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White House says it has 'not seen violence' against Supreme Court justices, as protests erupt outside homes

Outnumbered – Monday, May 9 On today’s episode, Harris Faulkner is ‘Outnumbered’ as pro-choice protesters target justices and churches. Meanwhile, parents slam President Biden over the nationwide baby formula shortage.NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
The White House said it has “not seen violence” against Supreme Court justices, and stressed that it “does not support” violence and vandalism at churches and conservative organizations, as demonstrations continue amid fallout from the release of a draft opinion signaling the overturn of Roe v. Wade.White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday said the White House has “been clear” that President Biden’s position is that “we should not see protests that take the form of violence, that take the form of vandalism and that threatens anyone.”WHITE HOUSE WARNS PROTESTERS: JUSTICES ‘MUST BE ABLE’ TO DO JOBS WITHOUT ‘CONCERN’ FOR ‘PERSONAL SAFETY'”That has long been his position for his entire career and continues to be his position,” Psaki said.Psaki said, though, that they “have not seen violence or vandalism against Supreme Court justices.” “We have seen it at Catholic churches. That’s unacceptable. The president does not support that,” Psaki explained. “We have seen it at some conservative organizations. We don’t support that.”
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito addresses the audience during the “The Emergency Docket” lecture Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021 in the McCartan Courtroom at the University of Notre Dame Law School in South Bend, Ind. 
(Michael Caterina /South Bend Tribune via AP)She added: “We know the passion. We understand the passion. We understand the concern. But what the president’s position is, is that that should be peaceful—the protests.”Psaki, earlier in the day, stressed that Biden “strongly believes in the Constitutional right to protest.””But that should never include violence, threats, or vandalism,” Psaki tweeted. “Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety.”According to federal U.S. code 1507, any individual who “pickets or parades” with the “intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer” near a U.S. court or “near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness, or court officer” will be fined, or “imprisoned not more than one year, or both.”
Protestors gather outside Supreme Court justices’ homes.
(Fox News)Pro-choice groups protested outside the homes of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh over the weekend.The group “Ruth Sent Us,” which is named after late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, had called on abortion supporters to gather outside the homes of the “six extremist Catholics set out to overturn Roe” and “stand at or in a local Catholic Church” on Mother’s Day. Psaki said that the White House is “certainly not suggesting anyone break any laws,” and doubled down on the president’s position that “violence, threats and intimidation have no place in political discourse.” “Yes, we are a country that promotes democracy and we certainly allow for peaceful protest and a range of places in the country,” Psaki said. “None of it should violate the law, no one is suggesting that, and it should never resort to violence, to threats, to intimidation in any way, shape or form. But that is what our position is and the president’s position is.”PRESIDENT BIDEN ‘STRONGLY CONDEMNS’ MOLOTOV COCKTAIL ATTACK ON WISCONSIN ANTI-ABORTION GROUPMeanwhile, the group “Shut Down DC” is expected to stage a protest outside the home of Justice Samuel Alito on Monday evening. Alito authored the majority draft opinion, which was leaked to the public last week.”We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Justice Samuel Alito writes in the document, labeled the “Opinion of the Court” for the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”Should Roe v. Wade be overturned, abortions would be left for the states to decide. 
Abortion activists outside of Supreme Court justices’ homes.
(Fox News)Meanwhile, outside the nation’s capital, an arsonist threw at least one Molotov cocktail into an office of Wisconsin Family Action (WFA), a pro-life activist group. Police are investigating the incident as arson and connected it to the aftermath from the leaked draft opinion. The president “strongly” condemned the attack and “political violence of any stripe.” MOTHER’S DAY PROTESTS BY PRO-ABORTION ACTIVISTS REVEAL THEIR ‘UTTER BROKENNESS,’ SAY FAITH LEADERS”The President has made clear throughout his time in public life that Americans have the fundamental right to express themselves under the Constitution, whatever their point of view,” the White House said in a statement. “But that expression must be peaceful and free of violence, vandalism, or attempts to intimidate.” 

