Democratic congressman says staff attacked by person with baseball bat in office

Gerry Connolly, a House Democrat representing Virginia, said two staffers were attacked by a person wielding a baseball bat who broke into his district office in the city of Fairfax.

In a tweet, he said: “This morning, an individual entered my district office armed with a baseball bat and asked for me before committing an act of violence against two members of my staff.

“The individual is in police custody and both members of my team were transferred to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.”

Here’s the congressman’s full statement:

Key events

Fellow Virginia congressman Don Beyer has expressed his support for Connolly and his team after the incident in Fairfax.

He tweeted: “This is very, very scary. Sending my best wishes to @GerryConnolly and his team, with hopes for swift recoveries of his staffers who were injured in this violent attack.”

This is very, very scary. Sending my best wishes to @GerryConnolly and his team, with hopes for swift recoveries of his staffers who were injured in this violent attack. My thanks to the authorities working to keep everyone safe. https://t.co/wOvgUeKvJG

— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) May 15, 2023

Fairfax police have confirmed they have taken a suspect into custody and are investigating an assault of two people who work for Connolly.

Police are currently on scene at 10680 Main Street #140, the office of Congressman Gerry Connolly, investigating the assault of two staff members. The victims are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect is in police custody. pic.twitter.com/y5R60MxdV2

— Fairfax City Police (@FairfaxCityPD) May 15, 2023

The day so far

Spoiler alert: the powers that be in Washington still have not reached an agreement on raising the debt ceiling, but Joe Biden and Kevin McCarthy will sit down tomorrow as the 1 June deadline for a potential US government default grows ever nearer. Will it be enough to break the logjam? You’ll have to wait until Tuesday to find that out.

There’s been plenty of news thus far today:

  • Staffers in House Democrat Gerry Connolly’s office were attacked by a person wielding a baseball bat. This is a developing story, and we’ll let you know when more facts about the assault become public.

  • Some House Republicans are demanding that improved border security and the construction of Donald Trump’s border wall be included in their demands to raise the debt ceiling.

  • There’s no sign yet of the predicted surge in border crossings after the pandemic-era Title 42 expired last week, a top homeland security official said.

Democratic congressman says staff attacked by person with baseball bat in office

Gerry Connolly, a House Democrat representing Virginia, said two staffers were attacked by a person wielding a baseball bat who broke into his district office in the city of Fairfax.

In a tweet, he said: “This morning, an individual entered my district office armed with a baseball bat and asked for me before committing an act of violence against two members of my staff.

“The individual is in police custody and both members of my team were transferred to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.”

Here’s the congressman’s full statement:

Biden announces Tuesday meeting with McCarthy amid debt limit deadlock

Joe Biden said he would meet with Republican House speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday ahead of the 1 June deadline when the US government could default on its obligations if the debt limit is increased.

While the president didn’t specify the subject of the talks, the two men met last week with other congressional leaders to find a way out of the logjam, though it’s unclear if the two sides are any closer to an agreement.

Biden wants the debt ceiling increased without preconditions, arguing the US government should be able to borrow to pay for spending Congress already approved. McCarthy and the Republicans, meanwhile, want Democrats to support cutting spending and enacting conservative priorities in exchange for their votes.

A pair of Republican lawmakers is circulating a letter that calls on Congress’s leadership to include measures intended to strengthen border security in the ongoing negotiations over the debt ceiling.

House Republicans last week passed the Secure Our Border Act, a conservative measure that would limit migrants’ ability to seek asylum, bolster border security funding and force the construction to restart on Donald Trump’s border wall, which Joe Biden cancelled when he took office. Democrats controlling the Senate have shown no interest in considering the bill and Biden said he would veto it, so Kevin Hern, chair of the influential Republican Study Committee, and Ben Cline are circulating a letter calling on its measures to be included in the debt ceiling talks.

“American taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill for the rapidly growing illegal immigration crisis. Thus, we support the inclusion of common-sense border security and immigration reforms in negotiations to raise the debt ceiling,” the pair write in a text of the letter obtained by the Guardian.

“Negotiators should also consider other common-sense policies, such as ensuring taxpayer funded welfare programs and tax credits are not available to illegal immigrants, restoring the Trump Administration’s public charge rule, and preventing relevant federal funding from flowing to sanctuary cities that harbor illegal aliens, among others.”

A source familiar with the letter said it is being circulated among members of the Republican Study Committee, which is the largest ideological caucus in Congress. It is expected to be sent to congressional leadership and the White House on Wednesday.

The early months of the GOP’s nomination process often bring candidates out of the woodwork, as (occasionally surprising) old names look for another shot at the White House. The Guardian’s Martin Pengelly reports that former Texas governor and energy secretary Rick Perry is considering a third run for president:

The former Texas governor Rick Perry’s announcement on Sunday that he could mount a third run for the Republican presidential nomination encountered widespread mockery over a famous debate stage gaffe in which he forgot the name of a government department he said he would abolish.

But Perry, 73, also ran into stormier waters, being accused of lying regarding his alleged involvement in Donald Trump’s election subversion.

Perry is the longest-serving Texas governor, in office between 2000 and 2015. A telegenic ex-air force pilot, he ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 and 2016.

Both campaigns flopped but, speaking to CNN on Sunday, he said a third run was “something that I haven’t taken off the table”.

In response, many observers pointed to Perry’s debate stage nightmare in Rochester, Michigan, in November 2011.

Perry said then: “It’s three agencies of government when I get there that are gone. Commerce, education, and the uh … what’s the third one, there? Let’s see … Commerce, education and the, uh, um uh … The third agency of government I would do away with, uh, education, commerce, and, let’s see … I can’t. The third one. I can’t.

“Oops.”

Iowa’s Republican senator Joni Ernst had the following to say about Ron DeSantis’s visit to the state this weekend.

She spoke to the conservative Newsmax channel:

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) says Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) was “very well received” while visiting Iowa this past weekend:

“Iowa Republicans are fired up in this election.” pic.twitter.com/eJSZ1z7Rc5

— The Recount (@therecount) May 15, 2023

We are nearing the time of year when Americans hear a lot more about Iowa than they usually do. The reason? Its role as an early voting state in the presidential primary process. And while polls shows Florida governor Ron DeSantis has a significant hill to climb to reach the same levels of popularity as Donald Trump, the Guardian’s Maya Yang reports his swing through the Hawkeye State this weekend appeared to be a success:

Florida’s rightwing governor, Ron DeSantis, has rolled out a hefty list of endorsements from Iowa lawmakers as he visited the crucial early-voting state on Saturday in an attempt to garner support for his potential Republican presidential campaign.

The pro-DeSantis Super Pac Never Back Down announced endorsements from 37 Republican Iowa state senators and representatives, including the Iowa senate president, Amy Sinclair, and the state house majority leader, Matt Windschitl.

In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Sinclair praised DeSantis, saying that he stands “head and shoulders” above other Republican presidential candidates including Donald Trump and that the choice is “an easy endorsement for me”.

Over the weekend, Joe Biden (while on a bike ride) was asked by reporters about the situation at the southern border.

Here’s what he had to say, including his response to the oft-repeated demand from Republicans that he visit the frontier with Mexico:

Reporter: How do you think things are going at the border, sir?

Pres. Biden: Much better than you all expected ha ha.

Reporter: Do you have any plans to visit the border?

Biden: Not in the near term, no. No, it would just be disruptive, not anything else. pic.twitter.com/GXvv32APOu

— The Recount (@therecount) May 15, 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *