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    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — President Joe Biden will appear in Pittsburgh on Friday as an opening step in a broader campaign to promote the White House’s achievements in key states before the midterm elections. But two of the three leading Democrats on Pennsylvania’s statewide ballot this spring who were invited to appear with Biden will not attend, their campaigns confirmed on the eve of the president’s visit. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a leading Senate candidate, and state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the likely Democratic nominee in the race for governor, will be absent because of scheduling conflicts, according to their spokespeople. Another top Senate candidate, Rep. Conor Lamb, a longtime Biden supporter based in Pittsburgh, will attend, his office confirmed. All three had been invited to participate in a photo line with the president. The high-profile absences come as Democrats in other states have begun taking modest steps to distance themselves from the first-term president, whose approval ratings have fallen sharply in recent months. And while Fetterman and Shapiro indicated that politics had no bearing on their...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — In a U.S. Senate that was upended by toxic Supreme Court battles during the Trump era, the confirmation of President Joe Biden’s pick has the potential for something else: a return to calmer political normalcy. Because the ideological balance of the court is not at stake — Biden is expected to nominate a liberal judge to replace liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, who is retiring — the charged partisan atmosphere that greeted other recent vacancies is notably absent. Most Republicans still are expected to oppose Biden’s nominee, no matter who it is. But having changed the rules to prevent a filibuster, they are essentially powerless to stop the Democratic majority from confirming Biden’s choice. They’re expected to refrain from dramatic action, content with the 6-3 conservative majority they solidified under former President Donald Trump. “I think it’s going to be a more traditional confirmation fight,” said Mike Davis, a former chief counsel to Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee and now president of the Article Three Project that advocates for conservative judges. Texas Sen. John Cornyn,...
    House and Senate lawmakers are preparing legislation to address the growing crisis in Ukraine, and it’s poised to divide lawmakers in both parties. The House could vote as early as this week on a Ukraine defense measure that may be too weak for some Republicans but could turn off the most liberal faction of the Democratic caucus. The bill, authored solely by Democrats, would impose significant sanctions on Russia, but only if President Vladimir Putin invades Ukraine as analysts predict is likely now that thousands of Russian troops and tons of military equipment are amassed on the border. The bill would sanction the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany and would sanction Putin, Russian financial institutions, and other Russian entities in the event of an invasion. “This legislation would impose significant consequences on Russia, both financially and otherwise, and Congress stands ready to act should President Putin continue to pursue its provocative military buildup on Ukraine’s borders,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, a New York Democrat. On the Senate side, Democrats...
    Democrats are clinging to the hope of bipartisan breakthroughs as senators from their party block President Joe Biden's legislative agenda in Congress. But the window for bipartisan compromise may have closed, given it is a midterm election year and Republicans are poised to retake control of at least one chamber in November while Biden's popularity plummets, even among Democrats. Democrats could have passed Biden's roughly $2 trillion social welfare and climate spending proposal on their own. Yet, negotiations over the bill stalled after centrist senators balked at its scope and price tag. Democrats could have also reformed federal voting laws by themselves if all 50 senators and Vice President Kamala Harris agreed to change the chamber's supermajority rules. Now, amid Democratic disarray and a pandemic, Biden and party leaders require Republican support of parts of their policy priorities, while GOP candidates have a generic congressional ballot average advantage of 4 percentage points before the 2022 midterm cycle. According to former California Democratic Party adviser Bob Mulholland, the likelihood of bipartisanship is low. His concession undermines the "Democrats deliver" motto being...
    The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) exposed Arizona Democrat Rep. Tom O’Halleran’s “liberal voting record to the voters of Arizona’s new 2nd Congressional District” in a new campaign ad. The NRCC’s attack ad is meant to highlight O’Halleran’s votes to support the trillions of dollars in wasteful spending from this party in the House and the record-high inflation affecting Americans across the country. “Arizonans are suffering from the highest inflation in four decades, but Tom doesn’t even care,” the ad’s narrator stated. “O’Halleran voted for trillions in wasteful spending that have made inflation even worse because Tom O’Halleran works for Nancy Pelosi 100 percent, not Arizona. Arizonians can’t afford another two years of higher costs. Watch: Two of the major spending bills that Democrats brought forth last year were the $1.2 trillion, 2,702-page so-called bipartisan infrastructure, which was signed into law on November 15, 2021 — and the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act (BBB) — also known as the Democrats’ reconciliation infrastructure bill, which only passed in the House. A budget model from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School showed that inflation cost families an additional $3,500 last year, meaning they would have to...
