Democratic campaign officials warn against focusing on impeaching Trump


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Democratic campaign officials had a warning for lawmakers Tuesday: Voters think they’re too focused on impeachment and instead want to hear more about their legislative agenda.

Likely voters in 57 battleground districts say the Democratic caucus’ aggressive policy agenda hasn’t broken through the noise emanating from Washington, according to polling conducted for the Democrats’ campaign arm. Rather, voters view Democrats as preoccupied by impeachment.

The polling, which was conducted June 5-10, was presented during a closed-door caucus meeting at the party’s campaign headquarters near the Capitol. It offers a glimpse at the Democratic campaign arm’s strategy to keep the majority — focus more on legislative priorities like healthcare, which still ranks as the top issue in these districts.

Pollsters also told lawmakers on Tuesday that voters in these districts prefer lawmakers willing to work across the aisle. In addition, they said attacks calling Democrats “socialists” have not broken through and Continue reading “Democratic campaign officials warn against focusing on impeaching Trump”

Top Dems make final pitch to caucus for border compromise


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House Democrats will soon vote on a move that some of its members once considered unthinkable: Delivering billions of dollars to the Trump administration to confront the migrant crisis at the southern border.

Democrats appear likely to pass a border funding bill next week that its own members describe as a compromise, with most of the money going toward humanitarian efforts — and none for enforcement — at the border.

Key groups, including the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, now suggest they will support the effort on the floor, lining up a victory for Democratic leaders after some members initially revolted at the idea of sending more money to Trump’s handpicked border officials.

“What was presented to me seemed like a very good compromise,” Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), a leader of the Hispanic Caucus, said Thursday. “That’s why I think you’re going to see more members Continue reading “Top Dems make final pitch to caucus for border compromise”

McConnell against pay raise for senators, but Hoyer says House still moving forward — for now


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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t allow a pay increase for senators this year, a sign that the Kentucky Republican wants to avoid the politically loaded issue as he runs for seventh term.

“We’re not doing a COLA in the Senate,” McConnell said in brief interview on Thursday morning, referring the cost-of-living adjustment that’s been discussed for lawmakers.

But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) insists he plans to move ahead with the pay increase worth $4,500 annually for House members, despite McConnell’s opposition. The House is tentatively scheduled to vote on a bill funding congressional operations next week.

And Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) supports the cost of living increase, reaffirming her support to reporters after her Thursday press briefing.

“I do,” Pelosi said when asked by reporters whether she backed the pay raise.

That makes House Minority Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) the key player on whether it Continue reading “McConnell against pay raise for senators, but Hoyer says House still moving forward — for now”

House Dems on brink of minimum wage victory


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House Democratic leaders are on the cusp of a long-awaited victory on the party’s signature $15-an-hour minimum wage bill, overcoming months of sharp resistance from many of the caucus’ moderates.

Top Democrats are saying privately they’re confident that they are close enough to the 218 votes needed to pass it to bring the bill to the floor within weeks, according to multiple sources. It would mark a major political victory at the six-month mark of the Democrats’ majority.

Several one-time holdouts — including Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), who has championed a competing approach that would create a “regional” minimum wage — now say they will vote for the bill on the floor, though they are still looking for additional assistance for small businesses that may be hurt by the minimum wage.

The vote, which is expected shortly after the House returns from its Fourth of July recess, will put

Continue reading “House Dems on brink of minimum wage victory”

Moderate Dems push election security to pivot from impeachment debate


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Democrats in the House’s most hard-fought seats hope they’ve found a way out of their impeachment dilemma.

Leaders of the moderate Blue Dog Caucus are launching a push this week to drag the conversation back to Russian meddling in the 2016 election — and away from mounting calls from many of their own colleagues to try to remove President Donald Trump from office. The group on Tuesday night agreed to endorse nearly a dozen bipartisan bills related to election security, eager to reclaim the national debate over special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. They will formally unveil the plans at a press briefing Friday.

The efforts stem from a real sense of urgency for Congress to tackle gaps in the nation’s election infrastructure, coming from a group that includes ex-national security officials. But it’s also a chance for Democratic centrists to pivot away from what they see as a politically toxic Continue reading “Moderate Dems push election security to pivot from impeachment debate”

House Democrats will vote on bill exploring reparations


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House Democratic leaders on Wednesday committed to a floor vote for legislation to study reparations for the descendants of slaves — a historic move for the black community after the party sidestepped the debate for decades.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters that Democrats plan to vote on the bill, which he said would “look at how we try to compensate for the extraordinary racism and denigration” that African Americans have long faced.

