Join Jim and Greg as they relish Democrats likely having such a tight majority in the House that it will be tough for many to accept jobs in the executive branch because the vacancies could make it tough for Democrats to get much legislation done. They also hammer musician John Legend for suggesting you’ll do more good donating to Democrats running for U.S. Senate in Georgia than giving to your local food bank. And they update the infighting among Democrats by discussing the latest salvos from Joe Manchin and AOC.
Join Jim and Greg as the navigate through the states that are still too close to call in the presidential race and the dueling Trump and Biden campaign pronouncements that they’ve already won. They also discuss Republicans beating expectations in House and Senate races and the decent chance the GOP has to keep a Senate majority. And they unload on the polling industry, which once again did not have a clue, with one notable exception.
While the impeachment hearings attracted most of the news coverage on Capitol Hill this week, both the House and Senate agreed to a continuing resolution to keep the government funded until December 20.
But while shutdown theater was avoided for another month, Congress is yet again failing to go through an orderly appropriations process, by which congressional committees go line by line through spending bills for each department of government.
In recent years, regardless of which party controls the House and Senate, members have funded the government through continuing resolutions that temporarily keep spending levels intact or by voting on giant take-it-or-leave-it omnibus bills that give members no chance to make changes. The omnibus bills invariably result in higher spending.
Arizona GOP Rep. Paul Gosar says too often the Speaker of the House, whether Republican or Democrat, unilaterally decides what federal spending is going to look like.
“We have put way too much power into the hands of the speakers. We need to have a process that’s generated from the members from their different committees. The chairmen should be picked by members of the committees so they are beholden to the members, not beholden to leadership,” said Gosar, a member of the House Freedom Caucus.
On Thursday, before approving the continuing resolution, the U.S. Senate voted to table, or delay, Sen. Rand Paul’s push for the “Penny Plan,” which calls for eliminating one penny of each dollar in federal spending. More than half of Senate Republicans voted to put off consideration of the plan.
Gosar is not surprised.
“A lot is said when your leader actually says, ‘Nobody loses office by spending money,'” said Gosar, apparently referring to Senate Majority Leader Mich McConnell. “It shows people are not serious about the process here.”
Listen to the full podcast to hear more of Gosar’s ideas for returning to more responsible spending. He also explains why he believed Republicans lost the majority in the House of Representatives because of their unfulfilled promises and not because of President Trump.
It’s all good martinis today! Join Jim and Greg as they stunningly applaud former President Obama for telling liberals that just blasting people for not being sufficiently woke actually accomplishes nothing. They’re also glad to see the House of Representatives vote overwhelmingly to blame Turkey for the Armenian genocide committed over a century ago and discuss why that matters now. And they discuss the financial and ethical headaches facing the likely Democratic challenger to Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins.
House Democrats are moving forward on an impeachment inquiry against President Trump. The latest fuel for this effort are allegations that Trump asked the president of Ukraine to re-open an investigation into Hunter Biden, son of Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden.
Trump says he will release the unredacted transcript of his call with President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump says he never threatened to cut or stop aid to Ukraine if his request was denied. Zelensky says he did not feel undue pressure to investigate Biden. Democrats say impeachment is warranted even if there was no quid pro quo involved.
Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy tells us why the exact details of the call don’t really matter when it comes to impeachment and why it doesn’t matter whether Trump broke the law. He also explains why Democrats may pay a heavy political price for going down this road when there’s virtually no chance the U.S. Senate would ever remove Trump from office.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see France, Germany, and the UK conclude that Iran attacked Saudi Arabia earlier this month and that there is no other plausible explanation. They also groan over the political circus about to begin as House Democrats appear to be moving en masse towards impeachment and even President Trump seems to like the idea of getting impeached because it would help him win re-election. And they discuss the dystopian world Bernie Sanders wants us all to live in as he proposes a ludicrous wealth tax to pay for the massive expansion of government that he envisions.
Join Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America as they serve up some strong martinis to start the week. First, they find an odd appreciation for Sen. Cory Booker’s campaign admitting it needs to raise $1.7 million by the end of the month to have any chance at being competitive for the Democratic nomination – and it makes Jim wonder why several other weak candidates haven’t already closed up shop. They also shake their heads as a lot of House Republicans don’t want to be there anymore. Many of them understandably hate being in the minority but Jim offers another, more serious reason for why a lot of conservatives want out of Washington. And they have no patience for the Shut Down DC climate protesters who snarled traffic in Washington this morning by demonstrating on several critical roads and intersections.
