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Facing criticism from Democrats and frustration from Republicans, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., has amended his controversial “Rescue America” plan that called for all federal legislation to sunset. The plan now lists “specific exceptions of Social Security, Medicare, national security, veterans benefits, and other essential services.”The previous language read: “All federal legislation sunsets in 5 years. If a law is worth keeping, Congress can pass it again.”The new language says: “All federal legislation sunsets in 5 years, with specific exceptions of Social Security, Medicare, national security, veterans benefits, and other essential services. Note to President Biden, Sen. Schumer, and Sen. McConnell — As you know, this was never intended to apply to Social Security, Medicare, or the US Navy” (bold included in plan). This isn’t the first time Scott has edited his controversial 12-point plan while under fire.
As in 2011, the GOP speaker runs a House majority full of ideologically-driven conservatives who want to use the debt limit as leverage to force budget changes on a Democratic-led Senate and White House. “It is possible we will eventually see House Republicans put forth a plan for dealing with both the debt limit and the spending problem. After 2011, the Obama White House drew a hard line when the debt limit deadline came up again in early 2013. Andrew Harnik / APAsked about Biden's position and the GOP criticisms, the White House said the president “takes a backseat to no one” on pursuing bipartisanship, but said that the no-negotiations stance from 2013 onward on the debt limit succeeded. “Everyone seems to have forgotten that there was a debt limit standoff in 2013 where Obama adopted the no-negotiation approach and prevailed with a clean debt limit,” he said.
WASHINGTON — A top Republican who negotiated the bipartisan gun law that passed last year said he doesn't expect to see new legislative action on gun violence despite the recent mass shootings in California. Asked whether the House intends to take up legislation to combat mass shootings, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., gave no indication that it would. Biden negotiated the assault weapons ban of 1994, which expired in 2004. “It’s time we pass an assault weapons ban in this country. I’m the author of the assault weapons ban in 1994.
WASHINGTON — Republicans, newly empowered with a House majority, are demanding spending cuts as a price for lifting the debt ceiling and averting a catastrophic default on U.S. debt. Republicans are divided over whether Medicare and Social Security spending should be on the chopping block. Jose Luis Magana / APLuna said she wants to do it without tax increases or Social Security or Medicare cuts. The White House has vowed that Biden won’t grant concessions on the debt limit and that paying the country’s bills is non-negotiable. But I think we’ve got to also honor our commitment to Americans when it comes to Social Security and Medicare,” Garcia continued.
WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy should lead the way on crafting a solution to the debt ceiling deadline so the United States can keep paying its bills. But Democratic leaders and President Joe Biden say they will not entertain cuts or other negotiations tied to the debt ceiling. While McConnell has negotiated past deals with Biden, including when he was vice president, McCarthy has little experience negotiating complicated deals with Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., agreed with McConnell that the onus is on McCarthy to move on the debt limit. The Treasury Department says it is using "extraordinary measures" to keep paying the country's bills after it hit the statutory debt ceiling last week.
WASHINGTON — Rep. Victoria Spartz, an Indiana Republican, said Tuesday she'll oppose Speaker Kevin McCarthy's efforts to keep a handful of Democrats off key House committees. But he may need the support of a majority of the House to block Omar from Foreign Affairs. Given McCarthy's slim Republican majority, every vote is important. The speaker's plans are widely seen as retaliation against Democrats for kicking Republican Reps. Paul Gosar, of Arizona, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, of Georgia, off their committees in the last Congress over incendiary or violent rhetoric. “Speaker Pelosi took unprecedented actions last Congress to remove Reps. Greene and Gosar from their committees without proper due process.
WASHINGTON — Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego announced Monday he will run for the Arizona U.S. Senate seat currently held by centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who left the Democratic Party in December to become an independent. In his statement Monday, Gallego said: “The problem isn’t that Senator Sinema abandoned the Democratic Party — it’s that she’s abandoned Arizona. Karrin Taylor Robson, who narrowly lost to Lake in the 2022 primary after spending $20 million of her family’s money, is seriously considering a Senate run, a source close to her said. And Mark Lamb, the Pinal County sheriff, is also considering a Senate run in 2024, said an Arizona Republican source. A Gallego adviser said he's prepared for a two-way race if Sinema steps aside or a three-way race if she chooses to run.
