Thursday, May 17, 2018

GOP Congressional Rank And File Starting To Crack On Popular Democratic Initiatives


It looks like Republican congressional leaders are starting to lose control of their nervous caucuses.

Yesterday the Senate passed a Democratic pro-net neutrality bill. All 49 Democrats plus three Republicans-- Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK) and John Kennedy (LA)-- voted for the very popular bill, while McConnell and 46 other Republicans voted against it. Dean Heller (R-NV), who will face Nevada voters in November and was wavering, decided to vote against it at the last minute. He's a notorious coward.

Meanwhile, over in the House, Ryan is getting frantic about the threat of the House passing a discharge petition in order two move popular DACA legislation that he's been blocking. He called a GOP conference meeting to warn his members not to vote for it as two more members-- John Katko of Syracuse and Dave Trott from the suburbs north of Detroit added their names to the petition, bringing the total to 20, just 5 away from the 25 needed.

As The Hill pointed out, "Discharge petitions are almost never successful, since they require members of the majority party to buck their own party brass and force votes on legislation that leaders would prefer to keep off the floor. And Ryan on Wednesday warned his troops against the discharge petition strategy, arguing that it empowers the minority Democrats.

“We do not agree with discharge petitions; we think they are a mistake. They dis-unify our majority,” Ryan said during his own press conference in the Capitol. “Members of our majority fall into different camps, and they want a solution on DACA, and they want a solution on the border and the security issues, so we want to accommodate all of that.”

Katko and Trott responded to Ryan's mealy-mouthed whining by signing on. As we noted last week, the Republicans leading the charge-- Carlos Curbelo (FL), Jeff Denham (CA), David Valadao (CA) and Will Hurd (TX)-- are in Hispanic-majority or plurality districts. Valadao, for example, represents a district where 75.6% of the population is Hispanic. Curbelo's is 74.0% and Hurd's is 72.2%. The only reason any of them are in Congress is sheer incompetence from the DCCC. At that time, the discharge petition had been signed by the 4 of them plus Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), Mia Love (UT), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), Charlie Dent (PA), Fred Upton (MI), Dave Reichert (WA), Mike Coffman (CO), Chris Collins (NY), John Faso (NY), Mark Amodei (NV), Elise Stefanik (NY), Leonard Lance (NJ) and Ryan Costello (PA). Yesterday, Pelosi noted that there are already the 25 requisite numbers but that "But in order to save face for the Speaker, [they want to] let him have it his discretion to bring it up."

Later Wednesday Ryan called a meeting of the whole Republican conference and warned them not to move ahead with a discharge petition to force an immigration vote, saying the effort would effectively hand over power to the Democrats, according to lawmakers who attended the closed-door meeting.
“They said it’s a lot better to stick together as team than a few guys trying to do their own thing with a bill that simply switches the power over to the other party,” Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) told The Hill. “It turns the floor over to them.”

Leaders also said that the “the governing majority should be able to accomplish its agenda without resorting to discharge,” said Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR). “That’s fundamental to governing.”

After the meeting, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) reiterated his opposition to the discharge petition.

"Obviously, we do not agree with discharge petitions. We think they are a mistake. They disunify our majority," Ryan told reporters during his weekly press conference. "There are members of our majority [who] fall into different camps, and they want a solution on [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals], and they want a solution on the border and the security issues, so we want to accommodate all of that."

"We don't want to advance something that won't become law and just get vetoed even if it made it to the president's desk. We want to advance something that has a chance of going into law that the president supports. That's why we met with the president [yesterday]."

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) pushed back against the notion that the move would empower the minority, pointing out that Ryan would be able to bring up an immigration bill of his choosing under the petition.

“It takes away the argument that the majority loses control of the floor. The Speaker is allowed to bring up whatever bill he wants,” Upton said after the meeting. “You don’t really lose control of the floor, because you’re allowed to bring up whatever proposal you want, and you let the chips fall where they may.”

