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Archive for the ‘Mitch McConnell’ Category

Senate Democrats insisting on obstructing President Trump’s agenda got a shot across their bow this afternoon from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:

“Due to the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats of the president’s nominees, and the goal of passing appropriations bills prior to the end of the fiscal year, the August recess has been canceled. Senators should expect to remain in session in August to pass legislation, including appropriations bills, and to make additional progress on the president’s nominees.”

Democrats have insisted on using every trick in their book to obstruct President Trump’s nominations to cabinet positions, Supreme Court justices and appellate court judges. They haven’t stopped using those tactics because they’ve never paid a price for their obstruction.

This afternoon, that changed. This afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he’s cancelling the Senate’s August recess. That means 10 vulnerable Democrats will lose time to campaign in their home states while their opponents campaign and fundraise.

Sherrod Brown, are you feeling better today than a month ago? While Jim Renacci is campaigning throughout the state during August, you get to slog through appropriation bills and judicial confirmation votes. Trump won Ohio by 400,000+ votes in 2016. I’m pretty certain his voters will turn out, especially after you voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. Good luck this November.

Bob Casey, are you feeling better today than a month ago? You, too, voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. Now, you won’t have as much time to campaign as you’d anticipated. Good luck in November.

Jon Tester, how’s that long flight back to Montana? You thought you’d have the month of August to campaign. You really needed it after making those baseless accusations about Ronny Jackson. Instead of campaign in August, you’ll be spending your time in DC wading through appropriations bills and confirming Trump’s judicial nominees. Good luck in November.

Mitch is playing this properly. If Democrats want to play hardball, let them lose some Senate seats as a result.

This election cycle, Mitch McConnell hasn’t been a profile in optimism. Apparently, that’s changing. In a recent interview, McConnell expressed optimism about Sherrod Brown’s Ohio senate seat. (Perhaps he got a copy of Salena Zito’s great new book and realized that there’s a realignment happening?)

Sen. McConnell told the Hill “I saw a survey within the last week in Ohio indicating that race is very competitive. I would certainly add Ohio to the list.” A source in Ohio added “Within the past week a number of Republicans have been talking about it behind the scenes. The survey has given Republicans reason for hope. It’s internal polling.”

Anytime that a source cites internal polling, that’s a legitimate reason for skepticism. Still, Jim Renacci is a top-tier candidate who just received President Trump’s endorsement. Those can’t be ignored whatsoever. The other thing that’s impossible to ignore is the fact that President Trump won Ohio by a pretty healthy margin:

These aren’t signs that indicate an easy race for Sen. Brown. Rather, as I’ve argued, I think it points to a legitimate pickup opportunity for Republicans. Sen. Brown is essentially a socialist. He voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. Renacci voted for them. Brown is a climate change true believer that supported President Obama’s anti-coal regulations.

What part of that sounds like a good match with today’s Ohio?

McConnell’s growing confidence about the midterm election is fueled by what he says is the most productive record by a “right-of-center” Congress in more than 30 years. “I’m now in my third decade in the Senate. This has been the best period, the best period right-of-center over the last 17 months, in the time that I’ve been here. It’s been a period of extraordinary accomplishment,” he said.

“We think we have made a very significant difference for the country in measurable ways,” McConnell added. “Conveying that to the voters in places that we have Senate races is going to be a big part of being competitive.” McConnell said he wants Trump to do more to talk up the Congress’s accomplishments, something GOP senators requested of the president during a recent meeting on Capitol Hill. “I’d like the president to talk about it more often and I believe he will going into the fall campaign,” he said.

Trump rattling off Republicans’ accomplishments won’t just help GOP senate candidates. It’ll help push House Republicans across the finish line, too.

I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating. There’s lots of reasons to be bullish on Republicans in 2018. It won’t be a great year in the House in terms of gaining seats but it’s a far cry from the Democrats’ Blue Wave. Here’s what I see happening to the House Democrats’ Blue Wave in 2018:

When it comes to political wisdom, Lindsey Graham isn’t too bright. The NYTimes is quoting Sen. Graham as saying that “The president’s going to have a vote on his concept. I don’t think it will get 60 votes. The bottom line then is: What do you do next? You can do what we’ve done for the last 35 years — blame each other. Or you can actually start fixing the broken immigration system. If you came out of this with strong border security — the president getting his wall and the Dream Act population being taken care of, most Americans would applaud.”

Sen. Graham isn’t too bright if he thinks he’s on the winning side in this fight. Americans want a DACA fix as long as it comes with the wall and an end to chain migration. Each of those issues have approval ratings of 70%. If Sen. Graham thinks that President Trump is on the losing end of that fight, he isn’t too bright.

