Lawmakers are bracing for a chaotic week as the findings from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network MORE’s Russia probe roil Washington and several controversial votes await on the floor.

Mueller handed over his report to the Justice Department last week, signaling the formal end of the closely watched, two-year investigation. But it’s only the start of the political drama over the investigation into Russia’s election interference and the Trump campaign.

Attorney General William Barr began sharing information about Mueller’s report with lawmakers on Sunday afternoon, kicking the next stage of the fight over Mueller’s investigation to Capitol Hill.

"It's the end of the beginning, but it's not the beginning of the end. … It's important to remember that whatever is concluded by Robert Mueller doesn't mean the president and his core team are free of legal jeopardy from these other proceedings,” Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsMeet the dog and 'sea turtle' who launched campaigns for office Senators demand briefing on Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria 2020 Democrats push for gun control action at forum MORE (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters over the weekend.


Mueller, according to a four-page letter Barr sent to lawmakers, did not uncover evidence that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.

“The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” Barr wrote in his letter to the House and Senate Judiciary committees.

The letter says that Mueller made no conclusion as to whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE obstructed justice in the investigation of Russia's election interference. But it also states that Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump attacks Sessions: A 'total disaster' and 'an embarrassment to the great state of Alabama' Mueller rejoins DC law firm Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it MORE, after reviewing Mueller's findings, determined that they would not pursue an obstruction of justice charge — a decision likely to be fought along partisan lines in Congress.

“The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,’ ” Barr wrote.

Trump and his allies immediately claimed victory over Barr’s letter, arguing it was a sign that it was time for lawmakers and the country to move on from the Russia probe that has loomed over the first two years of Trump’s presidency.

“The cloud hanging over President Trump has been removed by this report. Bad day for those hoping the Mueller investigation would take President Trump down. ... Now it is time to move on, govern the country, and get ready to combat Russia and other foreign actors ahead of 2020,” said Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamFurious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria Democrats to offer resolution demanding Trump reverse Syria decision Army officer calls Syria pullback 'a stain on the American conscience' MORE (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.


House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseFurious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria Five ways Trump's Syria decision spells trouble Cheney slated to introduce bill to place sanctions on Turkey MORE (R-La.) called Barr’s letter outlining the principal conclusions from Mueller a “vindication” for Trump that “gives credence to the claims that this was a witch hunt that cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.”

But that’s unlikely to do much to quash the demands from Democrats, who are already eyeing follow-up oversight, want Mueller’s full report to be made public and want to see the underlying documents from his investigation.

“Congress requires the full report and the underlying documents so that the Committees can proceed with their independent work, including oversight and legislating to address any issues the Mueller report may raise. The American people have a right to know,” House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden on impeachment: 'I'm the only reason' it's happening Democrats to offer resolution demanding Trump reverse Syria decision Rand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump defends 'crime buster' Giuliani amid reported probe Louisiana voters head to the polls in governor's race as Trump urges GOP support Trump urges Louisiana voters to back GOP in governor's race then 'enjoy the game' MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerBarr to speak at Notre Dame law school on Friday The 13 House Democrats who back Kavanaugh's impeachment Ignore the hype — this is not an impeachment inquiry MORE (D-N.Y.) appeared on three separate Sunday morning shows, leading the charge among Democrats in arguing that the entire report, including the underlying evidence, should be made public.

"The report should go public in its entirety and see where the chips fall," Nadler said on "Fox News Sunday," adding that he would "absolutely" take the matter all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

Roughly 120 Democrats, including Pelosi, held a conference call over the weekend in which they reiterated their demand that the report be released and said they would reject classified briefings. Though classified briefings are a regular occurrence on Capitol Hill, lawmakers and the administration are likely to be locked in tense negotiations over how much of Mueller’s report will be disclosed.

Democrats also signaled that they are turning their attention to follow-up investigations both on and off Capitol Hill.

