Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett is an “illegitimate” member of the court Tuesday.
In a press conference with Democratic Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, Pelosi mentioned Barrett’s confirmation, saying, “the president is installing an illegitimate Supreme Court Justice one week before the election, after 60 million Americans have voted, who will dismantle the ACA, and won’t say, by the way, when asked, by Senator Feinstein, do you think Medicare is constitutional? She said she really couldn’t say.”
Every Democrat opposed Barrett’s confirmation. Republican Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was on the fence about how she was going to vote but ended up voting in favor of Barrett’s confirmation.
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee boycotted the committee vote on Barrett and instead filled their seats in the committee with life-sized posters of people who could be hurt if the Affordable Care Act were to be repealed.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday, Oct. 13, that the Senate will vote on a coronavirus stimulus bill sometime later next week.
McConnell released a statement saying that Republicans will continue to work with the White House in order to bring a vote on a bipartisan piece of coronavirus stimulus legislation before the election. McConnell specifically mentioned the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and helping small businesses. McConnell said the bill would authorize $500 billion dollars of funding, according to The Hill.
“Secretary Mnuchin and Chief of Staff Meadows are right: There is no excuse for Democrats to keep blocking job-saving funding for the Paycheck Protection Program while other conversations continue. The PPP is a popular program that has saved tens of millions of American jobs. It is so bipartisan that its first round was replenished and extended several times by unanimous consent in both the Senate and the House. But it has become yet another casualty of Democrats’ all-or-nothing obstruction,” McConnell said.
“Last month, 52 Senate Republicans voted to pass hundreds of billions more dollars for priorities like testing, healthcare, safe schools, unemployment benefits, and economic support. That included legislation from Chairman Rubio and Senator Collins that would provide a second round of the PPP for the hardest-hit small businesses while streamlining the program and strengthening oversight,” McConnell continued.
“When the full Senate returns on October 19th, our first order of business will be voting again on targeted relief for American workers, including new funding for the PPP. Unless Democrats block this aid for workers, we will have time to pass it before we proceed as planned to the pending Supreme Court nomination as soon as it is reported by the Judiciary Committee,” he concluded.
President Donald Trump has signaled he will sign a stimulus bill before the election.
Trump reopened talks Wednesday about a stimulus deal, just one day after canceling negotiations with Democrats. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi criticized Trump for ceasing negotiations the day before on a coronavirus stimulus package until tweets after the election, saying the White House does not want to defeat the virus.
Before Pelosi’s press release, Trump sent out after a phone call about the latest stimulus negotiations with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
“Nancy Pelosi is asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19,” Trump tweeted. “She is not negotiating in good faith. I am rejecting their request.”
Just hours later, Trump sent out tweets reversing course.
“The House & Senate should IMMEDIATELY Approve 25 Billion Dollars for Airline Payroll Support, & 135 Billion Dollars for Paycheck Protection Program for Small Business. Both of these will be fully paid for with unused funds from the Cares Act. Have this money. I will sign now!” Trump tweeted Tuesday night.
Trump then added: “If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?”
On Tuesday morning, Trump sent out another tweet regarding a stimulus deal, saying: “STIMULUS! Go big or go home!!!”
A number of Democratic senators criticized California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, saying she not the right person to serve as the top Democrat on the Judiciary panel for the Supreme Court nomination hearings.
The Democratic Senators spoke on the condition of anonymity and heavily criticized Feinstein in an interview with Politico, saying she will hurt Democrats during the Judiciary panel for the next Supreme Court nominee. One of the Senators even said there is no way Feinstein could pull off leading the hearings for Democrats.
“She’s not sure what she’s doing,” one Democratic senator said of Feinstein. “If you take a look at Kavanaugh, we may be short two senators because of that. And if this gets [messed] up, it may be the same result. I think it could impact a number of seats we can win.”
Another Democratic senator said, “she can’t pull this off.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a speech Monday remembering the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and said President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee will receive a vote on the Senate floor.
In a floor speech, McConnell honored Ginsburg and her service on the court, mentioning the successes in her life before moving on to explain how he would like to proceed with the Supreme Court vacancy.
Feinstein will be responsible for leading the hearings for the Democrats and responded to the criticism.
“And so it’s difficult for me to see, I don’t know what people expect,” Feinstein said to Politico. “I’ve been on the committee for a while. I’ve seen how the committee works and I’ve seen how other chairs on our side of the aisle work. I don’t see, to be very blunt and honest, I don’t see a big difference. I’m prepared, so that’s puzzling to me.”
Feinstein also said she knows the hearings will be a challenge but that she will do her best to lead Democrats.
