Lawmakers are bracing for a chaotic week as the findings from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump 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 CoonsChris Andrew CoonsDemocrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' Sunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Senate ref axes minimum wage, House votes today on relief bill 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 TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE obstructed justice in the investigation of Russia's election interference. But it also states that Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office Trump turns his ire toward Cabinet members 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 GrahamOvernight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Graham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents John Boehner tells Cruz to 'go f--- yourself' in unscripted audiobook asides: report MORE (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.


House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseMerrick Garland is right to prioritize domestic terrorism, but he'll need a bigger boat Why Congress must invoke the 14th Amendment now The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Ahead: One-shot vax, easing restrictions, fiscal help 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 PelosiMcCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 After vote against coronavirus relief package, Golden calls for more bipartisanship in Congress Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe bizarre back story of the filibuster Hillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse Judiciary split on how to address domestic extremism George Floyd police reform bill reintroduced in House Nadler presses DOJ to prosecute all involved in Capitol riot 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 ReedJack ReedCORRECTED: Overnight Defense: COVID-19 stymies effort to study sexual assault at military academies | Biden, Saudi king speak ahead of Khashoggi report Overnight Defense: New Senate Armed Services chairman talks Pentagon policy nominee, Afghanistan, more | Biden reads report on Khashoggi killing | Austin stresses vaccine safety in new video Senate Armed Services chair expects 'some extension' of troops in Afghanistan 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 HoyerHouse set for tight vote on COVID-19 relief package Key Democrat unveils plan to restore limited earmarks Overnight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission 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 McConnellThe bizarre back story of the filibuster The Bible's wisdom about addressing our political tribalism Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' 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-CortezDemocrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' Progressives fume over Senate setbacks Budget Committee chair pledges to raise minimum wage: 'Hold me to it' 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 FeinsteinProgressive support builds for expanding lower courts Menendez reintroduces corporate diversity bill What exactly are uber-woke educators teaching our kids? 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 HatchHow President Biden can hit a home run Mellman: What happened after Ginsburg? Bottom line MORE (R-Utah) and Sen. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoBiden nominee previews post-Trump trade agenda Becerra says he wants to 'build on' ObamaCare when pressed on Medicare for All Yellen deputy Adeyemo on track for quick confirmation 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 DeLauroKey Democrat unveils plan to restore limited earmarks Acting chief acknowledges police were unprepared for mob Democratic women sound alarm on female unemployment 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 IsaksonLoeffler leaves door open to 2022 rematch against Warnock Perdue on potential 2022 run: GOP must regain the Senate Bottom line MORE (R) introduced legislation that would provide $13.6 billion in emergency funding. But top appropriators, including Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyBlack Caucus members lobby Biden to tap Shalanda Young for OMB head On The Money: Senate panels postpone Tanden meetings in negative sign | Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy 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.