Tag Archives: US Senate

Trump aides launch a media push against Schumer…But don’t knock a possible deal…

The Trump White House aides have been in the media since late Friday night blaming Democrats and Senator Chuck Schumer in particular for the government shutdown, whose effects are just starting on the first workday after the budget vote was not approved by the Senate …..

But as a bipartisan group of Senator’s work hard to get to a deal?

The Trump people have NOT criticized the leaking details of any deal…

A new poll out this morning seems to indicate that the Trump and GOP effort to stick blame on the Dem’s and Schumer has NOT completely worked….

Trump has repeatily backed away from portions he agreed to take on approving any budget ‘deal’…

The White House dispatched several senior aides Monday morning to make the rounds on television morning shows. They did not hide their frustrations with Schumer and other Democrats, but they chose their words carefully when asked about the possible compromise and the odds of the government reopening as soon as Monday afternoon.

Asked on ABC’s “Good Morning, America” program if he is confident the federal government will re-open on Monday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders replied: “I sure hope so.”

But she also accused Schumer of “playing games” over DACA and government funding. She reiterated the White House stance that it will resume immigration talks once the government is funded and operating. Sanders also was asked to respond to this charge Schumer made on Saturday: “Negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with Jell-O.”….


House votes for Continuing Budget Bill…The Senate isn’t there…Shutdown COULD be coming…

The dance is going on in Congress….

Republicans holding for strong Immigration curbs in exchange for DACA and the Dreamers….

The Democrats holding tight….Republicans need 11 votes from then in the Senate…

Failure to get the Senate to go along would shut-down the American goverment except for essential service and ignite a political blame game….

President Trump is NOT making things easy….

The House approved a stopgap spending bill on Thursday night to keep the government open past Friday, but Senate Democrats — angered by President Trump’s vulgar aspersions and a lack of progress on a broader budget and immigration deal — appeared ready to block the measure.

The House approved the measure 230 to 197, despite conflicting signals by President Trump sent throughout the day and a threatened rebellion from conservatives that ended up fizzling. But the bill, which would keep the government open through Feb. 16, provided only a faint glimmer of hope that a crisis could be averted before funding expires at midnight on Friday.

In the Senate, at least about a dozen Democratic votes would be needed to approve the measure, and there was little chance that those would materialize. Democrats are intent on securing concessions that would, among other things, protect from deportation young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, increase domestic spending, aid Puerto Rico and bolster the government’s response to the opioid crisis.

The Senate held only a procedural vote on the stopgap bill late Thursday night, leaving for Friday a more consequential vote when Democrats are expected to block the measure….


Why Donald Trump probably hasn’t fired Ropert Mueller…By the Numbers


The removal of an American President has evolved into a POLITICAL action….

NOT a criminal action….

By the rules we have in this country?

Donald Trump is correct….

He COULD walk down the Broadway in New York City…

Pull out a gun and shoot by stander and NOT be charged with a federal crime…

(He probably COULD be charged with a state crime though)

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Impeachment (indictment) comes from the House….

The charges are approved by a SIMPLE MAJORITY…..

If the Democrats win a majority come this November?

The pressuer on Pelosi and Schumer for an impeachment will be YUGE….

But there is a CATCH…..

To convict and remove a sitting President from office?

The Senate vote ‘Aye’ must be by TWO THIRDS.

There is probably NO CHANCE of THAT from 2018 to 2020…..

And THAT is why Donald Trump is probably NOT going to fire Robert Mueller….

To fire him WOULD tilt the balance  of his hairline support, by his party members, in the Senate, due to the reactionary media and public pressure from a move that WOULD CLEARLY be seen as  an ‘obstruction of justice’….

Democratic and Republican leaders along with the political/legal people on Mueller’s team are well aware of the above ….


For the sake of the country?

Democrats and probably establishment Republicans are betting that Mueller and Trump HIMSEL:F will make their bad dream go away with him bailing out of the White House….


Senate tax cut plan moves ahead….

The Republicans writing the Senate bill have made promises to accomidate their party people who have expressed reservations about the their chambers bill…

Any  Senate bill version would have to be worked out with the now passed House version….

So what is being agreed on actually is NOT in writing right now….Some accomidations made now will NOT be in the final bill...

The final agreed version would have to be voted on AGAIN….

So we are taking now about something that does NOT exist.

Senate Republicans took a significant step toward passing a sweeping tax overhaul on Tuesday, with a key panel giving its approval and several wavering senators indicating they would support the tax package, helping clear the way for full Senate consideration later this week.

