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WASHINGTON—Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized former President Donald Trump for meeting with white nationalist Nick Fuentes and rapper Kanye West, saying that the incident might prevent him from returning to the White House. “Let me just say that there is no room in the Republican party for anti-Semitism or white supremacy,” Mr. McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, told reporters on Tuesday. “Anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view in my judgment is highly unlikely ever to be elected president of the United States.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence said former President Donald Trump ‘was wrong’ to meet with Nick Fuentes and Kanye West. WASHINGTON—Donald Trump should apologize for having dinner with white nationalist Nick Fuentes and Kanye West, former Vice President Mike Pence said, adding to fellow Republicans’ criticism of the meeting just as Mr. Trump is attempting to ramp up a third presidential bid. “President Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an anti-Semite and a Holocaust denier a seat at the table, and I think he should apologize for it,” Mr. Pence said Monday in an interview with NewsNation. “He should denounce those individuals and their hateful rhetoric without qualification.”
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) at an election-night party this month in Anchorage. The Alaska Division of Elections is set to announce the results of the state’s hard-fought House and Senate races in a live broadcast of the state’s new ranked choice voting tabulation later Wednesday. The results will be broadcast at 4 p.m. local time, or 8 p.m. Eastern time, via a link on the division’s website.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) at an election-night party this month in Anchorage. Centrist Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska won another term in the Senate, defeating rival GOP candidate Kelly Tshibaka, who was backed by former President Donald Trump. Also Wednesday, incumbent Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola won a full two-year term as Alaska’s lone representative in the U.S. House, once again thwarting former Republican Gov. Sarah Palin’s effort to mount a political comeback.
California Rep. David Valadao is hanging onto his seat in a swing district that runs from Fresno to Bakersfield. California Rep. David Valadao won re-election on Monday, meaning two of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump over his role in the Capitol riot will return to Congress next year. Mr. Valadao defeated Democratic State Assemblyman Rudy Salas, the Associated Press projected late Monday, hanging onto his seat in a swing district that runs from Fresno to Bakersfield. With 98% of the vote counted, Mr. Valadao had 51.7% to 48.3% for Mr. Salas.
Alaska’s Senate and House Races Inch Toward Finish
  + stars: | 2022-11-20 | by ( Lindsay Wise | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski was slightly ahead of Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka in the Senate race Friday, with Democrat Pat Chesbro far behind. Alaska’s Senate and House races are inching toward resolution, with the two high-profile contests pulling up the rear of the midterm elections due to slow counting and the state’s ranked-choice voting system. In the House race, Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola was running well ahead of her Republican rivals, former Gov. Sarah Palin and Nick Begich III , but shy of the majority needed to win in the first round. In the Senate race, incumbent GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski was neck and neck with her Trump-endorsed Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka , jumping into a slight lead in the latest round of votes.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) has fended off a challenge to his leadership in the GOP in the Senate. Allies of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and Sen. Rick Scott (R., Fla.) continue to trade blame for the party’s failure to capture the Senate majority in the midterms elections, with the conflict now spilling over into Republicans’ Georgia runoff effort. Mr. McConnell on Wednesday defeated a long-shot bid by Mr. Scott to replace him as the Senate’s top Republican, but the fallout is lingering as the party prepares for the Dec. 6 runoff between ex-football star Herschel Walker and incumbent Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock . The Senate now stands at 50-49; the Democrats will keep the majority regardless of the runoff results because Vice President Kamala Harris has a tiebreaking vote.
WASHINGTON—Republicans’ narrow control of the House of Representatives will usher in a return to divided government in Washington next year, likely shattering the chances of any major legislation, stoking divisions within the GOP and putting President Biden on defense as the new Congress investigates his administration. Mr. Biden, who downsized his agenda to get bills through a Congress narrowly controlled by Democrats, will now have to contend with House Republicans who have said they plan to pressure him to cut government spending and make other policy changes by threatening to withhold votes to keep the government open or to ensure that the U.S. meets its debt obligations.
