IJR https://ijr.com Experience The News Thu, 19 Sep 2019 21:16:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.3 Democratic Presidential Candidate Buttigieg Unveils Health Plan https://ijr.com/democratic-presidential-candidate-buttigieg-unveils-health-plan/ https://ijr.com/democratic-presidential-candidate-buttigieg-unveils-health-plan/#comments Thu, 19 Sep 2019 21:16:33 +0000 https://ijr.com/?p=1207706 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Thursday unveiled his plan to reform the U.S. healthcare system by offering everyone coverage under the federal Medicare program, but not forcing people to give up private health insurance plans. More]]>

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Thursday unveiled his plan to reform the U.S. healthcare system by offering everyone coverage under the federal Medicare program, but not forcing people to give up private health insurance plans.

“For years, Washington politicians have allowed the pharmaceutical industry, giant insurance companies, and powerful hospital systems to profit off of people when they are at their sickest and most vulnerable,” said Buttigieg, who is mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

“My ‘Medicare for All Who Want It’ plan will create a health care system that puts power in the hands of each American.”

Democratic candidates vying for the chance to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election say universal healthcare is a top priority. But they disagree on the best way to achieve it.

Buttigieg’s proposal differs from the “Medicare for All” plan of Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, which would provide coverage to everyone based on the federal Medicare program for Americans 65 and older and practically eliminate private insurance.

“It doesn’t force Americans off private plans they may want to keep, but offers them a meaningful public alternative,” Buttigieg’s campaign said in a statement.

The plan would spur private insurers to compete on price, the statement said, and if they “are not able to offer something dramatically better, this public plan will create a natural glide-path to Medicare for All.”

The statement said the plan would also expand subsidies for low-income people to pay health insurance premiums, cap premiums at 8.5% of income for everyone, and empower the federal government to challenge healthcare mergers that raise costs.

The statement did not refer to former President Barack Obama’s landmark 2010 Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, but said a Buttigieg administration would “reverse the Trump administration rules loosening restrictions on association health plans and short-term limited duration plans, which provide limited benefits and consumer protections.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who has criticized Medicare for All plans as efforts to unravel Obamacare, is the front-runner in the field of 20 Democratic candidate. Among the rest, only Warren and Sanders have double-digit support in opinion polls.

(The story corrects typographical error in paragraph 1)

(Reporting by Tim Reid; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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Senator Kennedy Thanks O’Rourke for ‘Being Honest’ About Wanting Gun Confiscation https://ijr.com/john-kennedy-thanks-beto-o-rourke-gun-confiscation/ https://ijr.com/john-kennedy-thanks-beto-o-rourke-gun-confiscation/#comments Thu, 19 Sep 2019 21:09:48 +0000 https://ijr.com/?p=1207657 "Beto's copy of the Bill of Rights goes from one to three." More]]>

Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) thanked former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) for his honesty regarding his gun confiscation plan.

During an interview with Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” Kennedy — the first-term senator from Lousiana — was asked for his thoughts regarding the Democratic presidential primary candidate admitting that he supported the confiscation of Americans’ firearms.

The Louisiana Republican said that, while he does not “agree” with O’Rourke’s plan to confiscate people’s guns, he thanked the former congressman for “being honest” about his views.

Kennedy also joked that the Texas Democrat’s copy of the Bill of Rights skips over the Second Amendment and claimed that “many” of his Democratic colleagues in Washington “don’t believe” in the amendment at all.

Watch the video here:

“I want to thank the congressman for being honest. I don’t agree with him. Beto’s copy of the Bill of Rights goes from one to three. Mine includes the Second Amendment. But there are a whole host of people here in Washington, D.C. — not all of my Democratic friends, but many of my Democratic friends — they don’t believe in the Second Amendment.”

Kennedy went on to say that his “Democratic friends” that do not believe in the Second Amendment “would be happy to confiscate” Americans’ firearms and that if a person did not believe that, then they probably “still believe in Bigfoot.”

“I mean, it’s a fact,” added the Louisiana senator. “And everybody up here knows it.”

