Texas GOP lawmaker won’t seek reelection

Rep. Ted PoeLloyd (Ted) Theodore PoeSheila Jackson Lee tops colleagues in House floor speaking days over past decade Senate Dem to reintroduce bill with new name after ‘My Little Pony’ confusion Texas New Members 2019 MORE (R-Texas) said Tuesday that he will not seek reelection in 2018, becoming the third Texas Republican in the last week to announce their retirement.

Poe said he wanted to spend more time with his family, including his 12 grandchildren who were all born since he was first elected to the House in 2004. The 69-year-old lawmaker was diagnosed with leukemia last year, but noted in his statement that he is now healthy.

“I am grateful for the honor and privilege to represent the best people in America, Texas’s Second Congressional District,” Poe said in the statement.


Poe is known on Capitol Hill for ending every House floor speech with the same words: “And that’s just the way it is.” The Texas Republican didn’t miss the opportunity to insert his signature catchphrase in his retirement announcement.

“I will continue this work every day until I retire at the end of this term. And that’s just the way it is,” Poe said.

Poe joins two senior Texas Republicans, Reps. Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingLawmakers battle over future of Ex-Im Bank House passes Ex-Im Bank reboot bill opposed by White House, McConnell Has Congress lost the ability or the will to pass a unanimous bipartisan small business bill? MORE and Lamar Smith, in announcing plans not to seek reelection next year.

Hensarling and Smith are both term-limited as chairmen of the House Financial Services and Science, Space and Technology committees, respectively.

Another Texas Republican, Rep. Sam JohnsonSamuel (Sam) Robert JohnsonSam Johnson: Fighter for the greater good House pays tribute to late Congressman Sam Johnson on the floor The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – US virus deaths exceed 100,000; Pelosi pulls FISA bill MORE, announced earlier this year that he wouldn’t seek reelection.

Poe would not have faced a difficult path to reelection had he chosen to run again in 2018. President Trump carried his reliably Republican Houston-area district by 10 points last year.

Poe was the second House Republican to announce their retirement on Tuesday, as the GOP prepares to vote on tax reform as soon as next week. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), a member of the centrist Tuesday Group, said he will not seek reelection in 2018.

LoBiondo’s southern New Jersey district is considered more competitive, given that Trump won it by only 4 points over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE.

Steve Israel: ‘We had a better time at the DMZ than we’re going to have tonight’

Former New York Rep. Steve Israel (D) bounded through the doors of the Clinton election party at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York “sniffing victory,” he said.

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But his mood quickly shifted when he bumped into a reporter. 

“Have you seen the results from Broward and Dade Counties?” the reporter asked him, referring to the key Democratic strongholds in South Florida. 

Israel, who had recently visited the counties, replied, “I haven’t seen them, but she was getting a good response when I was there.” 


“Well, the response isn’t that great tonight,” the reporter replied. “I think you guys may lose.” 

Israel laughed it off and headed for a VIP room at the convention center where other members of Congress had gathered. 

“There was still this sense of ‘Well, it may be a longer night than we thought, but we’re gonna win,’ ” Israel said.

But as more results began to come in and the room filled with dread, Israel found himself standing with Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMissouri county issues travel advisory for Lake of the Ozarks after Memorial Day parties Senate faces protracted floor fight over judges amid pandemic safety concerns Amash on eyeing presidential bid: ‘Millions of Americans’ want someone other than Trump, Biden MORE (D-Mo.) 

Several weeks before the election, the two lawmakers had visited the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) alongside other colleagues on an official congressional trip. 

“We stared into North Korea and there were these menacing North Korean soldiers taking pictures of us,” he recalled. 

Remembering the moment, Israel turned to McCaskill: “We had a better time at the DMZ than we’re going to have tonight,” he said.


Moore on sexual misconduct allegations: ‘Why now?’

Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore on Saturday once again denied allegations that he pursued sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl when he was in his 30s, questioning the timing of a Washington Post report detailing the account.

