Lindsey McPherson

GOP Congressman Floats Passing Border Wall Funding Through Budget Reconciliation
Process would allow for simple-majority vote in the Senate, but both chambers would need to pass a budget first

Alabama Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne announced Monday that he has introduced legislation to use the budget reconciliation process to provide for up to $25 billion for President Donald Trump to construct his border wall before the end of his first term.

The bill, co-sponsored by 15 House Republicans, would allow the GOP to pass wall funding with a simple-majority vote in the Senate by using the reconciliation process — if the measure can withstand a “Byrd bath,” the scrubbing of the bill for violations of the Senate’s reconciliation rules. 

Pelosi Suggests 2020 Outcome Will Help Her Decide Whether to Stay in Congress
Democratic leader was prepared to retire if Clinton won in 2016, stayed on because of Trump

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who hopes to be speaker next year if Democrats win a chamber majority, suggested Monday that the outcome of the 2020 presidential election would factor into her decision on how long to stay in Congress. 

The 78-year-old California Democrat has long signaled that she sees her congressional career coming to an end in the not-so-distant future.

Trump Ties Sinema to Schumer Even Though She Says She Won’t Support Him
Sinema and McSally face off in Toss-up Arizona Senate race for Flake’s seat

President Donald Trump, rallying in Arizona on behalf of Republican Senate candidate Martha McSally, sought to tie her Democratic opponent Kyrsten Sinema, to Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer even though Sinema said she won’t support him.

A vote for Sinema is “dangerous” because “it’s for Schumer, crying Chuck,” Trump told rallygoers Friday night at an airport hangar in Mesa. 

Scalise Condemns Angry Mob — One Targeting Democrats This Time
Majority whip calls Florida protesters’ actions the “wrong way” to confront Pelosi

Hours after dismissing as a joke President Donald Trump’s praise of a Republican congressman who assaulted a reporter, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise came to the defense of a Democratic political foe who, ironically, was confronted by an angry mob

The Louisiana lawmaker has been one of the lead Republicans attacking Democrats as an “angry mob” after several reported incidents of violence or threats against GOP candidates and volunteers.

Trump Calls Saudis’ Khashoggi Admission ‘Good First Step’
Kingdom says dissident journalist was killed in “fistfight” at Istanbul consulate

President Donald Trump on Friday called Saudi Arabia’s admission that a prominent dissident journalist died at its consulate in Turkey and the announcement that the kingdom has fired five top officials and arrested 18 unnamed individuals in conjunction with its investigation “a good first step.”

His comments came after Saudi Arabia said Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a “fistfight” at its consulate in Istanbul, the first time it has acknowledged his death. 

Day After Praising Assault on Reporter, Trump Attacks Democrats As ‘Angry Mob’
Trump posts video message to Twitter saying Democrats are ‘losing it,’ hopes for unity someday

A day after praising a Republican congressman for assaulting a reporter, President Donald Trump posted a video message on Twitter Friday calling Democrats an “angry mob” that is “losing it.”

“We should be a unified country,” Trump said. “It will happen someday.”

Scalise Defends Trump Joking About Gianforte Assaulting a Reporter
Majority whip says Trump was ‘ribbing’ Gianforte, not asking his supporters to engage in violence

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise has been on TV, Twitter and writing op-eds criticizing Democrats for inciting violence, but on Friday he defended President Donald Trump’s comments about a congressman’s assault on a reporter as simply a joke.

Last year Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte body slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs after the reporter tried to ask him questions about his views on a GOP health care plan. 

Rosenstein Agrees to Sit for Transcribed Interview With Judiciary, Oversight Leaders
Freedom Caucus, rank-and-file panel members will not be able to participate

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has agreed to sit for a transcribed interview with leaders of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees Oct. 24, the panels’ chairmen announced Thursday evening.

The announcement comes just hours after House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, an Oversight subcommittee chairman, called on Rosenstein to resign, citing his unwillingness to cooperate with the panels’ investigation.

Blumenauer Sends Blunt Marijuana Blueprint to Democratic Leadership
Goal is to have Congress pass legislation by the end of 2019

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, one of Congress’s most vocal marijuana proponents, sent Democratic leadership a memo Wednesday outlining steps Congress should take to legalize the Schedule I drug.

“Congress is out of step with the American people and the states on cannabis,” Blumenauer wrote in the memo, citing polling showing that 69 percent of registered voters support legalizing marijuana. “We have an opportunity to correct course if Democrats win big in November.”

Democrats Spin McConnell Entitlement Comments Into Political Messaging
McConnell says Republicans cannot tackle program on their own but Democrats warn of GOP action

Democrats are spinning comments Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently made on overhauling entitlements to craft a political message that electing Republicans will lead to cuts in safety net programs. 

