Political News

First on CNN: House Democrat to try to force GOP to go on record supporting Russia probe

Posted July 19

As the daily drip of revelations continues about how President Donald Trump's campaign interacted with Russian representatives during the 2016 presidential campaign, one House Democrat is calling on Republicans to put their money where their mouths are.

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton plans to offer an amendment that puts the House on record supporting Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe and committing that it will provide any resources it needs for the team of lawyers at the Justice Department. The proposal would be attached to the House GOP crafted budget resolution.

CNN obtained a copy of the amendment, which states, "It is the policy of the resolution that to restore confidence in our government and to preserve the sanctity of our electoral process Congress must ensure adequate funding for the Special Counsel appointed by the Department of Justice so that he can perform a thorough and nonpartisan investigation of Russian's campaign to affect the 2016 US presidential election and any individuals in the United States that may have colluded in those efforts."

Moulton, a former Marine who served multiple tours in Iraq, plans to argue at Wednesday's budget markup that one thing that both parties can agree on is the importance of democratic elections, essentially daring Republicans on the committee to oppose the amendment.

House Republicans unveiled their budget proposal Tuesday, and Wednesday's committee markup is expected to last late into the night, with Democrats attempting to attach a variety of amendments that are expected to be rejected on party line votes. It's unclear whether Democrats will press for other amendments related to Russia.

House GOP leaders are still determining whether they have the support to bring the budget to the floor for a full House vote if it clears the committee this week.

According to prepared remarks Moulton will also ask, "Did you ever ask what your father or grandfather did in World War II? Our grandchildren will ask us, 'Where did we stand when Russia attacked the United States?' That's how serious this is. Think about what your grandson will say when he reads about you someday. Did you have the courage to stand up for our country, our Constitution, and our values, or did you vote this down because your party bosses told you to?"

Congressional Republicans have been publicly supportive of Mueller. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both praised his appointment as special counsel, and there has been no indication on Capitol Hill that the GOP-controlled Congress would attempt to undermine his efforts or withhold any resources for his team.

Bipartisan investigations by both the House and Senate intelligence committees are ramping up, with both panels bringing in witnesses and holding hearings, including the public hearing with former FBI Director James Comey, who testified before the Senate in June.

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