Ryan and his top lieutenants are facing intense pressure from members to bring immigration legislation to the floor.
Early this morning, Politico noted that Ryan, McCarthy and Scalise are "in the middle of an immigration nightmare" and losing control of their own conference. The 3 bozos "spent this week trying to get Republicans to not sign a discharge petition that would open the House floor to a wide-ranging immigration debate. As of now, it's been a failure... [That Republicans] are openly defying their own leadership is relatively stunning. McCarthy has made the argument that an immigration vote could cost Republicans the majority. That clearly isn’t resonating... The people signing the petition-- McCarthy’s close friend Jeff Denham of California, among them-- have waited years for a bill, and frankly have no incentive to believe any leadership-backed effort until it’s imminent.
Ryan and his leadership team are in search of a deal to get around the discharge petition. The only way they can do that is to find another compromise which has 218-- and that compromise can also do away with the discharge petition. We're not sure what that deal would look like, since Republicans have whiffed on immigration for nearly a decade. But any deal would have to be a White House-backed effort, and would have to be a middle-of-the-road compromise since Ryan says he wants any bill he puts on the floor to get signed into law. MAKE NO MISTAKE this is a mess for the GOP.

One last point: Because of Ryan’s mid-year retirement announcement, McCarthy and Scalise both have to play this immigration situation really carefully. They are both effectively in the middle of a leadership election, whether they’d care to admit it or not.
Goal ThermometerDemocratic congressional candidates are pointing out this anarchy and the inability of the Republicans to get anything done. In the crowded Democratic primary in northeast Orange County (CA-39), Sam Jammal is the only non-self-funding-multimillionaire and the only candidate who lives in the district. He told us that "It's great to see that rank and file Republicans are seeing that their agenda is failing and they need to support common sense policies like net neutrality and DACA. It seems that when it comes to House Republicans, they are either retiring or grasping for any sort of lifeline. It won't be enough in November, but it is good to see that the clear public consensus on DACA is breaking through. For net neutrality, it's a huge sign of progress that the Senate passed net neutrality legislation. It shows that Democrats and a handful of Republicans are willing to say no to the telecoms when it comes to protecting a free and open internet. This is huge progress, though we have work ahead to actually codify this bill."

Ricardo Franco is also running for Congress in California, but in a Central Valley district (CA-22)-- and against national arch-villain Devin Nunes. "Net neutrality and DACA," he told us this morning, "go to the heart of our rural communities in our district. Many of our constituents lack access to high speed internet and many communities are afraid of law enforcement due to rumors ICE is arresting everyone during their raids. This is costing people needless stress and businesses money. This district is almost half Latino and our progressive message of restoring the middle class is getting a great response with voters. At this point, the GOP and Nunes could go the way of elevator operators." Please consider clicking on the Bluer California thermometer above and take a look at who the progressive candidates are in the Golden State. None of these are DCCC candidates and they can use some netroots help.

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At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting development. If the Nazis religiously refuse to address DACA, it increases the amplitude of the anti-red wave. If they do this and force a vote, they will force Pelosi to let a few of her caucus vote against it in order to give Pelosi that issue in the upcoming and the infinite future. That would be BAAAAD for the 'craps. But where else are those hapless pawns gonna go?
If the Nazis circumvent ryan and the rest of the Nazi oligarchy, pass something moderately useful for the hapless pawns, then it forces der fuhrer to either sign it or veto it. A veto makes der fuhrer look like the Nazi racist he truly is and increases the amplitude of the anti-red wave. If he signs, it removes Pelosi's issue forever and might decrease the amplitude of the anti-red wave. And make no mistake, Pelosi does not want that issue to be resolved until she can pack congress and the WH with 'craps so they can hold all bills hostage for bigger bribes.

Quite the conundrum for both sides here. Wanna bet they both fuck it up and hurt themselves?

At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd be OK with "they both fuck it up and hurt themselves" except for the harm they would cause the nation.

At 6:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this case, for JUST the Nazis to fuck it up and hurt themselves, they'd actually be helping the hapless pawns... for a change. And it would mean that trump would hurt himself in the eyes of his racist Nazi base.


At 8:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree, 6:13. I really doubt that anything could happen that would sever the connection between Trump and his Deplorables. He wasn't kidding about getting away with shooting someone on the streets. Look at how he's getting his billionaire hucksters and war criminals into prominent and controlling positions in the government. With a corporatist bench of jurists, they hold all the face cards. And few complain effectively much less do anything about this.

At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

point taken. just as the leftys are told constantly that any non-vote for the 'crap is a vote for the Nazi, the Nazis believe that any non-vote for their Nazi is a vote for the 'crap.


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