The American people understand that bad bipartisan deals are really just bad deals. They’ve seen DC pass bipartisan deals for years while things got worse. They’re upset with elitists in both parties. They’re demanding that these elitists do something different this time. It’s a revolutionary concept but it’s worked in the past. It’s called listening to the people. Don’t tell us that the things that the American people want done in their name is complicated.

It’s only complicated trying to explain why politicians ignored the will of the people. Then it gets real complicated — for the politician. That’s their problem.

Meanwhile, politicians in the “Common Sense Coalition” who are up for election this year better prepare to get their comeuppance in November. Watch Sen. Schumer’s speech, then ask yourself whether he’s bothered to listen to the American people:

After watching that speech, I’m left wondering whether Sen. Schumer thinks the American people are simply an inconvenient afterthought. Lost in his political spin is whether the bill the Common Sense Coalition is putting together is something that the American people would reject. Also lost in Sen. Schumer’s spin is whether the Common Sense Coalition’s bill would fix anything or whether it would just be another bipartisan bill that doesn’t do what the American people expect it to do.

Thanks to President Trump’s populism and his commitment to the American people, Democrats and wayward Republicans are finding out that resisting the American people isn’t a great way to earn a living in politics. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s speech summed things up perfectly:

My Democratic colleagues have spent months demanding the Senate take up this issue. They even shut down the government, unnecessarily, I might add, in order to secure this very week of debate. But now that the time has come to make law instead of just making points, they’re stalling.

Why? Why, after months and months spent demanding that the Senate take up this issue, do they now object to even starting the debate? Because they know, no matter how long they spend in closed-door negotiations, they can’t change the fact that the president has spelled out a fair and generous framework that will be necessary to earn his signature. They cannot take ‘yes’ for an answer. So, instead of moving to fulfill their promises and address the DACA issue, they haven’t even allowed the debate to begin.

It’s clear that Sen. McConnell listened to the people. He’s kept his promise. When he kept that promise, Democrats shut down debate. That’s the indisputable fact.

If Democrats want to face the American people after shutting down the government so they could debate immigration policies, then shut down debate when Sen. McConnell scheduled a week of debate on immigration/DACA, that’s their option. They shouldn’t be surprised if the people, including DACA activists, take brickbats after them when Democrats campaign on immigration/DACA.

Finally, I’d put together ads for each of the members of the Common Sense Coalition that starts with Republicans wanting to fix DACA and border security, then transitions into a frame where the narrator asks these immigration liberals which side of their mouth they want to talk out of.

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Sen. Schumer’s second shutdown is puzzling at best. Debate was supposed to start Tuesday on immigration reform. Sen. McConnell promised unlimited debate on the topic. Before the debate began, though, Sen. Schumer used the unanimous consent rule to prevent the debate from starting. Sen. Schumer, the senator that shut down the government to force a debate on DACA 2 weeks ago, has now shut down debate on DACA.

Sen. Schumer got his nose out of joint when Sen. Pat Toomey, (R-PA), introduced an amendment “that would withhold funding from so-called sanctuary cities that shield undocumented immigrants from federal law enforcement.” Sen. Schumer complained, saying the amendment “does absolutely nothing to address DACA, does absolutely nothing to address border security.”

Sen. McConnell agreed to a debate on immigration reform. He didn’t limit the debate to DACA. If Sen. Schumer doesn’t like that, tough. It’s time for Sen. Schumer to pull his big boy britches up. Acting like a whiny wimp because he didn’t get his way is what wimps do. If that’s the first reaction of a US senator, then it’s time to stop referring to Senate Democrats as being part of the world’s greatest deliberative body. It’s time to start thinking of them as crybabies.

Chuck Grassley’s speech puts things into proper perspective:

Why wouldn’t Sen. Schumer not welcome this debate? If he thinks that stripping funding from sanctuary cities is that unpopular, he should welcome that debate. Instead, Sen. Schumer apparently prefers protecting his vulnerable members from debating an issue that the overwhelming majority of Americans agree with.

Yet if the debate’s slow start is dispiriting for the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives could depend on its outcome, it’s not particularly surprising. “If you didn’t go into this debate realizing something like this was going to happen, you weren’t paying attention,” said Jim Manley, a veteran Senate aide who worked for Edward Kennedy and then for Harry Reid when the latter man served as majority leader. “I defy you to find worse debates in recent history than those over immigration. They are ugly, bloody debates chock-full of highly partisan social issues that seek only to divide and don’t bring anyone together.”