“I think that’s a very serious issue and we need to look at it,” Hoyer said.

The bill, drafted by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), would create a commission to look at a "national apology" for slavery and discrimination against African Americans, potentially including compensation.

Jackson Lee’s bill received a hearing Wednesday — the chamber’s first hearing on reparations in a decade. The bill is expected to soon have a full committee markup, though House Judiciary Continue reading “House Democrats will vote on bill exploring reparations”

Rep. Susan Brooks shocks GOP with retirement decision


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Rep. Susan Brooks has decided not to seek reelection in 2020, a stunning blow for House Republicans who had chosen her to lead recruitment in their attempt to claw back the majority.

The Indiana Republican will leave after her fourth term in the House, where she has been a rare moderate voice in a GOP that has veered sharply to the right under President Donald Trump. She has also been a vocal advocate for helping to elect Republican women to the House, where she is currently one of just 13.

Rep. Tom Emmer, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said that Brooks will continue to head up the party’s recruitment efforts: "We are full steam ahead."

Still, the decision — which came as a surprise to many in Republican and Democratic circles — creates an opening for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is targeting her seat for Continue reading “Rep. Susan Brooks shocks GOP with retirement decision”

Dems clash over funding for Trump’s migrant crisis


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House Democratic leaders are facing sharp pushback from rank-and-file members on plans to deliver billions of dollars to help ease the migrant crisis at the southern border, threatening to drag out another border funding fight with President Donald Trump.

Leaders of several groups, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, have told top Democrats they oppose sending Trump one more dollar for the border without a slew of strict conditions — complicating any deal with Republicans.

But Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her deputies are under intense pressure to deliver money before the Fourth of July recess, or risk being accused of starving the government’s refugee programs. It’s forced Democrats into another agonizing debate on immigration that could expose simmering tensions across the caucus.

The president in early May asked Congress for $4.5 billion in emergency aid to help address the flow of Central American migrants at Continue reading “Dems clash over funding for Trump’s migrant crisis”

Centrists warn of ‘slippery slope’ after Democrats skirt rules to fund agenda


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A group of moderates is calling out House Democratic leaders for blowing past the caucus’s own budget rules to pay for its agenda, a sign of strain among the resurgent fiscal-hawk wing of the party.

The Blue Dog Coalition sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Wednesday urging them to “keep the fiscal house in order” after failing to find a way to pay for a landmark bill to protect so-called Dreamers earlier this week.

The letter, which was signed by 20 members and obtained by POLITICO, is a warning shot to House Democrats against ignoring the caucus’ self-imposed fiscal restraints, known as Pay-As-You-Go — which the Blue Dog Coalition had worked to secure earlier this year.

“We urge you, in the spirit of the House rules, to only advance legislation that is fully paid for,” the group wrote.

The moderates’ stand comes one Continue reading “Centrists warn of ‘slippery slope’ after Democrats skirt rules to fund agenda”

Dems won’t impeach Trump but can’t stop talking about it


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House Democrats can’t stop talking about impeaching Donald Trump, yet they blame everyone else for their predicament.

Democrats slam Trump as “lawless” and “a threat to democracy” in one breath, then in the next say they won’t impeach him and knock the media for asking about it. They’re infuriated when Trump refuses to comply with subpoenas, saying he’s trying to “goad” them into impeaching him, yet refuse to do anything more than file another lawsuit. And party leaders repeatedly insist Democrats can “walk and chew gum at the same time” — investigate Trump while pushing their own legislative agenda — but there hasn’t been much walking or chewing lately.

“Because you’re really interested in it and it’s a really hot-button item, I think you tend to overplay the status in the caucus,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) complained to reporters Tuesday when asked about impeachment.

But 15 minutes Continue reading “Dems won’t impeach Trump but can’t stop talking about it”

Dems won’t impeach Trump but can’t stop talking about it


This post is by Sarah Ferris from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





House Democrats can’t stop talking about impeaching Donald Trump, yet they blame everyone else for their predicament.

