Congress

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives voted Thursday 232-196 to pass a resolution formalizing its impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Just two Democrats voted no — Reps. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey.

Amid the debate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called it a "sad day."

Caroline Lewis/Cleo Foundation

Thousands of Florida students are demanding lawmakers and politicians act on climate issues. Across the state, students from Miami to Melbourne, and Fort Lauderdale to Jacksonville, skipped school as part of the Global Climate Strike. Protestors hope to put pressure on lawmaker to act faster on climate issues.

16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg inspired the climate strikes. The action comes ahead of a planned UN Climate Action Summit that takes place next week in New York.

A new report from a government watchdog, first obtained by NPR, says an expanded effort by Congress to forgive the student loans of public servants is remarkably unforgiving.

Congress created the expansion program last year in response to a growing outcry. Thousands of borrowers — nurses, teachers and other public servants — complained that the requirements for the original program were so rigid and poorly communicated that lawmakers needed to step in. But, documents show, even this expansion of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program isn't working.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Some members of Congress have plans to implement federal security recommendations that have come after the 2018 Parkland school shooting. 

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, a Broward-Palm Beach Democrat, came to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission meeting in Sunrise on Wednesday with families of the Parkland shooting victims. 

They took to a podium to talk about what Congress can do to increase school safety nationwide.

Andrew Harnik / MIAMI HERALD

Congressman Ted Deutch, a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, said Thursday he supports an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, citing “substantial evidence” that the president obstructed justice.

A formal vote to authorize an impeachment inquiry isn’t necessary, Deutch said, arguing that the Judiciary Committee’s examination of presidential conduct means an impeachment investigation effectively is already underway.

Gerard Albert III / WLRN News

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives oversight committee toured the Homestead child detention center Monday morning. 

Updated July 15 at 8:55 a.m. ET

A group of four minority Democratic congresswomen targeted by President Trump in a series of Sunday morning tweets denounced his racist remarks and accused him of "stoking white nationalism."

For the first time in a decade Congress will hold a hearing Wednesday on the subject of reparations for the descendants of slaves in the United States, a topic that has gained traction in the run-up to the 2020 elections.

The hearing is set for June 19, also known as "Juneteenth," the day when in 1865 former enslaved people in Texas first learned that they had been emancipated two years earlier.

Updated at 3:25 p.m. ET

The Justice Department is to begin providing documents to the House Judiciary Committee after a dispute over a subpoena — but members of Congress are reserving the ability to continue to pursue contempt litigation down the line.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote Tuesday on a civil contempt resolution against Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn.

Here's what you need to know about what it means and how it came about:

Democrats vs. DOJ

Democrats, who control the majority in the House, want Barr to give them an unredacted copy of the report filed by former special counsel Robert Mueller on his Russia investigation.

They also want the underlying evidence that Mueller's office developed.

Gerard Albert / WLRN

It's still too early for impeachment proceedings, U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch told the crowd at a packed town hall meeting Thursday in Oakland Park.

The Broward-Palm Beach County Democrat wants to educate people about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report first. 

"The purpose of these investigations is to follow them wherever they lead and ultimately, as the Mueller report tells us, to ensure that no one in the country, including the president of the United States, is above the law," he said.

The House is slated to vote Wednesday on a bill that would require background checks on all gun sales — including those that occur online or at gun shows. On Monday, a group of four CEOs sent a letter urging Congress to pass the proposal.

U.S. Congress

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings is undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, according to a statement released Monday by his office.

Hastings, 82, D-West Delray, said he will continue to serve as he receives treatment at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Center.

“I have been convinced that this is a battle worth fighting, and my life is defined by fighting battles worth fighting,” Hastings said. “Should it become clear that this cancer which has invaded my body cannot be defeated, I will tell you so.”

Top Democrats announced late Sunday a series of changes to House rules that could eliminate causes of major instability during the previous eight years of Republican rule in Congress.

"We are proposing historic changes that will modernize Congress, restore regular order and bring integrity back to this institution," said incoming House Rules Chairman James McGovern, D-Mass., in a statement explaining the changes.

Rick Scott is Florida's Republican governor, not a senator-elect.

Yet there he was at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's left shoulder Wednesday when the Kentucky Republican welcomed GOP senators who will take their seats in January when the new Congress is sworn in.

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