The videos of Tyre Nichols’ brutal beating and subsequent death in Memphis, Tennessee, has renewed conversations surrounding federal police accountability legislation such as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
“We need a national conversation on this,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Sunday on ABC’s This Week.
Congress is also back in session on Monday as lawmakers continue discussions about raising the debt ceiling to avert an economic crisis. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is slated to meet with President Joe Biden on Wednesday to discuss spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit.
Here’s what else is going on in politics.
- The public is equally concerned about Biden and Trump’s classified documents: Identical percentages – 67% – are concerned with classified documents found in both Biden and former President Donald Trump’s possession, an NBC News poll found.
- Rep. Ilhan Omar’s committee assignment to be decided: The House is expected to vote sometime this week on whether to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. It’s unclear if there are enough votes for the effort that’s backed by Speaker McCarthy and Omar’s GOP opponents.
- Trump is back on the campaign trail: The former president made appearances in New Hampshire and South Carolina on Saturday after his campaign has largely been quiet since launching in late 2022.
Parents of Tyre Nichols to attend State of the Union
The grieving parents of Tyre Nichols will attend President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Feb. 7.
They were invited by Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Steven Horsford, who is requesting a meeting with the president this week in a renewed push for police reform after the officers were charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and oppression in the death of Nichols.
“Mr. Nichols was a beloved father, friend, and coworker, who should still be alive today,” Horsford, a Nevada Democrat, said in a statement. “The Congressional Black Caucus is disturbed by the gut-wrenching allegations underlying Tyre Nichols’ brutal death at the hands of law enforcement and we must work to ensure that our legal system holds accountable police officers who, with impunity, kill too many in our communities.”
Having Nichols’ parents at the State of the Union will likely ensure Biden mentions his death and police reform during his primetime speech next week.
— Candy Woodall
First Lady Jill Biden spotted at Philadelphia Eagles game
First Lady Jill Biden reminded everyone of her Philadelphia roots on Sunday when she was spotted at the NFC Championship game at Lincoln Financial Field with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
She also posted a photo from the game on Twitter showing a selfie with her grandson and the Birds’ battle cry, “Fly Eagles Fly.” The president was home in Wilmington.
It’s one of many Philadelphia sporting events Biden has attended through the years. Most recently, she attended the Eagles-Cowboys game in October, when her favorite home team defeated Dallas 26-17.
Both Bidens went to the Phillies game on Nov. 2, when Philadelphia lost to Houston. And multiple members of the Biden family were at the 2018 Super Bowl to see the Eagles defeat the Patriots.
It wasn’t known early Monday whether any of the Bidens would follow their beloved Birds to Arizona for the Super Bowl on Feb. 12.
— Candy Woodall
Peter Navarro contempt of Congress trial delayed over executive privilege issues
A federal judge on Friday delayed the contempt of Congress trial for Peter Navarro, a trade adviser to former President Donald Trump, to give more time for pre-trial debate over executive privilege issues.
The trial, which was set to begin Monday, comes after Navarro defied the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack. Navarro refused to testify before the committee, citing executive privilege to keep communications with Trump confidential.
Navarro is the second Trump aide to face criminal charges for eluding the committee. Political strategist Steve Bannon was convicted of contempt of Congress last summer and sentenced to four months in prison in October, which he has not served, pending appeal.
— Ella Lee
House moves to end COVID-19 pandemic era
The House is focusing its biggest work this week on a slate of bills designed to move the country past the pandemic and repeal COVID policies.
That work starts late this afternoon in the newly appointed House Rules Committee, which will take up bills to force federal workers back into their offices, declare an end to the public health emergency started by former President Donald Trump and continued by President Joe Biden, and repeal a federal mandate on vaccines for health care workers.
The House is moving after schools and businesses have reopened, mask mandates have been lifted and numerous private sector workers have remained remote mostly as a lifestyle choice rather than a public health-driven decision. House Republicans are mostly taking aim at Biden and federal policies.
“If the American people are expected to show up to work, federal employees should be held to the same standard,” Majority Leader Steve Scalise said in a statement.
He also noted that Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in her inaugural address Jan. 2 called for help from the White House to return federal workers to the city or give up some of the empty federal offices.
“We need decisive action by the White House to either get most federal workers back to the office most of the time or to realign their vast property holdings for use by the local government, by nonprofits, by businesses and by any user willing to revitalize it,” she said, noting the federal government owns or leases a third of the city’s office space.
— Candy Woodall
Biden to tout infrastructure law at Baltimore tunnel
President Joe Biden is focusing on his administration’s bipartisan accomplishments this week. He holds a 2:45 p.m. event in Baltimore to spotlight a major rail tunnel replacement funded by the bipartisan infrastructure law.
This focus comes as Biden gears up for his State of the Union address next month and a possible 2024 presidential campaign.
— Holly Rosenkrantz
Americans equally concerned about Biden and Trump’s classified documents
Sixty-seven percent of Americans are concerned about classified documents found in President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump’s possession, despite multiple differences in the number of documents found and how Biden and Trump responded to the discoveries, according to a poll released Sunday by NBC News.
The survey also found that 50% of respondents disapprove of Biden’s job performance compared to 45% who approve. The numbers don’t bode well for Republicans either, who have kick-started extensive investigations into the White House.
We asked:After Trump, Biden, Pence, are other former presidents holding classified documents?
Fifty-five percent of respondents said they believe House Republicans will spend too much time investigating Biden rather than focusing on other priorities. Fifty-four percent of respondents also said they believe Republicans will be too inflexible in their investigations.
– Ken Tran
‘We’re here’: Trump returns to the campaign trail in early voting states
Former President Donald Trump resumed public campaigning Saturday with renewed attacks on long-standing targets: President Joe Biden, the 2020 election, federal and state prosecutors, and a lengthening list of Republican opponents.
“We will do it again,” Trump told supporters while introducing his “South Carolina Leadership Team” during an event at the statehouse in downtown Columbia, capping a day-long trip that also took him to New Hampshire. Both states hold early primaries in the 2024 presidential election.
Trump in trouble:Republican support for his 2024 bid falls amid political, legal setbacks
The trip comes after more than two months of political turmoil for Trump following his mid-November announcement about his 2024 campaign. Agrowingnumber of Republicans say the former president cannot win next year and the party should look for another standard-bearer.
– David Jackson
House to vote on whether to removeOmar from Foreign Affairs Committee
The House is slated to vote sometime this week on whether to remove Democrat Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Omar’s Republican opponents and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are pushing for her removal because of her past remarks regarding American support for Israel. In a now deleted tweet from 2012, she accused Israel of having “hypnotized the world.” Omar has since apologized for the remarks.
Some House Republicans have questioned the legitimacy of McCarthy’s claims and worry that Omar’s removal could be seen as political revenge. And with the GOP’s narrow majority in the House, it is unclear if there are enough votes to remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee.
– Ken Tran