By Seung Min Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org or @seungminkim)
FEDS: HILL SHOOTER HAD BB GUN – More information about the scare at the Capitol earlier this week, via the AP: “A man who drew what appeared to be a gun at a screening checkpoint at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center earlier this week was charged with two federal offenses Thursday as court paperwork revealed the weapon was a BB gun. Larry R. Dawson, 66, of Tennessee was charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees with a dangerous weapon and assaulting a federal law enforcement officer with a dangerous weapon, prosecutors said in a statement.”
Story Continued Below
–“Court paperwork filed Thursday says Dawson arrived at the visitor’s center at about 2:30 p.m. Monday and went through a metal detector, which indicated the presence of metal at his waist. He spread his arms in response to an officer’s request, the court paperwork says, but then suddenly reached into the area of his waist and removed ‘what appeared to be a black handgun.’ Dawson took a hand-held metal detector from the officer who had asked him to spread his arms and threw it onto the floor. He then pointed the weapon at the officer, who drew his own weapon. Dawson ignored officers’ commands to drop the weapon and was shot twice, according to court paperwork provided by prosecutors.” http://goo.gl/7fIYxY
MORE REPUBLICANS WILL MEET WITH GARLAND – Your Huddle author scoops with Burgess Everett: “At least two Senate Republicans plan to meet with Merrick Garland next week, suggesting there’s momentum behind the Democratic campaign to pressure the GOP into at least one-on-one meetings with the Supreme Court nominee, if not an actual confirmation vote this year. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine had said during an interview with a Maine radio station earlier this week she will meet with Garland. And a spokesman for Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas said Thursday that he is planning one as well.”
–McConnell spokesman Don Stewart with his take: “The fact that after a month and a half of a sustained political campaign (and millions of dollars spent by MoveOn.org and other left-wing groups) and all they can point to is a handful of courtesy visits demonstrates that the special interests haven’t succeeded in moving senators away from a principled decision.” http://goo.gl/oQ4JkT
—Stealing from Playbook: The Constitutional Responsibility Project, the outside group campaigning for Judge Merrick Garland’s confirmation (#WeNeedNine), will be out today with a 10-page progress report claiming the “longest recess since Scalia’s death has been an absolute disaster for Republicans.”
“By the Numbers: 1,500,000: the number of #DoYourJob petition signatures collected … 42,000: the number of #DoYourJob petition signatures delivered to Chairman Grassley by Iowans … 429: the number of editorials telling GOP Senators to #DoYourJob … 356: the number of law professors and legal scholars, including Norm Ornstein and Doris Kearns Goodwin, who have signed their name urging Senate leadership to #DoYourJob … 300: the number of media stories that covered the #DoYourJob rallies that took place across the country on March 21.” The report: http://goo.gl/tN6JBu
–Meanwhile, a bizarre convergence of two of the biggest stories in the political world right now: Garland, as a federal appellate judge in 2003, rejected now-Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski’s effort to retrieve the gun he carried into a House office building in 1999. USA Today: http://goo.gl/oLMsDi
UNIVERSITIES SLAM SUBPOENAS IN FETAL TISSUE PROBE – Peter Sullivan for The Hill: “The Association of American Medical Colleges, which represents all of the country’s medical schools, expressed its ‘significant concerns’ in a letter on Thursday to the heads of the congressional committee set up to investigate Planned Parenthood. The letter raised concerns over pressure to hand the committee ‘the identities and other personal information not only of researchers but also of graduate students and trainees, health care providers, and administrative and support staff.’”
–A spokesman for the panel’s chairwoman, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), responded: “It is important to the Chairman to be responsible with the use of these names, but it is impossible for the panel to do a complete investigation without knowledge of the individuals involved in transactions and practices we are investigating.” http://goo.gl/BMtKzS
WELCOME TO APRIL! IT’S FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2016 and you’re reading the Huddle, the best (only?) morning congressional newsletter around. Burgess Everett is your Huddle host next week, so give him a shout at email@example.com and on Twitter at @burgessev. As always, I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter at @seungminkim.
My new followers include @LakersNBAEmpire and @JaymeFuglesten.