In his first public appearance since the allegations surfaced on Thursday, Moore suggested that the allegations were politically motivated — part of a smear campaign to damage him in the run-up to the December special election in Alabama.

“I have not been guilty of sexual misconduct with anyone. These allegations came only four-and-a-half weeks before the general election on Dec. 12,” Moore said. “Why now?”


“People have waited to four weeks prior to the general election to bring their complaints,” he later added. “That’s not a coincidence. It’s an intentional act to stop a campaign.”

Speaking defiantly and unapologetically to a small crowd at a Veterans Day breakfast just outside Birmingham, Ala., Moore said that he has been “investigated more than any other person in this country” over the course of his 40-year legal and political career.

“I’ve had investigations by the attorney general. I’ve had investigations by the Judicial Inquiry Commission on more than one occasion. I’ve had investigations by the court of the judiciary. I’ve been in five state-wide campaigns, in which they do opposition research,” he said.

An explosive Washington Post report published on Thursday detailed allegations that Moore sought sexual or romantic relationships with four teenage girls when he was in his 30s. 

Moore, now 70, vehemently denied one of those allegations — that he had a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl in 1979 — in an interview on Sean Hannity’s radio program on Friday. He did not reject outright other allegations that he dated girls in their late teens, but said that he did not remember doing so.

Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice and a hard-line Christian conservative, beat out Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeThe biggest political upsets of the decade State ‘certificate of need’ laws need to go GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries MORE (R-Ala.) in a runoff election earlier this year, and is set to face off against Democrat Doug Jones in the state’s special election. 

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GOP mobilizes against Moore

Senate Republicans on Monday signaled that they will do whatever it takes to prevent Roy Moore from becoming the next senator from Alabama, though hopefully without letting the seat fall into Democratic hands.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senator to try to reverse requirement that Pentagon remove Confederate names from bases No, ‘blue states’ do not bail out ‘red states’ MORE (R-Ky.) called on Moore to withdraw from the Senate race and said he believes the women who are accusing the former judge of sexual misconduct.     

Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior faces legal scrutiny for keeping controversial acting leaders in office | White House faces suit on order lifting endangered species protections | Lawmakers seek investigation of Park Police after clearing of protesters The Hill’s Campaign Report: Republicans go on attack over calls to ‘defund the police’ MORE (R-Colo.), the leader of the campaign arm of Senate Republicans, went one step further, urging his colleagues to expel Moore from the Senate should he win the special election on Dec. 12.

“If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate,” Gardner said.


Together, the remarks pointed to an emerging strategy: oppose Moore’s candidacy, but find a way to keep the Senate seat in the Republican column.

Gardner’s statement appeared to be closely coordinated with what McConnell told reporters earlier in the day at a press conference in Louisville, Ky.

“I believe the women, yes,” McConnell said, calling on Moore to “step aside.”

McConnell’s remark was a shift from last week, when he said that Moore should withdraw from the race only if the accusations against him were true.

The unequivocal statement Monday gave the green light to other Republicans to oppose Moore, who is accused of having sexual encounters with women when they were teenagers.

“I’m sure it was coordinated,” a source close to the Senate GOP leadership said of McConnell and Gardner’s statements.

“McConnell is very aware of the experience of Todd Akin. He wins by ensuring that his members don’t have to spend the rest of 2018 talking about the age of consent,” the source added.

The storm around Moore only intensified Monday as a fifth woman, Beverly Young Nelson, publicly accused Moore of predatory behavior. She said at a press conference in New York that Moore assaulted and groped her when she was 16 years old; at the time, he was a district attorney in Etowah County.

To back her claim, she shared a yearbook inscription from 1977 in which Moore allegedly wrote, “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say Merry Christmas” and signed his name after “love.”

McConnell is concerned that if Moore joins the Senate, he will become a millstone weighing down other Republican candidates in the midterm elections.

