Categories for Dems
DEMS/IMMIGRATION/JUSTICE DEPARTMENT/SANCTUARY CITIES: “Senate Democrats are questioning the Trump administration’s latest salvo in its push for strict immigration enforcement: possible criminal charges for local politicians in so-called sanctuary cities.
The Justice Department is exploring ‘what avenues might be available’ to criminally charge state and local officials who enact laws or guidelines limiting cooperation with federal immigration policies, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen confirmed during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week.
She said the request had come from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein, both Democrats of California and members of the committee, asked the Justice Department on Wednesday [1-17-18] why it was looking into the matter…
It was not clear how seriously the Justice Department was considering the question or whether it had begun investigating any politicians. A spokesman said only that the Justice Department was working with ICE to explore all options for holding sanctuary cities accountable.
The possibility of criminal charges prompted concern among civil rights attorneys who viewed it as a step toward the politicization of law enforcement.”
-Katie Benner, “Democrats Question Justice Dept. Power to Charge Sanctuary City Leaders,” The New York Times online, Jan. 18, 2018
BUDGET/DEMS/GOP: “A growing number of Democrats and Republicans on Thursday [1-18-18] resisted an emerging short-term spending bill that would avoid a partial government shutdown this weekend, prompting GOP leaders to pressure recalcitrant lawmakers to avoid a spectacle while Democrats worked to hammer out their own strategy in the standoff.
The House is expected to vote late Thursday on a spending bill that would keep the government funded through Feb. 16. Though Republicans control more than enough votes to pass the bill without Democratic support, House GOP leaders on Thursday were still trying to wrangle support out of the party’s conference.
Meanwhile, in the Senate, where a spending bill faces perhaps an even larger hurdle, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell encouraged Republican lawmakers in a private email Thursday to stick together and vote for the spending bill, a Senate GOP aide said. The Kentucky Republican repeated that message in a closed-door lunch, lawmakers said.
Congressional leaders, unable to resolve differences over a diverse array of policy fights that are tied to spending, have already passed three interim funding bills this fiscal year, including two in December. Now, some members of both parties are growing weary of such short-term bills, and the fight is laying bare pressure points on such touchy subjects as immigration and children’s health.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) projected confidence Thursday morning that the House would be able to pass the stopgap bill, but he didn’t explicitly say he had sufficient GOP support. The bill needs 216 votes to pass, assuming all lawmakers are present and voting. There are 238 Republicans and 193 Democrats in the House.”
-Natalie Andrews and Kristina Peterson, “Stopgap Budget Bill Meets Resistance as Shutdown Looms,” The Wall Street Journal online, Jan. 18, 2018 02:51pm
BUDGET/DEMS/MILITARY: “A government shutdown will be devastating to our military…something the Dems care very little about!”
-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Jan. 18, 2018 08:49am
DEMS/GOP/POLITICS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump, cabinet officials and other Washington Republicans are scrambling to fend off a Democratic upset in a congressional special election, this one in a southwestern Pennsylvania district that Mr. Trump carried by 20 percentage points in 2016.
The Democrats, in contrast, have yet to invest significant resources in the race, which was never on their target list.
Mr. Trump plans to travel to the district Thursday to buoy the campaign of Rick Saccone, the party’s nominee to succeed Rep. Tim Murphy, a married, conservative Republican who resigned in October after it was revealed he had encouraged a woman with whom he’d had an affair to have an abortion.
The trip comes two days after a Democrat won a special election for a largely rural Wisconsin state Senate district that Mr. Trump also carried by 20 points—a result Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker called “a wake up call for Republicans.”
The Wisconsin election follows a pattern of Democratic pickups—and other near misses—during the Trump era. Alabama last month sent Democrat Doug Jones to the Senate despite Mr. Trump’s winning the state by 28 percentage points. Since Mr. Trump’s inauguration, Democrats have flipped 34 state legislative seats that had been controlled by Republicans.
House Republicans won four special elections in 2017 to fill seats held by lawmakers appointed to Mr. Trump’s cabinet. But each of them saw victory margins far smaller than their GOP predecessors, a sign of high Democratic enthusiasm even in Republican districts.”
