The junior senator from New Jersey shocked Capitol Hill Tuesday with his over-the-top ranting at Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Sen. Cory A. Booker (D.-N.J.), a bachelor, went after Nielsen with a hostility that is rarely seen with female witnesses, while concentrating on the secretary’s assertion that she did not hear President Donald J. Trump used a swear word to refer to developing countries.
The senator told those in at the hearing, that when Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D.-Ill.) told him his version of the president’s remarks he wept.
“I hurt,” he said. “When Dick Durbin called me, I had tears of rage in my eyes.”
Booker said that the secretary was callous if she did not share the senator’s emotional crisis.
“For you not to feel that hurt and pain and to dismiss some of the questions of my colleagues saying: ‘I’ve already answered that line of questions,’ when tens of millions of Americans are hurting right now, because you are worried what happened in the White House? That’s unacceptable to me,” he said.
The senator then told the secretary of homeland security that he is anxious about threats against his own life: “There are threats in this country people are plotting–I receive enough death threats to know the reality.”
Like other Democrats, Booker also accused Nielson of lying under oath when she repeated that she had not heard the comments that Durbin attributed to the president.
Wednesday, Nielsen released this statement regarding Senate Democrats, led by Booker, accusing her of perjury: “I decline to spend any more of my time responding other than to say the obvious — I did not and will not lie under oath and say I heard something I didn’t.”
Watch Booker go after Nielsen here:
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House Republicans Hoping to Get Americans Back to Work By End of April
It’s a aspiration, not a plan.
House Republicans are considering plans that would help Americans get back to work by the end of the month. Kevin Brady of Texas told reporters on a conference call that the caucus is preparing preliminary plans that phase the workforce back in at the end of April.
“Our focus is on locking down the virus while we’re taking the steps now to prepare to reopen the economy by the end of the month if the virus permits.”
Brady was careful to qualify that there’s no guarantee the public health situation in the United States would allow such a development.
“I think we should all expect the jobs, the unemployment in the GDP numbers to feel brutal over the short term. It’s because they are. This economy is taking hits like we’ve not seen in most of our lifetimes. But it is just a short-term hit.”
Initial social distancing guidelines set forth by the White House in conjunction with the CDC were extended from two weeks to April 30th earlier in the week, suggesting the executive branch may be cautiously looking towards the end of April to begin phasing out the unprecedented disruptions to everyday American life.
It is worth noting that an early cease to social distancing and commonsense measures to deter the spread of the Chinese coronavirus could prove to be even more harmful than the negative impacts to the economy since the beginning of the virus-related recession. This can’t be rushed. But the consequences of the economic damage are real, and all Americans should look to get everyday economic life up and running against as soon as possible.
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