    The campaign arm for the House Democrats, the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), expanded their list of vulnerable Democrats by seven as they are headed into the midterm elections. The DCCC expanded its list of vulnerable House Democrats by seven to 32 members. The Democrats, with a slim majority, are trying to stay in power in the House but appear to be running very thin due to the committee having to devote resources to help members as they become more vulnerable, either due to redistricting or having a strong opponent. The seven Democrats are: Rep. Greg Stanton in Arizona’s Ninth Congressional District Rep. Sanford Bishop in Georgia’s Second Congressional District Rep. Bill Foster in Illinois’s Eleventh Congressional District Rep. Dan Kildee in Michigan’s Fifth Congressional District Rep. Josh Gottheimer in New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District Rep. Marcy Kaptur in Ohio’s Ninth Congressional District Rep. Jennifer Wexton Virginia’s Tenth Congressional District The Democrats, trying to keep the majority, are going against the historical odds wherein the president’s party typically loses a large number of seats in the House in the midterm election. Despite that,  Democrats seem...
    It should be clear by now the president’s flabby polling numbers can be traced back to supporters becoming disillusioned over the last year. In the beginning of Joe Biden’s presidency, there was a palpable feeling of hope for the future and aspiration for the renewal of the republic. But with the pandemic continuing to rage, with the Republicans continuing to sabotage recovery and kneecap voting, and with two moderate Democratic senators blocking transformational legislation, the president’s supporters have lost their verve. They are now expressing their sour mood every time a pollster comes calling. I expect his numbers to improve modestly after he nominates a Black female jurist to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. Fulfilling a campaign promise will almost certainly rebuild party confidence. The president reaffirmed that promise today during a White House ceremony honoring Breyer. He said he will nominate a Black woman to the court by the end of February. “It’s long overdue,” Biden said. The pundit corps seems united in expecting the president to pivot at some point – to abandon his “leftist agenda,” according...
    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland General Assembly approved new boundaries for its 188 seats on Thursday, choosing a map supported by Democrats who control the legislature instead of a separate proposal backed by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. The 95-42 vote by the Maryland House came in a redistricting year that was politically unusual in a heavily Democratic state, with a rare two-term Republican governor in office during the once-a-decade redrawing of legislative districts based on the U.S. Census. READ MORE: Advocates Call For Eviction Moratorium For Afghan Refugees In Baltimore As They Wait On Documents, BenefitsThis year, there were dueling map proposals: one from a commission backed by Hogan and another supported by a panel weighted with Democratic leadership, who have a supermajority in both chambers. Democrats outnumber Republicans 99-42 in the House, and 32-15 in the Senate. Hogan, a longtime advocate for redistricting reform, created a commission to draw new maps by executive order. The governor appointed the three co-chairs, who appointed six civilian members, for a total of three Republicans, three Democrats and three independents. While Hogan touted the commission for...
    Flanked by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during a press conference about student debt outside the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 4, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts along with a bicameral group of dozens of Democrats are demanding that President Joe Biden release an administration memo outlining a president's legal authority to cancel student debt. A letter signed by 85 congressional Democrats, according to Politico, said the Department of Education memo, which was prepared at the direction of President Biden, had been in existence since April 2021. “Publicly releasing the memo outlining your existing authority on cancelling student debt and broadly doing so is crucial to making a meaningful difference in the lives of current students, borrowers, and their families,” the lawmakers wrote to Biden. The effort, which is part of a broader push for student debt relief, was led by Warren, Schumer, and Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Katie Porter of California....
    Top Democratic officials in Pennsylvania will be keeping their distance when President Joe Biden visits the state Friday. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, and Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a likely contender in the gubernatorial election, will skip Biden's event in Pittsburgh touting his administration's accomplishments, according to the Associated Press. The campaigns for both Democrats cited scheduling conflicts. "Josh Shapiro is running to be the governor of Pennsylvania, and he's focused on the issues that matter to Pennsylvania families," said Will Simons, a spokesman for the attorney general. PENNSYLVANIA DEMOCRAT FIGHT IS BATTLE IN LEFT-VERSUS-CENTRIST WAR "Like every American should, Josh wants our president to be successful, and we'll continue welcoming President Biden to his home state of Pennsylvania," Simons added. Neither Fetterman nor Shapiro gave any indication that political reasons factored into the decision not to attend, but the snubs come at a time when Biden's approval ratings have tanked, and many Democrats are fearful he may drag them down. A poll released Jan. 25 from the...