DeSantis signs bill designating statewide Victims of Communism Day

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday that he is signing legislation designating Nov. 7 as Victims of Communism Day in his state.DeSantis coupled that with the announcement of $25 million in funding for renovations to Miami’s Freedom Tower, which was built in 1925 and once served as a Cuban Assistance Center for those who fled communism.DESANTIS SIGNS $1.2B TAX-BREAK PACKAGE TARGETING GAS, DIAPERS, KIDS’ CLOTHING”Honoring the people that have fallen victim to communist regimes and teaching our students about those atrocities is the best way to ensure that history does not repeat itself,” DeSantis said in a statement.”Through HB 395 and the funding announced today, we are guaranteeing that the history of those who fled communist regimes and their experiences are preserved and not forgotten by our students. While it’s fashionable in some circles to whitewash the history of communism, Florida will stand for truth and remain as a beachhead for freedom.”NYC POLITICIAN PULLS FUNDING FROM JEWISH MUSEUM OVER ALLEGED DESANTIS SNUBThe bill calls for Florida public schools to observe the holiday, and for high school students taking a U.S. government class starting in the 2023-24 school year to have at least 45 minutes of dedicated class instruction for the holiday. The instruction is to be on subjects including “Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution, Joseph Stalin and the Soviet System, Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution, Vladimir Lenin and the Russian Revolution, Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge, and Nicolás Maduro and the Chavismo movement,” as well has the suffering people went through under those governments. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FOX NEWS APPThe legislation responds to glorifications of far-left ideologies being celebrated by parts of the Democratic Party and in academia. Meanwhile, DeSantis said, those who escape from communist countries never want to go back to them after coming to the U.S.”There are probably more Marxists on college faculties in the United States than there are in all of Eastern Europe combined,” DeSantis said at a Monday news conference. “They don’t want to go back to communism.”

Biden says high-speed internet access is ‘not a luxury' but a ‘necessity' as admin rolls out new program

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President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday announced a deal with more than a dozen U.S. internet service providers to give high-speed internet to Americans living in low-income areas, stressing that access is “not a luxury” but a “necessity.”Internet service providers like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and others agreed to provide “high-speed” internet access for $30 per month. The Biden administration also announced Monday a federal subsidy for low-income households that will pay up to $30 for internet access, effectively making the plan free for qualifying households.BIDEN ADMIN REACHES DEAL TO PROVIDE ‘FREE’ INTERNET PLANS FOR LOW-INCOME HOUSEHOLDSAmericans can apply for access to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) at a new government website that launched Monday.The president, during a White House Rose Garden event Monday afternoon, said internet is “pretty consequential.””High-speed internet is not a luxury any longer, it is a necessity,” Biden said. “That’s why the bipartisan infrastructure law included $65 billion to make sure we expand access to broadband internet in every region of the country – urban, suburban, rural, everywhere.”
President Joe Biden delivers remarks during an event at the White House, Oct. 4, 2021.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)The president said the Affordable Connectivity Program will “change people’s lives.””I refuse to call it the ACP,” the president joked. “I am so tired of acronyms in Washington. I can’t stand it, cannot stand, but I’m going to have to learn it, aren’t I?”Biden said the program will provide “fast internet, good downloads, speeds with no caps and no extra fees for millions of American families.”The president also thanked Vice President Harris for “leading this effort” for the Biden administration.Harris said that the Biden administration, earlier this year, called on internet service providers to “take action to help folks get internet.” “The providers joining us today have answered that call,” Harris said, stressing that internet is “essential for success” in the 21st century.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP”Every person in our nation, no matter how much they earn, should be able to afford high-speed internet and a high-speed internet plan,” Harris said. “So that is why we are all here together today.”
Vice President Kamala Harris prepares to depart from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on June 14, 2021.
(Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)Biden, on Monday, thanked the internet service providers, calling the agreement a “big deal,” and saying it is a “great example of what we can achieve when the federal government and the private sector work together to solve serious problems.” Americans qualify for the program if their income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. They can also qualify if a member of their household uses any of a number of other federal programs, such as Medicaid, SNAP food stamps, or a veterans pension, according to the White House.The ACP plan allows for download speeds of 100 Megabits per second, but qualifies that those speeds will only be available where “the provider’s infrastructure is capable of it.””The Biden-Harris administration is grateful for the efforts of these companies, and encourages additional internet service providers to join this effort to close the digital divide by offering high-speed, low-cost plans,” the White House said in a statement.Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report. 