This isn’t about DACA recipients. It’s about Democrats playing political games. They don’t like it that President Trump and Sen. McConnell have called their bluff. Thanks to changing the dynamics of the debate, Republicans have put the Democrats in a difficult position to defend.

By opening up debate on all immigration-related matters, Sen. McConnell has put the Democrats into a position where they’ll have to debate all immigration-related issues. That’s the last thing that Sen. Schumer wants. Frankly, this should frighten vulnerable Democrats from red states.

Sen. McConnell couldn’t put Democrats in this pickle, though, without President Trump’s steadfast support:

But if the Democrats want to make a deal, it’s really up to them, because we want really tremendous border security, but we have to have Democrat support for DACA, and they are starting that process today. We didn’t want to have it in the big budget, because if we have it in the big budget, it’s going to get mixed up with all of the other things.

So now we have our military taken care of, and now we start very serious DACA talks today. And we are — I can tell you, speaking for the Republican Party, we would love to do DACA. We would love to get it done. We want border security and the other elements that you know about. Chain migration, you know about. The visa lottery, you know about. But we think there’s a good chance of getting DACA done if the Democrats are serious and they actually want to do it.

But they didn’t want tax cuts. They fought — we didn’t get one vote for massive tax cuts that have turned out to be unbelievably popular. And what came up — which was even a surprise to us — were, the big companies stepped up, and millions and millions of people have gotten tremendous bonuses. Nobody knew that was going to happen. That was a — that was just the beginning point.

The Democrats say that they want a DACA fix. If that’s true, it’s time they stepped up and provided votes to fix the problem permanently. If Democrats hide behind Sen. Schumer’s skirt, that’s their problem.

Democrats will be known for participating in Sen. Schumer’s second shutdown.

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Last Monday, Sen. Chuck Schumer had a day from hell. I don’t feel sorry for him. He deserved everything he got — and then some. This week has the potential for being worse for Sen. Schumer. Bill McGurn’s column lays out Sen. Schumer’s nightmare scenario, saying “What if Mr. Trump looked up at the gallery full of Dreamers during his address and said, ‘I have offered a good-faith compromise that would not only resolve your place in America but open to you the precious gift of American citizenship. All I ask is that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi meet me halfway?'”

Clearly, Democrats prefer having the issue so they can beat Republicans with it. They don’t want a solution, partially for campaign purposes, partially to keep the steady stream of new voters flowing in. Democrats need those new voters because they’re alienating blue collar workers seemingly on a daily basis. (That’s why Ms. Pelosi’s dream of being speaker again is a pipe dream.)

Mr. McGurn introduced another irony into the column by saying “But if Mr. Schumer allows the Democratic zeal for resistance to take the form of rejecting every Trump offer for compromise, Mr. Schumer may well pull off another miracle by making Donald Trump look like the reasonable one in Washington. … Alas for poor Mr. Schumer, his tragedy is to have reached the top at precisely the worst moment, caught between a Republican president who can’t stop demeaning him and a Democratic Party that seems determined to ensure he remains a minority leader.”

Let’s be clear. President Trump has painted Sen. Schumer into a corner strategically. If Sen. Schumer makes a deal with President Trump on immigration, the division within the Democratic Party will grow. If Sen. Schumer doesn’t make a deal with President Trump on immigration, Sen. Schumer will look like an obstructionist. It likely also means Sen. Schumer will be the minority leader through at least 2024.

Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor today to tout President Trump’s accomplishments:

Yesterday, Democrats started hinting that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory as a result of the budget agreement that ended the shutdown. After the Democrats’ whisper campaign started, Sen. McConnell took to the Senate floor to talk about the booming Trump economy, saying “The rising tide of economic optimism I have been highlighting on the floor is not showing any signs of subsiding. Yesterday alone, three of the nation’s largest companies announced major new investments in the U.S. economy and workforce. Each said their decisions were made possible by the improved business climate created by the landmark tax code overhaul that Congress passed last year.”

Sen. McConnell continued, saying “First, Verizon announced plans to invest a chunk of its tax reform savings right back in its employees. Next month, about 155,000 Verizon workers – excluding senior management – will receive stock bonuses valued around $2,500.” Then Sen. McConnell said “the Walt Disney Company announced a new investment of at least $175 million in its U.S. workforce. Over 125,000 employees will receive cash bonuses, and Disney will invest $50 million in an employee education program designed to help hourly employees access higher education and vocational training.” Next, Sen. McConnell said “JP Morgan Chase announced a $20 billion-dollar, five-year comprehensive investment plan to support economic growth and American workers. That plan includes permanent raises for 22,000 employees, hundreds of new bank branches across the country, thousands of new jobs, expanded philanthropy, and an increase in loans for affordable housing and small business development.” Finally, Sen. McConnell said “Starbucks has announced that it is permanently raising pay and conferring new benefits like one-time stock bonuses and expanded paid leave. This major investment in its U.S. workforce will affect more than 150,000 employees.”

