- Associated Press - Monday, January 9, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on Congress (all times EST):

3:35 p.m.

The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee says likely Russian interference in the presidential election is “totally unacceptable,” but says his committee will defer to other congressional panels to investigate alleged hacking and other activities.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah said Monday that the investigation would likely require testimony and documents from the National Security Agency, the CIA and other agencies and is properly the domain of the House Intelligence panel.

Chaffetz told reporters he won’t “shy away” from looking at possible conflicts involving President-elect Donald Trump, but will wait until Trump takes office before beginning any review.

Chaffetz says he had no opinion on whether Trump’s expected appointment of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to a White House role as a senior adviser could conflict with anti-nepotism laws.


3:05 p.m.

Top Senate Democrat Charles Schumer says Democrats will hold Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees to the same standards that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell demanded of President Barack Obama’s picks eight years ago.

The New York Democrat says that means Democrats won’t allow immediate Senate votes unless Trump’s choices pass FBI background checks, clear an ethics review, and submit a detailed financial disclosure statement.

Those were demands made eight years ago by McConnell, a Kentucky Republican. The New York Democrat says he’ll send an exact copy right back to McConnell, who on Sunday accused Democrats of “little procedural complaints” after they lodged protests that Republicans are holding hearings before key paperwork has been submitted and are packing hearings together to limit Democratic participation.


1:15 p.m.

The father of a Muslim American soldier killed during combat in Iraq is urging senators to reject President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for attorney general.

Khizr M. Khan (KY’-zur M. kahn) says in a letter Monday to leaders of the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee that Sen. Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican, won’t protect the “sacred right” of Americans to vote.

Khan is raising an episode from nearly 30 years ago when Sessions confronted and denied allegations that he’d made racist comments as a U.S. attorney under President Ronald Reagan. The Judiciary Committee denied Sessions a federal judgeship in 1986, and civil rights advocates have since raised objections to his positions on voting rights, hate crime prosecutions and immigration.

“Sadly, Mr. Sessions has not demonstrated a greater understanding that the right to vote should transcend partisan interests,” Khan says.

Khan’s speech about his son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, at the Democratic National Convention criticized the anti-Muslim rhetoric of then-Republican nominee Trump.


1 p.m.

Senate Democrats plan an evening talk-a-thon from the chamber’s floor to attack Republicans’ plans for eviscerating President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Monday’s speeches come with the expectation that the Senate will hold a final vote this week on a budget that would prevent Democrats from using a filibuster to block a future bill dismantling Obama’s law.

Led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, Democrats say the GOP repeal effort will “make America sick again.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other Republicans say Obama’s law is already failing.

Republicans haven’t written a plan for replacing the health care law. Some GOP senators say they don’t want to repeal the law until replacement legislation is ready, which could takes months or years.

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