Ahead of Trump headlined fundraiser, House GOP reelection cmte. chair confident ‘we’ll have…resources we need’

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EXCLUSIVE – National Republican Congressional Committee chair Rep. Tom Emmer says he’s “always worried about the fundraising.”The NRCC hauled in a massive $40.9 million during the January-March first quarter of 2022 fundraising, which the House GOP reelection arm noted was its best first quarter of fundraising quarter ever.But the rival Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee topped the NRCC by roughly $11 million.HOUSE GOP REELECTION ARM BREAKS ANOTHER FUNDRAISING RECORD Emmer, the Minnesota Republican who’s steering the NRCC for a second straight election cycle, said in an exclusive interview with Fox News on Monday that “we’re doing what we need to. We’ve said from day one – ever since I started this job three years ago – we’re never going to have their [the DCCC’s] money. We’ve just got to have enough money.”And he spotlighted that “the entire Republican team has done an amazing job. We’ve got almost $100 million cash on hand. Compare that to two years ago when we were $41 million… Fundraising is race without a finish line. You’ve just got to keep pushing. I’m confident we’ll have the resources we need.”
Former President Donald Trump headlines a National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) fundraising dinner, in Tampa, Florida on Nov. 8, 2021
(National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC))Emmer was interviewed hours before former President Donald Trump was scheduled to headline the NRCC’s annual “Countdown to the Majority” fundraising dinner, which his being held this year in Dallas. It’s the second straight year the former president has headlined the NRCC’s fundraising event. Trump served as the main attraction at the last one – which was held in November in Tampa, Florida.HOUSE GOP REELECTION ARM ADDS MORE DEMOCRAT HELD SEATS TO MIDTERMS TARGET LISTEmmer said that the former president “has an amazing ability to help us raise money.” And he predicted that “this year’s dinner… will be every bit as productive as the one a year ago.”While the GOP lost the White House and the Senate majority in the 2020 election cycle, House Republicans defied expectations and took a big bite out of the House Democrats majority. And in November’s midterm elections the GOP needs a net gain of just five seats in the 435-member chamber to win back the majority.And following a 2020 cycle that saw a record number of female and diverse recruits, the NRCC has made even further gains this cycle. “Keep in mind we were really good last cycle in identifying the best candidates, in getting our messages to the voters,” Emmer said,. “We’re going to be even better than we were last cycle in making sure those messages get where they need to.”Monday’s fundraising dinner comes a week after news that the Supreme Court’s conservative majority is likely to overturn the landmark nearly half century old Roe v. Wade ruling, which rocked the political world.WOULD OVERTURNING ROE V. WADE UPEND THIS YEAR’S MIDTERM ELECTIONS?Democrats face historical headwinds and a bruising political climate fueled by soaring inflation, rising crime, and a well-publicized southern border crisis, which are epitomized by President Biden’s flagging approval ratings. But party strategists see a silver lining in the seismic prospect of the loss of legalized abortion if Roe is overturned and the issue returns to state legislatures.And many Democrats on the ballot this year have quickly gone on the attack against Republicans, as they hope to alter the campaign conversation, energize their party’s base, and win back key female and suburban voters who helped the Democrats win back the House in 2018 but appeared to cross party lines in some 2020 congressional contests and again in GOP victories in elections in Virginia and New Jersey last November.DCCC chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney predicted last week that “the central choice in the 2022 elections will be about who will defend our freedom.”And the New York Democrat argued that “Democrats will fight like hell to protect them; Republicans will rip them away.”But Emmer insisted that “the number one issue is still inflation and it’s going to remain inflation.”
Gasoline prices are displayed at a gas station, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S., March 9, 2022. 
( REUTERS/Mike Segar)Pointing to a new Reuters report where more than 20 female voters interviewed in the battleground state of Arizona said that inflation was still their top issue, Emmer stressed, “It’s going to be inflation, it’s going to be crime, it’s going to be the border, it’s going to be education. I don’t think the issues have changed.”And Emmer charged, “I know that Democrats would like to talk about anything but those issues.”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPEmmer argued that “polling that shows the Democrats’ support” for what he termed “absolutely no limits on abortion, that polling shows that’s incredibly unpopular,” which he insisted would “enhance the Republicans’ message.”Emmer noted that “we’ve had a game plan that we put in place. We’re going to stick to our game plan. If adjustments need to be made, we’ll make that accordingly.”

Biden's new WH press secretary claimed Trump, GA Gov. Kemp 'stole' elections

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President Biden’s new White House press secretary has previously claimed the 2016 presidential election was “stolen” from Hillary Clinton and that Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp “stole” the 2018 gubernatorial election from Stacey Abrams.”Stolen emails, stolen drone, stolen election …..welcome to the world of #unpresidented Trump,” Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted after former President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential win, repeating Clinton’s claims that Trump was illegitimately elected.KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: 10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY”Reminder: Brian Kemp stole the gubernatorial election from Georgians and Stacey Abrams,” Jean-Pierre tweeted on April 2, 2020, reacting to a news story about Kemp saying he only just learned that asymptomatic people can spread COVID-19.Abrams, who announced in December that she would take another shot at running for Georgia governor, has repeatedly claimed that the election was “stolen” from Georgia voters and has never conceded her loss to Kemp.
White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks at a press briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021.

Pro-abortion activist targeting SCOTUS justices supported Maxine Waters' call to harass Trump officials

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FIRST ON FOX: The leader of a pro-abortion activist group targeting Supreme Court justices supported Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters’ 2018 call to harass Trump officials and said supporters of the former administration are “Nazis” who deserve to be “ambushed.”The group known as “Ruth Sent Us” last week published the alleged addresses of the conservative justices on the Supreme Court after a leaked draft opinion revealed they were planning to vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. The map on the Ruth Sent Us website says it’s “no longer available” due to a violation of Google’s policies.WISCONSIN ANTI-ABORTION GROUP TARGETED IN MOLOTOV COCKTAIL ARSON ATTACK: POLICE
Abortion-rights activists gather outside of a Catholic church in downtown Manhattan to voice their support for a woman’s right to choose on May 07, 2022 in New York City.
(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)The group, which has a TikTok account with more than 20,000 followers, recently posted videos of women wearing costumes inspired by Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaids Tale” protesting in front of what they claimed was Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s house. Another video showed the red-clad women walking into what appeared to be the front of a Catholic Church during Mass. “For 2,000 years the Catholic Church has been an institution for the enslavement of women,” one of the protesters can be heard saying in the video, which calls for protests between May 8 and May 14.Ruth Sent Us on Friday threatened that they would be “burning the Eucharist,” to show their “disgust for the abuse Catholic Churches have condoned for centuries.””Stuff your rosaries and your weaponized prayer,” the organization tweeted. “We will remain outraged after this weekend, so keep praying. We’ll be burning the Eucharist to show our disgust for the abuse Catholic Churches have condoned for centuries.”
NEW YORK, NY – MAY 07: Abortion-rights activists gather outside of a Catholic church in downtown Manhattan to voice their support for a woman’s right to choose on May 07, 2022 in New York City. The protests at the Basilica of St. Patricks Old Cathedral, which have been occurring weekly and where a small number of anti-abortion activists worship, have been given added urgency by the recent leaked Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade. 
(Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)The group’s website, ruthsent.us, is registered under a person by the name Sam Spiegel, according to the domain registration website Whois. Spiegel, whose Twitter handle is @UNSEATpac, was listed as treasurer of the Unseat political action committee in 2018 filings with the Federal Election Commission.Spiegel strongly supported Waters’ controversial 2018 call to harass Trump administration officials in public, saying at the time that even supporters of his administration deserve to be “ambushed.” “Lies and cruelty are not political opinions. If you support Trump today, you’re a Nazi, and should be run out of polite society,” Spiegel tweeted June 24, 2018, the day after Waters, D-Calif., told supporters, “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”In another tweet that same day, Spiegel argued that “shaming and shunning works” and to “keep at it!””The real story is the selfishness and cruelty of Trump, his supporters and his cronies,” he wrote. “Nazis don’t deserve politeness, and they’re not getting it anymore. Shush, Nazi.””When they go low, we go high,” he continued. “When they go Nazi, we refuse service. While children are eating and sleeping in jail, everyone who supports this regime deserves to be ambushed.”
Anti-abortion activists and church members are confronted by a pro-choice activist outside of a Catholic church in downtown Manhattan to voice their support for a woman’s right to choose on May 07, 2022 in New York City. 
(Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)Three days later, after protesters confronted then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, then-Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, at a restaurant in Washington, D.C., Spiegel tweeted: “We’ll leave him alone when Gorsuch leaves the Supreme Court. Or when @SenateMajLdr drops dead. Then we’ll bring donkeys to pi– on his grave.”Spiegel and Ruth Sent Us did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.The tweets come to light as the abortion debate is once again sweeping the nation in reaction to the leak of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization which, if published as the majority opinion, would overturn the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade.Wisconsin Family Action (WFA), a pro-life activist group, said Sunday someone tossed a Molotov cocktail into its Madison office and spray-painted a message outside reading, “if abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either.” REPORTER CALLS FOR VIOLENCE AGAINST PRO-LIFERS, SAYS THEY SHOULDN’T HAVE ‘PEACE OR SAFETY’ UNTIL THEY’RE DEADPresident Biden said Monday he “strongly condemns” the attack.”President Biden strongly condemns this attack and political violence of any stripe. The President has made clear throughout his time in public life that Americans have the fundamental right to express themselves under the Constitution, whatever their point of view. But that expression must be peaceful and free of violence, vandalism, or attempts to intimidate,” the White House said in a statement.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPMeanwhile, a reporter for Rewire News Group on Sunday cheered the arson attack and called for “more” violence against pro-life Americans.”More of this. May these people never know a moment of peace or safety until they rot in the ground,” Caroline Reilly wrote in a now-deleted tweet Sunday evening, responding to a report from The New York Times about the vandalism.

Reporter's Notebook: Dianne Feinstein and the debate over lawmakers' fitness to serve

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CAPITOL HILL – It is said that one should count your age by friends, not years – which brings us to 88-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.Washington has buzzed for a few weeks about whether Feinstein, the oldest lawmaker in either the House or Senate, is up for remaining in office. Recent reports featured lots of unnamed sources and whispers suggesting that Feinstein isn’t “up to the job” at her age and has more than lost her fastball. There is chatter that she’s easily confused and may suffer from memory issues.Let’s be clear: We don’t really know how Feinstein is. That’s something only known to Feinstein, her physicians, some family members, a few friends, fellow senators or even close aides. SCHUMER SAYS HE’S KEEPING DISCUSSIONS WITH FEINSTEIN ON HER ABILITY TO SERVE PRIVATEIt may not be fair to raise such questions about Feinstein. Regardless, the supposition about Feinstein’s health is out there. There are virtually no suggestions that members of the House Democratic leadership team have lost a step. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is 82. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., turns 83 next month. By comparison, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., is a spry 81. Feinstein became the oldest member of Congress when the late Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, died in March at age 88. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is also 88, but is a few months younger than Feinstein.
Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein speaks during a news conference in October 2020.
(AP, File)There is always grumbling from younger politicos who aspire to matriculate into leadership or chair committees, leapfrogging more senior lawmakers who have held positions for decades. There has certainly been grousing among junior lawmakers about all of these figures. But no one has viable questions about their fitness. For instance, Pelosi just jetted off to a war zone for an in-person meeting in Kyiv with Ukrainian leader Volodomyr Zelenskyy. But various unnamed sources have certainly raised health questions about Feinstein. DIANNE FEINSTEIN DEFENDS JOB PERFORMANCE, DECLINES INTERVIEW WITH SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLEThis is far from the first time anyone has expressed concerns about a lawmaker, perceived to have hung around too long.A great example of this was the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C. Thurmond served in the Senate for 48 years before retiring in 2003 at age 100. Thurmond was the oldest serving member of either body. He is also the only lawmaker in American history to ever hit the century mark and still be in office. Thurmond died a few months after his retirement. Consider this about Thurmond’s political longevity: Thurmond opposed civil rights and ran for president in 1948 on the States’ Rights party against President Harry Truman. Thurmond carried four states and collected 39 electoral votes. 
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden, flanked by Sens. Strom Thurmond and Ted Kennedy, on Oct. 6, 1987.
(AP Photo/John Duricka, File)It was obvious to those who worked in the Senate or covered Congress in the 1990s and early 2000s that Thurmond was in decline. As Senate president pro tempore, Thurmond would preside over the opening of the Senate and struggle to see his fellow senators seeking recognition to speak on the floor. He gave up the gavel of the Armed Services Committee in 1999. But many in the public saw Thurmond up close in 1991 as the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee during the shocking confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas. The not-ready-for-prime-time Thurmond deferred to Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., to