Passage of the tax overhaul, which seemed uncertain on Monday, strengthened considerably on Tuesday after the Senate Budget Committee voted along party lines to advance the plan. A flurry of last-minute deal making helped garner the support of a few Republican lawmakers who had expressed concerns about the $1.5 trillion package, including its treatment of small businesses and its effect on the deficit.

The rapid turnaround underlines the pressure Republicans face to pass a tax cut and notch a significant legislative victory in their first year controlling both Congress and the White House. To help push the effort forward, President Trump went to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for a lunch meeting with Republican senators, where he made promises to some and admonished another.

“I think we’re going to get it passed,” he said later at the White House. “It’s going to have lots of adjustments before it ends, but the end result will be a very, very massive — the largest in the history of our country — tax cut.”

Republicans emerged from the lunch increasingly optimistic about the bill’s fate and playing down the concerns that had threatened to bedevil its passage. Three key Republican holdouts, Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, sounded positive about the bill on Tuesday after gaining assurances from Mr. Trump and the Republican leadership that their worries would be addressed….



Senate Republicans pushed their tax plan past another key hurdle Wednesday, a show of momentum for President Trump’s top priority even as frantic negotiations with GOP holdouts made final passage uncertain.

A procedural vote, which passed 52 to 48, with all Republicans in favor and all Democrats opposed, marked an important milestone as the GOP-led Congress scrambled to deliver a significant accomplishment by the end of Trump’s first year in office.

It was the first time the plan had been considered by the full Senate. A final vote is likely by the end of the week.

Still the $1.5-trillion package remains in flux. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is working behind the scenes to prevent defections from his 52-seat Republican majority. He can afford to lose only two votes, assuming Vice President Mike Pence breaks a tie…..


The Senate will go forward with a review of NJ Democratic Senator Menendez….

Fresh from a hung jury in his corruption trial and the prospect of a conviction remote after the Supreme’s call on political corruption definitions ….It looks like the Jersey Senator is home free….The report is the jury was 10-2 for acquittal …..

The Republicans will now take a crack at him from within the Senate…Lindsey graham was a character witness for the guy during his trial…

After a nine-week trial, and nearly two weeks of jury deliberations, U.S. District Judge William Walls declared a mistrial, a huge legal victory for Menendez.

One juror told reporters afterward that there was a 10-2 split in favor of acquittal, saying prosecutors had “no smoking gun” for proving bribery between Menendez and Melgen.

Menendez, though, admitted in 2013 that he had taken flights on Melgen’s jet and failed to declare them, a potential violation of Senate ethics rules. Menendez later repaid Melgen $58,000 once the flights were reported by the media….


Note ….

Last Senator to have his job taken away was almost a 100 years ago…

Rough waters for Democratic US Senate hopes….

Larry Sabato’s people game out the chances of Chuck Schumer getting Mitch McConnell’s job as Senate Majority Leader….

….from August….*(Sen .Corker IS Retiring….Sen. Collins is thinking hard about it)

Right now we have four Toss-ups: two held by Republicans, and two held by Democrats. If one assumes a 50-50 split on the Toss-ups, and every other seat goes the way we currently rate it, there would be no net change in the Senate. Given the map, that would be a substantial Democratic accomplishment and a missed opportunity for Republicans. But the election’s a long way off and the potential exists for Republicans to make gains next year, too, even if the president’s approval rating doesn’t improve. That would be an unusual result historically, but history is merely a guide. It guarantees nothing, particularly on a Senate map where Democrats are stretched historically thin.

One final point: It is highly unusual that there have not been any retirements so far*. Usually there are at least a couple of open seats, and typically more than that, according to the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs’ Smart Politics blog. This is just a guess, but there probably will be at least an open seat or two by the time we get to next fall. Maybe one of the long-rumored retirees, like Feinstein in California or Hatch in Utah, ultimately opts to retire after making moves in recent months to run again. Such a retirement would do little to the Senate bottom line because both of those states lean so heavily to one party. More impactful would be a shocker that truly changes the calculus in one of these states — like one of the Toss-up senators making the calculation later this cycle that they don’t have a path to another term, or that they don’t want another term….