Kennedy’s comments came the same day as O’Rourke’s admission that he was in favor of confiscating people’s guns.

As IJR previously reported, several Democrats have distanced themselves from O’Rourke’s proposal, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) disavowing the plan and claiming that he does not know “of any other Democrat who agrees” with the former congressman’s plan.

O’Rourke also mistakenly celebrated an uptick in AR-15 sales on Twitter while reacting to the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) joke that he was their “AR-15 Salesman of the Month.”

He had claimed that “Colt Firearms just announced they’re stopping production of AR-15s” and linked out to an Associated Press article that said the firearms company was stopping civilian sales to fulfill law enforcement and military contracts.

The article said that Colt believed there was “already an adequate supply of sporting rifles on the market” and that the firearms company “remains committed to the Second Amendment and is adapting to consumer demand.”

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2020 Dem Yang Says He’ll Get People to Stop Eating Meat by Taxing Producers to Make It More Expensive https://ijr.com/yang-says-get-people-stop-eating-meat-taxing-producers/ https://ijr.com/yang-says-get-people-stop-eating-meat-taxing-producers/#respond Thu, 19 Sep 2019 20:36:10 +0000 https://ijr.com/?p=1207653 "And so if you were to make it more expensive, then you would end up changing consumption patterns over time." More]]>

2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang is sharing his plan on how he’ll get people to cut down on their meat consumption to combat climate change.

During Thursday’s climate change forum hosted by MSNBC, the 2020 Democrat was asked by an audience member about “what policy adjustments” he’d make to “curb expansion and reduce the environmental impact of the cattle industry” in order to “reduce demand.”

While noting the cattle industry is “energy expensive,” Yang said he’d want cattle producers to “internalize the cost of emissions.”

“Because if your cattle ends up polluting a lot, which they do just naturally — we don’t hate them for it, they’re just animals. […] So then what that would naturally do — and some people are going to hate this — but it’d probably make those products more expensive,” he said. “And that is appropriate because there’s a cost to producing food in that way.”

Yang continued, “And so if you were to make it more expensive, then you would end up changing consumption patterns over time.”

MSNBC’s climate forum is a two-day event held at Georgetown University where students are able to ask presidential candidates about their climate change plans.

Watch the video below:

During the last climate change town hall on CNN, Yang was asked about if American’s should change their eating habits, in which he said it would be good if they did “eat less meat.”

“So I think it would be healthy on an individual and societal level to move in that direction,” he said, adding, “But again this is a country where there is a lot of individual autonomy and so you can’t force people’s eating choices on them. All you do now is try to shape our system so that over time we evolve in a productive way.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) was also among those during CNN’s town hall who said they’d consider changing laws surrounding meat consumption, as IJR previously reported.

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O’Rourke Accidentally Celebrates the Shortage of AR-15s He Caused by Promising to Confiscate Them https://ijr.com/orourke-accidentally-celebrates-the-shortage-of-ar-15s-he-caused/ https://ijr.com/orourke-accidentally-celebrates-the-shortage-of-ar-15s-he-caused/#respond Thu, 19 Sep 2019 20:32:01 +0000 https://ijr.com/?p=1207690 "Colt Firearms just announced they're stopping production of AR-15s." More]]>

Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) accidentally celebrated the spike in demand for AR-15s apparently caused by his promise to confiscate such weapons.

Following a lull in his campaign, O’Rourke has rebuilt his 2020 presidential bid on the issue of gun violence after several mass shootings. Part of his plan is to force Americans into a mandatory gun buyback for “weapons of war” or “military-style weapons.”

While most Democrats want nothing to do with the word “confiscation,” O’Rourke has embraced it, saying in the last debate, “Hell yes we’re going to take your AR-15s, your AK-47.”

This triggered many gun owners into bulking up on weapons they believe may be banned in the future. The National Rifle Association (NRA) even jokingly called him “salesman of the month.”

In response to this troll by the NRA, O’Rourke tweeted them an article from the Associated Press and claimed, “Colt Firearms just announced they’re stopping production of AR-15s.”

The problem for O’Rourke was that he forgot to read the article.

