GOP Lawmaker Suggests Mandatory Church Attendance

Arizona state State Sen. Sylvia Allen (R) raised the possibility of requiring church attendance for every American, the Arizona Republic reports.

Said Allen: “Probably we should be debating a bill requiring every American to attend a church of their choice on Sunday to see if we can get back to having a moral rebirth.”

She added that she wished things were more like they were in the 1950s: “People prayed, people went to church. I remember on Sundays the stores were closed. The biggest thing is religion was kicked out of our public places, out of our schools.”

Jeb Bush’s Nightmare Scenario

Jeb Bush “is expected to be a formidable contender for the GOP nomination. But there are signs that his biography will lead to struggles in the primary’s early stages. There are signs that a worst-case, crash-and-burn scenario for Bush is more realistic than even his skeptics recognize,” National Journal reports.

Jonathan Bernstein: “If party actors remain split or uncommitted and prefer to wait for tests of electoral strength, it’s easy to imagine Bush finishing fifth or lower in Iowa, failing to rally in New Hampshire, and then finding himself almost a non-factor in South Carolina. One thing’s for sure: Waiting for the Florida primary to come around isn’t going to be a successful nomination strategy.”

What Is Harry Reid’s Legacy?

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told Nevada Public Radio he “wants to be remembered as a kid who grew up in Searchlight and then fought hard for all the little kids growing up in the same hard scrabble way he did.”

Said Reid: “I want to go out at the top of my game.”

Politico: “How a gruff, pro-gun, anti-abortion Mormon westerner with few social skills and little national name ID became one of the longest-serving Democratic leaders in Senate history is something few who don’t know Reid can fathom. He is dogged, smarter than you think — or he looks — and will outplan and outhustle just about anyone — the ultimate grinder.”

Las Vegas Sun: “These final two years in the Senate are critical for Reid to ensure that’s what happens. Without a grueling 20-month campaign, Reid has a chance to cement his legacy in the state in everything from transportation to wind farms.”

Democrats Avoid a Messy Leadership Battle in Senate

“In his eight years as the Senate’s Democratic leader, Harry M. Reid earned a reputation for legislative sorcery epitomized by the way in which he muscled President Obama’s health-care reform bill through the Senate. And so, it may be fitting that the Nevadan’s retirement announcement came Friday accompanied by an almost magical development: a quiet and bloodless succession,” the Washington Post reports.

“Reid’s endorsement of Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), makes Schumer the favorite to assume the Democratic leader’s chair in 2017, forestalling a messy intracaucus battle that would have played out over the next two years.”

Politico: Inside Schumer’s 24 hour campaign for leader

No Clinton Emails Left on Server

“An examination of the server that housed the personal email account that Hillary Clinton used exclusively when she was secretary of state showed that there are no copies of any emails she sent during her time in office, her lawyer told a congressional committee on Friday,” the New York Times reports.

“After her representatives determined which emails were government-related and which were private, a setting on the account was changed to retain only emails sent in the previous 60 days, her lawyer, David Kendall, said. He said the setting was altered after she gave the records to the government.”

Reid’s Retirement Shakes Up Senate Battle

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) retirement “is triggering a free-for-all for his seat — with big implications for control of the Senate in 2016,” The Hill reports.

“Senate Republicans see Nevada as their best chance at a pickup this election cycle, and whether Democrats can hold Reid’s seat in the swing state will go a long way in determining which party controls the Senate after next cycle.”

The Las Vegas Sun notes Reid “came right out with a favorite: Catherine Cortez Masto, former Nevada attorney general and executive vice chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education.”

The GOP’s Big Obamacare Problem

NBC News: “With the Obama administration announcing this month that some 16 million people have obtained health insurance since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Republicans’ intense focus on completely repealing the law is increasingly looking unrealistic.”

“Republicans blasted Obama for disrupting the health insurance of Americans to enact his policy vision, as the early days after the law’s enactment including thousands of Americans having their existing insurance plans canceled. Now, with Obamacare more entrenched, Republicans would face the political backlash from a huge overhaul if they went through with their plans to repeal and replace the ACA.”

Reid Will Not Run for Re-Election

“In a surprise announcement this morning, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said he won’t be running for what would be his sixth term in the United States Senate,” the Las Vegas Sun reports.

“In a video to supporters, the Nevada Democrat and Senate minority leader listed several reasons for his decision to end his three-decade career in Congress.”

First Read: “And this has two immediate consequences: One, it most likely hands the Democratic reins over to heir-apparent Chuck Schumer. And two, it creates what could be one of the most competitive Senate contests in the country. Given that it’s a presidential year, that probably helps the Democrats, slightly.”

Walker Softens Immigration Stance

“Likely GOP presidential candidate Scott Walker told a private gathering of New Hampshire business leaders earlier this month that he supports providing some illegal immigrants with a pathway to citizenship,” the Washington Post reports.

“The position would mark a significant shift from away from the hardline ‘no amnesty’ stance Walker has taken in public in recent weeks. The Wisconsin governor also told the small group that illegal immigrants seeking citizenship should not receive preferential treatment over applicants who are already in line, according to the person, who was not authorized to speak about it publicly.”