pursue the most controversial and visible questioning of Thomas and accuser Anita Hill. The late Sen. Jim Jeffords, I-Vt., died 2014 after retiring from the Senate in early 2007. Doctors diagnosed Jeffords with Alzheimer’s in 2008. But there were a lot of hushed conversations on Capitol Hill about Jeffords’ health and whether he was struggling during his final years in the Senate. Journalists in Vermont complained about a sudden lack of access. An aide suddenly appeared around Jeffords, ushering him to and from votes on the floor. The aide would often intervene when reporters tried to pose questions to Jeffords. And in one instance, reporters even found a seemingly confused Jeffords wandering around the House wing of the Capitol, thinking that was where he should go to vote. Jeffords served in the House from 1975 to 1989.GOP HOUSE MEMBERS REPORTEDLY CONSIDERING TERM LIMITS FOR COMMITTEE LEADERSThe late Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., often seemed disoriented during his final years in the Senate. Aides frequently accompanied Cochran around the Senate hallways as he appeared more feeble. Yet Cochran continued to chair the Senate Appropriations Committee. Cochran told reporters “don’t believe everything that you hear,” when they asked if he would retire. A frail Cochran would sit on the floor, an aide nearby, sometimes nudging him to vote. On one occasion, Cochran defiantly shouted “yes” during a roll call vote, despite advice to vote nay. Cochran announced his retirement in early 2018. He died a year later. Capitol Hill watched the decline of Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., for years. Byrd left the majority leader post in the late 1980s to focus on his stewardship of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Byrd remained in the Senate for another two decades. Byrd is the longest-serving senator in U.S. history: 51 years. In 2008, Byrd was president pro tempore of the Senate, third in line to the presidency. But Byrd’s declining health raised questions if he should continue to serve in that capacity – especially after a lengthy hospitalization. Byrd returned to the Senate and mostly maneuvered around the Senate in a wheelchair. He died in 2010. Late House Appropriations Committee Chairman William Natcher, D-Ky., fell into ill health in early 1994. Natcher cast 18,401 consecutive votes in the House over a more than 40-year career. In fact, when Natcher suffered heart problems in 1994, the House canceled votes for a day just so Natcher’s streak would remain intact. Medical professionals wheeled in Natcher on a hospital gurney to vote a couple of days later. He voted from there and died the next day. So, what is the public to do if a lawmaker appears to have lost a step or suffers sporadic memory issues? Not much. The only recourse is the ballot box.The Constitution is clear. Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution sets the only qualifications for House members as 25 years of age, seven years a citizen and mandatory state residency. For the Senate, it’s 30 years of age, a citizen for nine years and also a resident of the state they intend to represent. Of course, this raises questions about a potential failsafe. Or whether lawmakers should “do the right thing” and step down if they aren’t as swift as they used to be. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPBut that is a decision left to the lawmaker. Ambitious politicos who wish to climb the ladder are sure to scoff at the mental acuity and stamina of certain older lawmakers. California is the largest state. Feinstein has served in the Senate for nearly 30 years. There aren’t a lot of opportunities for advancement. It may not be fair to Feinstein. But this is why news stories, conjecture and innuendo start to appear about an elderly lawmaker who may not be as lucid as they used to be.Which is why senior lawmakers should perhaps count their age by friends, not years.