In the story, it is clear that Colt had to change their sales because demand had increased so much that they needed to focus on “fulfilling their military and law enforcement contracts.”

In other words, demand was so high that Colt couldn’t keep up and needed to stop producing for the general public. Colt’s CEO Dennis Veilleux said in a statement that the company “remains committed to the Second Amendment and is adapting to consumer demand.”

Twitter users did not let O’Rourke’s error slip by unnoticed. Several hopped online to make fun of the 2020 candidate for his accidental celebration of an uptick in gun sales.

O’Rourke is one of 20 candidates left in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. He has consistently polled in sixth place in national polls. It remains unclear how his newfound gun platform will impact his race in the long run.

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Newsom Claims Reagan, Nixon Would Be ‘Rolling in Their Graves’ Over Trump Blocking CA Car Emissions Bill https://ijr.com/newsom-claims-reagon-nixon-rolling-graves-trump-ca-car-bill/ https://ijr.com/newsom-claims-reagon-nixon-rolling-graves-trump-ca-car-bill/#comments Thu, 19 Sep 2019 20:25:32 +0000 https://ijr.com/?p=1207641 "They’d be rolling in their graves right now at what the Republican administration is doing..." More]]>

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is knocking President Donald Trump after his administration officially revoked the state’s waiver from allowing them to have their own emission standards.

The Trump administration made the decision on Thursday to not allow California to have their own auto tailpipe emissions standards under the Clean Air Act, as IJR reported.

“No state has the authority to opt out of the nation’s rules and no state has the right to impose its policies on everybody else in our whole country,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said on the administration’s move. “To do otherwise harms consumers and damages the American economy.”

Newsom, however, isn’t letting the Trump administration off easy on the decision.

“Federalism be damned. States’ rights, the 10th Amendment be damned, Ronald Reagan [and] Richard Nixon be damned,” Newsom said on “CNN Tonight” on Wednesday ahead of the administration’s official announcement on Thursday.

The Democratic governor then slammed the administration when he claimed that former President’s Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan would be “rolling in their graves” at Trump’s decisions.

“They’d be rolling in their graves right now at what the Republican administration is doing, and moreover what the Republican Party is doing: complete silence on states’ rights but also free enterprise,” Newsom said.

See Newsom’s comments below:

The governor also suggested that Trump is “hellbent” on overturning Obama-era regulations.

“This, by the way, is the most consequential Obama-era rule. All the others matter, but when you get into the transportation sector, that’s roughly 30% of the greenhouse gases in the United States. It’s over 40% in California. If you’re going to get serious about addressing the needs of our planet, mother nature, and address the needs of consumers as it relates to reducing dependency on oil, this is the game-changer, and the Trump Administration is hellbent on rolling back all those Obama-era rules. So part of it’s ego, and also let’s just be honest. One has to be honest here. It’s also about doing the bidding of big oil.”

Earlier Wednesday, the California governor declared that his state “will prevail” with this, and suggested that the president was making a “demonstrable move to assert power and dominance.”

Prior to the official announcement, Trump announced on Wednesday on Twitter that his administration was “revoking California’s Federal Waiver on emissions in order to produce far less expensive cars for the consumer, while at the same time making the cars substantially SAFER.”

After its formal publication, the decision by the Trump administration will take 60 days to go into effect. However, it’s likely to face legal pushback in the court.

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Williamson Tries to Justify Opposition to Nuclear Power: ‘Go Beyond Just Thinking About the Facts’ https://ijr.com/williamson-tries-to-justify-opposition-to-nuclear-power/ https://ijr.com/williamson-tries-to-justify-opposition-to-nuclear-power/#respond Thu, 19 Sep 2019 19:48:37 +0000 https://ijr.com/?p=1207650 "We need to go beyond hard data." More]]>

Marianne Williamson, an author and 2020 candidate, called on climate activists to “go beyond” thinking about facts when considering the use of nuclear energy.

As IJR previously explained, 2020 Democrats have been hesitant to embrace nuclear power. Nuclear power is an energy creation process that does not utilize carbon, therefore the process does not emit CO2 into the atmosphere. Instead, energy is produced when atoms of Uranium react and produce heat. This heat is used to boil water to create steam and turn a turbine which create energy without burning carbon.