Though President Obama’s spinmeisters will attempt to claim this is the result of President Obama’s policies, the truth is that the economy is booming because President Trump got rid of President Obama’s policies. These companies have made it clear that these bonuses and higher wages are the result of the Trump/GOP tax cuts.

During the Obama administration, economic growth was mediocre to pathetic. Since the Trump administration started eliminating Obama administration regulations and Congress passed the Trump/GOP tax cuts, the economy roared to life. That’s because businesses had an incentive to invest their money in their workers, R & D, and building plants.

As this continues, Democrats will have a difficult time convincing voters that life with Republicans in control is miserable. By the time Election Day 2018 arrives, people might be positively impressed.

After reading this interview and this article, it’s obvious that Democratic immigration activists are getting restless.

During the interview, CNN’s Gregory Krieg asked Erika Andiola, an immigration activist and DACA recipient, “Do you think there’s a lack of urgency of Democrats or a lack of understanding that it doesn’t all happen at once?” Andiola replied, saying “There’s always been a lack of urgency. The urgency has (only) been with a handful of Democrats. It’s unfortunate, like I said, because when it comes to campaigning, they don’t hesitate. But when it comes down to really using all of their leverage to really get something like this passed, they just won’t come through.”

It’s finally sinking in that Democrats want the issue, not the solution. That isn’t sitting well with immigration activists. According to the article, “Immigration advocates are gearing up for a three week blitz to pass protections for undocumented immigrant children after the Senate voted on a short-term funding bill without them Monday. But while advocates universally see this as a critical juncture for the future of the DREAM Act, there’s already some disagreement over where to focus the fire. Republicans may be withholding their votes. But many groups are planning to target Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) instead.”

That’s just part of it:

A trio of progressive organizations, including CREDO, is hosting an event on Tuesday night that will bring activists to the front lawn of Schumer’s home in Brooklyn. They are also in the process of printing signs for the event which read “Worst negotiator in Washington. And Brooklyn. #SchumerSellout,” superimposed on an image of the Minority Leader’s face.

Ouch. And that’s just the start:

“We’re targeting Dems who voted for this CR (continuing resolution),” Angel Padilla, policy director for Indivisible, a resistance organization formed in response to Trump’s presidency, told The Daily Beast. “They sold out Dreamers. They failed to stand up to Trump’s white supremacy. They had the support of the grassroots and they caved. It also demonstrates that Democrats remain terrified of immigration. And they will continue to run from it.”

It sounds like this intensity just leads to primaries to those insufficiently pure.

While some progressive groups are gearing up to target Democratic leaders and others look to be prioritizing Republican moderates, virtually all say that they’re prepping a massive show of political force.

Just this upcoming week alone, Matos said they have 28 activities planned in 16 states, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Illinois and New York, (all states where Senators voted in favor of the spending bill) ranging from press conferences to vigils and rallies.

Thank God for circular firing squads:

Indivisible, meanwhile, sponsored what they called the Dreamer Pledge with over two dozen other organizations, including United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country, months ago. It was intended to hold members of Congress accountable and get them to promise to protect DREAMers. The website was updated on Monday after votes were tallied, branding Democrats and Republicans alike who supported the short-term spending bill “Dream Killers,” and the members who voted against it “Dream Heroes.”

Let’s be honest about what the Democrats are attempting to do. Sen. Schumer’s shutdown isn’t about DACA recipients. It’s about amnesty for DACA recipients’ parents. It’s about preserving chain migration. Let’s see Democrats defend their attempt to protect future generations of lawbreakers.

Sen. Schumer and all those Democrats that voted to shut the government down, what frightens you about building the wall? What frightens you about putting a stop to families getting a free pass into the United States thanks to chain migration?

How does chain migration strengthen the economy? Why worry about whether the Mexican government will be upset if we build a wall that protects US citizens? If Mexico is upset, then tell them it’s a dangerous world and that our first responsibility is to protect our citizens, not theirs. If that offends them, tell them to put their big boy britches on. Tell them that it’s time for them to grow up.

This is chilling:

Ever since the passage of the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s immigration reform of 1965, legal immigrants have been able to petition for parents, adult brothers and sisters, and adult sons and daughters to come to the U.S. All of those groups can bring their own spouses and children. In turn, when they become citizens, they can sponsor their own relatives, and the cycle continues. Mark Krikorian of the Center for American Studies wrote: “The result is chain migration, in which yesterday’s immigrants decide who tomorrow’s immigrants will be.”

