Jan 3, 2019

House Republicans' new reality

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

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.