OTD in History… June 8, 1949, the FBI releases list accusing major Hollywood actors of being Communists

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OTD in History… June 8, 1949, the FBI releases list accusing major Hollywood actors of being Communists

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Actor Fredric March being questioned by House of Un-American Activities HUAC Chairmen Martin Dies, Jr.

On this day in history June 8, 1949, the FBI released a report naming a number of prominent Hollywood actors as members of the Communist Party. The report came two years after a group of screenwriters dubbed the Hollywood Ten were blacklisted. This new report accused Frederic March, John Garfield, Paul Muni, Edward G. Robinson, Paul Robeson, Danny Kaye and other actors, screenwriters, and directors. The Hollywood example brought prominence to the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover’s anti-Communism crusade. The post-World War II era, with the start of the Cold War, made the Soviet Union the conservatives’ enemy number one, commencing the “Second Red Scare.” The assault on the motion picture industry was not only filled with concern over Communism in the United States but also filled with anti-Semitism towards an industry with a major Jewish population.

The cry that Communism infiltrated Hollywood was not new; it started over 10 years earlier in 1938 when the then-chairman of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) Martin Dies, Jr. released his report stating there was communism in Hollywood. Two years later, a former Communist Party member, John L. Leech testified that 42 members of the industry were Communists; he repeated this in a grand jury testimony. Among those accused were major actors of the time, including “Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Katharine Hepburn, Melvyn Douglas and Fredric March.” Dies promised to clear them if they meet him in an executive session with him; it took two weeks to clear all the actors except Lionel Stander.

The 1946 Midterm Elections brought the FBI and HUAC’s flimsy investigation and accusations to full speed. The election brought Conservative Republicans control of both Houses in Congress. The blacklist began in the summer of 1946 when the publisher and founder of The Hollywood Reporter William R. Wilkerson wrote a series of column accusing a number in the industry of being either Communists or sympathizers, which became known as Billy’s Blacklist.

Meanwhile, at the same time, Attorney General Tom Clark asked Hoover to compile a list of any “disloyal” Americans, in case of a “national emergency. In 1947, the HUAC built on the Hollywood Reporter list and called some strategic players in Hollywood to testify as “friendly witnesses.” Among those included Walt Disney, who had been making accusations within his studio for years, and the then President of the Screen Actors’ Guild Ronald Reagan. Reagan refused to name anyone specific but claimed, “That small clique referred to has been suspected of more or less following the tactics that we associate with the Communist Party.”

To contrast to the HUAC’s red-baiting, a number of Hollywood heavyweights created the Committee for the First Amendment to protest the hearings. Over 200 members of the industry signed the “Hollywood Fights Back” ad in Variety against the HUAC hearings. Some of the biggest actors of the time, “Humphrey Bogart, Henry Fonda, Judy Garland, Katharine Hepburn, Gene Kelly, Groucho Marx, Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra, Orson Welles, William Wyler, and Billy Wilder” signed the ad. Two of the later accused, March and Robinson also signed the ad, which read, “Any investigation into the political beliefs of the individual is contrary to the basic principles of our democracy; any attempt to curb freedom of expression and to set arbitrary standards of Americanism is in itself disloyal to both the spirit and the letter of our Constitution.” Ultimately, it led to more suspicions because of member Sterling Hayden’s involvement with the Communist Party.

HUAC developed a list of 43 screenwriters, and lesser extent actors, directors, producers, who they suspected of being Communists. In October 1947, of the 43 only 10, in the end, refused to testify and answer if they had belonged to the Communist Party, they cited the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as the basis of their refusal. The Hollywood Ten were held in contempt of Congress and sentenced each to a year in prison. The official blacklist began.

Then in 1949, came the FBI report mostly based on “confidential informants,” as sources. The informant was probably Judith Coplon, who was on trial for espionage and possessed a list of actors supposedly involved in the Communist Party. The report argued the Communist Party “have been successful in using well-known Hollywood personalities to further Communist Party aims.” The report emphasized actor Fredric March, for the second time he was accused of being a Communist. March was a two-time Academy Award winner, who just won a Best Actor award in 1946 for the “Best Years of Our Lives,” and was nominated numerous times including for the original “A Star is Born” in 1937. March advocated aid to the Soviet Union after the war, which heightened suspicion.

