Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrGOP rep predicts watchdog report on alleged FISA abuses will find 'problems' Barr defends Trump's use of executive authority, slams impeachment hearings GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse MORE will be back in the hot seat this week when he returns to Capitol Hill for a round of questioning over special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE's report.

Barr is scheduled to testify in back-to-back hearings about Mueller's findings in his investigation into Russian meddling during the 2016 election, first before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and then before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

In a potential curveball, Barr warned Democrats over the weekend that he might not appear as scheduled for the House testimony and that they need to change the proposed format for the hearing.

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A Department of Justice spokesperson said in a statement that "members of Congress should be the ones doing the questioning."

“The Attorney General agreed to appear before Congress. Therefore, Members of Congress should be the ones doing the questioning. He remains happy to engage with Members on their questions regarding the Mueller report," said spokesperson Kerri Kupec.

Rep. Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerMaloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman House to hold markup Wednesday on marijuana decriminalization bill House to vote on bill to ensure citizenship for children of overseas service members MORE (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, had proposed a round that would allow for each side to question Barr for 30 minutes, a source said, in addition to giving members five minutes each. That round of questioning also would allow the committee counsels for both parties to question Barr.

Barr is expected to be grilled over the redacted version of Mueller’s sprawling 448-page report, which he released roughly three weeks after summarizing the special counsel’s principal conclusions in a four-page letter to Congress.

Democrats have relentlessly criticized Barr for painting what they see as a biased portrait of Mueller’s findings and are demanding that he provide Mueller’s full report and underlying evidence to Congress. Nadler has issued a subpoena for those documents, demanding the Justice Department comply by May 1 — one day before his scheduled testimony.

Mueller did not establish that members of President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' MORE’s campaign conspired with the Russian government during the 2016 election, though he noted that members of the campaign believed they would benefit from Moscow’s meddling. The special counsel also did not come to a conclusion on potential obstruction of justice, instead analyzing nearly a dozen instances of possible obstruction by Trump and explicitly states that it does not “exonerate” the president.

One of the “episodes” explored by Mueller includes Trump telling then-White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller. Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMcConnell hopes Senate impeachment trial 'not too lengthy a process' Hillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack Prisons chief: FBI investigating whether 'criminal enterprise' played role in Epstein death MORE (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told CBS News on Sunday that he didn’t care about the conversation between Trump and McGahn.

"I don’t care what happened between him and Don McGahn," Graham said. "Here’s what I care about: Was Mueller allowed to do his job? And the answer is yes."

Instead, Republicans are likely to use the hearings this week to dig in on their concerns about the FBI’s actions during the 2016 campaign as they prepare to “investigate the investigators."

Barr sparked a political firestorm when he told lawmakers during budget hearings earlier this month that he believed "spying did occur" against Trump's campaign during the 2016 election.

"I think spying did occur. The question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated,” Barr said.

Pressed later on his comments, he added that he was "not saying improper surveillance occurred. I am saying I am concerned about it, and I am looking into it."

Yemen

The Senate is set to take up Trump's veto of legislation cutting off U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen this week, though any override attempt is expected to fall short.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul McConnell hopes Senate impeachment trial 'not too lengthy a process' Former Speaker Boehner's official portrait unveiled MORE’s (R-Ky.) office said late last week that the chamber would "process the president’s veto message on the Yemen resolution by the end of the week."

Trump vetoed the measure earlier this month, the second veto of his presidency. The resolution requires him to withdraw any U.S. troops in or "affecting" Yemen within 30 days unless they are fighting al Qaeda.

Neither the Senate nor the House is expected to have the votes to overcome Trump's veto.

McConnell's office did not specify what action the Senate would be taking to "process" the veto message. Overriding Trump's veto would require 67 votes in the Senate.  

Medicare for All

The House Rules Committee is slated to hold its first-ever hearing on a "Medicare for All" bill spearheaded by Reps. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalJayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' Progressive House Democrat unveils bill to allow state-based 'Medicare for All' Progressives press Democrats to rethink Israel policy MORE (D-Wash.) and Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellDemocrats demand FCC act over leak of phone location data Democratic lawmakers, 2020 candidates pay tribute to Conyers Hillicon Valley: Facebook launches 'News Tab' | Senate passes bill to take on 'deepfakes' | Schumer outlines vision for electric cars MORE (D-Mich.) on Tuesday.

The legislation has garnered more than 100 Democratic co-sponsors in the lower chamber.

"It's a serious proposal that deserves serious consideration on Capitol Hill as we work toward universal coverage," Rules Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said in a statement upon the hearing’s announcement.

Republicans — who have widely used the proposal while attacking Democrats for moving further to the left — were quick to note the hearing is being held by a panel that does not primarily have jurisdiction over health care.

“Using the Rules Committee as the first forum to consider Medicare For All, legislation that would force over 150 million Americans off of health care plans they enjoy, indicates a lot about the Democratic agenda. And that agenda continues to become more extreme and concerning by the day,” ranking member Tom ColeThomas (Tom) Jeffrey ColeNew hemp trade group presses lawmakers on immigration reform, regs Bottom Line Juan Williams: Republicans flee Trump MORE (R-Okla.) said in a statement.