-Reid J. Epstein and Michael C. Bender, “Trump Visit to Pennsylvania Aims to Boost GOP House Candidate,” The Wall Street Journal online, Jan 18, 2018 07:41am
DEMS/JOHN KELLY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Trump’s chief of staff privately told a group of Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday [1-17-18] that Mr. Trump had not been ‘fully informed’ when promising voters a wall along the Mexican border last year, and said that he had persuaded the president it was not necessary. He also expressed optimism that a bipartisan immigration deal could eventually be reached.
John F. Kelly, the retired Marine general credited with bringing a measure of discipline to Mr. Trump’s chaotic White House during his six months as chief of staff, told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that he had educated the president about the issue of immigration, adding that Mr. Trump had ‘evolved’ on the wall. But President Trump directly contradicted the chief of staff on Thursday, saying his position on building the wall had not ‘evolved.’…
The comments Mr. Kelly made Wednesday were an unusual instance of a White House chief of staff seeming to undercut public statements made by the president, in the process contradicting the central message of ‘Build the wall’ that defined Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign. The president has recently begun to temper his own statements about the wall, telling a group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers at the White House last week that a 2,000-mile structure would not be needed because parts of the border would be impassable.”
-Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, and Thomas Kaplan, “Trump Was Not ‘Fully Informed’ in Campaign Vows on Wall, Chief of Staff Says,” The New York Times online, Jan. 17, 2018
DEMS/GOP/POLITICS: “Democrats on Tuesday [1-16-18] won a special election for a Wisconsin state senate seat in a district that President Donald Trump carried by 17 percentage points in the 2016 election, a victory that GOP leaders cautioned is another warning about potential losses in this year’s congressional midterms.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican seeking a third term in office this November, called the result ‘a wake up call for Republicans in Wisconsin,’ while Democrats hailed it as evidence of a budding wave for the party heading into November’s elections.
Patty Schachtner’s victory marks the 34th state legislative seat Democrats have seized from Republicans since Mr. Trump’s inauguration, according to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee…
Wisconsin Republicans still control both state legislative chambers.”
-Reid J. Epstein, “Democrats Win Wisconsin State Senate Seat,” The Wall Street Journal online, Jan. 14, 2018 10:44am
BUDGET/DEMS/GOP: “A deal on immigration as part of a new stopgap funding bill to avert a government shutdown appeared less likely on Wednesday [1-17-18] after a Democratic senator said the White House is making unacceptable demands on immigration measures.
The White House dispatched chief of staff John Kelly to meet with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to ease tensions over the status of ‘Dreamers’ – young Hispanic adults brought to the country illegally when they were children – that is threatening to derail efforts on a temporary funding needed by Friday.
After the meeting, the two sides seemed as far apart as ever.
Government funding currently is being provided through a third temporary measure since the 2018 fiscal year began on Oct. 1. If Congress approves another temporary ‘continuing resolution’ for spending, it will run through Feb. 16.
Agreement on a spending bill also is complicated by disagreements within the Republican Party, which holds majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives.”
-Richard Cowan, “Republicans eye another short-term bill to fund government,” Reuters, Jan. 17, 2018 07:08am
BORDER/DEMS/GOP/IMMIGRATION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump has already started framing a potential government shutdown as the singular fault of Democrats demanding liberal immigration policies at the expense of border security. But Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, as well as veterans of past budget battles and campaigns, say that argument isn’t likely to fly — not while the GOP runs the House, Senate and White House and a deeply unpopular president sits in the Oval Office…
The last time federal agencies shuttered, in 2013, Democrats controlled the Senate and White House. But with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and fellow conservatives pushing for a shutdown in order to whack funding for Obamacare — a popular cause among the Republican base, but not beyond — the GOP could not escape blame in the public eye…
This year, Democrats hold none of Washington’s levers of power, but their central goal in the immigration talks — protections for undocumented individuals brought to the country as minors — is viewed favorably by bipartisan majorities. Trump is mired in low approval ratings, even in battleground states he won in 2016, as he pushes for more money for the border wall he promised on the campaign trail.
And new polling suggests voters are already poised to blame Republicans if talks go awry. A poll released Tuesday by the Democratic-leaning firm Hart Research Associates found 81 percent of voters in a dozen Trump-leaning states supportive of adding aid to the undocumented Dreamers to any government funding bill.”
-Kyle Cheney and Elana Schor, “Shutdown would backfire on GOP, Republicans say,” Politico, Jan. 17, 2018 05:01am
BANKING/DEMS/DODD-FRANK/GOP/TAXES: “The most significant attempt to loosen rules imposed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis is underway in Congress as the Senate looks to pass legislation within the next month that would roll back restrictions on swaths of the finance industry.