“Let me say this — I know it’s going to be a fight, I understand that.” Feinstein continued. “I don’t have a lot of tools to use, but I’m going to use what I have. We can try to delay and obstruct but they can run this process through. That doesn’t mean that we won’t fight tooth and nail.”
Democratic Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer is having a hard time concealing his contempt for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, as she is set to become the next speaker of the House in January.
The two have long competed for top positions in the House of Representatives and have even campaigned against each other for top roles. In an interview with The New York Times released Friday, Hoyer said Pelosi is “not negotiating for me” when asked about the deal she is trying to make in order to become speaker, limiting terms for leadership.
The deal would force Hoyer out of his leadership position by 2023, a position he does not seem eager to leave. Hoyer has long wanted to be speaker and the agreement Pelosi made with senior party leaders and committee chairs in Congress would make it so he could no longer seek a leadership position.
Hoyer is the longest-serving Democrat in the House at age 79, but he does not think his age should drive him out of leadership, comparing himself to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in his NYT interview, saying, “is Tom Brady too old at 41 to be quarterback?”
Hoyer’s office did not immediately respond to a question from The Daily Caller News Foundation about his relationship with Pelosi and the deal she is trying to cut to become the next speaker.
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed General Charles Brown as the U.S. Air Force’s next Chief of Staff, making him the first black Chief of any U.S. military branch.
Brown will be replacing Gen. Dave Goldfein. The vote was 98-0. Vice President Mike Pence presided over the confirmation in the Senate, a rare move due to the historic vote. Brown also joins retired Army Gen. Colin Powell as the only black men to sit on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Brown currently serves as the Commander of Pacific Air Forces.
President Donald Trump nominated Brown in March for the position, but his confirmation was held up by Republican Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan.
Trump weighed in on the confirmation vote Tuesday afternoon saying:
My decision to appoint @usairforce General Charles Brown as the USA’s first-ever African American military service chief has now been approved by the Senate. A historic day for America! Excited to work even more closely with Gen. Brown, who is a Patriot and Great Leader!
The House of Representatives passed a $484 billion coronavirus phase 3.5 package Thursday to help people and businesses struggling across the country.
The bill previously passed the Senate on a voice vote Tuesday. Congress and the White House reached an agreement earlier Tuesday. The legislation includes $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which White House officials told the Daily Caller will feature $60 billion carved out for institutions with less than $50 billion in total assets. The House passed the bill on a 388-5 vote.
Of that group, $30 billion is reserved for companies with less than $10 billion in assets, while the remaining $30 billion will be attributed to companies with assets ranging between $10-50 billion. Furthermore, the $60 billion reserved for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL) will be split into loans ($50 billion) and grants ($10 billion).
Additionally, the bill includes $75 billion in relief for hospitals and $25 billion for more testing. Before the agreement was announced, President Donald Trump sent out a tweet with his approval of the bill, urging Congress to pass it.
The Senate passed the $2 trillion emergency relief package March 25 to address the coronavirus pandemic after debate from both parties. That package passed the Senate 96-0.
The latest legislation will now go to Trump’s desk for a signature.
“The confidence the American people have in the Republican Senate Majority is reflected in yet another record-breaking fundraising quarter. Republican senators are working tirelessly on behalf of their constituents and the results show. Chairman Young, Leader McConnell, and the entire GOP conference is committed to ensuring Senate campaigns have all the resources needed to beat back the socialist agenda being championed by the Democratic Party,” NRSC Communications Director Jesse Hunt told the Daily Caller.
For quarter 1, the NRSC raised $30.3 million, the previous record was $16.4 million, showing a massive uptick in fundraising. The NRSC also has a total of $32.5 million cash on hand, another on year record. The previous record was $20 million.
The numbers come several months before the November election, as Republicans will try to maintain their control in the Senate and try to win back the House.
Senate Republicans have several key races they need to win in 2020 in order to keep a majority. Some Senate Republicans up for re-election include Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, John Cornyn of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas.
“Misinformation from China over the past several months has severely crippled global action to combat the global pandemic and undermined efforts by the State Department to work with other nations around the world to bring a swift end to this crisis,” they wrote.
The letter was sent a day after U.S. intelligence confirmed that China falsified data related to the virus outbreak.
“Communist China lied about their data, destroyed evidence, and allowed the Wuhan virus to spread around the world. China arrested the very doctors who tried to warn the world about what was happening, and other whistleblowers have gone missing,” Republican Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar told the Daily Caller. “China’s deception and misinformation campaign cost the global community valuable time to mitigate the spread of the Wuhan virus, and they should be held accountable for unleashing this virus on the world.”
“For years people have speculated whether, in the long run, an open and democratic society like ours is truly better than a closed and authoritarian system like China’s,” Republican South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman told the Daily Caller. “Today the answer is once again evident; that transparency and accountability saves lives. With 50,000 worldwide deaths and counting, the price of censorship is unconscionable.”