Strategists thought that former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who won the Missouri Senate Republican primary in 2012, hurt other Republican candidates when he declared that “legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancy.

“That’s why it’s important to get out in front of this,” said the source close to leadership. “There’s no way you can win this argument. And by the way, what this guy is accused of doing is not acceptable, so let’s not have a debate like you see in some corners of conservative media about whether it’s okay to date someone who is 16 or 17 or 18.”

Moore, however, is digging in his heels.

He fought back by calling on McConnell to resign and portrayed the allegations against him as part of a conspiracy.

“The person who should step aside is @SenateMajLdr Mitch McConnell. He has failed conservatives and must be replaced,” Moore tweeted.

In a fundraising email to supporters over the weekend, Moore said the “Obama-Clinton machine,” billionaire George Soros, “radical left-wing foot soldiers,” and McConnell, Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Bad polling data is piling up for Trump Cindy McCain ‘disappointed’ McGrath used image of John McCain in ad attacking McConnell Report that Bush won’t support Trump reelection ‘completely made up,’ spokesman says MORE (R-Ariz.) and the GOP establishment “are gunning for me with everything they’ve got.”

“It’s getting nasty,” he wrote. “It’s only going to get worse the closer it gets to election day.”

There’s little Senate Republican leaders can do to stop Moore’s election unless he withdraws his name from consideration or the state party disqualifies him, according to Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.

There is no way to remove Moore from the ballot because people began absentee voting on Oct. 18.

State leaders could schedule a new election, but only if Moore withdraws from the race and still wins or if the state GOP disqualifies him as the nominee and he nevertheless emerges the victor.

In either scenario, the election results would be nullified, according to Merrill.

But if Moore drops out or is disqualified by the state GOP and the Democratic candidate, Doug Jones, or a write-in candidate wins, the highest vote-getter would be declared the winner and the results would stand.

A GOP strategist familiar with Alabama politics said that Republican Gov. Kay Ivey and other state party officials would be reluctant to disqualify Moore because that would risk the wrath of his loyal supporters.

“She’ll let it settle itself,” the strategist said of Ivey.

That means McConnell’s best shot for keeping Moore out of office — while still keeping the Alabama seat in the GOP column — is for the Senate to hold a vote to expel or exclude him and have Ivey appoint a GOP replacement or schedule another special election.

The Senate has voted 15 times since 1789 to expel one of its members, which requires a two-thirds supermajority, or 67 votes.

It would be easier for McConnell to block Moore from taking the seat by voting to exclude him, something that traditionally requires only a majority vote.

The Senate has voted on six occasions by majority vote to exclude a member who had been seated, according to the Senate historical office. In at least two cases, the Senate has required a two-thirds vote to unseat a senator but fell short of reaching a majority both times. 

The higher threshold of expulsion votes is usually reserved for senators who have served for a while in the upper chamber, but it’s a distinction that the Senate parliamentarian would likely have to settle.

McConnell told reporters that party leaders in Washington are looking at the option of finding a third person to run against Moore and Jones as a write-in candidate.

Gardner, however, told reporters that he has not yet spoken to anyone about waging a write-in campaign.

Other Republicans followed McConnell’s lead and pressed Moore to drop out of the race.

“I stand with the majority leader on this. These are serious and disturbing accusations, and while the decision is now in the hands of the people of Alabama, I believe Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeThe biggest political upsets of the decade State ‘certificate of need’ laws need to go GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries MORE is an excellent alternative,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchBottom line Bottom line Bottom line MORE (R-Utah), referring to Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), who lost to Moore in the primary.

Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsRepublicans prepare to punt on next COVID-19 relief bill Trump tweets spark fresh headache for Republicans Trump’s tweet on protester sparks GOP backlash  MORE (R-Maine), Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungGOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: BIO’s Michelle McMurry-Heath says 400 projects started in 16 weeks in biotech firms to fight virus, pandemic unemployment total tops 43 million Is the ‘endless frontier’ at an end? MORE (R-Ind.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op MORE (R-S.C.) also called on Moore to drop out. 