    A group of wealthy progressives announced Thursday that it will support primary challenges against Rep. Henry Cuellar, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, and other right-wing Democrats who have actively obstructed President Joe Biden's legislative agenda and, in the process, potentially boosted the GOP's chances of retaking Congress. "These radical moderates have done more damage to President Biden’s agenda than Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz combined," Erica Payne, president of the Patriotic Millionaires, said in a statement announcing the organization's endorsements for the looming 2022 midterms—and its plans to back campaigns to unseat right-wing Democrats in this year's elections and beyond. "We must stop contributing to and endorsing candidates who are actively sabotaging the president's agenda." "Their outright sabotage of President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda, likely done on behalf of their donors, left us with no choice—it's time to draw a line in the sand," Payne continued. "It's time for the American people to expect better from Democrats, and for the party to hold its elected officials to a higher standard." Founded in 2010 in opposition to then-President Barack Obama's extension of...
    Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) leaders are urging the Democrat-controlled Senate to pass President BidenJoe BidenNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Clyburn predicts Supreme Court contender J. Michelle Childs would get GOP votes Overnight Defense & National Security — US delivers written response to Russia MORE’s Build Back Better package by March 1, saying the timing would give him a much-needed opportunity to announce a major accomplishment during his State of the Union address. “In the months since negotiations around the Build Back Better Act stalled, the case for this legislation has only become more urgent,” said Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalOver 80 lawmakers urge Biden to release memo outlining his authority on student debt cancellation Desperate Dems signal support for cutting Biden bill down in size Sanders, 50 Democrats unveil bill to send N95 masks to all Americans MORE (D-Wash.), who chairs the group of liberal lawmakers on Capitol Hill, wrote in the Thursday statement.  “There is agreement among Senate Democrats on significant parts of this bill: climate action, the care economy, taking on Big Pharma’s price gouging,...
    President Joe Biden will meet with New York City Mayor Eric Adams next week to discuss the mayor’s plan to combat gun violence. It’s not their first talk. Last summer, when Adams was a candidate, he met with Biden to discuss crime and they got along so famously that Adams declared: “I feel like I'm the Biden of Brooklyn.” Both men frame their approach to criminal justice as moderate and pragmatic, balancing reform with public safety—while eschewing both “defund the police” and “tough on crime” postures. Their centrist politics won’t win them many fans among the progressive activist wing of the Democratic Party, but it propelled both men to victory over more radical candidates, in large part thanks to people of color who are the most impacted by crime. The accepted wisdom among the political commentariat held that the winning moderates’ plans are about common sense, and attuned to the dangerous realities of the street—a welcome alternative to the fantasies peddled by radical reformers. But what if it’s lawmakers like Adams and Biden, with their sensible-sounding centrism, who are the...
    Congress's most powerful Black lawmaker called Thursday for President BidenJoe BidenNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Clyburn predicts Supreme Court contender J. Michelle Childs would get GOP votes Overnight Defense & National Security — US delivers written response to Russia MORE and Democratic leaders to launch a full-court press to protect voting rights ahead of the midterm elections, warning that a failure to counter new state restrictions will both disenfranchise minority voters and erode Democratic support at the polls. Rep. Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnNo. 3 Senate Democrat says Biden should tap Black woman for Supreme Court Biden's pledge to appoint Black woman back in spotlight amid Breyer retirement Nina Turner launches new campaign for Congress, setting up likely rematch with Shontel Brown MORE (S.C.), the Democratic whip, acknowledged that with the Senate filibuster intact, legislation designed to protect voting rights faces long odds. But asked about alternative strategies for shoring up voter protections — including unilateral action by President Biden and the allocation of new election funding from Congress — Clyburn was terse. "All of the above,"...
    Democrats introduced a bill on Wednesday to increase funding for semiconductor research to institutions vulnerable to Chinese espionage, an attempt to regain momentum after the failure of the “Build Back Better” agenda. The bill entitled, U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), is designed to fund high tech research at academic institutions focused on the semiconductor industry. The United States and Communist China both rely on Taiwan for manufacturing semiconductors. The independent nation near China manufactures 92 percent of the world’s semiconductors that Silicon Valley utilizes for American innovation. Democrats on Tuesday claimed the USICA will “turbocharge our research capacity to lead the technologies of the future, and advance our global competitiveness, while supporting strong labor standards and human rights, among other key provisions.” In section 10111 of the bill, it states the legislation will support the “development of universities’ workforces that foster collaboration between K-12 students, university students, early-career researchers, faculty, and national laboratories.” Critics of the legislation believe it lacks safeguards against Chinese espionage. “President Biden is telling U.S. research centers, corporations, and colleges not to worry about Chinese espionage,” Vice Chairman of the Select Committee on...
    Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing next week to begin considering a highly controversial bill that would allow media companies to form a collective bargaining cartel, a proposal that critics have warned will empower big media companies and harm independent journalism. The bill, called the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), does the opposite of what it promises: it protects discredited media companies from competition by allowing them to form a legal cartel to collectively bargain with Silicon Valley. Mark Zuckerberg surrounded by guards (Chip Somodevilla /Getty) If the bill passes, big media companies would be able to strike deals with Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other tech giants that could prioritize their content to the detriment of podcasters, YouTubers, Substack authors, and other forms of independent media. Proponents have won over many Democrats and some Republicans with claims that the bill would force Big Tech companies to pay publishers for their content, but critics of the plan warn that in reality it would simply empower bigger media companies to make their own sweetheart deals with tech...
    Democrats are seizing on the confirmation of a new Supreme Court justice to stabilize President Joe Biden’s political standing and flip the script on surging Republicans heading into the midterm elections. On Thursday, Biden vowed to nominate a black woman to replace Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, who will retire from the high court in late June. It’s an opportunity for the embattled president to deliver a win for the liberal base and energize disinterested Democratic voters after months of prominent domestic and foreign policy struggles increased chances of a Republican tsunami this fall. That is how Democrats are approaching the confirmation battle. The moment Breyer’s retirement was publicized, Democrats began formulating a strategy. They plan to use Senate Judiciary Committee hearings and the ensuing floor debate to confirm Biden’s nominee to put Republicans on the defensive and save themselves from a fall extinction event. “This vacancy reinforces the stakes in this year’s election and why we must defend and expand our Democratic Senate majority,” Sen. Gary Peters, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said in a statement. “In 2022,...
    The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added seven members to its list of incumbent “Frontline House Democrats" it hopes to save from being defeated by Republican challengers in the midterm elections. Additions come as a wave of House Democrats retire or seek another office, in apparent recognition of an election environment that analysts find favorable for House Republicans. So far, 29 House Democrats are not running for reelection, and Republicans need to net only a handful of seats to take control of the House. “Frontline House Democrats head into November with a record of delivering for the American people by fighting to end this pandemic, rebooting our economy, and putting millions of Americans to work rebuilding America,” DCCC Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney said in a statement on Thursday. “Across the country, Republicans will have to defend their extremist agenda that just doesn’t work for American families.” BIDEN VOWS TO NOMINATE BLACK WOMAN TO SUPREME COURT ‘WORTHY’ OF BREYER’S LEGACY The 32 members of the program receive additional support in their races from the Democratic Party structure....
    House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) expressed openness to lowering the income limits for families to access the expanded child tax credit if it helps win Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOn The Money — No SALT, and maybe no deal The names to know as Biden mulls Breyer's replacement Poll: Sinema approval higher among Arizona Republicans than Democrats MORE’s (D-W.Va.) support for the party’s sweeping climate and social spending bill. Clyburn said in an interview with The Washington Post on Thursday that he thinks Democrats still have wiggle room with getting Manchin on board with a party-backed expansion to the child tax credit after its recent lapse. The No. 3 House Democrat said Manchin has made it “very clear” that he has concerns about the structure of the expansion, but Clyburn said he doesn’t think the West Virginia senator is entirely opposed to the credit. “He wanted to see it means-tested. I'm not opposed to that,” Clyburn said, adding he would like to see Manchin “come forward with a bill for the child tax credit that’s means-tested.” “I think it would pass. He’d get...
    A Virginia Senate committee on Thursday killed legislation that would have required parental consent for students to check out sexually explicit books from school libraries. Sen. Bill DeSteph, R-Virginia Beach, introduced the bill after parents across the state complained about library books that included graphic depictions of sex acts. It was one of several school-related issues that animated Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s victory in November. The legislation initially required school systems to give parents a say in the review of materials before they were made available in school libraries. But DeSteph significantly reworked his bill ahead of Thursday’s committee meeting. The revised proposal that was quashed would have simply required written permission from a parent before a student could check out a book with explicit content. “We’re not trying to ban books. We’re trying not trying to burn books,” DeSteph said. The bill’s defeat could be an early indication of how Youngkin’s proposed education reforms will fare in the Senate, which is narrowly controlled by Democrats. Democrats have a 21-19 advantage in the full Senate, and a 9-6 advantage in...
