Two weeks ago, President Donald Trump was forced to reverse course on the administration’s family separation policy, after being confronted with harrowing images and a public outcry. Last week, House Republicans again failed to pass any immigration reform bills – with the president continuing to contradict himself even through the weekend on whether he wanted one to pass at all.
Now, a new issue has burst into the progressive bloodstream, as nationwide immigration protests spread. The new issue has an easy slogan, but one that has the potential to play right into Trump’s argument that the alternative to his policies are “open borders.”
Just a week ago, #AbolishICE was little more than an obscure activist hashtag and something that was yelled at the Homeland Security secretary in a Mexican restaurant.
That is, until last Tuesday. After the surprise upset of a veteran New York Democratic congressman by a 28-year-old first-time candidate, it is fast becoming a test of progressive credentials, with incumbent members of Congress and potential 2020ers signing on.
Trump and the GOP are pouncing, and some Democrats are pushing back.
“We are always going to need immigration enforcement,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., told Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week. “We are a major country with major borders.”
The RUNDOWN with Rick Klein
The battle lines are drawn. But so is the road map – clearly delineated for how the fight over the Supreme Court vacancy is almost certain to end.
As the president lasers in on his choice, Democrats face their strategic choices knowing some key pieces of math. Those include the prospect of a 5-4 conservative-leaning court, along with the 51-49 GOP advantage in the Senate.
That means Republicans have to help if a court pick is going to be blocked. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is making clear she won’t vote to support someone she knows would overturn Roe v. Wade.
Alex Wong/Getty ImagesAnti-abortion rights advocates participate in a rally at the National Mall prior to the 2018 March for Life, Jan. 19, 2018, in Washington, DC.
But she’s highly unlikely to ever know that for certain. The president says he won’t ask. While senators will, one precedent the soon-to-be-nominee is sure to respect is to never answer a question like that.
Realistically, all Democrats will be able to do will be to try to blow up, procedurally speaking, a deeply divided Senate. That will put the party’s activist base at odds with some key Democrats up for reelection this year, starting with what figures to be a loud Fourth of July week back home.
The TIP with John Verhovek
The Republican Party has not won a statewide election in Virginia since 2009, but with the recent rise of Corey Stewart, who won the party’s nomination for U.S. Senate last month running on a Trump-centric, pro-Confederate monument platform, the state party seems to be plunging deeper into chaos.
Over the weekend, Virginia GOP Chairman John Whitbeck resigned, and while the statement offered no mention of Stewart, it forebodes a deeper identity crisis in a state where Republicans are defending a slew of competitive congressional seats that are key to Democratic hopes of retaking the U.S. House.
Steve Helber/AP, FILEChairman of the Virginia Republican party, John C. Whitbeck, Jr., speaks during a press conference, June 14, 2017, in Richmond, Va.
Two other state party leaders, Kevin Gentry, who sits on the executive committee of the party’s governing board, and Davis Rennolds, the chair of the Richmond GOP, also resigned in recent days amid fears that with Stewart atop the ticket, the GOP may not just lose the U.S. Senate race to Tim Kaine, but could be losing a grip on those aforementioned House seats, including the suburban D.C. district represented by GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock.
“No matter what happens cycle after cycle, Republicans must stand together,” Whitbeck wrote in his resignation statement.
Regardless of what party leaders in the state do, Stewart will have a powerful megaphone this cycle, and has the backing of another somewhat important voice in the Republican Party — President Donald Trump.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“A candidate for this important position who would overturn Roe v. Wade would not be acceptable to me because that would indicate an activist agenda that I don’t want to see a judge have.” — Sen. Susan Collins, a key vote on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, to ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz on “This Week” Sunday.