Although most Democrats have plans to have the United States be carbon-neutral by 2050, at the latest, several of the candidates are looking to only invest in solar and wind power despite nuclear power being a much more consistent, efficient power source.

During MSNBC’s climate forum, Williamson was asked about her opposition to nuclear power and her plan to stop the U.S. from using the power source — despite it making up nearly 20% of U.S. power.

Watch Williamson’s response:

“What is wrong with [nuclear power]? If something goes wrong with nuclear energy — I don’t think people have really stopped to take in the horror. See, we need an integrative politics. We need to go beyond hard data. We need to go beyond just thinking about the facts. I want you to think about this with your heart. If something goes wrong there, what are we even talking about? How can we even consider it? And so what? Maybe we all be a little warmer, a little cool. I mean, Americans, we have to decide. That’s the problem I have with nuclear.”

In a roundabout way, Williamson was referencing the dangers of nuclear power production that many opposed to the source highlight, including the problem of nuclear waste and the risk of meltdowns.

As for waste, spent fuel rods must be disposed of even though they have radioactivity that can harm the nearby environment which is a top concern of those against nuclear energy. There is also the risk of a meltdown, which is a rare event where the nuclear facility malfunctions and could spread radioactivity to the surrounding area.

While this is a serious issue, the doomsday description associated with Williamson’s answer may be over the top.

There have been two incidents of nuclear power meltdowns in Chernobyl and Fukushima. According to a report from the United Nations, 54 people died as a result with up to 9,000 vulnerable to future diseases, such as cancer, from the radiation. In Fukushima, no deaths were attributed to the meltdown, though dozens were injured.

With that said, more than 1,000 deaths were attributed to the evacuation, but the meltdown occurred in the wake of an earthquake, so the deaths cannot be solely contributed to the reactor.

Given that several Democrats — including Williamson — have predicted humanity has 12 years or less to stop carbon emissions before apocalyptic damage is done, the 54 direct deaths of a nuclear meltdown seem rather minimal.

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U.S. House Approves Short-Term Funding Measure https://ijr.com/u-s-house-approves-short-term-funding-measure/ https://ijr.com/u-s-house-approves-short-term-funding-measure/#respond Thu, 19 Sep 2019 19:48:34 +0000 https://ijr.com/?p=1207688 The U.S. House of Representatives approved a stopgap funding measure on Thursday that would avoid a government shutdown by maintaining current spending levels through Nov. 21. More]]>

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a stopgap funding measure on Thursday that would avoid a government shutdown by maintaining current spending levels through Nov. 21.

The action sends the measure to the U.S. Senate for consideration. To take effect, the legislation would need approval from both chambers of Congress and the signature of President Donald Trump. Government funding is due to expire after midnight on Sept 30, when the federal fiscal year ends.

(Reporting by David Morgan)

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Alien Enthusiasts Gather in Nevada Desert near Secretive Area 51 https://ijr.com/alien-enthusiasts-gather-in-nevada-desert-near-secretive-area-51/ https://ijr.com/alien-enthusiasts-gather-in-nevada-desert-near-secretive-area-51/#respond Thu, 19 Sep 2019 19:41:06 +0000 https://ijr.com/?p=1207682 UFO enthusiasts began descending on rural Nevada on Thursday near the secret U.S. military installation known as Area 51, long rumored to house government secrets about alien life, with local authorities hoping the visitors were coming in peace. More]]>

UFO enthusiasts began descending on rural Nevada on Thursday near the secret U.S. military installation known as Area 51, long rumored to house government secrets about alien life, with local authorities hoping the visitors were coming in peace.

Residents of Rachel, Nevada, a remote desert town of 50 people about 12 miles outside the base, worried their community might be overwhelmed by unruly crowds turning out in response to a recent viral social-media invitation to “storm” Area 51.

The man behind the planned gathering, the date for which was never explained, worries about a “possible humanitarian disaster” in Rachel, which lacks a grocery store or even a gasoline station.

