Gamard’s Beltway Beat: Netanyahu & Gleason

Two things:

— News broke yesterday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is accusing Iran of lying about its nuclear aspirations, and he has a hefty archive of stolen Iranian nuclear plans to back his case. This is expected to further incentivize President Donald Trump’s to abandon the Iran nuclear deal. Our congressmen appear to have similar sentiments.

— Also, as of Monday, the new bill to award former NFL player and ALS champion Steve Gleason with the Congressional Gold Medal has 34 cosponsors in the Senate, which hits the halfway mark for the goal of the 67 cosponsors it needs to pass. U.S. Sens. John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy were two of its early cosponsors, along with Congressman Steve Scalise and Congressman Cedric Richmond.


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— U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy is demanding the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission disclose its “secret” international shipping rates, which he says “greatly favor countries like China.” He talked about Comite Diversion Canal funding on WBRZ Monday. He also has a bill with Democratic Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin to allow postal workers to search mail from foreign countries “if there is probable cause to believe they contain illicit opioids such as fentanyl or other illegal drugs.”

— U.S. Sen. John Kennedy questioned U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on sanctuary cities: “There are parts of immigration law I don’t agree with. But I’m going to follow it.” Kennedy also told Sessions, “I think you’re doing a wonderful job. You’re a better man than I am.” He also questioned Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals judicial nominee Andrew Oldham.

— Congressman Steve Scalise met with Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai to talk about communication regulations. He also spoke this week at the Jefferson Parish Government Prayer Breakfast (here he is with Lieutenant Gov. Billy Nungesser) and wished Louisiana a happy 206th birthday with some historical photos from the Library of Congress.

— Congressman Cedric Richmond sent a letter Monday to the National Collegiate Athletic Association asking for the organization to reassess its athlete compensation model: “Now that you have crowned new national champions in college basketball, it is imperative that you and your members consider the talents and labors that made these occasions possible…If you add the revenues driven by the efforts of NCAA college football players, these two cohorts of student-athletes produce the overwhelming majority of college athletics-related revenue.”

— Congressman Clay Higgins last week questioned Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in committee about illegal immigration: “So these illegal immigrants receive a summons for court, and then you’re stating that 90 percent don’t show up for court. I’d like to see the demographics of those numbers as well, because I’d be surprised if 10 percent show up for court.” He talked about school safety on KPLC in Lake Charles: “I’m not against arming teachers, but...that’s not the solution to a school shooting.”

— Congressman Mike Johnson praised the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s $21,600 grant to the Eunice Fire Department: “As the son of a firefighter who was critically injured and permanently disabled in the line of duty, I know first-hand the sacrifices made by these brave men and women in service to our communities." He’s hosting an awards reception featuring the 2018 Congressional Art Competition show on Friday at his Bossier City office.

— Congressman Ralph Abraham wrote on Facebook: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today exposed what we've all suspected - Iran cannot be trusted and is pursuing means to deliver nuclear weapons. I hope President Trump tears up the current Iran Deal and renegotiates to find a solution that's better for America and better for Israel.” Here’s his Jimmie Davis-inspired video honoring Louisiana’s 206th birthday.

— Congressman Garret Graves has a video out on his bill to fix the “duplication of benefits” for flood victims, which the U.S. House passed last week. Here’s his latest Facebook Live from last week.

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