WASHINGTON — Conservative hard-liners are consolidating power in the narrow new House majority, presenting early challenges for Republicans in swing districts ahead of the 2024 election as Democrats seek to paint the entire party as beholden to extremists. Twenty House GOP hard-liners have set the tone, extracting a series of concessions from Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to change House rules while securing plum committee assignments and winning assurances about advancing their legislative priorities. “If you can’t win independent voters, you can’t win elections.”Democrats are targeting 25 districts to win back the House majority next year, including 18 Republican-held seats that Biden carried in 2020. In the narrow Republican majority, McCarthy has only four votes to spare before he requires Democratic support to pass measures. Lance, the former congressman, argued that renominating former President Donald Trump could cost Republicans the House.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. government is hitting its statutory debt limit on Thursday, requiring the Treasury Department to begin resorting to "extraordinary measures" to pay the bills. It is therefore critical that Congress act in a timely manner to increase or suspend the debt limit," Yellen wrote. But the White House has made clear what President Joe Biden's offer to lift the debt ceiling is: nothing. There should be no political brinkmanship with the debt limit. "We cannot raise the debt ceiling," Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said Tuesday on Twitter.
Republicans are on a collision course with the White House, which is demanding that Congress raise the debt limit without conditions. Republicans have waged heated battles over the debt ceiling, most notably in 2011, but they have always been resolved in time. Why does a GOP House complicate debt ceiling negotiations? Republicans have floated everything from budget cuts to socially conservative legislation as part of a debt ceiling increase. The White House had laid down a marker: no negotiations, no policy strings attached to raise the debt ceiling.
WASHINGTON — House Republicans' calls for Rep. George Santos to resign are growing after state GOP leaders in New York said he should step aside over a slew of lies and fabrications in the biography he ran on in the 2022 midterm election. Rep. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., also starting his first term, dropped his earlier hedging and unequivocally said Thursday that Santos should resign. “It is clear that George Santos has lost the confidence and support of his party, his constituents, and his colleagues. Santos insisted Thursday he won't resign "until those same 142,000 people" in New York who elected him "tell me they don’t want me." “I don’t think he should be here, that’s for sure.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks to Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., in the House Chamber on Jan. 6, 2023. She said it’s a bad idea for the House to bring up those bills. Still, some of the more moderate Republicans acknowledge that they’ll have to make compromises with Democrats to get immigration bills signed into law. The GOP rules package adopted Monday identifies the seven bills that will get speedy votes in the House. “Many of their radical things will be stopped in the Senate because we have a Democratic majority,” Schumer said, vowing not to let ultraconservative lawmakers defund the FBI.
With subpoena power, it will be tasked with investigating law enforcement agencies as part of a mandate to probe the “weaponization of the federal government." Language to establish the panel is tucked inside a House rules package expected to pass on Monday. Once a backbencher who had frosty relations with GOP leaders, Jordan has risen through the ranks in a reflection of the conference’s rightward shift. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., said he will serve on the new weaponization committee. Members of the committee will be formally named after the House passes the resolution.
“It’s critically important that the Rules Committee reflect the body and reflect the will of the people. “What we’re seeing is the incredibly shrinking speakership,” former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an interview Friday. “The reason these people want to be on the Rules Committee is they want to screw things up for McCarthy. The message the leader received from his deal-making centrists: We can live with giving Freedom Caucus members committee slots but committee gavels are a “nonstarter.”“Nobody should get a chairmanship without earning it,” Bacon said. That pisses us off.”Díaz-Balart said he had received assurances that “there are no deals cut about chairmanships” to committees as part of swaying votes to make McCarthy speaker.
There are no active House lawmakers. Other business in the House is paralyzed, as well, and the rules that previously governed the lower chamber have expired. Some members worry they and their staff members will stop receiving paychecks if the new Republican majority remains unable to elect a speaker. Incoming House Rules Committee Chair Tom Cole, R-Okla., said members are expecting to get paid through Jan. 13. Some lawmakers are asking questions about whether their staffers will be covered by health care if the Republican impasse drags on.
House Dem whip says caucus will keep voting in speaker race House Democratic whip Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass, said her caucus will stick around and continue voting in the speaker race. Davidson suggested there are "a couple procedural paths" where McCarthy could become speaker if Republicans changed the threshold needed to win the election. The polarization is too great.” Cole said that for all the House GOP divisions, “there’s no question” that most members in the caucus are closer in policy and vision to the anti-McCarthy rebels than they are to centrist Democrats. As Biden celebrated an upgrade to an aging bridge linking Kentucky and Ohio, House Republicans deadlocked on the basic task of electing a speaker, foreshadowing what is likely to be two years of infighting. The McCarthy-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund and the conservative Club for Growth agreed to not pick sides in some competitive House GOP primary races in exchange for supporting McCarthy's bid for speaker.