NEED TO READ
After eyeing the exits, White House officials will likely stay through Supreme Court confirmation: Sources. White House counsel Don McGahn, Legislative Affairs director Marc Short and Domestic Policy director Andrew Bremberg have told colleagues in the days following Supreme Court Justice Kennedy’s retirement announcement that they plan to stay on staff through the confirmation process, three White House officials and two outside advisors tell ABC News. (Tara Palmeri) https://abcn.ws/2lO4sU0
President Trump predicts ‘vicious’ fight over Supreme Court vacancy. “It’s probably going to be vicious because the other side, all they can do is obstruct and resist,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business that aired Sunday. “But I think it’s going to go actually very quickly if I pick the right person.” (Alexander Mallin) https://abcn.ws/2lR6GC9
Supreme Court nominee who would overturn Roe v. Wade ‘would not be acceptable’: Sen. Collins. Republican Sen. Susan Collins, a critical vote on whomever President Trump nominates to replace Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court, said any nominee who would overturn Roe v. Wade would “not be acceptable.” The Maine senator told ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz on “This Week” Sunday that the most important trait for a potential justice is to “respect precedent.” https://abcn.ws/2NhOCgW
Trump says critics of his administration ‘better just take it easy’ with language, ‘radical ideas.’ “I hope the other side realizes that they better just take it easy,” the president said Sunday about recent incidents of White House and Cabinet officials being publicly challenged over the administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. “They better just take it easy because some of the languages, some of the words you – even some of the radical ideas, I really think they’re very bad for the country.” (Alexander Mallin) https://abcn.ws/2MCRiEw
White House reviewing prank phone call incident: Source. The White House has launched an internal review into how a call from comedian John Melendez was connected to President Donald Trump, a senior White House official told ABC News. While recounting the experience on his “Stuttering John” podcast, Melendez said he was connected directly to Trump by his son-in-law Jared Kushner and had a conversation about immigration and the next Supreme Court justice. (Tara Palmeri) https://abcn.ws/2yXI2Jr
Democrats debate: Pelosi for House speaker or time for a change? Rep. Joe Crowley’s stunning primary loss to 28-year-old progressive and first-time candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday reverberated not only through Democratic circles in New York but in the halls of the U.S. Capitol: Crowley had hoped to succeed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, raising new questions about the future of the Democratic Party. (John Parkinson and Benjamin Siegel) https://abcn.ws/2lJJZj3
‘I couldn’t take one more minute without being able to be here with him’: Salvadoran mother is reunited with her son after separation. Arriving nearly one minute before her 7-year-old son stepped into the terminal at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C., Brenda rushed to embrace Kevin, after having been apart for a month and four days, a separation long enough for emotions to run high for this family reunification. (Karolina Rivas, Sydney Brandt and Geneva Sands) https://abcn.ws/2KBnRp3
President Trump defends ICE amid increasing calls from Democrats to abolish the agency. President Donald Trump took to Twitter Saturday morning to attack Democrats over increased calls among the left ranks of the party for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to be eliminated. (Alexander Mallin) https://abcn.ws/2lKi9Dd
Democrat senator stops short of joining ‘Abolish ICE’ movement, calls for comprehensive reform. “I think what has to change are the policies, and the people that are making these policies are making horrendous decisions like separating kids from their parents,” Klobuchar said Sunday on “This Week.” “We are always going to need immigration enforcement, Martha, we know that. We are a major country with major borders.” (Roey Hadar) https://abcn.ws/2Nh7BrF
Progressive Ocasio-Cortez backers tout economic justice platform, anticipate future upsets. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Tuesday victory over fourth-ranking House Democrat Joe Crowley has prompted extensive debate on whether her wide-margin win is a harbinger of more progressive upsets to come. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Ocasio-Cortez’s victory “is not to be viewed as something that stands for anything else,” but left-wing groups said they’ve seen surges in membership, and claim that her working-class background and emphasis on economic justice played a central role in her win. (Lee Harris) https://abcn.ws/2MHzIQ2
From Twitter fingers to judicial decisions: Examining a potential SCOTUS nominee’s odd social media habits. On New Year’s Eve, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Don Willett channeled Rick Astley by tweeting “People of Earth—In 2018, @JusticeWillett will never: give you up, let you down, run around, desert you, make you cry, say goodbye, tell a lie, hurt you.” Before that, Willett, at the time a justice on the Supreme Court of Texas, tweeted out his son confusing “Eminem” and “eminent,” a picture of three puppies and a picture of cornbread shaped like his home state. With Willett’s name appearing on a list of Trump’s potential Supreme Court nominees, the judge’s frequent tweeting last year raises questions for some of judicial impartiality. (Adia Robinson) https://abcn.ws/2lLhemd
In the wake of Joe Crowley’s primary loss to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez last week, the New York Times is out with a visual analysis of 20 members of Congress—including Crowley—who have not had a primary challenger for at least 10 years. https://nyti.ms/2IJO1B1
Some lawmakers and former officials are arguing that a full-time envoy should replace Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s role as the point-person for North Korea talks because Pompeo “can’t give the topic the explicit, sustained attention it requires,” Politico reports. Said one member of Congress: “This is like going to the World Series with nobody in the bullpen.” https://politi.co/2lIZMi4
0.00 (0%) 0 votes