This must end ASAP. Immigration policy must be set by Congress and the executive branch, not by Mexicans who want to reunite with their families. If that sounds cold, so what? We The People have the right to determine what our country looks like.

This Bloomberg News article opens by saying “The House and Senate were in session Sunday with a federal government shutdown in its second day amid a spending-bill impasse in Congress.” Apparently, Democrats, including Lindsey Graham, didn’t get the memo. They think the bill that funds government operations, aka an appropriations bill, is the perfect opportunity to codify into law a DACA fix.

Once Vice President Pence returns home from his trip to Israel, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should schedule a vote to change the rules of the Senate that would require only appropriations be allowed in appropriations bills. I know that sounds like a radical concept but people not living in that sphere of insanity known as Washington, DC, would find that rule change sensible. Further, the Senate should require an up-or-down vote on appropriations bills.

One of the primary functions of congress is to fund the government. Political party shouldn’t be allowed to stop that process dead in its tracks. That’s what the Democrats are doing. The Senate rules should let them do their job. Period. It’s time that Democrats learned that elections have consequences.

Finally, Republicans should highlight the fact that Democrats care more about illegal immigrants than they care for vulnerable children or the military. BTW, it’s time to kill the sequestration caps. They’re killing the military in terms of training and readiness.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Tina Smith disgraced Minnesota by not voting to extend the CHIP health care program for children. What’s disgraceful is that you wouldn’t know that happened if you read this article. All it talks about is Sen. Smith saying “We have so much that we can work together on and I think in a lot of ways this is a Trump shutdown because of the way that he has — when you are trying to come to an agreement with somebody, you need to feel that you can talk with them and you know where they are coming from and you can try to find common ground. And he’s just been kind of all over the place it makes it really, really hard to resolve, but we’re going to keep on trying.”

Negotiating means flexibility, which means not getting stuck in a single place and not moving. Sen. Smith staked out a position that’s indefensible. Sen. Smith voted against a CR that would’ve funded the CHIP health insurance program for the next 6 years. CHIP “provides health coverage to eligible children, through both Medicaid and separate CHIP programs. CHIP is administered by states, according to federal requirements. The program is funded jointly by states and the federal government.”

By voting against the CR, Sen. Smith (and other Democrats) voted against funding CHIP, funding our military and funding other national security considerations. Tina Smith said that protecting 700,000 illegal immigrants was more important than providing health insurance to 9,000,000 vulnerable children or paying 2,000,000 troops serving worldwide.

According to the article, “Smith says she is optimistic they will get this resolved and come to terms on a budget.” I’m confident that, eventually, a budget will get passed. The question is why Democrats like Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar voted against funding the military, first responders and the CHIP health insurance program.

Minnesota’s DFL senators aren’t moderates. They’ve done whatever Sen. Schumer told them to do. They didn’t vote to do the right thing. They didn’t even vote for a bill that didn’t contain a single thing that they objected to. They voted against a bill that they agreed with 100%. These DFL senators are partisans who voted against vulnerable Minnesota children’s interests.

How despicable is that? About as despicable as saying that the White House and Senate Democrats were close to an agreement last night:

Sen. Schumer wasn’t close to a deal with President Trump last night. That’s because Sen. Schumer isn’t allowed to agree with President Trump on ending chain migration or the visa lottery. If Sen. Schumer agreed to either of those things, the immigration special interest activists would cut him off at the knees in a New York minute. Further, Tina Smith could’ve done the right thing and voted for funding the military and funding the CHIP program without getting Sen. Schumer’s permission. So could Sen. Klobuchar.

Instead, Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Smith decided that they were Democrats first, Minnesotans second. They put their political affiliation ahead of their responsibilities to Minnesota’s most vulnerable citizens. They voted to protect illegal immigrants rather than pay our military or protect vulnerable children.

Minnesota, take a close look at Sen. Klobuchar’s and Sen. Smith’s disgusting actions. That’s what Democrats do. The DFL puts party loyalty ahead of doing the right thing.

UPDATE: According to this article, “the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) … provides health coverage for 125,000 children in Minnesota. Further, the bill that Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Smith voted against would’ve kept “the doors open to community health centers that serve more than 180,000 Minnesotans and resources to combat the opioid epidemic that has taken the lives of hundreds of people in Minnesota and countless others across the country.”

Minnesota’s Democrat senators don’t represent what’s best for Minnesota. These DFL senators are actually Schumer’s shills.

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