Sen. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedDemocrats urge Rick Perry not to roll back lightbulb efficiency rules Congress set for showdown with Trump over Kurds Top Democrats warn against withdrawing from treaty that allows observation flights over Russia MORE (D-R.I.) said Mueller should testify publicly and the “crucial next step is Congress fulfilling its constitutional oversight duty.”

“This report is just one of several investigations of serious misconduct by the president and his inner circle,” he said.  

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) added that “ongoing investigations in other federal prosecutorial offices as well as the FBI’s counterintelligence inquiry must be supported. Now Congress must demand transparency and full disclosure – moving forward to protect the rule of law and our democratic institutions.”

Veto override

House Democrats are expected to try to override Trump's first veto of legislation that would block his national emergency to construct the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

Democrats have set an override vote for Tuesday, where they are expected to fall short of the two-thirds needed to successfully block Trump's veto. Only 13 House Republicans joined with Democrats in support of a resolution last month to block Trump's emergency declaration.

“House Republicans will have to choose between their partisan hypocrisy and their sacred oath to support and defend the Constitution,” Pelosi said in a statement earlier this month.

Democrats also don't have the votes to override Trump in the Senate, where 12 Republicans voted for the initial resolution of disapproval. They would need to pick up eight more GOP senators in order to clinch the 20 Republicans needed to get to two-thirds of that chamber.

Democrats are eyeing next steps including trying to include language in the government funding bills that limits Trump's ability to reshuffle funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall or legal challenges to Trump's emergency declaration.

Pelosi said that while overriding the veto is an uphill battle, she believes bringing the vote to the floor could help them in the courts.

“Whether we can succeed with the number of votes is not the point. We are establishing the intent of Congress,” Pelosi said during a press conference on immigration reform in New York last Wednesday.

“The president has decided to be in defiance of the Constitution, to deface it with his actions. Both houses of Congress in a bipartisan way sent him a bill that said this is how we will address border security. He had to sign the bill to keep government open,” she added.

Schumer warned that Democrats would force additional votes on resolutions of disapproval blocking Trump every six months, as allowed under the National Emergencies Act, to prolong an issue that divides Republicans.

"I believe the law allows us to bring it up every six months, and certainly we would intend to do that," Schumer told reporters.

Transgender troop ban

The House will also vote on a resolution expressing opposition to the administration's policy banning most transgender people from serving in the military.

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHillicon Valley: Google, Reddit to testify on tech industry protections | Trump joins Amazon-owned Twitch | House to vote on bill to combat foreign interference Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Judge blocks Trump 'public charge' rule | Appeals court skeptical of Trump arguments for Medicaid work requirements | CDC offers guidance for treating vaping-related cases House to vote this month on legislation to combat foreign interference in elections MORE (D-Md.) announced the vote after the Pentagon said that it will start enforcing the transgender military ban starting in April. Under the policy, transgender people who join the military after the ban takes effect will have to serve as the gender they were assigned at birth.

Hoyer said in a statement that the transgender ban "weakens our national security by undermining our ability to recruit and retain the talented personnel we need."

The resolution, authored by Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), states that the House "strongly urges the Department of Defense to not reinstate President Trump’s ban on transgender members of the Armed Forces" and "rejects the flawed scientific and medical claims upon which it is based."

Trump first announced the policy in a series of tweets in July 2017.

Green New Deal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFurious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria Republicans wrestle with impeachment strategy Mattis warns 'ISIS will resurge' without U.S. pressure on Syria MORE (R-Ky.) is set to force a vote on the progressive Green New Deal this week as Republicans hunt for 2020 fodder.

The resolution stands no chance of getting the 60 votes needed to defeat a filibuster, with Republicans expected to oppose it and most Democrats expected to vote present.

But Republicans have seized on the proposal, spearheaded by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSanders wishes Ocasio-Cortez happy birthday Democrat launches primary challenge to Ocasio-Cortez Ocasio-Cortez fires back at Washington Times after story on her 'high-dollar hairdo' MORE (D-N.Y.), as an example of Democrats shifting to the left ahead of the next election.

