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Rep. Matt Gaetz says that he would “absolutely” relinquish his congressional seat to defend former President Trump during the upcoming Senate impeachment trial if Trump requests his assistance and stepping down from Congress is required in order to participate in the former president’s defense.

“I love my district, I love representing them. But I view this cancellation of the Trump presidency and the Trump movement as one of the major risks to my people, both in my district and all throughout this great country,” the Florida Republican said during an interview on War Room Pandemic. “Absolutely, if the president called me and wanted me to go defend him on the floor of the Senate, that would be the top priority in my life. I would leave my House seat, I would leave my home, I would do anything I had to do to ensure that the greatest president in my lifetime, one of the greatest presidents our country has ever h ad, maybe the greatest president our country has ever had, got a full-throated defense that wasn’t crouched down, that wasn’t in fear of losing some moderate Republican senator, but that was worthy of the fight that he gave to the great people of this country for four years.”

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Gaetz said that the House Ethics committee has indicated that sitting House members cannot mount a defense for Trump in the Senate. But the congressman says he would be willing to step down from his congressional seat to defend the former president, if that were required and the president requested his help.

The House of Representatives voted to impeach then-President Trump last month during his waning days in office. The Senate impeachment trial has slated to begin next week.

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State AGs ask Yellen to confirm that COVID relief bill does not usurp states’ rights to cut taxes

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More than a dozen state attorneys general have asked Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to confirm that the coronavirus relief bill recently approved by the federal government does not attempt to infringe on states’ authority in the area of state taxes.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr led the group of 21 state attorneys general in the letter to Yellen — the other attorneys general involved were from the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

“The import of the Act’s prohibition against ‘offsetting’ reductions in state tax revenue is unclear, but potentially breathtaking,” the letter states. “This provision might have been intended merely to prohibit States from expressly t aking COVID-19 relief funds and rolling them directly into a tax cut of a similar amount. But its prohibition on ‘indirectly’ offsetting reductions in tax revenue, combined with the list of prohibited kinds of tax reductions (rate cuts, rebates, deductions, credits, or “otherwise”), could also be read to prohibit tax cuts or relief of any stripe, even if wholly unrelated to and independent of the availability of relief funds. After all, money is fungible, and States must balance their budgets. So, in a sense, any tax relief enacted by a state legislature after the State has received relief funds could be viewed as ‘using’ those funds as an ‘offset’ that allows the State to provide that tax relief.”

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VIDEO: Can Congress come together to solve the crisis at the border?

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Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee discusses the problems at the southern border

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Democrats float rule change to stymie Marjorie Taylor Greene

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s procedural delay tactic, which has increasingly become a regular part of House of Representatives business, could be blocked if some Democrats get their way.

The firebrand Georgia freshman congresswoman on Wednesday made her fourth motion to adjourn in three weeks as a delay tactic before the House passed the $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan.” The unannounced roll call votes forced members of Congress to stop other business.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the motion does much more to delay floor business because each roll call vote is allotted an extended time of 45 minutes to encourage social distancing.

Though the motions have failed each time, the disruptive move so frustrates members that Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, chairman of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, said he plans to propose a House rule change that will allow only members who are on House committees to call a motion to adjourn.

Cicilline hasn’t proposed the rule change, and it is unclear whether Democratic leadership will support it. California Rep. Pete Aguilar, vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, told the Washington Examiner on Thursday that he first heard about Cicilline’s proposal in the press and that the caucus hasn’t discussed it.

Other House Democrats who spoke to the Washington Examiner were open to the idea, though. Another solution might be to limit the number of times in a congressional session that a single member could make a motion to adjourn.

Catholic University professor and politics department Chairman Matthew Green — that’s Green without the silent “e” like the Georgia congresswoman, with whom he has no known relation — warned that a quick rule change might be bad for Democrats.

“It’s Pelosi and the Democrats’ interest, frankly, to let this play itself out,” Green said. “Being so quick to change the rules actually indicates that the leaders of both parties have less power than you think over their own members.”

On Greene’s first motion to adjourn, all Republicans voted with her. The second time, two voted against the move; the third time, 18 Republicans voted against

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 it.

The fourth time she tried the move, 40 House Republicans voted against Greene’s motion. She then sent out a press release with the names of all 40 Republicans, calling them members of the “Surrender Caucus.”

“It’s increasingly without strategy,” Republican Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer, who voted against the motion Wednesday, told the Washington Examiner.

While it is easier for Democrats to push back, the rule change proposal might not be as easy of a solution as it seems.

“If Republicans are defecting on these votes in greater numbers, it’s to everyone’s interest to let this process continue to the point that they lose by an embarrassing bipartisan margin,” Green, the professor, said.

In years past, Democrats were the ones who excessively used the motion to adjourn as a delay tactic, particularly when Newt Gingrich, a Georgia Republican, was speaker, Green noted.

“When they were in the minority, they got pretty upset and frustrated with Gingrich and Republicans, and they started using these motions. But sometimes they would lose so badly,” Green said, “they just sort of stopped.”

Usually, the number of motions to adjourn is fewer than 10 per Congress, but peaks during “periods when the minority party was especially unhappy with the majority, usually when the governing party wasn’t following ‘regular order’ or was using a particularly unfair floor rule or procedure,” according to Green’s research.

“Members of the minority would offer multiple motions in a day to really slow things down,” Green said.

The Georgia congresswoman, for her part, referred to Cicilline as “Mussolini” when asked about his proposal, adding that she plans to continue making motions to adjourn. That prompted outrage from Cicilline, who noted that he is Italian and Jewish.

Greene can “get lost,” he said.

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