Much has been made of the fact that next year Senate Democrats are defending 10 seats in states Trump won in the presidential race, while Senate Republicans are defending only one seat in a Clinton-won state, held by Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV). These represent the vast majority of the 14 total “crossover” seats in the Senate, those held by a party different than the one that captured the state in the 2016 presidential race. The other three crossover-state senators are Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), a Democrat in a Trump state up for reelection in 2020, and the aforementioned Gardner of Colorado and Collins of Maine, also up for reelection in 2020. So Republicans hold a 52-48 advantage right now despite holding only three seats in Clinton-won states, while Democrats have 11 Trump-state seats and are still in the minority.

That speaks to the GOP advantage in the Senate right now. Even though Trump lost the popular vote by two percentage points, he won 30 states in the Electoral College, while Clinton won only 20. Because all states are created equal in the Senate, the median state in the Electoral College gives us a sense of the GOP tilt of the states overall. In ranking all the states by presidential margin from most to least Republican, the median falls between Arizona and North Carolina, which Trump won by an average of about 3.6 points, so presidential performance in the median Senate seat is roughly 5.5 points to the right of the nation. That’s about the same Republican lean of the median House seat by presidential performance…..



Race Rating Change: Flake’s Arizona Senate Seat Moves to Tossup

Ten Democratic senators are running for re-election in states President Donald Trump carried in 2016, yet Republican Jeff Flake looks like the most vulnerable senator in the country right now. Even though Trump won Arizona, Flake’s adversarial relationship with the president has caused him to be vulnerable in the primary and general elections. And Arizona’s emergence as a Democratic takeover opportunity complicates GOP efforts to hold and expand their majority….


Defense Sec wants to keep Iran Nuclear deal….

Every 90 days President Trump’s Admin must let Congress know if Iran is sticking by the deal the Obama Admin and other countries did with Iran …..

Candidate Donald Trump campaigned on tearing up the deal and getting abetter one….

His Defense Sec doesn’t care about the campaign promise….he’s worried about adding another headache to the one the country has on the otherside of the world with North Korea. which is ten times worst than Iran….

So Sec Mattis has made no secret that he needs his boss to continue with the Iran agreement…And he’s made that point to American Senators in testimony before them…..

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Mattis IS the one cabinet member it seems that Donald Trump trust and respects….Amen…

(Trump is sure to find a way to spin this story in way that he gets the last word though …)

Days before President Trump has to make a critical decision on whether to hold up the Iran nuclear deal, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis openly split with him on abandoning the agreement, the second senior member of the president’s national security team to recently contradict him.

Mr. Mattis told senators on Tuesday that it was in America’s interest to stick with the deal, which Mr. Trump has often dismissed as a “disaster.”

“Absent indications to the contrary, it is something that the president should consider staying with,” Mr. Mattis told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee after being repeatedly pressed on the issue.

The comments were the latest example of how Mr. Trump’s instincts on national security — to threaten North Korea with destruction and tear up an Iran accord that most experts and allies say is working — are running headlong into opposition from his own National Security Council.

But rather than keep those arguments inside the White House Situation Room, where similar battles have played out over many presidencies, Mr. Trump’s key advisers are making no secret of their disagreements with their boss….



US Senate green lights Defense Bill….

The US Senate has agreed on a preliminary $692 billion Defense spending bill joining the US House….

The next step is for members of both legislative bodies to sit down and work out the differences between both bodies bills…..

The spending is above the sequester cap that Congress had set during  President Obama’s terms …..

The Senate sidestepped controversy Monday and overwhelmingly passed a sweeping $692 billion defense policy bill for the new fiscal year.

Scrapped without votes were a handful of contentious proposals to prevent transgender troops from being kicked out of the military, eliminate across-the-board budget cuts, bar indefinite detention of U.S. citizens and launch a new round of military base realignments and closures.

The annual National Defense Authorization Act was passed 89-8, setting up what could be contentious negotiations with the House over a series of key policy differences on the must-pass legislation.

The House passed its version of the bill in July. And the two chambers are expected to soon form a joint conference committee to hammer out their differences and negotiate a final compromise.

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, who managed the bill on the Senate floor, while undergoing treatment for brain cancer, had been pushing for votes on four key amendments dealing with defense spending, indefinite detention, Buy America requirements and restrictions on defense medical research. But with the chamber deadlocked on the issue, Senate leaders instead moved to finish the bill quickly……


2018 Senate election results…Stays the same…Sabato…

Wouldn’t  the Democrats LOVE to come out with THAT result after next years elections….

We’re still more than a year though….