Buoyed by their success in rewriting the tax code, the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers have now set their sights on helping the financial industry, which has been engaged in a quiet but concerted push to relax many post-crisis rules and regulatory obligations, particularly for thousands of small- and medium-sized banks. But unlike the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul, which passed along party lines, the effort to loosen the post-crisis rules is somewhat bipartisan. A group of Senate Democrats has joined Republicans to support legislation that would mark the first major revision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, a signature accomplishment of President Barack Obama that has been deemed ‘a disaster’ by President Trump.
The bill would allow hundreds of smaller banks to avoid certain elements of federal oversight, including stress tests, which measure a bank’s ability to withstand a severe economic downturn. Under current law, banks with assets of $50 billion or more are considered “systemically important financial institutions” and therefore governed by stricter rules. The bill would raise that threshold to institutions with assets of $250 billion or more, leaving fewer than 10 big banks in the United States subject to the stricter oversight… Hurdles remain. The House has already passed its own far more sweeping deregulatory effort. And progressive Democrats who warn that the legislation would return Wall Street to its more reckless past are mobilizing in hopes of derailing the legislation — even if that means attacking fellow Democrats who support it…
Still, lobbyists, lawmakers and administration officials saying this is the make or break year for overhauling Dodd-Frank.”
-Alan Rappeport, “Democrats Add Momentum to G.O.P. Push to Loosen Banking Rules,” The New York Times online, Jan. 16, 2018
BORDER/DEMS/IMMIGRATION/MILITARY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The Democrats want to shut down the Government over Amnesty for all and Border Security. The biggest loser will be our rapidly rebuilding Military, at a time we need it more than ever. We need a merit based system of immigration, and we need it now! No more dangerous Lottery.”
-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Jan. 16, 2018 09:07am
DEMS/IMMIGRATION/MILITARY/POLITICAL FIGURES/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Senator Dicky Durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting. Deals can’t get made when there is no trust! Durbin blew DACA and is hurting our Military.”
-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Jan. 15, 2018 03:28pm
DEMS/DONALDISM/DREAMERS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Statement by me last night in Florida: ‘Honestly, I don’t think the Democrats want to make a deal. They talk about DACA, but they don’t want to help..We are ready, willing and able to make a deal but they don’t want to. They don’t want security at the border, they don’t want… to stop drugs, they want to take money away from our military which we cannot do.’ My standard is very simple, AMERICA FIRST & MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
–Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Jan. 15, 2018 07:57am and 08:02am
DEMS/DREAMERS/MILITARY: “DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military.”
-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Jan. 14, 2018 08:09am
DEMS/DOW/DREAMERS/JOBS/TAXES: “I don’t believe the Democrats really want to see a deal on DACA. They are all talk and no action. This is the time but, day by day, they are blowing the one great opportunity they have. Too bad!”
-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Jan. 13, 2018 09:20am
DEMS/DOW/JOBS/TAXES: “Yesterday was another big day for jobs and the Stock Market. Chrysler coming back to U.S. (Michigan) from Mexico and many more companies paying out Tax Cut money to employees. If Dems won in November, Market would have TANKED! It was headed for disaster.”
-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Jan. 13, 2018 09:20am
DEMS/DREAMERS: “The Democrats are all talk and no action. They are doing nothing to fix DACA. Great opportunity missed. Too bad!”
-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Jan. 13, 2018 08:14am
DEMS/FOREIGN POLICY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said ‘take them out.’ Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!”
-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Jan. 12, 2018 08:48am
BUDGET/DEMS/MILITARY: “Sadly, Democrats want to stop paying our troops and government workers in order to give a sweetheart deal, not a fair deal, for DACA. Take care of our Military, and our Country, FIRST!”
-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Jan. 12, 2018 07:50am
BORDER/DEMS/DRUGS/WALL: “The Democrats seem intent on having people and drugs pour into our country from the Southern Border, risking thousands of lives in the process. It is my duty to protect the lives and safety of all Americans. We must build a Great Wall, think Merit and end Lottery & Chain. USA!”
-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Jan. 11, 2018 11:42pm
DEMS/INTELLIGENCE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Democrat Dianne Feinstein should never have released secret committee testimony to the public without authorization. Very disrespectful to committee members and possibly illegal. She blamed her poor decision on the fact she had a cold – a first!”
