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Wake Up To Politics - March 5, 2019

I'm Gabe Fleisher, reporting live from WUTP World HQ in my bedroom. It’s Tuesday, March 5, 2019. 335 days until the 2020 Iowa caucuses. 609 days until Election Day 2020. Have comments, questions, suggestions, or tips? Email me at gabe@wakeuptopolitics.com.

Inside Congress

--- House Democrats will hold a vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism on Wednesday in response to recent remarks on Israel by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). The resolution will not name Omar, but it will specifically condemn "the myth of dual loyalty" surrounding American Jews' support for Israel that she has been accused of propagating. Republicans are considering introducing harsher measures against Omar, including a censure motion or a formal demand that she be stripped of her seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, according to Politico. Top lawmakers from both parties have criticized Omar after comments she made last week insinuating pro-Israel advocates were encouraging "allegiance to a foreign country." Just three weeks ago, Omar was forced to apologize after Pelosi and other Democratic leaders released a statement saying she deployed "anti-Semitic tropes" in a separate comment on Israel; at the time, the House also passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism to rebuke her.

--- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) acknowledged Monday that "there will be enough votes [in the Senate] to pass the resolution of disapproval" blocking President Trump's declaration of a national emergency on the southern border. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) became the fourth Senate Republican to announce support for the House-passed resolution on Sunday; he estimated to reporters that 10 Republicans or "possibly more" would vote to overturn the national emergency in the final vote.

--- "'It is like high school’: Meet the House’s freshman cliques" (Politico)

The Investigations

--- The House Judiciary Committee sent document requests to 81 people and entities tied to President Trump on Monday, launching a sweeping investigation into whether the president and his administration have engaged in obstruction of justice, corruption, and abuse of power. The full list of recipients included the president's sons Donald Jr. and Eric Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner, campaign manager Brad Parscale, Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former White House counsel Don McGahn, and former White House communications director Hope Hicks, among others. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called the effort a "disgraceful and abusive investigation into tired, false allegations," adding: "The Democrats are not after the truth, they are after the President."

--- In addition, three House Democratic committee chairmen sent letters to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday, requesting documents and interviews related to communications between President Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

--- "The former Trump adviser Roger Stone faced questions on Monday over the publication of a book and new Instagram posts that may have violated a gag order prohibiting him from making public statements about the legal proceedings against him." (New York Times)

Inside the Trump Administration

--- "John Bolton puts his singular stamp on Trump’s National Security Council" (Washington Post)
--- "Kirstjen Nielsen digs in after surviving Trump's wrath" (Politico)

--- Long read: "The Making of the Fox News White House" (The New Yorker)

2020 Central

--- Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) announced in a video this morning that he won't run for president in 2020, opting to seek re-election to the Senate instead. "My best contribution is to run for re-election and do all I can to help the Senate be a full partner in addressing the challenges before us," Merkley said, after months of stoking speculation about a potential White House bid.

--- 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton also clarified her plans for 2020 on Monday, telling News 12 Westchester that she is "not running" for president again, although she plans to "keep on working and speaking and standing up for what I believe."

--- Having trouble following who's in and who's out of the 2020 race? Check out (and bookmark!) this tracker made by Wake Up To Politics...

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White House schedule

POTUS: At 1:45 p.m., President Trump participates in a signing ceremony for an executive order on a "National Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End Veteran Suicide."

VP: Vice President Mike Pence travels to Phoenix, Arizona today. At 1:45 p.m., he delivers remarks to the National Association of Manufacturers' Spring 2019 Board of Directors meeting. At 2:45 p.m., he participates in a roundtable with Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon and the National Association of Manufacturers Executive Council. At 4:15 p.m., he receives a briefing and tours a Drug Enforcement Agency facility.

FLOTUS: First Lady Melania Trump travels to Las Vegas, Nevada, where she will deliver remarks and participate in an opioids town hall.

Congress schedule

Senate: The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. today. The chamber will recess from 12:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. for weekly caucus meetings. At 4 p.m., the chamber will vote on confirmation of Allison Jones Rushing to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit, followed by a cloture vote on the nomination of Chad A. Readler to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit.

House: The House convenes at 12 p.m. today. From 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., the chamber is scheduled to vote on the following six pieces of legislation:

  1. H.R. 762 – Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2019
  2. H.R. 347 – Responsible Disposal Reauthorization Act of 2019
  3. H.R. 1138 – To reauthorize the West Valley demonstration project, and for other purposes
  4. H.R. 1381 – Burn Pit Registry Enhancement Act
  5. H.R. 1271 – Vet HP Act
  6. S. 49 – To designate the outstation of the Department of Veterans Affairs in North Ogden, Utah, as the Major Brent Taylor Vet Center Outstation

Supreme Court schedule

The Supreme Court is not holding any oral arguments or conferences this week.

*All times Eastern