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “Right now we have four Toss-ups: two held by Republicans, and two held by Democrats. If one assumes a 50-50 split on the Toss-ups, and every other seat goes the way we currently rate it, there would be no net change in the Senate. Given the map, that would be a substantial Democratic accomplishment and a missed opportunity for Republicans. But the election’s a long way off and the potential exists for Republicans to make gains next year, too, even if the president’s approval rating doesn’t improve. That would be an unusual result historically, but history is merely a guide. It guarantees nothing, particularly on a Senate map where Democrats are stretched historically thin.”

“One final point: It is highly unusual that there have not been any retirements so far. Usually there are at least a couple of open seats, and typically more than that… This is just a guess, but there probably will be at least an open seat or two by the time we get to next fall. “….


Chuck Schumer….Sure It’s getting better between me and Mitch….

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With the Republican leadership finally coming to understand that they can’t get much done on their own (Democrats 2009?)…..They have begun to turn back how things should be in the Congress….

Working together sometimes ….

Schumer even seems to be making a pitch to get Trump’s ear on trade (and drive a wedge between Trump and the Republicans)….

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) says that relationships between Democrats and Republicans in Congress are improving, but said he feels the White House has not done enough to support lawmakers.

“We are actually working together in a pretty good way,” Schumer told radio host John Catsimatidis in an interview that aired Sunday. “I think this will happen more and more and more.”

“Our Republican friends, I think, want to work with us. I think sometimes the president gets in the way of that. But I think you are going to see us working together more and more,” he repeated. “I have even gotten [Sen. Mitch McConnell] to laugh at my jokes.”

Schumer pointed at U.S. trade policy with China as one issue that could bridge the gap between Democrats in Congress and the Trump administration.

The New York Democrat even remarked that he was “closer” to Trump on the issue than he was to former Presidents Obama or George W. Bush…..



The Senate locks Trump out of recess appointments…

This move requires EVERY US Senator to be on board…

Donald Trump just got dissed by the Senate that he has been knocking for weeks….

The Senate blocked President Trump from being able to make recess appointments on Thursday as lawmakers leave Washington for their summer break.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), doing wrap up for the entire Senate, locked in nine “pro-forma” sessions — brief meetings that normally last roughly a minute.
The move, which requires the agreement of every senator, means the Senate will be in session every three business days throughout the August recess.
The Senate left D.C. on Thursday evening with most lawmakers not expected to return to Washington until after Labor Day.
Senators were scheduled to be in town through next week, but staffers and senators predicted they would wrap up a few remaining agenda items and leave Washington early.
Trump isn’t the first president to face the procedural roadblock from Congress.
The Senate has used the brief sessions to block recess appointments for decades, including last year to keep President Obama from being able to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat.
But the current deal comes after Trump repeatedly lashed out at Attorney General Jeff Sessions, sparking speculation that he would fire the former senator and try to name his successor while Congress was out of town.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned last month that Democrats had “tools in our toolbox” to block a recess appointment….

Republicans will probably bail out the Healthcare Insurance payments…

Donald Trump has threatened to withhold the payments that back up Healthcare Insurers…

That’s NOT LIKELY  to happen…(It will be up to John Kelly his Chief of Staff to talk some sense into his boss)

It appears that saner minds in Congress are gonna make SURE that the Healthcare program stays stable until Congress gets around later to make ‘adjustments’….

In the end ?

There is little chance of the GOP promise to fully Repeal the law ever will occur…

The Republicans OWN it now….

Midterm elections are a little more than year ahead….

Lawmakers are facing off with President Trump over key ObamaCare payments that are in jeopardy after the collapse of efforts to repeal the healthcare law.

Trump is threatening to cancel the payments, known as cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), as part of his effort to make ObamaCare “implode.”

But he is running into opposition from key Republicans, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (Utah) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (Texas), who say they want to find a way to guarantee the payments, which reimburse insurers for giving discounted deductibles to low-income ObamaCare enrollees.

If the payments were cancelled, insurers have warned they would either have to spike premiums to make up for the lost money, or drop out of the market altogether, limiting people’s options for coverage.

Trump could announce that he is cancelling the payments as early as Tuesday.

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), one of Trump’s top supporters on Capitol Hill, told CNN on Monday that he had encouraged Trump to announce the cancellation on Tuesday.

Trump has long warned that he could cancel the payments, though it is unclear if he will follow through.

In addition to a premium spike that experts estimate could reach 20 percent, Democrats warn that there would be a political fallout as well if people blame Trump for the chaos.

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in May found that 63 percent of the public thinks Trump and congressional Republicans are responsible for problems with the Affordable Care Act going forward…..