“Federal prosecutors are looking into whether an admitted felon helped arrange to give gold bars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez or his wife in exchange for help,” NBC New York reports.
Archives for September 20, 2023 at 11:14 pm EDT
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), who was acquitted last week in his historic impeachment trial in the state, took swipes at Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and kept the door open to a possible run for the senator’s seat in 2026, saying “everything’s on the table” at this point, The Hill reports.
Donald Trump called on House Republicans to “defund all aspects of Crooked Joe Biden’s weaponized Government that refuses to close the Border, and treats half the Country as Enemies of the State.”
He added: “They failed on the debt limit, but they must not fail now. Use the power of the purse and defend the Country!”
“Donald Trump is facing sharp blowback from some antiabortion activists and conservative governors, including his top challenger in the Republican presidential primary, reflecting the intraparty divisions over an issue the GOP has struggled to navigate since Roe v. Wade was overturned last summer,” the Washington Post reports.
“The tensions center on Trump’s recent comments disparaging an abortion ban after six weeks of pregnancy and pledging to work with ‘both sides’ on a federal ban, though abortion rights advocates staunchly oppose such a restriction.”
“President Joe Biden said Donald Trump looks destined to be the Republican party’s 2024 nominee at a campaign fundraiser in New York, framing a potential rematch as a battle for the future of democracy,” Bloomberg reports.
Said Biden: “He may be the nominee again. It looks like he is destined to be the nominee again.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) promised to roll back several of the Biden administration’s climate initiatives, calling them “part of an agenda to control you and to control our behavior,” the New York Times reports.
Said DeSantis: “They’re trying to circumscribe your ambitions. They are even telling our younger generations to have fewer children, or not to even have children, on the grounds that somehow children are going to make our climate and planet unlivable — and that’s wrong to say.”
“House Democrats have begun internal discussions about how to deal with the prospects of a chaotic situation: The possibility that Speaker Kevin McCarthy could lose his job in an unprecedented vote on the floor,” CNN reports.
“While no decisions have been made, some of the party’s moderates are privately signaling they’d be willing to cut a deal to help McCarthy stave off a right-wing revolt – as long as the speaker meets their own demands.”
Said Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI): “If somehow Democrats are asked to be helpful, it’s not just going to have to be out of the kindness of our hearts. If Kevin can’t govern with just his part – which clearly he can’t – and he wants to have a conversation with us about how to do that, we are going to have a policy conversation.”
A new Fox News poll in Iowa finds Donald Trump leading the Republican presidential field with 46%, followed by Ron DeSantis at 15%, Nikki Haley at 11%, Tim Scott at 7%, Vivek Ramaswamy at 7%, Mike Pence at 3%, Chris Christie at 3% and Doug Burgum at 2%.
Punchbowl News: “McCarthy used a closed party meeting this evening to say that he wanted to pass a stopgap funding bill to keep the government open for 30 days at a $1.47 trillion spending level.”
“In addition, McCarthy wants to attach the House Republicans’ H.R. 2 border security bill and create a bipartisan commission to tackle the federal debt and deficit…. Simultaneously, House Republicans would move individual FY2024 spending bills at a discretionary spending level of $1.52 trillion…”
“McCarthy’s plan is mostly fantasy, since the Senate likely won’t accept this spending level on a stopgap, and they certainly won’t accept $1.52 trillion for a full year of funding.”
“But it may allow McCarthy and the House Republican leadership to resume passing spending legislation on the House floor. This is a key political moment for McCarthy as he tries to to reassert control over the direction of the House.”
“A former federal prosecutor who helped investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe said Wednesday she left the team because of concerns with then-Attorney General William Barr’s public comments about the case and because she strongly disagreed with a draft of an interim report he considered releasing before the election,” the AP reports.
Said Nora Dannehy: “I simply couldn’t be part of it. So I resigned.”
“New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday signed a bill setting the state’s presidential primary for April 2, potentially putting former President Donald Trump on the ballot as he stands trial in Manhattan for a hush-money criminal case,” the AP reports.
“The new primary date could add a new layer to an increasingly chaotic calendar for Trump next year, as the Republican frontrunner attempts to navigate court cases in multiple states while he seeks a return to the White House.”
“The long-shot idea that Democrats could bail out the beleaguered Speaker Kevin McCarthy is suddenly getting real,” Politico reports.
“Small groups of centrist Democrats are holding secret talks with several of McCarthy’s close GOP allies about a last-ditch deal to fund the government… The McCarthy allies engaging in those conversations are doing so out of serious concern that their party can’t stop an impending shutdown on its own, given the intransigence of a handful of conservatives.”
“Many Republicans involved are incredibly worried about revealing their backup plan, wanting to wait until every other tool in McCarthy’s arsenal has failed.”
“This is not conservative Republicanism. This is stupidity. The idea that we’re going to shut the government down when we don’t control the Senate, we don’t control the White House. These people can’t define a win. They don’t know how to take yes for an answer. It’s a clown show. You keep running lunatics. You’re going to be in this position.”
— Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY), on CNN.
“Tim Scott’s campaign is moving to tamp down expectations for next week’s presidential primary debate, while seeking to calm donors’ nerves about the lack of movement in national polls,” Politico reports.
Said Scott’s campaign manager, Jennifer DeCasper: “I’d encourage you to remember that these nights are merely a single moment in time. Any candidate who hopes to truly capitalize on it must be disciplined and built for the long haul.”
A new CNN/University of New Hampshire poll finds Donald Trump leading the Republican primary field with 39% of likely voters, followed by Vivek Ramaswamy at 13%, Nikki Haley at 12%, Chris Christie at 11%, Ron DeSantis at 10%, Tim Scott at 6% and Mike Pence at 2%.
Associated Press: “For those on either side of the debate, Virginia — where all state House and Senate seats are up for election and early voting begins Friday — is among the biggest fights this year over abortion rights. The Commonwealth’s odd-year elections are often an indicator of the national mood heading into major election years and offer both parties a chance to test campaign strategies, messaging and policy ahead of 2024 contests for president, Congress and other offices.”
“Democrats are banking on abortion rights to be a winning issue, just as it was in the 2022 midterms and in earlier contests this year in Virginia and elsewhere.”
“As Kevin McCarthy navigates a spending fight with his speakership on the line, some of his critics are privately mulling who they could back if the California Republican loses his gavel,” Politico reports.
“Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC), a member of the Freedom Caucus, told Politico he had a name in mind — which he declined to disclose — though he argued the conference’s immediate focus should be on the spending fight, where conservatives are pushing for steeper spending cuts.”
“Bishop said he had ‘muttered’ the name he has in mind to a couple of other people and ‘have found surprisingly that they have been thinking very much the same thing.'”
“After eking their way into the first Republican presidential debate last month, Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, long-shot candidates, appear to be in jeopardy of failing to qualify for the party’s second debate next week,” the New York Times reports.