Even President Harry Truman dismissed the FBI’s list in a press conference, but the blacklist and witch-hunt would continue. Edward G. Robinson, one of the accused claimed, “These rantings, ravings, accusations, smearing and character assassinations can only emanate from sick, diseased minds of people who rush to the press with indictments of good American citizens. I have played many parts in my life, but no part have I played better or been more proud of than that of being an American citizen.”

The FBI report was only a start, the HUAC investigation continued into the 1950s, with more friendly witnesses and former accused outing Communists in the industry with the second round of HUAC hearings in 1951–52; as those in the industry turned on each other in attempts to salvage their careers and avoid the blacklist. There would be additional investigations by non-governmental organizations, most prominently the American Legion. Studios began demanding loyalty oaths; actors would publicly denounce any involvement with the Communist Party as Humphrey Bogart did. The hysteria was at a fever pitch in the mid-1950s with hundreds blacklisted predominantly screenwriters. Only by the latter part of the decade close to 1960 would the blacklist start to be lifted and slowly those on the list returned to be credited for their work, but it took years for the scars to heal in an industry torn apart over a fact that was never proven.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion, and news. She has a over dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

 

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Politics May 10, 2018: GOP closing in on Democrats in new 2018 Midterm elections poll with Trump the main issue

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GOP closing in on Democrats in new 2018 Midterm elections poll with Trump the main issue

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

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In less than six months before the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats are losing their poll advantage against the Republicans. In less than four months they lost a significant advantage, that indicates that the election could still go either way. On Wednesday, May 9, 2018, CNN / SSRS released a new poll on the midterm elections, that indicated 47 percent of “registered voters” supported their local Democratic candidate versus 44 percent saying they support the Republican candidate. In February, Democrats had a huge 16 point lead, that shrunk in March to six percent and now is three percent, within a poll’s margin of error. President Donald Trump’s approval rating is partially the cause as Democrats have yet to focuses on an issue to rally voters aside from their opposition to the president.

According to the latest poll, American voters still do not know if the GOP should retain control on Congress; the House of Representatives and Senate. Democrats only have a slight edge when it comes over who “the country would be better off” with 31percent versus 30 percent saying the GOP. While 34 percent saying it does not matter who controls Congress, with nearly half of independent voters 48 percent among them.

Still, more Democrats are very enthusiastic about the election versus Republicans, 50 to 44 percent; Republicans have boosted their enthusiasm factor up from 36 percent in March. As CNN notes, “53% of those who are very enthusiastic about voting say they’d back the Democrat in their district vs. 41% who say they favor the GOP candidate.” Ten percent more of enthusiastic voters want that Democrats to control Congress. Enthusiasm is always an important factor in elections as it brings voters to the polls, the extra incentive is necessary especially in midterm elections.

This year’s midterms are definitely a referendum on President Trump, with 64 percent claiming Trump is a very or extremely important factor in their voting this fall, while among enthusiastic voters that numbers jump to 78 percent. Enthusiastic voters are the ones that oppose the president the most with 51 percent wanting a candidate who opposes his policies, versus 46 percent, who want a candidate that agrees with him. Still, those numbers are down from January, 52 percent of voters would support a candidate who opposes Trump versus 41 who support him, the numbers are now 48 to 43 percent.

Helping the Republicans is that Trump’s poll numbers among all Americans are actually holding “steady” at 41 percent approving and 53 disapproving the same as in the last poll in March. The president’s numbers are far better among voters, with a 44 percent approval rating and a 51 percent disapproval rating. However, he is gaining points in his handling of the issues. Meanwhile, six in ten Americans find the country is going in the right direction, 57 percent up eight points from March. More Democrats find the country is going in a good direction, 40 percent up from 25 in February.

Trump’s numbers are improving because of increased Democratic support, especially on the issues. The economy is the issue where Trump has the best approval rating, at 52 percent up from 48 percent. Eleven percent more Democrats approve of the president’s handling of the economy now with 26 percent. Trump’s number is also improving on foreign trade 43 percent up from 38, and immigration 40 percent up from 36. His approval rating has also improved on foreign affairs to 42 percent up from 39 percent. Some of these numbers are the best since his first 100 days in office.