WASHINGTON — Many House Republicans are furious with a band of far-right rebels who they say are holding the party hostage by repeatedly rejecting its nominee for speaker. The unwillingness of most House Republicans to cut a deal with Democrats to pick a speaker weakens their leverage in the showdown with a group of 20 right-wing lawmakers who want to defeat Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who is backed by 90% of the GOP caucus. As Bacon and other McCarthy allies dangle the possibility of a bipartisan speaker to secure the votes to make him speaker, the anti-McCarthy faction is calling their bluff. Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., who has voted against McCarthy all six times, said he doesn’t believe any Republicans would go around the House Freedom Caucus and team up with Democrats to pick a speaker. Democrats open door to consensus speakerSome Democrats say they’re open to negotiating a consensus speaker.
McCarthy faces second day of uncertaintyRepublican Leader Kevin McCarthy and his conservative detractors will square off for a second consecutive day as lawmakers prepare to resume voting on Wednesday to pick the next House speaker. The fresh showdown comes a day after a group of 20 far-right rebels banded together and blocked McCarthy from winning the 218 votes needed. Three separate votes were held, and each time the California Republican and veteran member of GOP leadership fell short. It marked the first time in 100 years that the speaker vote has gone to multiple ballots. “I’ll sit here for six more months — it doesn’t matter.”Read the full story here.
It absolutely is,” said former Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., a co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, home to the rebels. It foreshadows more divisions in the narrow House majority, which will have to compromise with a Democratic-controlled Senate and President Joe Biden to keep the government functioning and avert economic crises. 2 GOP Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana pleaded with colleagues to support McCarthy so the House could begin to advance conservative goals like bolstering border security and energy independence. But we can’t start fixing those problems until we elect Kevin McCarthy as our next speaker,” he said on the floor. “This is going to be everyday in the House Republican majority,” Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said on Twitter.
Democrats will wield an expanded 51-seat Senate majority and control the presidency. We need to be cutting spending,” McCarthy told reporters after a meeting with Senate Republicans on Dec. 21. There’s so much discombobulation and disunity on different sides of the Republican caucus,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters before the holiday recess. Conservative lawmakers say a GOP House should block a debt limit increase without major policy changes to rein in spending. Some House Republicans are already calling to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his department's handling of immigration policy.
WASHINGTON — The 2022 midterm elections were full of surprises. Republicans began the year favored to notch big victories, yet they fell short and barely captured control of the House. Lake was widely seen as the election-denying candidate with the best chance to win a statewide race in a key battleground in the 2022 elections. Secretary of state contenders who echoed Trump’s fabricated claims of a stolen election lost, including Mark Finchem in Arizona, Kristina Karamo in Michigan and Jim Marchant in Nevada. Their wins led Democrats to win every competitive House race and gain control of the state House for the first time in more than a decade — although recent vacancies have called that majority into question.
WASHINGTON — It was a busy year for Congress, which passed a slew of consequential bills, most of which enjoyed support from both parties. As two years of full Democratic control come to an end, here are five of the most significant bills passed in 2022. The Electoral Count Reform Act will revise the 1887 Electoral Count Act to make clear the vice president cannot discount electoral votes. It’ll raise the threshold for objections from one member of each the House and Senate to one-fifth of both chambers. The legislation came about after the new 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court voted last summer to overturn Roe v. Wade, prompting critics to fear that it could do the same to same-sex marriage rights.
WASHINGTON — The House on Friday voted to finalize a massive $1.7 trillion government funding bill, sending it to President Joe Biden and marking the end of two years of Democrats controlling both chambers of Congress. It overhauls federal election law by revising the Electoral Count Act of 1887 to try to prevent another Jan. 6. The bill funds a swath of domestic programs as well, averting a shutdown and keeping the government funded through next fall. “We have a big bill here, because we have big needs for our country,” outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on the floor. The measure was negotiated by Democratic leaders and top Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
He promises not to let that happen again, insisting he will “actively look for quality candidates” to promote in the 2024 primaries. “In the other states, Trump’s support was so significant — we could have spent a lot of money, maybe trying to come up with a different candidate and maybe not succeeding,” he said. And yet, it's Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. — not McConnell — who's radiating confidence about winning the majority in 2024. He also spent large parts of 2022 feuding over strategy with Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, the GOP Senate campaign chief. Then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and then President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol, on Oct. 24, 2017.
So yeah, I’m proud of it,” McConnell said, hailing it as an “extremely important” win for conservatives. He said it’ll mean they no longer “pay a ransom on the domestic side” in order to secure hefty military spending. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill.. said he’s “disappointed” in the unequal spending levels but argued that the Kentucky Republican was using his leverage. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks alongside Sens. Democrats say McConnell was pushing for deals due to the rising support in the Democratic Party in recent years to end the filibuster.
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