“Sen. McConnell gave the game up in his comment yesterday,” Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said on a press call Wednesday. “It was very clear from what he said that a vote for Republican candidates in this election is a vote to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. That’s what he said.”

Pelosi Not Willing to Trade Over Border Wall, Calls It Trump ‘Manhood Issue’
‘It’s probably the worst way to protect the border,’ House minority leader says

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday there is nothing she would trade for President Donald Trump’s border wall, setting a hard negotiating stance in advance of an expected December showdown over the issue.

“It happens to be like a manhood issue for the president, building a wall, and I’m not interested in that,” the California Democrat said during a discussion at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. 

Trump Signals He Doesn’t Believe Saudi Rulers Involved in Journalist’s Death
Tweet follows conversation with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

President Donald Trump on Tuesday signaled he doesn’t believe Saudi rulers were involved in the suspected murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi after a telephone conversation with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“Just spoke with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish Consulate,” Trump tweeted. “He was with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo … during the call, and told me that he has already started, and will rapidly expand, a full and complete investigation into this matter. Answers will be forthcoming shortly.”

Democrats Pan Trump’s Deference to Saudi King on Journalist’s Disappearance
President again siding with authoritarian leaders over U.S. intelligence officials, lawmakers say

Democratic lawmakers criticized President Donald Trump on Monday for seeming to siding with Saudi King Salman, who denied during a phone call with the president that his government was involved in the disappearance of a Washington Post journalist. 

Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was born in Saudi Arabia, has been critical of Salman in his writings. He has not been seen or heard from since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Arizona Congressional Candidate Greg Stanton Was Victim of Armed Robbery
Attacker wielded hatchet-like weapon

Arizona Democratic congressional candidate Greg Stanton was robbed Saturday outside a Thai restaurant in Phoenix by a man brandishing a hatchet-like weapon but has said he is fine, according to The Arizona Republic.

Police do not have a suspect, but Stanton believes the robbery was “a random act,” the newspaper reported.

Why Pelosi Is Likely to Be Speaker Again if Democrats Win Back House
There’s no obvious field of candidates ready to challenge her

ANALYSIS — “You can’t beat somebody with nobody.”

That political axiom explains in just six words why Nancy Pelosi is likely to be elected speaker if Democrats retake the House in November. No one has announced plans to challenge the California Democrat, and it’s unclear if anyone will after the election.

Senate Starting Campaign Recess Two Weeks Early, Gone Through Midterm Election
Upper chamber reaches agreement on nominations

Senate leaders on Thursday reached an agreement to accelerate consideration of several judicial nominations — a deal that will allow the chamber to depart two weeks early for its midterm campaign recess. 

The Senate will recess through the Nov. 6 election and is scheduled to return the following Tuesday.

Senate Republicans Ready to Limp Into Border Wall Fight
With Democratic votes needed, wall funding may not meet what Trump and House GOP want

Senate Republicans say they are willing to join their House counterparts in a postelection fight over border wall funding but recognize that their chamber will be more constrained by the need for Democratic votes.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan predicted Monday that there would be a “big fight” in December on appropriating more money for President Donald Trump’s desired wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. The Wisconsin Republican wouldn’t foreshadow how that fight would play out, but he didn’t rule out a partial government shutdown as a potential outcome.

Rosenstein House Judiciary, Oversight Testimony Kerfuffle Ensues After Subpoena Threat
Confusion emerges over deputy attorney general’s scheduling with committees

Updated 1:40 p.m. | Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was expected to testify in a closed session with the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees this week but he will not appear, according to a news release from GOP Reps. Andy Biggs and Matt Gaetz.

However, a Republican Judiciary Committee aide said the panel has many questions for Rosenstein and expects answers to those questions but noted there is not yet a confirmed date for a meeting, seeming to refute the suggestion Rosenstein was scheduled to appear.

Progressive Caucus Launches Center for Policy Development, Outreach
The center’s board raised $1.5 million to hire an initial staff of 8 to 10 people

The Congressional Progressive Caucus on Tuesday announced the launch of a center that will coordinate progressive policy development, messaging and outreach inside and outside Congress. 

The center is not yet fully operational, but it starts off with a board of directors that has spent the past four and a half months raising money to fund staff for next year.

McCarthy to Introduce Border Wall Funding Bill This Week
Speaker hopeful plays to GOP base with conservative immigration enforcement measure

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is planning to introduce a bill this week that would provide $23.4 billion more in funding for President Donald Trump’s border wall and include several other immigration enforcement measures, his spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday. 

The soon-to-be-introduced bill, first reported by Breitbart News, is red meat designed to fire up the Republican base ahead of the midterms, as well as signal to GOP lawmakers in Congress that McCarthy supports conservatives’ policy priorities.