Trump’s best issue in the polls, the economy seems to be the most important issue to voters with 84 percent calling it extremely or very important, that number has grown from February, where 79 percent felt that way. Taxes is a rising issue with 73 percent saying is important, up from 67 percent. Immigration also remains hot-button issue, 76 percent up from 72 percent of voters calling it important. Gun control remains an important issue, 76 percent of all voters consider it important, only down two points from February, when there was a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. The 15 point divide between the two parties has virtually faded with 79 of Democrats and 76 percent of Republicans calling it an important issue. The rest of the issues have declined in importance; health care down 80 from 83 percent, sexual harassment 58 down from 64 percent, and even the Russia investigation are losing importance 40 down from 45 percent. The changes in importance on issues is mostly partisan based.

The Congressional party leaders in the House on both sides fare worse in their popularity than the president. Only 30 percent view Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi favorably versus 49 percent unfavorable, with only 57 percent of Democrats having a positive view of their leader. Outgoing Speaker of the House Paul Ryan fares better with 38 percent viewing him favorably versus 46 percent unfavorably. Ryan numbers are better mostly from greater GOP support, with 67 percent of the party having a positive view of the speaker. Despite voters feeling about their leaders, the Democratic Party is viewed more favorably, 44 percent to the GOP’s 39 percent.

While voters usually want candidates that share their views, Democrats care about less about this than Republicans, 76 to 67 percent. Democrats have been facing problems trying to decide which issue they should focus on in the midterm campaign. Most, however, agree an anti-Trump campaign will not be enough. Princeton University historian and CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer told The Hill, believes that vagueness on the issues helps the party, “Politically, their preference is to have some agenda items and some broad ideas that the party will fight for, and enough vagueness that it’s hard to be pinned down. It’s literally a document to rally people, and I think the good ones are written that way.”

Writing in an editorial on CNN, entitled “Democrats, focus on midterms — not Trump impeachment talk,” Zelizer cautions “The biggest challenge for Democrats is to avoid letting anti-Trump fervor drown out their own message.” Democrats need 23 seats to gain control of the House and at least a seven-point poll advantage over the GOP, which they lost in this latest poll. Trump’s improved polls numbers are a hamper to any anti-message against him, get is now also no longer the most unpopular president, his poll numbers are similar to Democratic President Jimmy Carter in May 1978, still, not the most promising comparison to the one-term president. With Trump’s numbers in a “Goldilocks zone,” where he can neither harm nor help his party, and Republicans will have it easier as a result to retain power, while Democrats will have to work harder for control of Congress.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion, and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Politics January 8, 2017: 115th Congress convenes, Ryan reelected speaker and Senate sworn-in

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115th Congress convenes, Ryan reelected speaker and Senate sworn-in

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Congress met on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, for the 115th session and the first of Donald Trump’s administration with their leaders voted back. The ceremonial duties of the first day in the House and Senate went off smoothly with Paul Ryan (R-WI) being reelected Speaker of the House of Representatives and Nancy Pelosi (D- CA) as the Democratic Minority Leader. Meanwhile, in the Senate, Vice President Joe Biden swore-in his last group of Senators including newly elected freshmen as well as 27 other Senators who won reelection in November.

In the House, the new Congress was swore-in, and they formally voted in their leaders. Ryan retained his speakership as expected with an almost unanimous vote the Republican caucus. Ryan received 239 votes with only Republican objector, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.)
W ho decided to vote for Ryan opponent for the speakership in 2015 Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.). Ryan now embarks on his first full term as speaker presiding over a majority of 241 Republicans, while Pelosi’s Democrats gained six seats with 194 members.

Pelosi retained her minority leader post with 189 votes with only four Democrats defecting. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) and Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-New York) cast their votes for Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) who challenged Pelosi this past fall. Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wisc.) voted for Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), while Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) chose Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).

In the Senate, Vice President Biden presided over the swearing-in ceremonies of freshmen and those re-elected in November for the last time. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) greeted the 115th Congress and their families that attended the ceremony. McConnell expressed, “I’m pleased to welcome back familiar faces and express warm greetings to new members.” McConnell let the Senators know there is “hard work” to be done this term, but now they should “take a moment to celebrate the rich tradition of this day.”

The Senate chamber was filled with both the newcomers and past Senators including those that are just retiring. Past Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) joined the festivities while former Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Former Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) also attended the ceremony. With this 115th session, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) becomes the “longest serving female senator.”

Biden swore-in the freshmen senators in a separate ceremony in the Old Senate Chamber on Tuesday afternoon. Among the freshmen, two new Republicans, “Todd Young (R-Ind.) and John Kennedy (R-La.),” and five new Democrats “Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.).”