    A former senior aide to President Barack Obama condemned Sen. Kyrsten Sinema as 'a c***' during a foul-mouthed appearance on a leftwing podcast. Alyssa Mastromonaco took aim at the Arizona senator for announcing that she could not support a filibuster carve-out in order to pass voting rights legislative - just before President Joe Biden met with Democrats to make one last appeal for their support. While Sinema has attracted the anger of Democrats from all parts of the party, no one has gone quite as far as Mastromonaco, 45, who was deputy chief of staff in the Obama White House.  She told the Pod Save America podcast recently that she had 'real issues' with Sinema. 'And I think in her speech, she talks about the disease of division,' she said 'Um, also you guys, she gave the speech as Joe Biden was on her way up to the Hill.  'So anyway, it's the s***tiest grossest, like most disrespectful thing she could have done. 'I think she's a c***' Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco called Sen Kyrsten Sinema...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Stephen Breyer’s impending retirement from the Supreme Court gives President Joe Biden his first pick at a time when the American public has increasingly negative views of the high court. The shift in recent years has followed former President Donald Trump’s seating of three justices who gave the court a 6-3 conservative bent on most contentious issues. Negative views of the court have come from both Republicans and Democrats, but Breyer’s retirement is a window of opportunity for Biden before competitive midterm elections. Supporters of Biden and Trump were about as likely to say Supreme Court nominations were “the single most important factor” in their 2020 vote, with roughly 2 in 10 saying so, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of the electorate. But Biden’s voters outpaced Trump’s in saying it was an important factor, even if not the top, 62% to 50%. Maya Sen, political scientist and professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, said Biden’s choice probably won’t change the internal dynamics of the court, but “depending on who he nominates, I think it has...
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — President Joe Biden will appear in Pittsburgh on Friday as an opening step in a broader campaign to promote the White House’s achievements in key states ahead of the midterm elections. But two of the three leading Democrats on Pennsylvania’s statewide ballot this spring who were invited to appear with Biden will not attend, their campaigns confirmed on the eve of the president’s appearance. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a leading Senate candidate, and state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the likely Democratic nominee in the race for governor, will be absent because of scheduling conflicts, according to their respective spokespeople. Another top Senate candidate, Rep. Conor Lamb, a longtime Biden supporter based in Pittsburgh, will attend, his office confirmed. The high-profile absences come as Democrats in other states have begun taking modest steps to distance themselves from the first-term president, whose approval ratings have fallen sharply in recent months. And while Fetterman and Shapiro indicated that politics had no bearing on their schedules, their decisions to avoid Biden, particularly in his home state, could fuel further...
    A new poll of voters in six potential swing states and states with senators up for reelection in November found significant concern about the issue of inflation, with a majority of voters worried about how President BidenJoe BidenNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Clyburn predicts Supreme Court contender J. Michelle Childs would get GOP votes Overnight Defense & National Security — US delivers written response to Russia MORE's signature spending proposal might worsen rising process. The survey, which was commissioned by the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, a business group that is lobbying lawmakers to abandon the bill and which was obtained first by The Hill found 57 percent of respondents believe Build Back Better, when described as a multi-trillion-dollar spending package, will worsen inflation, while 63 percent of those surveyed believe now is not the time to pass major spending bills. The poll, which was conducted by Remington Research Group, surveyed voters in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Hampshire, Nevada and West Virginia. New Hampshire and Nevada are home to two hotly contested Senate elections in November, with Democratic Sens. Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanDemocrats...
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer vows to vote on Biden Supreme Court pick with 'all deliberate speed' It's time for 'Uncle Joe' to take off the gloves against Manchin and Sinema Democrats should ignore Senators Manchin and Sinema MORE (R-Ky.) warned President BidenJoe BidenNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Clyburn predicts Supreme Court contender J. Michelle Childs would get GOP votes Overnight Defense & National Security — US delivers written response to Russia MORE on Thursday not to “outsource” his Supreme Court nominee to the “radical left” following the retirement announcement of Justice Stephen BreyerStephen BreyerProgressives see Breyer retirement as cold comfort Briefing in brief: Biden committed to naming Black woman to Supreme Court The names to know as Biden mulls Breyer's replacement MORE. “Looking ahead — the American people elected a Senate that is evenly split at 50-50. To the degree that President Biden received a mandate, it was to govern from the middle, steward our institutions, and unite America,” McConnell said in a statement. “The President must not outsource this important decision...
