing more ways to hack at government assistance for the elderly.

Refusing to accept that as a path forward has nothing to do with being hung up on any one person. But each and every time one of those Republicans says we need to “move on,” the people they need to do anything dig in their heels even harder over one person. The voters are not going to move on because they won’t go back.


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Ron DeSantis Won’t Talk to the MSM — It’s Driving Them Insane



Ron DeSantis Won’t Talk to the MSM

It’s Driving Them Insane

Ron DeSantis truly is the gold standard for Republicans: a natural-born fighter, he picks his battles carefully, plays to win, and never, ever apologizes. Part of his winning strategy also includes freezing out the establishment media, and, boy, they are really rankled about that.

Semafor, a new lefty media offering helmed by former Buzzfeed and NYT journo Ben Smith, the guy who gave the ill-advised green light to publish the unfounded Steele dossier back in 2016, recently published a piece lamenting the fact that DeSantis has summarily dismissed their ilk in favor of right-leaning outlets. Writer Max Tani notes, “Over the last year, DeSantis has given just a handful of interviews. Almost all of them have been with Fox News primetime or morning hosts or major conservative podcasters.”

Boo-freaking-hoo. Why in the world would he take time from his busy schedule to talk with the likes of Semafor or The View or CNN, some of the most dishonest brokers in modern media? Ben Smith is an activist masquerading as a journalist, as this car crash of an interview with Tucker Carlson clearly shows. The Ben Smiths and Max Tanis of the world aren’t interested in honest dialogue; they exist to shill for radical leftist causes and have no intention of giving Republicans fair coverage. And Ron DeSantis is 100 percent correct to ignore them. They’ve earned it.

One of the things that seems to especially irk Semafor’s Tani is the fact that DeSantis will talk to independent media outlets like the Florida Standard and Florida’s Voice, two right-leaning sites covering news and politics in Florida. This is bad, apparently, because the outlets are funded by conservatives. Gasp! Get the smelling salts! Bring in the fainting couch! The leftist-funded media is distraught to discover that the right also funds media ventures.

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Of course Ron DeSantis won’t talk to these people — they are “journo-activists,” bought and paid for by the same people and corporate interests that are quite literally burning down our country. More Republicans and conservatives should follow DeSantis’s lead and shun these phonies….

Continue Reading at REDSTATE

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Header featured image (edited) credit:  DeSantis (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

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