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Politics August 17, 2016: FBI hands Congress over Clinton interview notes investigation report

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FBI hands Congress over Clinton interview notes investigation report

By Bonnie K. Goodman

WASHINGTON D.C., July 7, 2016-- U.S. FBI Director James Comey swears an oath before the House Oversight Committee over investigation into Hillary Clinton's email system, on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, July 7, 2016. U.S. FBI Director James Comey on Thursday defended his decision not to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton, but refuted several of her statements to justify the use of private email setup as secretary of state. (Xinhua/Bao Dandan via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON D.C., July 7, 2016– U.S. FBI Director James Comey swears an oath before the House Oversight Committee over investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email system, on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, July 7, 2016. U.S. FBI Director James Comey on Thursday defended his decision not to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton, but refuted several of her statements to justify the use of private email setup as secretary of state. (Xinhua/Bao Dandan via Getty Images)

The FBI handed over its report on their decision not to recommend criminal charges for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over her private email server to Congress. The FBI sent the classified report originally for the Department of Justice and interview memos, called 302s to the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016, following through on their request. The House is also is also request the DOJ file charges because Clinton perjured herself in her sworn testimony to the House’s Benghazi committee.

FBI Acting Assistant Director Jason V. Herring included a letter to “House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz” and “ranking Democratic member, Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings” re-explaining the bureau’s decision not to charge Clinton. Herring wrote, “The FBI conducted this investigation, as it does all investigations, in a competent, honest and independent way. As the director stated, the FBI did find evidence that Secretary Clinton and her colleagues were extremely careless in their handling of certain, very sensitive, highly classified information.”

Continuing Herring clarified, “The term ‘extremely careless’ was intended to be a common sense way of describing the actions of Secretary Clinton and her colleagues. The director did not equate ‘extreme carelessness’ with the legal standard of ‘gross negligence’ that is required by the statute. In this case, the FBI assessed that the facts did not support a recommendation to prosecute her or others within the scope of the investigation for gross negligence.” Herring also suggested that usually what Clinton would be subject to is “severe administrative consequences.”

Among the documents, the FBI handed over was the summary of Clinton’s three and a half hour interview with the bureau that took place last month. FBI Director James Comey promised the reports and memos when he testified on July 7 before the House Oversight panel, saying he would do “everything I can possibly give you under the law and to doing it as quickly as possible.”

The documents are considered classified and will never be made public. Republicans are trying to keep Clinton’s email scandal in the limelight the election, hoping it can damage her bid for the presidency despite leading Republican Donald Trump in the polls. The FBI issued a statement warning that the information should not be made public, writing, “The material contains classified and other sensitive information and is being provided with the expectation it will not be disseminated or disclosed without FBI concurrence.”

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) issued a statement, however, arguing the documents should be made available to the public. Grassley wrote, “On initial review, it seems that much of the material given to the Senate today, other than copies of the large number of emails on Secretary Clinton’s server containing classified information, is marked ‘unclassified/for official use.’ The FBI should make as much of the material available as possible. The public’s business ought to be public, with few exceptions. The people’s interest would be served in seeing the documents that are unclassified. The FBI has made public statements in describing its handling of the case, so sharing documents in support of those statements wherever appropriate would make sense.”
Clinton campaign responded with a statement, “This is an extraordinarily rare step that was sought solely by Republicans for the purposes of further second-guessing the career professionals at the FBI. We believe that if these materials are going to be shared outside the Justice Department, they should be released widely so that the public can see them for themselves, rather than allow Republicans to mischaracterize them through selective, partisan leaks.”

The spokesperson for the House Oversight Committee confirmed receipt in a statement, “The FBI has turned over a ‘number of documents’ related to their investigation of former Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email server. Committee staff is currently reviewing the information that is classified SECRET. There are no further details at this time.”

Congressional Republican are looking to make sure Clinton pays as CNN pointed out a “political price” for her actions during her tenure at the State Department since the FBI did not recommend criminal charges. Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia sent a letter to the Department of Justice asking the DOJ to charge Clinton with perjury claiming she perjured herself during her testimony to the House’s Benghazi committee.

Republicans are accusing Clinton of lying four times in her testimony to the committee saying what she said countered what she told the FBI. In the letter, Chaffetz and Goodlatte wrote, “The evidence collected by the (FBI) during its investigation of Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email system during her time as secretary of state appears to directly contradict several aspects of her sworn testimony.”

