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Schulz’s departure liberates Parliament’s ‘dark prince’

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Martin Schulz’s efforts to raise the profile of the European Parliament might have won him fans home in Germany, however the assembly’s civil servants – led by his compatriot Klaus Welle – are glad to find out the rear of him.

The former Parliament president’s tendency to centralize power on his office and direct resources to party groups rather than the civil service and individual MEPs thwarted Welle’s long-running campaign, as secretary-general on the European Parliament, to make it into an playing field of free-wheeling democracy?modeled within the U.S. Congress.

With Schulz’s departure to campaign to the German chancellorship plus the dissolution in the “grand coalition” between his Socialists & Democrats and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s European People’s Party, Welle can get back to business as usual. He’s unlikely to become impeded by Schulz’s successor, Antonio Tajani, having promised to preside by using a gentler hand.

“Welle and Schulz clashed in the internal organization in the Parliament,” said Andrew Duff, a previous British MEP that has written extensively for the Parliament. “Tajani offers an easier partnership for Welle.”

Welle’s first focus will likely be institutional efficiency, improving offers to impose “performance indicators” on policymaking and streamline the internal organization. Colleagues said he previously had been deeply aggravated from Schulz’s insufficient interest and support.

There is concern in the corridors of your Parliament that Welle, as a possible avowed federalist, may be out of touch together with the anti-establishment, populist sentiment sweeping over the Continent.

Some a great deal more visible projects may also be over the agenda, together with a?major renovation and dear upgrade with the Paul-Henri Spaak building, the?oldest wing on the Parliament’s complex in Brussels.

Veteran officials in Parliament said Welle has wasted virtually no time since Schulz’s departure and has proposed several new hires for the cabinet of uncle and ally Tajani. “He has taken advantage now within the lack of coherence on the location where the House going,” said one long-standing Parliament official. “Welle is coming along whatever he wants. He could be clearly conditioning everything that is taking place.”

    Back to normal

    Welle makes obvious of his glee over Schulz’s departure. One Parliament official familiar with Welle’s thinking said the secretary-general viewed the election of Tajani for a triumph from the institution over its personalities. In Welle’s view, a victory for Tajani’s main opponent, Gianni Pittella within the S&D, would’ve yielded a likewise beneficial result.

    “It means the presidency of Martin Schulz was the exception for the rule and never the latest stage in development,” said a certified, describing Schulz’s charismatic leadership on the Parliament as the “phase” that is certainly now over.

    Philippe Lamberts, the Belgian MEP who leads the Greens group, said Schulz “wanted to pretend which the role of an European parliament president was highly political, but what determines the political dimension from the Parliament could be the plenaries, not obama.”

    By turning the European Parliament presidency election into a contest between Tajani and Pittella, MEPs effectively sent an email how they wanted to restore rights to rank-and-file MEPs – whorrrre elected by EU voters – and “return towards old normal.”

    However, you can’t say everyone while in the Parliament agrees with Welle’s focus on shoring increase the civil service, increasing its institutional expertise – one example is, he has crafted a parliamentary research service modelled after the Congressional Research Service in Washington – and switching the main focus to individual MEPs, potentially at the cost of transnational party groups.

    “If you push the Parliament towards a more Washingtonian model, you create more instability and you simply weaken the political groups,” said one senior Parliament official. “The more you destabilize the political groups, the more you push MEPs toward individualization, toward national interest.”

    Some officials say you can find concern while in the corridors from the Parliament that Welle, as being an avowed federalist, is far from touch with the anti-establishment, populist sentiment sweeping along the Continent. As context, it is said, his campaign to formulate the institutions, launch expensive renovation projects and invite MEPs to engage additional staff risk being “food with the populists.”

    “Who was stopping all his crazy projects regarding the reorganization with this house?” asked one official. “It was Martin Schulz. [Welle] has apparently taken them out of your closet because Schulz is fully gone, these types of Pharaonic projects.”

    Despite his discuss the Parliament for an institution, Welle – whose contract as secretary-general runs until 2019 – is not a career civil servant. He made his name as secretary-general within the EPP, now the largest political group in the Parliament, and is particularly credited with aggressively expanding the team to feature parties for example Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia – which Tajani helped to found – in addition to conservative parties from Sweden, Finland and Austria.

    The expansion led the EPP beyond its traditional Christian Democrat base for making what the heck is currently the most effective political movement in Europe, which counts Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk and Germany’s Angela Merkel as family.

    Schulz was catapulted for the Parliament presidency included in a power-sharing deal between his Socialists and the EPP, though in her first term he treated the post like a consolation prize for coming second in the election for Commission president in 2014. When Schulz did turn his focus running the Parliament, he treated it essentially for an arm of his “grand coalition” with Juncker, rubber stamping pre-agreed EU legislation.

    Tajani, as opposed, is anticipated to help with Welle’s administrative agenda “without interference,” depending on one long-standing Parliament official.

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    Black caucus chairman pushes to censure Trump over ‘shithole’ remark

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    Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond on Thursday introduced a solution to censure President Donald Trump over what he contends would be the president\’s racist rhetoric referring to El Salvador, Haiti and African nations as \”shithole countries.\”

    The resolution – who has much more than 130 co-sponsors, including House Democratic leaders – calls over the House to publicly state its support for any nations Trump disparaged, censure and condemn the president for his statements, and demand he retract his comments and apologize.

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    At a news conference announcing the resolution alongside House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) as well as other Democrats, Richmond (D-La.) said Trump\’s controversial comments \”should have not been made\” and \”were factually inaccurate.\”

    Richmond conceded, however, the resolution isn\’t \”privileged,\” meaning House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) might need to say yes to carry it in order with the chamber to keep a vote. It\’s almost certain Ryan will not likely do this.