Graham suggested an expulsion vote for Moore is on the table if he wins the race.

“If he continues this will not end well for Mr. Moore,” Graham tweeted.

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Monchi perplexed by Man Utd’s refusal to mimic Liverpool structure

Sevilla’s renowned Director of Football Monchi is perplexed by Manchester United’s reluctance to follow the approach of Liverpool and appoint a transfer expert.

Michael Edwards has done a brilliant job at Liverpool, overseeing the overhaul of a squad in desperate need of revitalisation.

Edwards, along with chief scout Barry Hunter and head of recruitment Dave Fallows oversee an in-house analytics department at Melwood that scours world football for potential new additions.

Manchester United, on the other hand, have been heavily criticised and mocked for their transfer market failings – with Gary Neville claiming labeling their performance in the current transfer window as “appalling”.

READ MORE: How Man City’s £428m splurge on defenders compares with Big Six rivals…

Monchi, one of the most respected directors of football in Europe, has hailed Liverpool’s approach while voicing his confusion at United’s retisence to follow their lead.

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“This is my opinion – all clubs should have this position,” Monchi told The Telegraph.

“What is the main function? To dedicate the time to everything that relates on a sports level. Where 60-70 per cent of the budget is allocated to the first team, if you don’t have a specialist who deals with that, it is very difficult to understand.

“I do understand there are very successful clubs – Manchester United are probably one of the top five in the world, but they do not have that specific position – but I think that clubs more and more are aware that they really need this position and also we are the connection between the technical staff, the squad, the board, we know the ­market, we get lots of information through the different scouts.

“So, for me, I can’t believe a club does not have this particular position. Logically, I have to believe in it because that’s what I do. But I do think it’s essential.”

He added: “There are clubs like Leeds, Liverpool and [Manchester] City, amongst ­others, that are working with quite a well-developed sporting management structure.

“It is difficult for us to compete with English football, but we do so by making our brand name known, which is undoubtedly associated with success.

“Maybe we can’t pay that much, but we can offer a very exclusive sporting challenge, I would say almost unique. There are the numbers … 20 finals in this century, 10 titles, kings of the Europa League, we are specialists in doing more with less.”

Chelsea offer duo to West Ham in exchange for Declan Rice

Chelsea have reportedly offered Antonio Rudiger and Ruben Loftus-Cheek to West Ham in exchange for Declan Rice.

Frank Lampard is keen to add more steel to his defence and it is claimed he wants to sign Rice and use him as a centre-back.

READ MORE: Five reasons Liverpool won’t win the title

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Lampard has failed to find a consistent central defensive partnership and has chopped and changed his defence throughout his time at Stamford Bridge.

Rice has been a reported target for Chelsea for some time and Lampard still hopes to land the versatile England international before the October 5 deadline.

As claimed on the Transfer Window Podcast, the Blues are willing to offer Rudiger and Loftus-Cheek in exchange for Rice.

Rudiger hasn’t featured for Chelsea this season and has been linked with both PSG and Tottenham.

Loftus-Cheek has also been given limited opportunities and has struggled when he has been utilised.

A departure for him though now seems more unlikely given Ross Barkley’s loan move to Aston Villa was confirmed.

Lampard excuses Chelsea displays: ‘We’re in pre-season mode’

Frank Lampard says his Chelsea side are suffering from their late finish to last season and are still in “pre-season” mode.

The Blues succumbed to their second defeat of the season on Tuesday as they lost on penalties to Spurs.

Lampard’s side finished last season later than most, with the FA Cup final and their Champions League loss to Bayern Munich coming after their last Premier League game.

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READ MORE: Brendan Rodgers is manager of the season so far…

The club have brought in a number of new players who have had little time to adapt and Lampard feels his side are still struggling to get up to speed following a short pre-season.