WASHINGTON—Many congressional Republicans said they were wary of former President Donald Trump’s launch of another bid for the White House, expressing concern that his move could distract from the party’s effort to win a Dec. 6 Georgia Senate runoff in the short term and hurt the GOP’s appeal to a swath of voters in the long term. Mr. Trump announced his third consecutive presidential campaign Tuesday night at his Mar-a-Lago estate—a week after Republicans’ disappointing performance in the midterms, including losses in some key Senate races by Trump-backed candidates. The move came just as Capitol Hill Republicans were pondering their own leadership, with the House GOP picking Kevin McCarthy for their speaker candidate Tuesday and Senate Republicans held leadership elections Wednesday.
Sen. Rick Scott talks to reporters after meeting with Senate Republicans at the Capitol on Tuesday. WASHINGTON—Sen. Rick Scott announced a bid to challenge Sen. Mitch McConnell for the role of Senate Republican leader, deepening a rift within the Republican conference following the party’s weaker-than-expected performance in the midterm elections. Mr. Scott, of Florida, announced his bid during a closed-door Republican luncheon called to discuss the outcome of the elections at their first all-conference meeting since Election Day, arguing that the party needed a clearer message to voters and sparring directly with Mr. McConnell over his leadership style.
WASHINGTON—Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker began his Georgia runoff bid the same way he ended his general election campaign earlier this week: with a bus tour. On Thursday evening, it began with a stop in Canton, Ga., featuring Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas). “We’re in overtime,” Mr. Walker, a former Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Georgia, said. “I was built for this. God prepared me for this moment right here.”
WASHINGTON—Weaker-than-expected results in the midterm elections for Republicans set off a wave of second-guessing of the party’s approach in a campaign seen as a prime opportunity to pick off dozens of seats from weakened Democrats. The GOP still appeared on track to win the majority in the House, though with a much smaller margin than many election analysts and party officials had predicted, amid concerns over inflation and crime under Democratic control of Washington. In the Senate, the margin will likely be tight, and could once again come down to a Georgia runoff as it did in 2020, puncturing party hopes of winning a comfortable majority.
WASHINGTON—The Republican path to control of the Senate narrowed early Wednesday with Democrat John Fetterman ’s victory over physician and television personality Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, the first Senate seat flipped by either party. Republicans had poured $85 million into general-election ads for the Pennsylvania contest to try to hold a seat left open by retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey . Democrats spent $111 million, according to AdImpact, a political ad tracking firm.
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WASHINGTON—Democrats are pushing an economic message in an 11th-hour pitch to older voters in next week’s elections: Republicans will put entitlements at risk if they take control of Congress. President Biden plans to make that argument on Tuesday outside Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Republicans in the House and the Senate have called for a range of changes to Medicare and Social Security, which they say would ensure the programs’ future and curb federal spending.
The GOP is favored to win control of the House as the party not in power historically gains seats at the midpoint of a new president’s first term. Republicans are building momentum in their battle to win the House, while an uneven political landscape in the final days before the midterm elections is creating uncertainty about the extent of the party’s gains—and the GOP’s prospects for winning control of the Senate. Republicans have long been favored to win the House majority, given that the party out of power historically gains seats at the halfway point of a new president’s first term and President Biden’s approval ratings have been stuck below 45% for more than a year amid persistent worries about the economy. This past week, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report increased the number of seats it expects Republicans to gain in the next Congress to between 12 to 25, up from an earlier estimate of 10 to 20 seats.