House Republicans are now trying to force a vote on legislation requiring medical care for babies who are born following attempted abortions, after Democrats rejected numerous GOP efforts to get a vote on the infanticide ban.
On Tuesday, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise brought a discharge petition to the House floor so members could sign it. If a majority of House members sign on, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be required to call for a vote.
“Let the members vote to end, frankly, infanticide in America,” said Americans United for Life Chief Legal Officer Steven Aden, who was in the chamber for the signings and at a press conference later in the day.
So far the discharge petition has 190 signatures, meaning Republicans are at least a couple dozen signatures short of a majority. But the petition stays open for the remainder of the current Congress, which runs through the end of 2020. Aden is not giving up and thinks more Democrats will join the effort if they feel the heat from their constituents.
“We’re hopeful, but they need to hear from the American people,” said Aden.
Democrats offer a series of objections to the legislation, the most common being that infanticide is already banned through the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, which was passed in the early days of the George W. Bush administration.
Aden says that law is good but there’s a major problem with it.
“Unfortunately, that bill was a paper tiger. It simply states that infants that are born alive after an abortion are persons and ought to receive medical attention but there’s no teeth to it,” said Aden.
Listen to the full podcast top hear Aden explain why he believes organizations like Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America are so ardently opposed to saving the lives of babies living outside their mothers.
Democrats now control the House of Representatives, but former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says Republicans appear more committed than ever to funding the border wall demanded by President Trump.
A partial government shutdown has been in effect since Dec. 22 over a stalemate between Republicans and Democrats over funding the border wall. Prior to Thursday, the stagnation was due to the Senate’s inability to find 60 votes for the funding.
The House Democratic majority has no plans to even consider a bill with money for the wall, but Cuccinelli says the GOP seems much more resolute than usual.
“You don’t hear me say this very often. I was pleased to see (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell say we’re not going to pass along the House bill that doesn’t include this funding. So he has expressly sided with the president. And I think that’s a first on this issue,” said Cuccinelli.
“I think that show of unity between the new Senate Republican majority, which is bigger than the last one, and the president should be able to hold the line,” said Cuccinelli.
Cuccinelli expects Republicans to stand strong even as the post-holiday media pressure to end the partial shutdown intensifies.
“I don’t see a lot of the usual hand-wringing among Republicans, including establishment Republicans, that I’m used to seeing in circumstances like this. I think, at least for now, they’re girded for a bit of a haul and to salvage some good policy at the border out of this,” said Cuccinelli.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Cuccinelli’s advice for how the GOP’s Senate majority and House minority ought to focus their time and energy over the next two years and how the Trump administration is doing far more to roll back regulations and limit new ones than any administration in recent memory.
Democrats succeeded in taking back the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday but the blue wave never happened in the Senate, as Republican challengers instead washed out four incumbent Democrats and helped to tighten the GOP’s grip on power.
“This was quite a cycle for high-quality conservative candidates and we’re just very pleased with how it all ended up,” said Senate Conservatives Fund President Ken Cuccinelli, a former Virginia attorney general.
Republicans scored a pick-up in Indiana, where businessman Mike Braun defeated incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly. In North Dakota GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer soundly beat Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley scored a convincing victory over Sen. Claire McCaskill, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott upended three-term Sen. Bill Nelson, although that race appears headed for a recount.
Republicans also staved off challenges in Tennessee and Texas. Rep. Marsha Blackburn kept the Tennessee seat for the GOP with a resounding win over former Gov. Phil Bredesen and Sen. Ted Cruz fended off a fierce campaign from Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
Republicans lost a seat in Nevada, where Rep. Jacky Rosen defeated Sen. Dean Heller and Republican Matt Rosendale fell just short against Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester. In West Virginia, Republican Patrick Morrisey lost to Sen. Joe Manchin. Republican Rep. Martha McSally leads the Arizona Senate race against Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.
Listen to the full podcast as Cuccinelli explains how the Senate brawl over the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was “an epic turning point” in the battle for the Senate, why he thinks the Republicans really lost control of the House, and whether he thinks Virginia is now a blue state.