-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Jan. 11, 2018 10:01pm
2016 ELECTION/DEMS/FBI/HILLARY CLINTON/RUSSIA: “Disproven and paid for by Democrats ‘Dossier used to spy on Trump Campaign. Did FBI use Intel tool to influence the Election?’ @foxandfriends Did Dems or Clinton also pay Russians? Where are hidden and smashed DNC servers? Where are Crooked Hillary Emails? What a mess!”
-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Jan. 11, 2018 06:33am
DEMS/DREAMERS/IMMIGRATION: “Democratic leaders are facing a potential revolt within their ranks as they edge toward a deal with Republicans that would protect Dreamers from deportation but also include concessions to conservatives that many Democratic lawmakers say are unacceptable.
Senate negotiators say they’re inching toward a bipartisan deal that broadly mirrors the parameters laid out during a meeting this week between lawmakers and President Donald Trump at the White House. They include ensuring legal status for Dreamers, strengthening border security and making changes to both family-based migration and the diversity lottery.
But many Democrats, particularly in the House, are horrified that their leaders would even agree to discuss issues beyond legal status for Dreamers and limited measures to curb illegal immigration. The concerns span multiple factions of the Democratic conference, and, combined with opposition from Republican immigration hard-liners, they could put passage of a DACA deal at risk.”
-Heather Caygle and Seung Min Kim, “Democratic leaders face internal mutiny over Dreamers deal,” Politico, Jan. 11, 2018 05:00am
DEMS/GOP/POLITICS: “On Wednesday [1-10-18], California Rep. Darrell Issa announced his retirement from Congres, the latest senior Republican to walk away from Washington amid mounting fears that a Democratic wave — fueled by President Donald Trump’s terrible approval ratings — is headed toward Washington this fall.
Issa’s retirement comes hot on the heels of his California colleague Ed Royce’s decision to call it quits earlier this week. Boh Issa and Royce represent districts that Hillary Clinton carried over Donald Trump in 2016. Of those 23 districts nationwide, four Republicans who hold them are retiring while a fifth — Arizona’s Martha McSally — is expected to run for Senate.
Royce, who sits atop the House Foreign Relations Committee, is the 9th(!) committee chairman to announce he or she will be leaving the House in 2018.
Issa and Royce are the 31st and 32nd Republicans in the House to announce he won’t be running again in 2018; Democrats have just 15 open seats, by contrast…
And, Royce, like several other committee chairmen calling it quits, is term-limited out of his chairmanship because of internal House GOP rules. Some retiring members, like Diane Black of Tennessee, are running for higher office. (Black is running for governor, a race where she is considered one of the early favorites.)”
-Chris Cillizza, “House Republicans are sprinting for the exits ahead of 2018 midterms,” CNN Politics, CNNc.om, Jan. 10, 2018 12:07pm
DEMS/GOP/IMMIGRATION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Thanks to all of the Republican and Democratic lawmakers for today’s very productive meeting on immigration reform. There was strong agreement to negotiate a bill that deals with border security, chain migration, lottery and DACA. https://t.co/SdqAQ3aL3z https://t.co/8DYHZHspAy”
-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Jan. 9, 2018 05:51pm
DEMS/TAXES/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The new tax law’s limit on the state and local tax deduction may pose a fiscal threat to high-tax states and their affluent taxpayers. But it’s also a political gift to Democratic officials in those states seeking to raise their national profiles by challenging President Donald Trump and circumventing the law.
For Democratic leaders in New York, California and New Jersey, finding state-level workarounds to the new tax code could deliver on a pocketbook issue for a key constituency: voters in high-cost suburbs from Orange County, California, to Westchester, New York, who are set to lose the most from the SALT cap.
Take New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo: He’s called the SALT cap tantamount to ‘economic civil war’ as he lays the groundwork for a potential Democratic primary bid in 2020. Like his counterparts in California and New Jersey, he’s considering mechanisms for taxpayers to fund state and local government with charitable contributions that are then credited against their tax liability; he’s also looking at a proposal to shift the tax burden from income taxes to payroll taxes…
The potential workarounds in each state could face challenges from the IRS or congressional Republicans banking on the revenue the SALT cap was designed to raise.”
-Jimmy Vielkind, Ryan Hutchins, and David Siders, “Blue states eye ‘political gift’ in tax workaround fight with Trump,” Politico, Jan. 9, 2018 05:02am