    The president and CEO of Denver-based Economics Partners announced on Thursday he was running for Colorado’s 7th Congressional District, currently represented by Rep. Ed PerlmutterEdwin (Ed) George PerlmutterCO lawmakers ask DOJ to investigate police's knowledge about alleged shooter The Hill's 12:30 Report: 2021 ends with 40-year inflation high On The Trail: Retirements offer window into House Democratic mood MORE (D). Timothy Reichert, a Republican who has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, used $500,000 of his personal money to kickstart his bid and will likely self-fund his campaign, according to The Colorado Sun. “I have studied the economy my entire life and I know what it will take to get our country and our middle class back on their feet,” Reichert said in a statement on Thursday, the Sun reported. “I promise to be a new voice and problem solver for our district because I know we can champion the middle class and challenge the status quo that is failing us in Washington,” he added. Perlmutter announced earlier this month he wouldn't seek reelection. After Colorado went through its...
    Democrats are fighting over whether changes to the cap on deductions for state and local taxes will be included in any future iteration of President Joe Biden’s stalled Build Back Better plan. The Build Back Better legislation appears dead after Democrats failed to wrangle the votes to pass it, but the White House is pushing Congress to pass a slimmed-down bill that would include some of the provisions the administration hoped for. One possible inclusion that is facing Democratic infighting is a change to the $10,000 cap on SALT deductions, something that has been championed by many Democratic representatives of high-tax states but disliked by more liberal lawmakers because allowing more deductions would mainly benefit the wealthy. “I’m glad to hear that the SALT provisions are no longer in play for Build Back Better. Democrats need to focus on the struggling working class, not giving more tax breaks to the wealthy,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont socialist, said Tuesday. BIDEN INFLATION AND ECONOMIC WOES UNLIKELY TO BE FIXED IN TIME FOR MIDTERM ELECTIONS Sen....
    U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer as they announce Breyer will retire at the end of the court's current term, at the White House in Washington, January 27, 2022.Kevin Lamarque | Reuters President Joe Biden on Thursday said he intends to announce his Supreme Court nominee to succeed Justice Stephen Breyer by the end of February. "I have made no choice at this point," Biden said at the White House, before confirming that he will keep his campaign promise to nominate a Black woman to the high court. "I will keep that commitment," the president said. Breyer said in his announcement that he would retire when the court goes into its summer recess, which is typically late June or early July, provided Senate Democrats can confirm his replacement by then. Democrats hold narrow control in the chamber, which is split 50-50. Vice President Kamala Harris would be the tie-breaking vote. This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.TVWATCH LIVEWATCH IN THE APPUP NEXT | ETListen
    President BidenJoe BidenNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Clyburn predicts Supreme Court contender J. Michelle Childs would get GOP votes Overnight Defense & National Security — US delivers written response to Russia MORE’s approval rating in Georgia is sliding into dangerous territory, according to a new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll, a troubling development for Democrats as they look to pick up the governor’s mansion this year and hold onto their recent electoral gains. The poll shows that roughly one-third of Georgia voters – about 34 percent – approve of Biden’s job performance, a significant decline from last May when his approval rating in the Peach State sat at 51 percent. It’s also notably lower than his national average, which currently sits at just under 42 percent, according to the data website FiveThirtyEight. The AJC poll is particularly bad news for Democrats in Georgia, a former Republican stronghold that has emerged as a key battleground state in recent years. Democrats are hoping to protect the seat of Sen. Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockWarnock outraises Walker in Georgia Senate race Herschel...
    Newsmax host Grant Stinchfield not only embraced the outlandish theory that President Joe Biden will nominate Vice President Kamala Harris to the Supreme Court, but on Wednesday evening he added his own laughable theory to the mix. According to Stinchfield, it is “not far-fetched at all” to view Justice Stephen Breyer’s exit as the first step in an intricate plot to finally make Hillary Clinton president. Moments after Breyer’s retirement was first reported on Wednesday, allowing Biden to pick a replacement with a Democratic majority in the Senate, Fox News and Twitter pundits began wildly speculating that Biden would name his own veep to the high court. Such a pick would allow Biden to rid his office of Harris amid her plunging approval numbers while keeping his promise to nominate a Black woman, the theory’s purveyors said. Despite the fact there was no real reporting to back up such speculation, several reporters—including, of course, Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy—pressed White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki about Biden “theoretically” making the move. While news hosts and anchors have largely thrown cold...
