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Caitlin Yilek

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Conservative billionaire David Koch has died at the age of 79.

Last year, Koch stepped down from Koch Industries and his influential political network Americans for Prosperity Foundation, citing his declining health.

Koch’s 83-year-old brother Charles confirmed the death in a statement Friday.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of my brother David. Anyone who worked with David surely experienced his giant personality and passion for life. Twenty-seven years ago, David was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer and given a grim prognosis of a few years to live. David liked to say that a combination of brilliant doctors, state-of-the-art medications and his own stubbornness kept the cancer at bay. We can all be grateful that it did, because he was able to touch so many more lives as a result,” the statement said.

Koch leaves behind his wife, Julia, and their three children, David Koch Jr., Mary Julia Koch, and John Mark Koch.

“While we mourn the loss of our hero, we remember his iconic laughter, insatiable curiosity, and gentle heart. His stories of childhood adventures enlivened our family dinners; his endless knowledge rendered him our ‘walking Google.’ His sensitive heart had him shed a tear at the beauty of his daughter’s ballet, and beam with pride when his son beat him at chess. We will miss the fifth link in our family,” his wife said in a statement.

The brothers used their wealth to push for smaller government and traditionally supported Republican candidates and causes.

Koch had resisted resigning despite being in declining health for several years, but Charles forced him out of the family business, the New Yorker reported in 2018. Koch had served as vice president of Koch Industries before his retirement.

More details about Koch’s health were not provided.

Koch was also known for his philanthropy, donating millions to cancer research. He was a board member for the Prostate Cancer Foundation and donated $100 million to build the David H. Koch Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He also contributed $100 million to the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, which is now named the David H. Koch Theater, $65 million to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and $1 million to the Sept. 11 Memorial Museum.

Koch once ran for vice president on the Libertarian Party’s ticket with nominee Ed Clark. Their campaign ran on abolishing welfare, minimum wage laws, corporate taxes, and Social Security. The pair received only 1% support in the 1980 election, where Ronald Reagan defeated President Jimmy Carter.

The brothers’ political network did not support President Trump in the 2016 election and does not plan on backing his reelection efforts in 2020.

Author: Caitlin Yilek

Source: Washington Examiner: Billionaire conservative philanthropist David Koch dead at 79

White House officials have been quietly meeting with aides to Republican and Democratic senators on gun control legislation, and President Trump is personally involved.

Staffers for Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., have been in talks with Joe Grogan’s Domestic Policy Council and White House legislative affairs Director Eric Ueland, according to Politico. All three senators have also spoken privately with President Trump.

Aides to Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, have also communicated with the White House.

Washington has been under increasing pressure to move on gun control legislation in wake of three mass shootings in recent weeks.

Toomey and Manchin are hoping to revive legislation they wrote after the Sandy Hook massacre that expands background checks to include gun show and internet sales.

House Democrats passed a bill in February that goes a step further by banning private sales from non-licensed dealers, excluding some family transactions and loans. The House bill, however, has little Republican support.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate will consider legislation on background checks and “red flag” laws, which would allow law enforcement to take guns away from people considered dangerous, when it returns from its August recess.

Author: Caitlin Yilek

Source: Washington Examiner: Trump talking directly with senators about gun control legislation

PHILADELPHIA — Rep. Rashida Tlaib stood firm in her conviction that President Trump will be impeached while speaking to an audience of liberals Saturday.

“We’re going to impeach the MF’er, don’t worry!” she said to huge applause at Netroots Nation, echoing a line from January that drew criticism for its profanity.

“I will not back down impeaching this lawless president. He will not be above the law and get away with it on my watch,” the Michigan Democrat said. “Stay strong. Stay strong on this. If we don’t call him out, if we don’t push for this … who is going to be the next crooked CEO that runs for president? You know they’re coming.”

Tlaib made waves in January when just hours after being sworn in she told a liberal gathering, “We’re gonna go in and impeach the motherf—er.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar, who appeared with Tlaib on stage, called Trump “the king of distraction.”

“It’s a constant pile of garbage that comes out of his mouth,” the Minnesota Democrat said. “He has pushed us down to a level of elementary — I think it’s not even elementary. It’s preschool playground.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has so far resisted an impeachment inquiry into Trump, believing it could be risky for Democrats in the upcoming election.

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley said Friday he’s worried time is running out to impeach Trump but acknowledged that the Republican-controlled Senate is unlikely to hold a trial or convict Trump even if he is impeached by the House, which is majority Democrat.

Author: Caitlin Yilek

Source: Washington Examiner: Rashida Tlaib: ‘We’re going to impeach the MF’er, don’t worry’

House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., pitched fining officials who ignore congressional subpoenas.

Nadler made the suggestion at a meeting of House leaders earlier this month, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. Nadler also went a step further and brought up the possibility of jailing Trump administration officials if they are found in contempt of Congress. Nadler admitted that plan is less realistic.

Democrats have issued multiple subpoenas this year, demanding six years of Trump’s tax returns and testimony from administration officials, who have thus far declined to appear in front of Congress.

The administration has called the requests an unconstitutional infringement on Trump’s rights as president and is planning to fight back.

Congress can hold people in contempt if they refuse to testify or produce documents, however, the matter is then passed on to the Justice Department “whose duty it shall be to bring the matter before the grand jury for its action,” according to the law.

Author: Caitlin Yilek

Source: Washingtonexaminer: Nadler suggested fining, jailing Trump officials who resist subpoenas

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