The coronavirus pandemic has lead to nearly 5,000 deaths in the U.S. and has brought economic activity in the country to a halt.
“Our first priority in Congress is to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. We also have an obligation to challenge China for their deceit and misinformation campaign,” Republican North Dakota Rep. Kelly Armstrong told the Daily Caller. “We must ensure the Chinese Communist Party is not using this global health crisis to their advantage now or in the future.”
“The Chinese Communist regime has made this problem exponentially worse by not being truthful about the contagiousness and dangerousness of COVID-19, instead engaging in a campaign of blame-shifting, misinformation, and propaganda,” Republican Rep. Fred Keller told the Daily Caller. “It is imperative we learn more about the depth of China’s deceit to determine how best to hold them accountable for their part in exacerbating this pandemic.”
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise has donated millions of dollars to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and plans on doubling his commitment in an effort to win back the House of Representatives, the Daily Caller has learned.
Scalise has given $6 million to the NRCC this cycle and told the Daily Caller that he will be doubling his commitment to $12 million. He’ll start by giving another $2 million this week. Scalise has raised over $13 million online alone in small-dollar donations so far this cycle, and $7.8 million alone during impeachment; this is an unprecedented number and the highest amount raised by any GOP member.
The Louisiana Republican told the Daily Caller that he is “fully committed to winning the house back,” saying he has been “working very aggressively over the last year to travel around the country, to raise money through my leadership fund but also for my colleagues and we’ve already raised more than $4 and a half million dollars that’s been given directly to colleagues for their efforts to win their seats back but then directly.”
“I’ve already given $6 million dollars to the NRCC to go flip the seats we need to win the majority back. I’m not slowing down, in fact, we’re raising even more money and that’s why I made the commitment to double my assessment to give $12 million dollars to the NRCC because I’m all in to win the house back and make sure Nancy Pelosi is not Speaker,” Scalise added.
NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer, of Minnesota, told the Daily Caller “I think he’s been building this over a number of years. But the other thing is that Steve Scalise is a patriot, he’s a hero to a lot of people. I mean this is a guy who had the unfortunate experience of being shot for goodness sakes, and probably shouldn’t be with us today but for some amazing doctors and what a lot of people would call a miracle.”
Scalise, who was shot by a reported Bernie Sanders supporter during a congressional baseball practice in 2017, denounced any violence due to political beliefs, saying Democrats need to take a stronger stance on the issue.
Both Scalise and Emmer said they also see momentum picking up in their party due to the rise of 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
“The move by the democrats to the socialist left has definitely energized our republican base and our donors. They know what’s at stake, that it’s no longer a fight between moderates and liberals on the democratic side its a fight between socialists and the socialists have beaten the liberals now and they’re trying to change our country dramatically and frankly, the rest of the country is not there,” Scalise told the Daily Caller.
Emmer said “when you see the socialist that they’re about to nominate on the other side. We’ve been talking about this since last year and we got laughed at by a lot of people but here we are, that choice freedom versus socialism and with a messenger like Steve Scalise, it sells.”
The Senate on Thursday passed President Donald Trump’s United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
The vote was 89-10. A change from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the USMCA is a bipartisan trade agreement that proponents think could benefit America’s farmers, ranchers, businesses, and workers. The White House and Congress worked out deals and it passed the House on Dec. 20.
In December, House Democrats generally praised Trump’s USMCA just moments after announcing articles of impeachment against the president.
“It is infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said about Trump’s trade deal just an hour after introducing articles of impeachment against him. “It’s a victory for American workers, and it’s one that we take great pride in advancing.”
Once approved by Congress, the USMCA is supposed to help longstanding trade problems by giving American businesses more freedom to sell their goods and services throughout North America.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy met with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in September to discuss the future of the USMCA and told the Daily Caller that “Lighthizer sounded upbeat about the future of the USMCA, and for good reason: he and the White House worked tirelessly to strike a trade deal with Mexico and Canada that would benefit all Americans, from manufacturers in Michigan to wine producers in California.”
McCarthy also said that Mexico has already ratified the USMCA and Canada is also ready to move forward. McCarthy then called on Congress to act, adding that he was confident House Republicans would vote to pass the legislation if brought to the floor. He also claimed that passing the USMCA would add nearly 180,000 jobs and increase the country’s GDP by $68.2 billion.
Republican senators had been continuing to advocate that the House pass the USMCA so that the Senate can vote on it. Every Republican senator the Daily Caller spoke with in November said the USMCA needs to be passed, with many mentioning Democrats’ apparent continued focus on impeachment instead of passing legislation.