On Monday, Aug. 15, 35 Republicans led by Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) called on Comey to release Clinton’s interview notes because they believe she perjured herself. Tuesday morning before the documents were handed over Marino appeared on Fox News where he said about Clinton, “That she lied under oath to Congress when she came into testify. And if she lied, she perjured herself. She lied to Congress, therefore she can be prosecuted and spend as long as 10 years in prison for doing that. The director of the FBI, the Justice Department, in my opinion, they’re taking direction from the White House saying, ‘Do nothing about this.'”

Politics June 23, 2016: House Democrats hold sit-in protesting over gun control pledge no bill no break

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House Democrats hold sit-in protesting over gun control pledge no bill no break

By Bonnie K. Goodman

June 23, 2016 9:43 AM MST
Democrats staged a sit-in on the House floor on Wednesday and demanded a vote on gun control legislation.

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Democrats staged a sit-in on the House floor on Wednesday and demanded a vote on gun control legislation.
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Politics November 30, 2015: Speaker Ryan invites Obama to his last State of the Union address as president

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Speaker Ryan invites Obama to his last State of the Union address as president

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, November 30, 2015, 5:13 PM MST

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan sent President Barack Obama an invitation letter for his last State of the Union Address; it will be the earliest date the address has been delivered in nearly 40 years, Nov. 30, 2015
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan sent President Barack Obama an invitation letter for his last State of the Union Address; it will be the earliest date the address has been delivered in nearly 40 years, Nov. 30, 2015
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Politics October 29, 2015: Paul Ryan elected 54th Speaker of the House calls for unity in first address

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Paul Ryan elected 54th Speaker of the House calls for unity in first address

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, October 29, 2015, 7:39 PM MST

Paul Ryan delivers his first speech as Speaker of the House of Representatives where he called for unity, Oct. 29, 2015

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Paul Ryan delivers his first speech as Speaker of the House of Representatives where he called for unity, Oct. 29, 2015
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images / RepPaulRyan YouTube

Politics October 29, 2015: John Boehner bids farewell to House of Representatives with no regrets

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John Boehner bids farewell to House of Representatives with no regrets

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, October 29, 2015, 2:51 PM MST

Outgoing Speaker of the House John Boehner delivers his farewell address; Boehner is retiring after 25 years in Congress and five years as Speaker of the House, Oct. 29, 2015

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Outgoing Speaker of the House John Boehner delivers his farewell address; Boehner is retiring after 25 years in Congress and five years as Speaker of the House, Oct. 29, 2015
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images / John Boehner YouTube

Politics October 29, 2015: Republicans nominate Paul Ryan for next Speaker of the House

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Republicans nominate Paul Ryan for next Speaker of the House 

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, October 29, 2015, 7:37 AM MST

 

House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan, R-WI was officially nominated by House Republicans to become the next Speaker of the House of Representatives, becoming one of the youngest in history, Oct. 28, 2015
House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan, R-WI was officially nominated by House Republicans to become the next Speaker of the House of Representatives, becoming one of the youngest in history, Oct. 28, 2015
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Politics October 27, 2015: GOP Congress, Obama reach two-year budget and debt ceiling deal averting crisis

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GOP Congress, Obama reach two-year budget and debt ceiling deal averting crisis

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, October 27, 2015, 9:19 AM MST

 

In his last act as Speaker of the House John Boehner crafted and negotiated a bipartisan deal that would include a two-year budget and raising the debt ceiling through 2017, Oct. 26, 2015
In his last act as Speaker of the House, John Boehner crafted and negotiated a bipartisan deal that would include a two-year budget and raising the debt ceiling through 2017, Oct. 26, 2015
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Politics October 26, 2015: Trey Gowdy believes Clinton lied perjured herself during Benghazi testimony

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Trey Gowdy believes Clinton lied perjured herself during Benghazi testimony

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, October 26, 2015, 11:27 AM MST

House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy thinks former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lied to the Benghazi committee about the State Department having copies of her emails during her tenure, Oct. 25, 2015
House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy thinks former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lied to the Benghazi Committee about the State Department having copies of her emails during her tenure, Oct. 25, 2015
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Politics October 23, 2015: Paul Ryan officially announces House Speaker candidacy after securing GOP votes

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By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, October 23, 2015, 11:47 AM MST

