“Democratic candidates are reporting historic early fundraising totals, alarming GOP strategists and raising the prospect that 2018 could feature the most expansive House battlefield in years,” Politico reports.
“Animated by opposition to President Trump and the Republican congressional majorities, at least 162 Democratic candidates in 82 GOP-held districts have raised over $100,000 so far this year… That’s about four times as many candidates as House Democrats had at this point before the 2016 or 2014 elections, and it’s more than twice as many as Republicans had running at this point eight years ago, on the eve of capturing the House in the 2010 wave election.”
Josh Kraushaar: “House Republicans are growing increasingly alarmed that some of their most vulnerable members aren’t doing the necessary legwork to protect themselves from an emerging Democratic tidal wave. In some of the biggest media markets, where blockbuster fundraising is a prerequisite for political survival—most notably in New York City, Los Angeles, and Houston—Republican lawmakers aren’t raising enough money to run aggressive campaigns against up-and-coming Democrats.”
“Of the 53 House Republicans facing competitive races, according to Cook Political Report ratings, a whopping 21 have been outraised by at least one Democratic opponent in the just-completed fundraising quarter. That’s a stunningly high number this early in the cycle, one that illustrates just how favorable the political environment is for House Democrats.”
— New Republic (@NewRepublic) October 23, 2017
“The Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee — engaged in a high-pressure, high-stakes tax policy rewrite — are currently exploring not cutting the income tax rate for people who earn $1 million or more per year,” according to Jonathan Swan.
Playbook: “Multiple Republicans have even suggested to us the tax rate could go from 39.6% to 40% for top earners. It’s tough to separate hyperbole from reality, so take this with a grain of salt. If it happened, it would would strip Democrats of a talking point, and could help with revenue. On the other hand, Republicans would be raising a tax rate. We doubt it will happen, but it does give a sense of where the debate is.”
“President Trump campaigned as one of the world’s greatest dealmakers, but after nine months of struggling to broker agreements, lawmakers in both parties increasingly consider him an untrustworthy, chronically inconsistent and easily distracted negotiator,” the Washington Post reports.
“As Trump prepares to visit Capitol Hill on Tuesday to unify his party ahead of a high-stakes season of votes on tax cuts and budget measures, some Republicans are openly questioning his negotiating abilities and devising strategies to keep him from changing his mind.”
To wit: “Congressional Republicans are readying themselves for a new obstacle on tax reform: President Trump and his penchant for disruptions,” Politico reports.
“There’s no doubt that Trump badly wants a tax deal, and he appears very willing to travel the country in support of one. But the GOP lawmakers that are crafting the tax measure are also bracing themselves for the president to potentially disturb their negotiations at any moment, as he has done throughout his nine months in office and this week on a bipartisan Senate agreement to shore up Obamacare insurance markets.”
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) October 23, 2017
New York Times: “By the summer of 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had had enough. His own party controlled both houses of Congress, yet the latest elements of his New Deal were stalled. Exasperated by fellow Democrats standing in the way, Roosevelt resolved to push some of them out of office.”
“Nearly 80 years later, President Trump’s former chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, has declared a “season of war” to push out problematic Republicans in midterm elections, just as Roosevelt tried to do to balky Democrats. But Roosevelt’s purge backfired. Not only did he fail to take out his targets, but he also emboldened them, all but dooming his domestic program for much of the rest of his presidency.”
New York Times: “All three committees looking into Russian interference — one in the House, two in the Senate — have run into problems, from insufficient staffing to fights over when the committees should wrap up their investigations. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s inquiry has barely started, delayed in part by negotiations over the scope of the investigation. Leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, while maintaining bipartisan comity, have sought to tamp down expectations about what they might find.”
“Nine months into the Trump administration, any notion that Capitol Hill would provide a comprehensive, authoritative and bipartisan accounting of the extraordinary efforts of a hostile power to disrupt American democracy appears to be dwindling.”