“While Republicans welcome discussion on solutions for ensuring access to quality and affordable care, a government takeover of the nation’s health system is not the answer. During next week’s hearing, we will surely have a spirited debate about the real consequences and costs of government-run healthcare.”

The House Budget Committee is also expected to hold a hearing on Medicare for All in the coming weeks.

Climate action

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse passes stopgap as spending talks stall This week: Round 2 of House impeachment inquiry hearings Lawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms MORE (D-Md.) announced the lower chamber will bring a bill to the floor aimed at affirming “the principles of the Paris Climate Agreement.”

The vote’s announcement comes in the wake of Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the agreement.

"Today’s legislation sends a message loud and clear to the president and the entire world — we are not backing down. The Climate Action Now Act keeps the United States in the Paris climate accord, renewing our country’s pledge to address climate change head on,” Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelMaloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman Overnight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite Bipartisan House members call on Trump to rescind Erdoğan invitation MORE (D-N.Y.) said following the bill’s introduction.

Republicans have alleged Democrats rammed the bill through committee, blasting them for opting not to hold a subcommittee hearing on the legislation.   

“It’s unfortunate your subcommittee missed out on an opportunity to mark up that measure. That would be the regular order that you’re proud of and that I’m proud of,” Energy and Commerce ranking member Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenHillicon Valley: Twitter shares more details on political ad rules | Supreme Court takes up Google-Oracle fight | Pentagon chief defends Microsoft cloud contract House, Senate announce agreement on anti-robocall bill House panel advances flavored e-cigarette ban MORE (Ore.) said at a hearing earlier this month. “Instead it’s going to be taken straight to full committee and straight to the floor to meet some arbitrary deadline.”

The Climate Action Now Act — spearheaded by Rep. Kathy CastorKatherine (Kathy) Anne CastorOvernight Energy: BLM staff face choice of relocation or resignation as agency moves | Trump says he's 'very much into climate' | EPA rule would expand limits on scientific studies Trump: 'I'm very much into climate' Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings MORE (D-Fla.) — is expected to pass the House along party lines. The Rules Committee is scheduled to meet on the bill on Monday night, setting it up to be voted on by the full House by the end of the week.

Yucca

The Senate is prepared to revive a fight over storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday on legislation that would jump-start the process for building a permanent nuclear repository, which has been stalemated for years.

“My draft legislation takes commonsense steps to advance the licensing of the Yucca Mountain facility. The legislation also strengthens the nation’s nuclear waste management program,” Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoCentrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda Eleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid GOP senators discuss impeachment with Trump after House vote MORE (R-Wyo.), the committee chairman, said in a statement last week.

The legislation is getting pushback from Nevada’s senators, who are both Democrats. House Republicans passed a bill in 2019 that would have moved forward a process toward building the Yucca Mountain facility. But with GOP Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerThis week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary MORE (Nev.) fighting for his political life the bill went nowhere in the Senate; Heller lost his reelection bid.

“Nevadans have spoken: We don’t want nuclear waste dumped in our backyards. Congress must respect our will and ensure states have a voice when the federal government tries to store nuclear waste within their borders,” Sens. Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoHouse and Senate Dems implore McConnell to sign DACA legislation to protect 'Dreamers' Democrats unifying against Joe Kennedy Senate bid Former state senator gets DSCC endorsement in North Carolina Senate race MORE (D-Nev.) and Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenHillicon Valley: Facebook to remove mentions of potential whistleblower's name | House Dems demand FCC action over leak of location data | Dem presses regulators to secure health care data Senators introduce bill to create 'parity' among broadband programs Senators introduce cybersecurity workforce expansion bill MORE (D-Nev.) said in a joint statement.

They’ve introduced alternative legislation that would require the state and local governments to sign off before money can be spent to build a nuclear storage facility.

DHS

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan will testify on Capitol Hill this week about the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) 2020 budget request amid a shake-up of top leadership.

McAleenan will testify before a House Appropriations subcommittee on Tuesday, before crossing the Capitol and appearing before a Senate panel on Thursday.

His testimony on Capitol Hill comes after The New York Times reported that acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney warned former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen not to brief Trump on possible interference in the upcoming election, despite her concerns that it was a key national security issue.

Mulvaney, according to the Times, said it “wasn’t a great subject and should be kept below [the president's] level."

Nielsen was one of several members of DHS leadership who have left, or whose nominations were pulled, during the past month, setting off alarm bells on Capitol Hill over a potential lurch further rightward on the administration’s border and immigration policy.

The House Homeland Security Committee is expected to hold a separate hearing on Wednesday entitled “Trouble at the Top: Are Vacancies at the Department of Homeland Security Undermining the Mission?”

Nominations

Republicans are preparing to confirm another slate of Trump nominees after McConnell teed up several nominations before the two-week recess for votes on the Senate floor.

The Senate will hold its first vote of the week on Monday evening, where they’ll move to end debate on Clarke Cooper’s State Department nomination.

After they confirm Cooper to be an assistant secretary of State, senators will then work through six additional nominations: Gordon Hartogensis’s nomination to be the director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, as well as district judge nominations for Campbell Barker, Andrew Brasher, Rodolfo Ruiz, Raul Arias-Marxuach and Joshua Wolson.

Each of the nominees only needs a simple majority to be confirmed. Under a rules change enacted earlier this month, they’ll only need two hours of debate after they defeat a filibuster, compared to the previously required 30.