Democrats slam Trump as “lawless” and “a threat to democracy” in one breath, then in the next say they won’t impeach him and knock the media for asking about it. They’re infuriated when Trump refuses to comply with subpoenas, saying he’s trying to “goad” them into impeaching him, yet refuse to do anything more than file another lawsuit. And party leaders repeatedly insist Democrats can “walk and chew gum at the same time” — investigate Trump while pushing their own legislative agenda — but there hasn’t been much walking or chewing lately.

“Because you’re really interested in it and it’s a really hot-button item, I think you tend to overplay the status in the caucus,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) complained to reporters Tuesday when asked about impeachment.

But 15 minutes Continue reading “Dems won’t impeach Trump but can’t stop talking about it”

Dems won’t impeach Trump but can’t stop talking about it


This post is by Sarah Ferris from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





House Democrats can’t stop talking about impeaching Donald Trump, yet they blame everyone else for their predicament.

Democrats slam Trump as “lawless” and “a threat to democracy” in one breath, then in the next say they won’t impeach him and knock the media for asking about it. They’re infuriated when Trump refuses to comply with subpoenas, saying he’s trying to “goad” them into impeaching him, yet refuse to do anything more than file another lawsuit. And party leaders repeatedly insist Democrats can “walk and chew gum at the same time” — investigate Trump while pushing their own legislative agenda — but there hasn’t been much walking or chewing lately.

“Because you’re really interested in it and it’s a really hot-button item, I think you tend to overplay the status in the caucus,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) complained to reporters Tuesday when asked about impeachment.

But 15 minutes Continue reading “Dems won’t impeach Trump but can’t stop talking about it”

Clyburn walks back impeachment comments


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House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn on Monday walked back remarks suggesting that Democrats will impeach President Donald Trump, reversing course to say he’s “farther” from backing impeachment than most of his caucus.

Clyburn’s comments came after a private leadership meeting Monday evening in which Speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterated that she didn’t support launching impeachment proceedings right now despite a growing push within the caucus.

“I’m probably farther away from impeachment than anybody in our caucus,” Clyburn (D-S.C.) told reporters Monday night. “We will not get out in front of our committees. We’ll see what the committees come up with. I’ve said that forever.”

Asked by POLITICO whether he thought impeachment proceedings were inevitable, Clyburn simply said no.

The No. 3 Democrat’s comments stand in contrast to what he said Sunday, suggesting it was only a matter of time before House Democrats began impeachment proceedings against Trump.

Continue reading “Clyburn walks back impeachment comments”

House at last clears massive disaster aid deal for Trump’s signature


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House Democrats finally managed to pass a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill Monday, sending the measure on to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it.

The 354-58 vote came after Republican conservatives blocked the bill from advancing on three separate occasions while lawmakers were away on a week-long recess — an appropriately acrimonious legislative finale after months of partisan discord.

Once it’s signed into law, the bill will unlock billions of dollars in grant funding and reimbursement cash for communities still recovering from hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, extreme flooding, wildfires and typhoons.

“It’s been protracted. It’s so long — longer than I’ve ever heard,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said Monday night about the process of negotiating the disaster aid deal. “A lot of people were waiting too long. I think we could do better. I don’t think it was our best show.”

As Continue reading “House at last clears massive disaster aid deal for Trump’s signature”

House Dems eye $1 trillion ‘minibus’ in first step to avoid shutdown


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The House will likely take up a roughly $1 trillion funding package next week, marking an aggressive first step by Democrats to avert yet another paralyzing government shutdown this year, according to multiple sources.

The House Democrats’ package would substantially increase funding for the Pentagon while also boosting money for domestic agencies, setting up a major clash over spending with Republican leaders and the White House this fall.

The partisan “minibus,” which is unlikely to win support from Republicans, is expected to come to the floor next week.

It will serve as Democrats’ opening salvo in this year’s funding debate, with both parties desperate to hammer out an agreement that keeps the government open past Sept. 30.

Any deal would also need to address Congress’s strict budget caps, which threaten billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts if no action is taken by year’s end.

The bundle includes five of Continue reading “House Dems eye $1 trillion ‘minibus’ in first step to avoid shutdown”

How Trump’s Mexico tariffs could scare Democrats away from his trade deal


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President Donald Trump’s signature trade deal is in jeopardy with Democrats thanks to his latest tariffs against Mexico and other aggressive trade moves.