“Games at the minute, it is unfortunate to say it because the season has started, but we’re not in full mode, we’re in pre-season mode,” Lampard told the Evening Standard.

“We’ve got new players and not fit players. We had one week’s pre-season going into [the first game of the season against] Brighton. We’re in that position and it is difficult.

“I think you’re seeing that with all the teams which stayed in Europe for those extra weeks, we had the FA Cup [final] and then Europe and we had to start like everybody else. I think you could see that a bit in the second half.”

Agent slams Man Utd over Van de Beek: ‘Should have lost 7-1’

Donny van de Beek’s agent has stuck the knife in to Manchester United for their treatment of the midfielder, claiming they “should have lost 7-1” to Brighton.

Van de Beek remains United’s only signing of the summer – something Gary Neville has taken umbrage with – after he made a £39million switch from Ajax.

But the midfielder has played just 24 minutes in their two Premier League games so far this season as United have struggled.

READ MORE: Every Premier League club’s best ever start to a season

The Dutchman scored on his debut in defeat to palace and played a part in earning the penalty that led to their winner at Brighton.

But Van de Beek’s agent, Sjaak Swart, who spent 20 years as a player for Ajax, where he was part of their famous side that won three consecutive European Cups between 1971 and 1973, is displeased with his client’s lack of game time.

Swart told Dutch outlet VoetbalPrimeur: “A substitute; I don’t like it at all.

“I couldn’t do it, coming on with four minutes left. You’d have to leave me on the bench.

“But, I have to say, he still did three good things. And the penalty, where the winning goal came from, came from him. He did well in those couple of minutes.

“But normally they should have lost 7-1. Brighton hit the post and the bar five times. They (Brighton) have a nice team, but that shouldn’t happen to Manchester United.”

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Rethinking The Cost of War

This story was co-published with The Virginian-Pilot.

There are many ways to measure the cost of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War: In bombs (7 million tons), in dollars ($760 billion in today’s dollars) and in bodies (58,220).

Then there’s the price of caring for those who survived: Each year, the Department of Veterans Affairs spends more than $23 billion compensating Vietnam-era veterans for disabilities linked to their military service — a repayment of a debt that’s supported by most Americans.

But what if the casualties don’t end there?

The question has been at the heart of reporting by The Virginian-Pilot and ProPublica over the past 18 months as we’ve sought to reexamine the lingering consequences of Agent Orange, the toxic herbicide sprayed by the millions of gallons over Vietnam.

We’ve written about ailing Navy veterans fighting to prove they were exposed to the chemicals off Vietnam’s coast. About widows left to battle the VA for benefits after their husbands died of brain cancer. About scores of children who struggle with strange, debilitating health problems and wonder if the herbicide that sickened their fathers has also affected them.

Along the way, we noticed some themes: For decades, the federal government has resisted addressing these issues, which could ultimately cost billions of dollars in new disability claims. When science does suggest a connection, the VA has hesitated to take action, instead weighing political and financial costs. And in some cases, officials have turned to a known skeptic of Agent Orange’s deadly effects to guide the VA’s decisions.

Frustrated vets summarize the VA’s position this way: “Delay, deny, wait till I die.”

This month, after repeated recommendations by federal scientific advisory panels, Congress passed a bill directing the VA to pursue research into toxic exposures and their potential effects across generations. But even that will take years to produce results, years some ailing vets don’t have.

The questions we’ve posed have no easy answers. But science — and our own analysis of internal VA data — increasingly points to the possibility that Agent Orange exposure might have led to health problems in the children of veterans. And we can’t help but think of the words displayed at the entrance to the VA headquarters in Washington: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.”

We noticed the phrase, a quote from Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, during an evening stroll through D.C. in June, a day before hosting a forum on Agent Orange’s generational effects and policy implications. With us that night was Stephen M. Katz, the Virginian-Pilot photographer who initiated our reporting project when he shared the story of his estranged father, a Vietnam vet who’d gotten back in touch to warn that he’d sprayed Agent Orange.