Axios: “Mueller was always going to be the last word. Turns out he may have the only definitive word.”
Democrats should not consider a presidential nominee who’s older than Trump https://t.co/x3fCXi4QcZ
— Daily Intelligencer (@intelligencer) October 23, 2017
President Trump “urged House Republicans on a conference call to rally behind a Senate-passed budget bill, touting it as the quickest way to enact sweeping tax cuts later this year without Democratic support,” the Washington Post reports.
Said Trump: “We are on the verge of doing something very, very historic.”
“Following multiple failed attempts to overhaul the health-care system, Republicans are eager for a marquee legislative victory and see tax reform as their best shot at working with Trump to deliver on a major campaign promise.”
Washington Post: “The Weinstein scandal, which has featured graphic accounts of assault from a string of celebrity accusers, has sparked a national debate about sexual harassment. Many women, inspired by a #MeToo campaign, have taken to social media to tell their own stories, and calls to the National Sexual Assault Hotline have risen sharply.”
“But for Trump’s accusers, the renewed debate offers a reminder that their allegations did not have the same effect.”
“Trump, unlike Weinstein, was able to deflect their claims — despite the disclosure of a video in which he was heard bragging about the kind of behavior some of the women had alleged. Trump has never followed through with his vow to sue his accusers or produce the ‘substantial evidence’ he said would refute their claims.”
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) October 23, 2017
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), “the sometimes cantankerous, often charming and eternally irrepressible Republican from Arizona, has never minced words. But in the twilight of a long and storied career, as he fights a virulent form of brain cancer, the 81-year-old senator has found a new voice,” the New York Timesreports.
“In twin speeches — one in July, where he issued a call to bipartisanship in the Senate, and another in Philadelphia this past week, where he railed against ‘half-baked, spurious nationalism’ — Mr. McCain has taken on both his colleagues and President Trump. In the process, his friends and fellow senators say, he has carved out a new role for himself on Capitol Hill: elder statesman and truth-teller.”
“The Hill asked nearly two-dozen Senate candidates this week if they would support McConnell as leader if elected. Not one campaign said outright that they would support McConnell, although two candidates appear to have expressed support for McConnell in the past.”
To fight the alt-right, the administrators of higher education need a renewed sense of mission https://t.co/RG2kohuGQV
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) October 23, 2017
Stan Collender: “The U.S. Treasury Department reported last Friday that the federal budget deficit for the just-completed fiscal year had risen by $80 billion over fiscal 2016 to the ominous-sounding $666 billion, a number many people think is an omen for the coming of the devil or anti-Christ.”
“In this case they may be right: The spending and taxing policies about to be put in place by the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress will balloon the federal deficit to $1 trillion or more every year going forward.”
“And unlike the four consecutive $1 trillion deficits recorded during the first years of the Obama administration, these trillion dollar annual deficits will be the result of enacted changes in federal spending and taxing rather than on a temporary economic downturn.”
President Donald Trump seemed unwilling or unable to drop his squabble with Rep. Frederica Wilson over the weekend as he blasted the Miami-area Democrat for a second time in as many days Sunday. The one thing in common between the tweets the president sent out on Saturday and Sunday? He calls the black congresswoman “wacky.”
This is the man whose book the President praised on Twitter. https://t.co/DRxH5v6wmU
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) October 22, 2017
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday said President Donald Trump’s administration has a “blind spot” when it comes to Russia. “I think that the Trump administration is slow when it comes to Russia. They have a blind spot on Russia I still can’t figure out,” Graham said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”
Trump in August signed legislation imposing tough new sanctions on Russia but in October blew past the legislation’s deadline for issuing “regulations or other guidance” on the subject.
Overlooked this week: Sessions says DOJ isn't really doing anything to protect against foreign interference in 2018 https://t.co/dyj84msqPl
— Blake Hounshell (@blakehounshell) October 22, 2017