Nevertheless, dozens of visitors began arriving on Thursday outside the town’s only business – an extraterrestrial-themed motel and restaurant called the Little A’Le’Inn – parking themselves in cars, tents and campers. A fire truck was stationed nearby.

Area 51 was shrouded in secrecy for decades, stoking conspiracy theories that it housed the remnants of a flying saucer and the bodies of its alien crew from a supposed unidentified flying object crash in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. The U.S. government did not confirm the base existed until 2013, when it released CIA archives saying the site was used to test top-secret spy planes.

The documents, however, did not end suspicion about space aliens there.

Rachel and its surroundings have long celebrated their place in UFO lore as a tourist draw. A 98-mile (158-km) road running through the area is dubbed the Extraterrestrial Highway, a purported hotbed of UFO sightings.

In June, California college student Matty Roberts posted a facetious Facebook invitation exhorting the public at large to run into Area 51 on foot to “see them aliens.”

When more than 1 million people expressed interest, the U.S. Air Force admonished curiosity seekers not to breach the gates at the military base, which it said is still used to test combat aircraft and train personnel.

‘ALIENSTOCK’

Roberts then teamed up with Connie West, co-owner of the Little A’Le’Inn, to plan a music festival in Rachel dubbed “Alienstock” to entertain the expected crowds.

In early September, however, Roberts disassociated himself from the Rachel event, saying it was poorly organized and he feared it could devolve into a public safety crisis.

Roberts instead helped stage an alternative Alienstock set to take place Thursday night 150 miles (240 km) away, in Las Vegas. Beer brand Bud Light signed on as a sponsor and designed limited-edition, green beer cans featuring alien heads.

About 40 miles (64 km) east of Rachel, another small town, Hiko, Nevada, planned a separate event called “Storm Area 51 Basecamp” at a gift shop dubbed the Alien Research Center. Organizers promised musicians, artists and “prominent ufologists” and by Thursday had sold 3,200 tickets, according to Linda Looney, manager of the shop. “This whole thing has been a shock to this little community,” she said on Thursday, adding that organizers had hired 15 security guards and a private ambulance and ordered 80 portable toilets. “It’s going to be really cool. I’m excited.”

The expected influx of alien hunters prompted Lincoln County, encompassing Rachel and Hiko, to draft an emergency declaration that could be invoked if needed to call in help from the state.

Self-professed alien fan Stephen Ray said had traveled to the region with a friend from Colorado only to encounter a heavy law enforcement presence that was keeping visitors away from the base.

“I don’t think we’ll be able to storm it this time,” he said in Hiko.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said visitors should expect “a large presence of law enforcement.” Authorities urged everyone to bring ample supplies of food, water and fuel.

The official website of Rachel was likewise discouraging, and urged would-be revelers to stay away.

“If any event still happens it is going to be a pretty sad affair with no bands, no food, very little infrastructure and a lot of unhappy campers,” it said.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine in Rachel, Nev.; Editing by Steve Gorman and Dan Grebler)

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U.S. Senate Panel Embraces $250 Million in Election Security Grants https://ijr.com/u-s-senate-panel-embraces-250-million-in-election-security-grants/ https://ijr.com/u-s-senate-panel-embraces-250-million-in-election-security-grants/#comments Thu, 19 Sep 2019 19:35:18 +0000 https://ijr.com/?p=1207679 A U.S. Senate panel on Thursday approved $250 million in additional federal grants to states and local jurisdictions to improve the security of their voting systems in the run-up to 2020 elections and following Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential race. More]]>

A U.S. Senate panel on Thursday approved $250 million in additional federal grants to states and local jurisdictions to improve the security of their voting systems in the run-up to 2020 elections and following Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential race.

The money was included in a spending bill for several federal agencies for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. It still must be considered by the full Senate and House of Representatives, which might not occur for at least a couple months.

Earlier this year, the House approved legislation to add $600 million in new grant money, which would be funneled through the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Last week Republican Senator John Kennedy, chairman of the Senate subcommittee that controls funding for the commission, said he would oppose the additional money. But he was outmaneuvered by the full Senate Appropriations Committee.