    House Democrats unveiled a resolution on Thursday that would formally recognize as part of the Constitution the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) banning discrimination on the basis of sex. The resolution states it is the sense of the House that the ERA "has met the requirements of the Constitution and become valid to all intents and purposes as a part of the Constitution." “Until the ERA is recognized, we will not be able to address the gender wage gap, pregnancy discrimination, persistent and disturbing violations of the rights of survivors, and more," said Rep. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierClyburn says he's worried about losing House, 'losing this democracy' On The Trail: Retirements offer window into House Democratic mood Democrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit MORE (D-Calif.), the Democratic Women's Caucus co-chair who authored the resolution with House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn MaloneyThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden, NATO eye 'all scenarios' with Russia Five Democrats the left plans to target Democrats ask for information on specialized Border Patrol teams MORE (D-N.Y.). The measure's introduction comes just over two...
    (CNN)It's tempting to simply see the coming replacement of liberal Justice Stephen Breyer with a liberal appointed by President Joe Biden as a simple like-for-like replacement vote for what may be the permanent minority on the Supreme Court.Don't fall for that trap.Supreme Court nominations ignite drama on Capitol Hill and excitement among partisan voters ahead of the midterm elections, and the eventual justice will impact US law for generations.Here's what you should know:Making historyRead MoreBiden will nominate the first Black woman to serve on the court. Justices serve for decades, so opportunities for historic turnovers that reflect the feel of society are rare. And any nominee could end up on the bench for decades. The front-runners: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger and South Carolina US District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs.RELATED: Another testy Supreme Court battle is the last thing America needs -- but it's probably what lies aheadChanging dynamics on the benchJustices bring their own perspectives and histories to the courtroom (even if...
    (CNN)President Joe Biden and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will hold an event on Thursday afternoon at the White House to mark the justice's retirement, the White House says.The President is set to deliver remarks on Breyer's retirement at a 12:30 p.m. event the White House's Roosevelt Room.Breyer's retirement gives Biden the opportunity to nominate his first Supreme Court justice and reinforce the high court's liberal minority. The nomination will be one of the most consequential choices of Biden's presidency, and may offer him a political lifeline ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.Breyer informed the White House of his decision to retire last week, two sources familiar with the conversation told CNN. Breyer, who is 83, has faced intense pressure from the left to retire while Democrats have a clear path to confirm his replacement.Biden's pick to replace Breyer is expected be a younger liberal judge who could serve on the court for decades. The confirmation would not alter the Supreme Court's ideological balance -- the court has six conservative justices appointed by Republican presidents and three liberals appointed by...
    Newsmax host Grant Stinchfield made what he called a “not far-fetched prediction” that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement will lead to Hillary Clinton becoming president. “Nothing like limiting your choices to just a Black woman or just a Hispanic this or an Asian that, I mean, unbelievable. Liberal Supreme Court justice. This is why this matters today,” said Stinchfield during his show on Wednesday. “Stephen Breyer just gave [President] Joe Biden and, more importantly, the Democrats a gift with his announced retirement at the end of the term. Joe Biden will have the chance to appoint a successor and his spokesperson, Jen Psaki, claims Joe will stand by his campaign promise to nominate a Black woman.” Stinchfield echoed what some pundits have said — that Biden could pick Vice President Kamala Harris. He said: For Democrats there could be no better choice than Kamala Harris. Not because she’d make a great justice, she wouldn’t. She would be a left-wing activist. But tapping her would give Democrats a chance to rescue themselves for 2024 following Joe Biden’s epic failure as president...
    House Democrats are adding seven more members to their list of vulnerable incumbents as redistricting reshapes political maps across the country and Republicans prepare for an onslaught ahead of the midterm elections. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) was already preparing to funnel crucial resources to more than two dozen Democratic incumbents facing expectedly tough reelection bids this year.  On Thursday, the Democratic House campaign arm expanded that list to 35 members, adding Reps. Greg StantonGregory (Greg) John StantonPoll shows Sinema's popularity dropping further among Arizona Democrats House GOP campaign arm expands target list after brutal night for Dems Sinema trails potential primary challengers in progressive poll MORE (Ariz.), Sanford Bishop (Ga.), Bill FosterGeorge (Bill) William FosterEach state's population center, visualized Congress's role in the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine deal Overnight Defense: Senators reach billion deal on emergency Capitol security bill | House panel looks to help military sexual assault survivors | US increases airstrikes to help Afghan forces fight Taliban MORE (Ill.), Dan KildeeDaniel (Dan) Timothy KildeeMichigan Republicans sue over US House district lines Pandemic pushes teachers unions to center...