TODAY IN CONGRESS – The House is in at 10 a.m. and the Senate is … no, just kidding. April Fool’s.
AROUND THE HILL – Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Hart Research President Geoff Garin and Americans United for Change President Brad Woodhouse will host a conference call on the Supreme Court at noon. E-mail email@example.com for dial-in info.
SCHOCK-RELATED COURT FIGHT REMAINS SEALED – POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein and Anna Palmer: “A federal judge is refusing to make public details of what appears to be an intense legal battle between the House of Representatives and federal prosecutors pursuing former Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) … Earlier this month, POLITICO asked U.S. District Court Judge Sue Myerscough to unseal the recent flurry of pleadings and orders, noting that they pertain to what seems to be a significant clash between the executive and legislative branches of government.”
–“Earlier this month, POLITICO asked Myerscough to unseal the recent flurry of pleadings and orders, noting that they pertain to what seems to be a significant clash between the executive and legislative branches of government … The judge initially seemed open to lifting the secrecy around the proceedings, asking the parties to state their views and to say specifically if some pleadings could be edited for public release. However, in a brief public order Wednesday, Myerscough said she’d received ‘objections’ to making the records public and does not plan to unseal them now.” http://goo.gl/u9drDK
ANTI-EMBARGO REPUBLICANS PUSH ON CUBA – But don’t count on them succeeding anytime soon. Karoun Demirjian for the Washington Post: “The Republicans who accompanied President Obama to Havana last week returned as cheerleaders for normalizing relations with Cuba, but with no unified strategy for how to convince their GOP colleagues to join the cause … ‘My takeaway was that this is not going to be as easy or as quickly done as I think President Obama would like,’ said Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wisc.), who was part of the delegation.”
–“Ribble favors a piecemeal approach, where Congress would tackle a restoration of agricultural ties before wrestling with the whole embargo … But the piecemeal approach is being greeted with skepticism by another House Republican who made the trip to Cuba and is pushing to end the embargo. ‘What are we, going to try and live with this false belief that some part of the embargo has actually been valid?’ said Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.).” https://goo.gl/Ji8z46
EX-REP. REYNOLDS FACING ARREST – The New York Times: “A federal judge ordered the arrest of Mel Reynolds, a scandal-scarred former congressman, on Thursday, after Mr. Reynolds defied a judge’s order to return to Chicago to face tax charges, saying that he would remain in South Africa for now with his ailing daughter. Mr. Reynolds, 64, is scheduled to go on trial in May on misdemeanor charges of failing to file tax returns for four consecutive years. Since Mr. Reynolds was indicted in June, Judge John W. Darrah of Federal District Court in Chicago has allowed him to go to South Africa for visits, but had ordered Mr. Reynolds to return from his latest trip by Thursday. Mr. Reynolds has sought a six-month postponement of the case, but the judge has refused.” http://goo.gl/mhnLtu
PETER ROSKAM’S PIZZA-FUELED TWITTER SPAT – It’s recess, so of course it’s time for a Twitter war over the most important of issues: Food. CQ Roll Call: “On Wednesday, Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., was featured in Roll Call’s Chicago-style pizza tasting dishing on deep dish pizza. On Thursday, he was defending the city’s signature dish. Around 10 a.m. on Thursday, Roskam tweeted that a pizza museum was coming to Chicago next month. CNN’s Jake Tapper, a Roll Call alum, responded, ‘doesn’t make much sense given the bread pie Chicago thinks is pizza.’ And the battle was on.” http://goo.gl/ACLNpl
–Our favorite response, once Roskam learned Tapper was from Philly: @PeterRoskam: “New York pizza folds more easily than a Philadelphia sports team.”
THURSDAY’S TRIVIA WINNER – It was a tie, with Trevor Tezel and Jill Borak answering within seconds of each other that Bill Nelson did 46 pushups when he lost the Stanley Cup bet to Dick Durbin last year.
TODAY’S TRIVIA – Tezel, a former Nelson intern, has today’s question: Who was the last speaker of the House to also serve as chairman of the Rules Committee? The first person to correctly answer gets a mention in the next day’s Huddle. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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