After securing the support of all three Republican House caucuses, House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan, R-WI formally announced he is running for Speaker of the House; his election is now just a formality, Oct. 22, 2015
After securing the support of all three Republican House caucuses, House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan, R-WI formally announced he is running for Speaker of the House; his election is now just a formality, Oct. 22, 2015
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Politics October 21, 2015: Paul Ryan to run for Speaker of the House if all GOP caucuses endorse bid

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Paul Ryan to run for Speaker of the House if all GOP caucuses endorse bid

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, October 21, 2015, 7:33 AM MST

House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan has finally succumbed to the pressure and will run for Speaker of the House, but the conference has to agree to certain conditions before he makes it official, Oct. 20, 2015
House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan has finally succumbed to the pressure and will run for Speaker of the House, but the conference has to agree to certain conditions before he makes it official, Oct. 20, 2015
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Politics October 11, 2015: Are Kevin McCarthy and Renee Ellmers resigning House seats after affair rumors?

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Are Kevin McCarthy and Renee Ellmers resigning House seats after affair rumors? 

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, October 11, 2015, 7:53 PM MST

 

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy might soon be resigning from his Congressional seat along with Rep. Renee Ellmers after accusations of an affair forced him to withdraw from speaker race, Oct. 9, 2015
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy might soon be resigning from his Congressional seat along with Rep. Renee Ellmers after accusations of an affair forced him to withdraw from speaker race, Oct. 9, 2015
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Politics October 8, 2015: Kevin McCarthy drops out of race for House speaker, will Boehner remain speaker?

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Kevin McCarthy drops out of race for House speaker, will Boehner remain speaker?

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, October 8, 2015, 6:43 PM MST

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy shocked the Congressional Republicans by announcing that he was dropping out of the race to succeed Speaker John Boehner, Oct. 8, 2015
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy shocked the Congressional Republicans by announcing that he was dropping out of the race to succeed Speaker John Boehner, Oct. 8, 2015
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Politics October 7, 2015: Hillary Clinton attacks McCarthy’s remarks on Benghazi probe, poll numbers

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Hillary Clinton attacks McCarthy’s remarks on Benghazi probe, poll numbers

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, October 7, 2015, 8:41 AM MST

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton is taking advantage of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's gaffe linking the Benghazi Committee to her falling poll numbers and she is trying use to help her floundering campaign as House Democrats seek revenge,
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton is taking advantage of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s gaffe linking the Benghazi Committee to her falling poll numbers, and she is trying use to help her floundering campaign as House Democrats seek revenge,
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Politics May 15, 2015: House passes Defense spending bill Obama plans veto possible government shutdown

House passes Defense spending bill Obama plans veto possible government shutdown

May 15, 2015
The House of Representatives passed their first appropriations bill for the 2016 fiscal year budget. The House passed their $612 billion defense-spending bill, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016 on Friday, May 15, 2015 with a vote…

Politics May 15, 2015: House passes Iran nuclear deal review bill sends to Obama to sign

House passes Iran nuclear deal review bill sends to Obama to sign

May 15, 2015
Congress has its wish of passing the Iran Nuclear Review Act, giving them the opportunity to review the upcoming nuclear weapons deal with Iran. The Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill last week with a vote of 98 to 1…

Politics April 30, 2015: House passes joint GOP Congressional budget first since Bush era

House passes joint GOP Congressional budget first since Bush era

April 30, 2015

The House of Representatives has passed the first Republican joint Congressional budget in a decade on Thursday, April 30, 2015. The budget passed with a vote of 226-197 mostly along party lines, but with 14 Republicans voting with the…

Politics April 30, 2015: House passes joint GOP Congressional budget first since Bush era

House passes joint GOP Congressional budget first since Bush era

April 30, 2015

The House of Representatives has passed the first Republican joint Congressional budget in a decade on Thursday, April 30, 2015. The budget passed with a vote of 226-197 mostly along party lines, but with 14 Republicans voting with the…

Politics March 19, 2015: GOP budget blueprints advance in the House, Senate with Democratic opposition

GOP budget blueprints advance in the House, Senate with Democratic opposition

March 19, 2015

The House Budget Committee advanced the House budget blueprint on Thursday, March 19, 2015, that the new committee Tom Price, (R-GA) introduced on Monday, March 16, with cuts across the board that will balance the budget within nine years…

Politics February 11, 2015: Boehner tells Senate Democrats to get off their ass pass the DHS funding bill

Boehner tells Senate Democrats to get off their a** pass the DHS funding bill February 11, 2015