Many Republicans oppose federal involvement in elections, which are run autonomously by U.S. states and local jurisdictions.

In a brief interview with Reuters last week, Kennedy said providing more federal dollars would be “another step towards nationalizing the elections.”

Kennedy’s home state of Louisiana is one of just a couple of states with no system of paper ballots or paper backups that is seen as one of the most effective ways to guard against election fraud or electronic voting machine malfunctions.

“My secretary of state can do a better job than the federal government of running an election,” Kennedy said.

The federal funding would not take away state and local control of election systems.

If approved by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump, the new money would be on top of $380 million appropriated last year to shore up election systems across the United States.

Several U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia tried to influence the 2016 presidential race that Trump won against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Election officials nationwide are trying to harden their voting systems amid U.S. intelligence warnings that Russia and other foreign actors were likely to ramp up their cyber attacks and take other actions to try to interfere in the November 2020 presidential and congressional elections.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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U.S. Senate Hearing to Confirm Trump Pick Issa for Trade Post Delayed by Concern over FBI Check https://ijr.com/u-s-senate-hearing-to-confirm-trump-pick-issa-for-trade-post-delayed-by-concern-over-fbi-check/ https://ijr.com/u-s-senate-hearing-to-confirm-trump-pick-issa-for-trade-post-delayed-by-concern-over-fbi-check/#comments Thu, 19 Sep 2019 19:31:54 +0000 https://ijr.com/?p=1207674 The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee postponed a hearing on Thursday to consider former congressman Darrell Issa to lead the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, after Democrats accused the White House of withholding potentially compromising details in a background check. More]]>

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee postponed a hearing on Thursday to consider former congressman Darrell Issa to lead the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, after Democrats accused the White House of withholding potentially compromising details in a background check.

The panel’s Republican chairman, Jim Risch, said consideration of Issa, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the post, was postponed about half an hour into an acrimonious hearing.

Senator Bob Menendez, the committee’s ranking Democrat, said the White House had blocked access for all committee members to possibly compromising information on Issa.

“There is information in his FBI background investigation that concerns me greatly and that I believe members may find problematic and potentially disqualifying for Senate confirmation,” Menendez said.

Menendez said he and the committee chairman had been given access to the FBI file, but the White House had refused to make it available to other panel members. He said Risch had joined him in asking the White House to allow access for other members, but there had been no response.

Senator Ben Cardin, another senior Democratic committee member, said it was only the latest case of the Trump administration breaking years of precedent by withholding information that lawmakers needed to do their jobs.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg of the problems we’ve been having,” Cardin told Reuters.

The Trump administration had treated the committee with disdain, Menendez said, and it was imperative that members insisted on their right to fully vet nominees for higher office.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Issa, who was a House member from California for 18 years before retiring in January, was nominated by Trump for the trade post on Sept. 19, 2018, exactly a year before the hearing.

The Los Angeles Times said it had contacted Issa after the hearing by telephone and he was “caught unaware” by the situation.

“There is nothing that (Menendez) alleged that isn’t in my Wikipedia,” the paper quoted him as saying.

Issa had said he was considering running for another House seat, the one now held by fellow Republican, Duncan Hunter, who faces trial in January on federal corruption and campaign finance charges.

In the House, Issa served as chairman of the Oversight Committee from 2011 to 2015, a position in which he became known for aggressive investigations of the administration of President Barack Obama, a Democrat, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee Trump defeated in the 2016 presidential election.

Menendez said Risch had scheduled the hearing despite the Trump administration’s refusal to provide answers about both Issa and Matthew Billingslea, Trump’s nominee as undersecretary for civilian security, democracy, and human rights at the State Department.

After the hearing, he told reporters that Risch had agreed to “convince the White House to get all members access to the file,” and once the latter occurred, the hearing could be rescheduled.

Committee members had closely questioned Billingslea, the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for terrorist financing, during the hearing about his involvement in special operations at the Defense Department during the administration of former President George W. Bush.

Billingslea said he had opposed the use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding, which are widely considered to be torture.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Bernadette Baum)

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