    \”If he doesn\’t, we then will be at other ways to just make a vote on there,\” Richmond told reporters. \”But the facts from the matter is definitely the speaker should bring it up. In the event that he doesn\’t, establishing is enabling and recurring to allow obama to perpetuate this hateful rhetoric, as well as at certain point – whether you agree or disagree – I believe this is the speaker\’s obligation to safeguard the dignity of the property.\”

    If Ryan will not allow a vote, Richmond said he among others would hunt for “creative” strategies to force one.

    Like most Republican leaders, Ryan hasn\’t said much for the president\’s reported comments, though he did acknowledge the other day that they are \”very unfortunate\” and \”unhelpful.\” For Richmond, however, that wasn\’t enough.

    \”It\’s unfortunate when I miss my bus. Or it\’s unfortunate in the event the airlines lose my luggage,\” he was quoted saying. \”But when the president of america decides to Africa, Haiti and El Salvador which he used, which isn\’t unfortunate. That is wrong. That\’s disgusting. That is definitely hurtful. There are a variety of words because of it, but unfortunate\’s undertake and don\’t.\”

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    Ryan's 2017 fundraising haul: $44 million

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    House Speaker Paul Ryan raised more than $44 million in 2017, an off-year record to get a House leader – a financial haul Republicans hope will shore up vulnerable GOP members in what\’s shaping up to often be a tough midterm cycle for Republicans.

    In a final quarter, Ryan raised $4.8 million, his political operation will announce Thursday – down from $6.7 million during the third quarter.

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    The infusion of greenbacks is a follower of Republicans passed a tax reform law last December, which GOP members said would drive support among voters and donors. But also in 2018, Republicans must defend its 24-seat majority spanning a broad battlefield, while President Donald Trump\’s approval ratings stay in the bottom 40s and Democrats hold a broad bring success the generic ballot. Nearly 24 retirements, including California Reps. Ed Royce and Darrell Issa latest research by, will force Republicans to invest more heavily to protect these open seats.

    In 2017, Ryan transferred $32 million to the National Republican Campaign Committee, which announced a unique record-breaking off-year total with $85 million raised in the last year. Ryan also transferred $1.7 million on to GOP members, as well as hosting 49 fundraisers for members.

    "This eye-popping number is usually a testament to Speaker Ryan, House Republicans, as well as the agenda them to led your strugle on in 2017," said Kevin Seifert, executive director of Team Ryan, the speaker\’s fundraising committee.

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    Bannon won't testify again on Russia Thursday

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    Former White House adviser Steve Bannon declined House Russia investigators\’ request to go back for a second interview Thursday, telling lawmakers through his lawyer their own obtain him to go back just 2 days after his first appearance was "unreasonable."

    "The Committee\’s subpoena provides require Mr. Bannon\’s appearance for that second deposition [Thursday] at 2pm. That may be plainly insufficient time for me to undertake precisely what the Committee has asked," Bannon\’s attorney William Burck wrote within a Wednesday letter to store intelligence committee leaders obtained by POLITICO.

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    Instead, Burck told committee leaders that the former senior aide to President Donald Trump would return after reaching an accommodation when using the White House to make sure his testimony doesn\’t violate executive privilege.

    On Tuesday, Bannon-citing instructions from your Trump administration-refused to reply Republican and Democrats\’ questions on his amount of the White House, the post-election transition team and in some cases about his conversations with the president after he was fired from his post in August. His stonewalling infuriated persons in both parties, who subpoenaed him immediately. But despite the subpoena, Bannon declined to reply to their questions.

    Burck\’s letter told the committee\’s top Russia investigators, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), that Bannon remains ready to answer the committee\’s questions-but after striking an understanding together with the White House while on an acceptable scope of questioning.

    "There isn\’t any conceivable solution to talk to the White House Mr. Bannon\’s time using the transition and also the White House, obtain their thoughts about the knowledge he previously provide, communicate those views back to the Committee, relay the Committee\’s views time for the White House, and then negotiate or facilitate a binding agreement amongst the Committee along with the White House from the time allotted by the Committee\’s subpoena," Burck wrote.

    Committee members at the moment are weighing calling hold Bannon in contempt of Congress for avoiding their questions. They\’ve noted that White House lawyers haven\’t formally invoked executive privilege-they just have suggested that Bannon\’s testimony might implicate it.

    White House officials have argued that it is customary for Congress to coordinate the scope of the questions with current and former officials to stop violating privileged information.

    But GOP and Democratic lawmakers have questioned this argument, suggesting they see no reasonable interpretation of executive privilege that might preclude Bannon from discussing his time over the transition team, that is before Trump was president.

    Burck indicated that the committee didn\’t have use of White House and transition documents that has to be relevant precursors to the questions for Bannon and suggested lawmakers and Bannon would require time for them to produce them and review them before Bannon\’s next interview.

    "There are lots of lawyers over the Committee plus the Staff, and i also could well be surprised as long as they believed it becomes anything in addition to unprofessional even unethical should be expected to depose a witness that has did not have possibility for review relevant documents," he said.

    Burck also indicated a potential disconnect between committee staff and lawmakers. He revealed that he had informed the employees of the committee, chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the White House "may not permit Mr. Bannon to discuss his in time the transition and the White House unless an accommodation was agreed between your Committee plus the White House."

    "Staff raised no objection to the telltale restrictions in any of such conversations," he said. "The main objection came yesterday within the Members who appear not to have been informed by Staff about our prior conversations."

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