A very tight time window for the United-States-Canada-Mexico pact is closing, giving him long odds for a win this year on one of his few legislative priorities that could attract Democratic support.

“We don’t see how it makes getting USMCA done any easier,” a Democratic leadership aide said Friday. “In fact, it suggests that Trump doesn’t care about USMCA at all, since he clearly doesn’t feel bound by its provisions and doesn’t care if actions like these could blow it up,”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had already been telling people she thought she could get her caucus to a yes on the trade deal, but only if the Trump administration worked through Democrats’ concerns about enforcement provisions, pharmaceutical pricing and labor and environmental rules. Until this week, Continue reading “How Trump’s Mexico tariffs could scare Democrats away from his trade deal”

Chip Roy inflames GOP colleagues with stand against disaster aid package


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Conservative freshman Rep. Chip Roy was at the airport heading back to Texas late last week when he heard that House GOP leaders had agreed to a voice vote on a $19 billion funding bill.

So he called his wife, canceled his flight and headed back to the Capitol.

The next day, the former chief of staff to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) made national headlines as he single-handedly blocked a funding bill that would have delivered badly needed cash to a dozen states — infuriating fellow Republicans and putting a target on his back for the next election cycle.

Roy’s surprise last-minute tactic guaranteed a weeklong delay of aid to states hit by wildfires, hurricanes and flooding, including his home state — further pushing back assistance that had already been stalled since before the midterm elections.

But Roy, who won election last year by only 2.6 percentage points, said Continue reading “Chip Roy inflames GOP colleagues with stand against disaster aid package”

Lone Republican blocks disaster aid package on House floor


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Rep. Chip Roy became the man who delayed $19.1 billion in disaster aid to communities throughout the country on Friday.

House leaders tried to pass a multibillion-dollar disaster assistance measure by unanimous consent, but the Texas Republican objected on the floor.

Since House and Senate lawmakers have already left town for their Memorial Day recess, the objection likely causes a 10-day holdup in delivering aid that has already been delayed for five months amid cross-party sparring. The Senate passed the measure Thursday, with President Donald Trump’s blessing.

The House could still pass the bill by unanimous consent next week, if no lawmaker comes to the floor to object.

Communities still severely damaged by wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, lava flow and even typhoons have waited for this assistance as the president battled with Democrats about money to help Puerto Rico continue to rebuild following the Category 5 hurricanes that hit the Continue reading “Lone Republican blocks disaster aid package on House floor”

‘We’re not at that place’: Pelosi gets breathing room on impeachment


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Speaker Nancy Pelosi just bought a little more time.

The California Democrat sent lawmakers out the door Thursday for a 10-day Memorial Day break after tamping down swelling demands from House Democrats to launch impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

But with Trump intent on defying Democrats on every investigative front, many lawmakers in the party’s growing pro-impeachment wing say the detente won’t last.

“I do think it’s inevitable. And I think timing is something we have to be very careful about,” said Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar, one of the Democrats who came out in favor of impeachment for the first time this week.

“I know there should not be political considerations, but in practical terms the longer we wait, my fear is the closer we get to political season,” added the freshman Democrat and member of the Judiciary Committee.

Pelosi and her top deputies are hoping to run out

Continue reading “‘We’re not at that place’: Pelosi gets breathing room on impeachment”

Pelosi clashes with fellow Dems in closed-door debate on impeachment


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House Democratic leaders sparred internally on Monday over whether to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her allies rejecting the call to move forward for now, according to multiple sources.

Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Joe Neguse of Colorado — all members of Democratic leadership — pushed to begin impeachment proceedings during a leadership meeting in Pelosi’s office, said the sources. Pelosi and Reps. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, Hakeem Jeffries of New York and Cheri Bustos of Illinois — some of her key allies — rejected their calls, saying Democrats’ message is being drowned out by the fight over possibly impeaching Trump.

Raskin — a former law professor — said he wasn’t advocating impeaching Trump but suggested that opening an impeachment inquiry would strengthen their legal position while allowing Democrats to Continue reading “Pelosi clashes with fellow Dems in closed-door debate on impeachment”