House Democrats Retract Ukraine Letter After Backlash
  + stars: | 2022-10-25 | by ( Lindsay Wise | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.) said a letter on the Ukraine war from progressive Democrats to President Biden ‘unfortunately was released by staff without vetting.’WASHINGTON—A group of 30 House Democrats retracted a letter they had sent to President Biden urging him to seek direct talks with Russia to end the war in Ukraine, following backlash within the Democratic Party and disavowals from some signatories. The reversal Tuesday underscored the sensitivity of the issue on Capitol Hill, where Congress has approved more than $65 billion in aid for Kyiv since the Russian invasion, and Mr. Biden and party leaders have said that any peace talks or terms of a cease-fire should be driven by Ukraine’s government.
WASHINGTON—A group of 30 House Democrats sent a letter to President Biden on Monday asking him to seek direct talks with Russia to reach a diplomatic settlement to the war in Ukraine, marking a new sign of unease in Congress over America’s approach to the fighting. The letter’s signatories include Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.), the chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, as well as influential progressives Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D., Calif.). Rep. Barbara Lee (D., Calif.), the only member of Congress to vote against the resolution authorizing war in Afghanistan in 2001, also signed the letter.
WASHINGTON—U.S. lawmakers are weighing plans to pass a multibillion-dollar aid package for Ukraine before year’s end, congressional aides said, reflecting fears among Democrats and some Republicans that a new and potentially GOP-controlled Congress would be less supportive of such assistance. The discussions, which haven’t yielded a concrete legislative proposal, are aimed at wrapping potentially tens of billions of Ukraine aid in a must-pass, year-end government funding package, assuring Kyiv of continued military and economic support through 2023, the aides said. Congress has until Dec. 16 to fund the government and avoid a shutdown.
President Biden on Friday warned Republicans not to use the need to raise the debt ceiling next year as leverage to demand spending cuts. WASHINGTON—President Biden said he wouldn’t support efforts to eliminate the debt ceiling altogether, in the face of Republicans’ calls to use it as leverage to cut government spending if they take control of the House in the midterms. Asked by a reporter if he supported a permanent repeal of the debt limit, Mr. Biden said: “No. That would be irresponsible.”
Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker will square off in their only debate Friday night, a hotly anticipated event thanks to Mr. Walker’s controversial campaign and Georgia’s emergence as a perennial battleground state. The Senate is split 50-50 between the parties, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting tiebreaking votes. Democratic officials in Washington have said their easiest path to keeping the Senate majority is protecting four vulnerable incumbents: Mr. Warnock, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Mark Kelly of Arizona and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire. If Republicans hold all their current seats, they only need to defeat one of those Democrats to take control of the chamber.
Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker clashed over abortion, inflation and healthcare in their only debate Friday night, a hotly anticipated event thanks to Mr. Walker’s controversial campaign and Georgia’s emergence as a perennial battleground state. “This race ain’t about me. It’s about what Raphael Warnock and Joe Biden have done to you and your family,” Mr. Walker said in his opening remarks. He went on to try repeatedly to link the incumbent senator to the president.
WASHINGTON—Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered qualified support for a Senate bill that would overhaul a 19th-century law that governs the way Congress counts and ratifies presidential elector votes, giving the bipartisan effort a boost. The House passed its own version last week, 229-203. Both measures are a response to efforts by former President Donald Trump and his supporters to try to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
McConnell Signals Support for Electoral Count Act Changes
  + stars: | 2022-09-27 | by ( Lindsay Wise | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Sen. Mitch McConnell says the chaos of January of last year convinced him of the need to update the electoral law. WASHINGTON—Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered qualified support for a Senate bill that would overhaul a 19th-century law that governs the way Congress counts and ratifies presidential elector votes, giving the bipartisan effort a boost. The House passed its own version last week, 229-203. Both measures are a response to efforts by then-President Donald Trump and his supporters to try to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
WASHINGTON—Senate Democrats have included another $12.3 billion in economic and military aid for Ukraine in a must-pass government funding bill, a proposal that would bring U.S. spending on Kyiv’s efforts to repel Russia’s invasion to more than $65 billion this year. Congress has until Friday, the end of the fiscal year, to pass the bill and keep the government funded through Dec. 16.
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