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH used some colorful language to express what he thinks of the Senate Democrats during the weekly GOP leadership Press Conference on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. A day after the Senate sent back…

Politics February 10, 2015: Senate DHS funding bill stuck sent back to House over immigration roadblock

Senate DHS funding bill stuck sent back to House over immigration roadblock February 10, 2015

Three strikes you are out is the philosophy the Republican Senate leadership is taking after the bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security failed to advance after three votes, because of the immigration related amendments attached to the…

Politics December 4, 2014: GOP House passes bill to roll back immigration executive actions Obama vows veto

GOP House passes bill to roll back immigration executive actions Obama vows veto

December 4, 2014, 3:41 PM MST

Speaker John Boehner steered the House of Representatives’ passing of a bill nullifying President Barack Obama sweeping executive action on immigration and deportation, Dec. 4, 2014

Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Republican controlled House of Representatives voted 219 to 197 on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 to pass a bill that would scale back President Barack Obama‘s recent executive actions on immigration reform. The bill and its message are mostly symbolic since the lame duck Democratic Senate will not pass the bill and President Obama has promised to veto it.

The bill H.R.5759 entitled “Executive Amnesty Prevention Act of 2014” is meant “To establish a rule of construction clarifying the limitations on executive authority to provide certain forms of immigration relief” basically makes the president’s actions “null and void and without legal effect.” Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla. Sponsored the bill that also had an addition 17 co-sponsors. Of the votes cast three Democrats crossed party lines to vote with Republicans supporting the bill while seven Republicans voted with the Democrats opposing it.

The president’s actions that would pre vent the deportations of 4.7 million illegal immigrants in the country who have children who are citizens or permanent residents of the US. The actions would provide them work permits, social security numbers and allow them to pay taxes for the next three years. The 10-point executive actions essentially give amnesty to the illegal immigrants. Among those in the immigrant community, many feel the actions do not go far enough, and the public in general opposes the president taking unilateral action on this issue.

The Republican Congress and its leadership strongly oppose them. President Obama announced his plans just two weeks after the GOP won more seats in the House and took control of the Senate, Republicans do not believe the president has the mandate or the Constitutional rights to make laws Congress has to decide upon and is their responsibility. Among the GOP’s varied solutions include shutting down the government in an attempt to defund the actions, suing, censuring or even impeaching the president.

President Obama has promised to veto the bill if by any chance it passes the Senate. The White House issued a statement of administration policy against the bill on Thursday. The policy paper accused the GOP’s bill of trying promote lawlessness and cause economic problems, while praising the president’s actions, and declaring “If the President were presented with H.R. 5759, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”

The White House listed that “H.R. 5759 would make the broken immigration system worse, not better. By attempting to restrict the Administration’s ability to conduct national security and criminal background checks on undocumented immigrants…. would make the Nation’s communities less safe. By attempting to make it more difficult for undocumented workers to register and pay taxes, the bill would hurt the Nation’s economy as well.”

In an attempt to be dramatic and vilify the GOP as much as possible, the White House also listed all the dire consequences of the bill passing. Continuing, the administration stated; “The bill’s objective is clearly to nullify and block implementation of these executive actions, which would have devastating consequences. It would lead to the separation of families and prevent additional DREAMers from fully contributing to American life. It would also make it more difficult for immigration officials to conduct background checks, for undocumented workers to help the economy by paying taxes, and for the Federal government to focus on removing serious criminals, recent border crossers, and other threats.”

President Obama also personally spoke out against the GOP bill at a College Opportunity Summit on Thursday, emphasizing the effect blocking his actions would have on students. Obama expressed; “But it does not make sense for us to want to push talent out, rather than make sure that they’re staying here and contributing to society. So rather than deport students and separate families and make it harder for law enforcement to do its job, I just want the Congress to work with us to pass a commonsense law to fix that broken immigration system.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH stated at the GOP leadership press conference on Thursday the Republican members of the House “will make clear today that we are rejecting unilateral actions.” While House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-LA commented on why the House voted on the bill, explaining, “The president thinks he can just sit in the Oval Office and make up his own laws. That’s not the way our system of government works. This legislation says you can’t do that, Mr. President. There is a rule of law.”

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Bonnie K. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University, and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program. She covers US, Canadian & Israeli politics, with a particular focus on the Obama presidency, Congress, domestic policy, and elections.

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