“It really could be a beautiful bipartisan type of situation. There are a lot of great things we can do together.”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) announced his bid for House minority leader, challenging Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) hours after Democrats regained control of the lower chamber, Axios reports.
Said Jordan: “I plan to run for minority leader.”
Washington Post: “For more than 200 years, Congress operated largely as the country’s founders envisioned — forging compromises on the biggest issues of the day while asserting its authority to declare war, spend taxpayer money and keep the presidency in check.”
“Today, on the eve of a closely fought election that will determine who runs Capitol Hill, that model is effectively dead.”
“It has been replaced by a weakened legislative branch in which debate is strictly curtailed, party leaders dictate the agenda, most elected representatives rarely get a say, and government shutdowns are a regular threat because of chronic failures to agree on budgets.”
Washington Post: “Senior staffers in congressional offices hold highly inaccurate assumptions about what voters in their districts actually want when it comes to policy. They tend to believe that voters support much more conservative policies than they actually do. And this stunning misperception can largely be explained by the disproportionate attention lawmakers and their aides lavish on donors and special interest groups.”
“Those are the results of a new paper forthcoming in the American Political Science Review by Alexander Hertel-Fernandez of Columbia University and Matto Mildenberger and Leah C. Stokes of The University of California, Santa Barbara.”
“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is quietly courting Democratic candidates who’ve kept her at arm’s length throughout the campaign season, aiming to placate potential adversaries who could block her from the speakership,” Politico reports.
“The California Democrat’s efforts — from nudging her donors toward candidates, to appearing at private fundraisers for House hopefuls who can’t be seen with her publicly — are focused on the Democrats in competitive races who are most likely to win. While it’s too early to say whether she would have the 218 votes to claim the speaker’s gavel should her party claim House majority, Pelosi has clearly made inroads.”
“Of the 43 Democratic candidates in districts that Politico rates ‘lean-Democrat,’ ‘likely-Democrat’ or ‘toss-up’ — the swath of GOP-held seats most likely to flip — only 11 have said they would not back Pelosi for speaker. Of those 11, only four would confirm that they would vote against Pelosi on the House floor next year.”
“President Trump has mocked Maxine Waters as a ‘low IQ person,’ and she has called for the president’s impeachment. But Republicans who work with the California Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee see something different: a rare deal-maker in a polarized Congress,” Politico reports.
“Waters, who would chair the committee if Democrats win the House, has shown a surprising willingness to work across the aisle and with industry groups, even helping to deliver White House-backed legislation to ease regulations and crack down on China.”
Said Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK): “There are many, many things that Maxine and I are completely, diametrically the opposite on. But I have dealt with her enough on issues to understand she can see the whole picture. It is possible to negotiate with her and she’ll keep her word. That’s an important thing in Congress. Not everybody does that anymore.”
“Senior House Republicans have tentatively scheduled leadership elections for the week after the midterms, a quick turnaround that favors the current leadership structure,” Politico reports.
“House Republicans are eyeing Nov. 14 for leadership elections, according to three senior Republican sources familiar with the schedule. GOP lawmakers don’t yet know whether they’ll be in the majority or the minority, though the latter seems likely.”
If the GOP loses majority, Playbook notes: “Things get a lot more complicated here. There will be one fewer spot in the leadership structure. But in a close minority, you’d assume McCarthy and Scalise move up. If it’s a blowout, all bets are off and the entire leadership gets shaken up.”
Speaker Paul Ryan told Face the Nation that President Trump’s campaign rallies “sometimes” cause division and that “sometimes he doesn’t practice” unifying politics.
Said Ryan: “I worry about tribal identity politics becoming the new norm of how politics is waged.”
Politico: “House Republicans changed the rules in 2015 to allow many of their committee chairmen to issue subpoenas without consulting the minority party, overriding Democrats objections that likened the tactic to something out of the McCarthy era.”
”Now the weapon that the GOP wielded dozens of times against Barack Obama’s agencies could allow Democrats to bombard President Trump’s most controversial appointees with demands for information. And many Democrats are itching to use it.”
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) “met with members of a far-right Austrian party with historical Nazi ties during a European trip financed by a Holocaust memorial group,” the Washington Post reports.
Mike Allen: “If Republicans hang on, the conference would likely be giddy after escaping death, and McCarthy will get credit. He’s known as an operator who can get things done — exactly what the new, certainly slimmer majority will need.”
“If Democrats get the gavel, all McCarthy has to do for minority leader is win more than half the conference in a secret ballot that doesn’t need to be ratified on the House floor. There’s a school of thought that he could be challenged by someone who promises to be a political disrupter — a polemicist who can function largely as a cable-TV conservative. McCarthy would have to lay out why members should stick with him after a crushing loss. But members are unlikely to blame him, insiders say. And I’m told members would see McCarthy as “a path back” to the majority, on policy and politics.”
“The likely swing vote if McCarthy were challenged would be House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who could bring along many of the most conservative members.”
“Democrats have yet to win a House majority and Nancy Pelosi’s return as speaker is by no means certain, but already she has one eye on the exits,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
Said Pelosi: “I see myself as a transitional figure. I have things to do. Books to write; places to go; grandchildren, first and foremost, to love.”
“By implicitly limiting her time as speaker, Pelosi could ease the pressure to stand aside by signaling her willingness for a new and younger generation of leaders to take over sooner rather than later.”
Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) “once mocked women who were traumatized by unwanted sexual advances, including those inappropriately kissed or who had their thighs touched,” CNN reports.
The Minnesota congressman made his comment during a radio broadcast before he was elected to the House in 2016.
Said Lewis: “I don’t want to be callous here, but how traumatizing was it? How many women at some point in their life have a man come on to them, place their hand on their shoulder or maybe even their thigh, kiss them, and they would rather not have it happen, but is that really something that’s going to be seared in your memory that you’ll need therapy for?”
President Trump praised Rep. Greg Gianforte’s (R-MT) body slamming a reporter in 2017, saying that anyone who did such a thing was “my kind of guy,” Politico reports.
Said Trump:” “Never wrestle him, you understand that? Any guy who can do a body slam is my kind of guy.”
He added: “I was in Rome with a lot of the leaders from other countries talking about all sorts of things and I heard about it, and we endorsed Greg very early, but I heard that he had body slammed a reporter. And he was way up, and he was up, and this was like the day of the election or just before, and I said, ‘Oh, this is terrible, he is going to lose the election, and then I said, ‘Well, wait a minute, I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him. And it did.’”
Rep. Keith Ellison’s (D-MN) “divorce records unsealed Wednesday contain no allegations the Minnesota congressman physically abused his ex-wife, but he said in a 2015 filing that Kim Ellison repeatedly hit him throughout their 25-year marriage,” the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
“The Ellisons tried to block release of the file, with Kim Ellison arguing that it would expose personal and painful details about her depression and health, but the Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected that bid on Tuesday.”
Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) condemned President Trump’s attack on Stormy Daniels’ appearance as “unpresidential” and “rude,” and lamented that the president’s behavior on Twitter undermines his accomplishments, The Hill reports.
Said Stewart: “It’s not appropriate for anyone to call someone that under any circumstances.”