Jan 3, 2019

House Republicans' new reality

Mike Allen, author of AM

Incoming House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A job posting by Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee says it all about the party's new reality beginning today. The committee is seeking an Investigative Counsel — "an attorney with several years of investigative or litigation experience," according to the listing on Tom Manatos Jobs, a popular Capitol Hill jobs board.

Between the lines: "Litigation experience" is at least partly in anticipation of the possibility of impeachment proceedings, a Hill source tells me.

Why it matters: After controlling the entire government for two years, Republicans on the Hill and in the White House are assuming a defensive crouch, with incoming House Democratic chairs vowing aggressive investigations.

First look ... Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who today goes from majority leader to minority leader, will say in remarks during today's gavel-handover session:

"As Ronald Reagan advised us, America is too great for small dreams. When we work together, we succeed together. We are now entering a period of divided government, but that is no excuse for gridlock and inaction. We are at our best when we focus not on retribution but on building a more perfect union."

Go deeper: Republicans secretly study their coming hell

Go deeper

Robert O'Brien: "I don't think there's systemic racism" in law enforcement

White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien said on CNN's "State of the Union" that he doesn't believe there is "systemic racism" among law enforcement in the U.S., arguing that there's "a few bad apples" that are giving police a bad name.

Why it matters: The mass protests that have swept across the United States are not just a response to the death of George Floyd, but of the dozens of high-profile instances of unarmed black men dying at the hands of police officers over the years.

Atlanta mayor on Trump's riot response: "He speaks and he makes it worse"

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms responded on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday to President Trump's tweets and comments about the mass protests that have swept across the United States, urging him to "just stop talking."

What she's saying: "This is like Charlottesville all over again. He speaks and he makes it worse. There are times when you should just be quiet. And I wish that he would just be quiet."

Black Americans' competing crises

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

For many black Americans, this moment feels like a crisis within a crisis within a crisis.

The big picture: It's not just George Floyd's killing by police. Or the deaths of EMT Breonna Taylor and jogger Ahmaud Arbery. Or the demeaning of birdwatcher Christian Cooper and journalist Omar Jimenez. Or the coronavirus pandemic's disproportionate harm to African Americans. It's that it's all happening at once.