Democrats are trying to turn the tables on Republicans by trying to force them to debate if they believe climate change is real, being caused by humans and what Congress should do about it.

Schumer also wants to create a committee focused exclusively on climate change, to mirror the panel created this year by House Democrats.

“We are totally unified. Everyone knows that this bill is a sham,” Schumer told reporters before the recess.


The Senate is expected to vote on Bridget Bade’s nomination to be a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

McConnell has set up a procedural vote on Bade’s nomination for Monday evening, where she’ll only need a simple majority to overcome the hurdle. A final vote on her nomination could take place as soon as Tuesday.

Republicans infuriated Democrats when they decided to hold a confirmation hearing for Bade and other nominees during the October recess. Republicans argue they cleared the dates with Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSchiff should consider using RICO framework to organize impeachment We need answers to questions mainstream media won't ask about Democrats The Hill's Morning Report - Trump grapples with Syria fallout MORE (D-Caif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, but her staff countered that they hadn’t imagined Republicans would move forward with the hearings even if the Senate wasn’t in session.

Then-Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump holds more Medal of Freedom ceremonies than predecessors but awards fewer medals Trump to award Medal of Freedom to former Attorney General Edwin Meese Trump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom MORE (R-Utah) and Sen. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoGOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe Nearing finish line, fight for cannabis banking bill shifts to the Senate On The Money: Trump strikes trade deal with Japan on farm goods | GOP senator to meet Trump amid spending stalemate | House passes cannabis banking bill | Judge issues one-day pause on subpoena for Trump's tax returns MORE (R-Idaho) were the only two of the 21 senators on the committee who attended the hearing. Hatch didn’t ask questions of Bade.

Paycheck fairness

The House is set to take up the Paycheck Fairness Act  — spearheaded by Rep. Rosa DeLauroRosa Luisa DeLauroOvernight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Planned Parenthood charges into 2020 | PhRMA CEO warns against Pelosi drug pricing bill | Medicaid work requirements costing states millions On The Money: Trump to meet China's vice premier during trade talks | Appeals court says Deutsche Bank doesn't have Trump's tax returns | House Appropriations Chair Nita Lowey to retire DeLauro enters race to succeed Lowey as Appropriations chief MORE (D-Conn.) — on Wednesday.

The legislation includes provisions that would prevent employers from retaliating against employees for discussing salaries, require companies to prove there is legitimate reasoning for pay discrepancies and bar employers from screening potential employees based on salary history. It would also create a negotiation training program for women.

“Women and men in the same job should have the same pay, and the Paycheck Fairness Act is a strong step forward in ensuring that we close the wage gap once and for all,” DeLauro said in a statement upon its reintroduction. “This legislation addresses the issue in a comprehensive and sensible manner—and it is long overdue. Our diverse and energetic Congress is poised to act on this legislation, and I look forward to its swift passage in the House of Representatives.”

The bill is expected to easily pass the lower chamber.

Disaster aid

Senators are working to clinch a deal on disaster aid funding for a recent spate of storms, hurricanes and wildfires.

Georgia Sens. David Perdue (R) and Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonJoe Lieberman's son running for Senate in Georgia Poll: Majority of independent voters want GOP to retain control of Senate in 2020 Embracing President Mike Pence might be GOP's best play MORE (R) introduced legislation that would provide $13.6 billion in emergency funding. But top appropriators, including Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyMeet Trump's most trusted pollsters Contractors fight for pay from last shutdown — and the next one Trump signs stopgap measure, funding government through November MORE (R-Ala.), said he would be working to craft a broader agreement with Democrats.

McConnell has teed up a House-passed appropriations package as a shell for the Senate’s floor action, but lawmakers left Washington before the weeklong recess still trying to hash out the details.

The House previously passed its legislation in January that included $14.2 billion in disaster relief funding, but it got sidelined amid negotiating over the partial government shutdown.