“I don’t know how I missed so many signs.”
NBC News reports
that “a prominent conservative group marshaled new polling data on
Wednesday to try and convince reluctant Republicans that forcing a
government shutdown over ‘Obamacare’ wouldn’t necessarily harm the GOP,
or cost the party control of the House of Representatives.”
Action for America – one of the conservative groups leading the charge
to pressure Republican lawmakers against voting to continue government
spending unless they can defund President Barack Obama’s health care law
– said its new poll of likely voters in 10 relatively competitive
congressional districts showed that forcing such a shutdown would not be
fatal for the GOP in 2014.”
As the GOP establishment backs away from threats by conservatives to shutdown the government in an attempt to defund Obamacare, another potentially more dangerous plan is emerging.
Sources tell the National Review “the House GOP will probably avoid using a shutdown as leverage and instead use the debt limit and sequester fights as areas for potential legislative trades. Negotiations over increasing the debt limit have frequently been used to wring concessions out of the administration, so there may be movement in that direction: Delay Obamacare in exchange for an increased debt limit.”
Jonathan Chait: “This is actually even more dangerous than shutting down the government. A government shutdown is disruptive, but can be endured. Nobody knows just what would happen if Congress were to default on payments to holders of Treasury bills, but it could be catastrophic, and at the very least would probably spur bondholders to demand a premium from Washington for years or decades to come. Republicans here are talking themselves out of using a conventional bomb and instead using a nuclear bomb.”
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) told the Idaho Statesman he’ll announce today whether he’ll run for re-election to Congress in 2014 or challenge Gov. Butch Otter in a Republican primary.
South Carolina State Sen. Lee Bright (R) announced his U.S. Senate candidacy by calling incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) “a community organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood,” the Columbia State reports.
Said Bright: “During the recess, when I would hope that he would be around folks in South Carolina, getting their feelings on so many issues that affect their lives, he has instead chosen to take his time to be a community organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood and that concerns me. He needs to spend more time listening to what the brothers in South Carolina have to say.”
Graham last week visited Egypt with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said that defunding Obamacare would be “highly unlikely,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Said Johnson: “Even if we were to not pass the continuing resolution (to fund the federal government), you’re not going to be able to defund Obamacare, absent of President Obama signing a law, which I think is highly unlikely. So I appreciate the fact that they’ve raised the issue. But defunding Obamacare, with President Obama in the White House and Harry Reid in the Senate, I think is next to impossible.”
“When Pat McCrory, a Republican former mayor of Charlotte, was elected governor last year, he pledged to ‘bring this state together,’ and to focus on bread-and-butter issues amid an ailing economy,” the New York Times reports.
“But with Republicans controlling all branches of the state government for the first time in more than a century, the legislature pushed through a wide range of conservative change. The Republicans not only cut taxes and business regulations, as many had expected, but also allowed stricter regulations on abortion clinics, ended teacher tenure, blocked the expansion of Medicaid, cut unemployment benefits, removed obstacles to the death penalty, allowed concealed guns in bars and restaurants, and mandated the teaching of cursive writing.”
“Just this week, Mr. McCrory signed into law strict voter identification
requirements, prohibiting same-day registration and cutting early
Daily Beast: “Barring a miracle where tens of thousands of votes appear out of the ether (and in New Jersey that can’t be entirely ruled out), turnout will be well under 10% of registered voters in a statewide race that received national media attention.”
The New York Times has a must-read piece on the Clinton Foundation, long Bill Clinton’s domain since its formation in 2001, which “will become the nerve center of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s increasingly busy public life.”
“This fall, Mrs. Clinton and her staff will move into offices at the foundation’s new headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, occupying two floors of the Time-Life Building. Amid speculation about her 2016 plans, Mrs. Clinton is adding major new initiatives on women, children and jobs to what has been renamed the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.”
Roll Call: “Members of Congress say the darndest things. Of course, not every member has a knack for delivering quotable material, but some just can’t help it.”
Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL), “who pleaded guilty to misspending about $750,000 in campaign funds, will learn today how much his crime will cost him,” the Chicago Tribune reports.
“A federal judge will sentence Jackson on a felony conspiracy count and also will sentence his wife, Sandi, on a related charge of failing to report about $600,000 in taxable income.”
“Prosecutors want him to serve four years in prison and her 18 months. Defense lawyers want probation for her and a lighter term for him. If both get prison terms, they are expected to be served consecutively so that either the husband or wife is free to care for their two children, ages 9 and 13.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has a book deal, the AP reports.
The book is called “both a memoir and a call to action for women” and will be published in the fall of 2014.
“Republicans are using Virginia’s gubernatorial race as a dry run to test attacks on Hillary Clinton for cronyism if she runs for the White House in 2016,” The Hill reports.
“The GOP feels it has the perfect stand-in for Clinton this year in Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton confidante running to become governor of Virginia.”
Wonk Wire looks at a new proposal — which would not need congressional approval — that President Obama thinks might be one of his biggest legacies.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) has easily prevailed in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary, the Newark Star Ledger reports.
Results show Booker well ahead of his three rivals: Reps. Rush Holt (D) and Frank Pallone (D), and state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D). The difference is so large — with Booker leading his closest opponent, Pallone, by a two-to-one margin — that the Associated Press called the race with just 7 percent of the vote in.
Roll Call: “Beyond his financial advantage and personal popularity, Booker is a
heavy favorite thanks to the state’s strong Democratic lean in federal
elections. President Barack Obama won the state with 58 percent in 2012,
and no Republican has been elected to the Senate from New Jersey in
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D), “in his first public statement since taking a leave of absence to enter sexual harassment therapy, refused to bow to a campaign seeking his ouster through a recall election, touting his accomplishments in office instead,” Reuters reports.
Said Filner: “Now is not the time to go backwards. We need to continue to move forward.”
“That you did. That’s true.”
— New York City Comptroller candidate Scott Stringer, quoted by NY1, in response to Eliot Spitzer saying he “got my hands dirty” as attorney general and governor.