    Voters in crucial battleground states favor Republicans at the state legislative level as a way to counter President Joe Biden’s radical left agenda, according to a Cygnal poll. Republican state legislative candidates lead Democrats by 48 to 42 percent. More than half of those polled said they “would prefer a Republican candidate who would act as a check and balance on President Biden and his Democratic policies.” Just 40 percent of respondents would rather have a pro-Biden Democrat candidate in office. The survey revealed 62 percent of likely voters believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. In addition, Americans trust Republican candidates to handle the top issues on their minds, like the economy, crime, and education. Democrats have a slight edge on lesser important issues like coronavirus and voting rights. State Republicans have the edge over Democrats on the economy in general and inflation. The poll found that 51 percent of voters trust Republicans on the economy and 49 percent for inflation at the state level. This is compared to 38 percent support for Democrats on the economy...
    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezNew Mexico Democrat tests positive for COVID-19 breakthrough case Warner tests positive for breakthrough COVID-19 case Hispanics sour on Biden and Democrats' agenda as midterms loom MORE (D-N.Y.) said on Wednesday that supporting a primary challenger to Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaThe names to know as Biden mulls Breyer's replacement Poll: Sinema approval higher among Arizona Republicans than Democrats Schumer vows to vote on Biden Supreme Court pick with 'all deliberate speed' MORE (D-Ariz.) such as Rep. Ruben GallegoRuben GallegoPoll: Sinema approval higher among Arizona Republicans than Democrats It's time for 'Uncle Joe' to take off the gloves against Manchin and Sinema Kelly pushes back on Arizona Democrats' move to censure Sinema MORE (D-Ariz) would be "the easiest decision." While appearing on the "11th Hour" on MSNBC, Ocasio-Cortez was asked by host Mehdi Hasan whether she agreed with fellow progressive Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money — No SALT, and maybe no deal Menendez goes after Sanders over SALT comments It's time for the Senate to vote: Americans have a right to know where their senators stand MORE (I-Vt.), who recently...
    (CNN)Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's decision to retire arrived like a shot of adrenaline to beleaguered Democrats searching for a way to reanimate a frustrated base that they need to show up in November if they're to have a chance at keeping control of the Senate.It's unclear how impactful the excitement around President Joe Biden's pick will be in November -- with both Democratic and Republican operatives telling CNN that they believe other issues, ranging from Covid-19 to the economy to education, will be more top of mind for voters. But the President's vow to nominate a Black woman replacement has the potential to reinvigorate his standing with core Democratic constituencies demoralized by lack of action on a host of issues he pledged to tackle during his 2020 campaign. This is especially true for Black voters -- the backbone of Biden's Democratic primary win.Stefanie Brown James, co-founder of The Collective PAC, a political organization working to elect more Black candidates, said on Wednesday that she has already felt the "energizing" impact of the news, calling it "a welcomed jolt of...
    U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) gives an interview in Laredo, Texas, October 9, 2019.Veronica Cardenas | Reuters A group of millionaires that advocates for progressive tax policies is backing primary challenges to two centrist House Democrats the organization believes are obstructing President Joe Biden's agenda. The Patriotic Millionaires, a group whose members have annual incomes of over $1 million or assets of over $5 million, is endorsing progressive Jessica Cisneros over Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas. It is also endorsing Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., over Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-Ga., in a face-off that resulted from redistricting. Cuellar, whose home and office in Texas were raided by the FBI recently, has declared he intends to run for reelection. Cuellar has denied wrongdoing. ABC News reported that the congressman is caught up in a federal probe, saying that subpoenas were issued for records linked to Cuellar and his wife. Cisneros challenged Cuellar in 2020, and Cuellar won the primary by around 3 percentage points. McBath represents Georgia's 6th District, while Bourdeaux represents the 7th District. Due to recent redistricting, McBath and Bourdeaux will...
    Down-ballot Republicans head into the 2022 election cycle with a 6-point generic ballot advantage amid President Joe Biden’s unpopularity, according to a poll commissioned by the Republican State Leadership Committee. “The radical liberal agenda being pursued by President Biden and his allies in Washington, D.C. is sinking Democrats at the state legislative level in a number of key battleground states across the country,” RSLC President Dee Duncan said in a poll memo first shared with the Washington Examiner. The poll, conducted by Cygnal via an online portal, surveyed 2,217 likely general election voters from Jan. 19-20 in 13 battleground states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. The margin of error is plus or minus 2%. BIDEN DRAGS DEMOCRATS DOWN A number of the poll findings point to a favorable year for Republicans, including: Just 34% said that the country is on the right track, and 62% said the country was on the wrong track. Biden is unpopular, with 44% saying they had a...
    Democrats stung by a series of election year failures to deliver legislative wins for their most loyal voters hope they’ll be buoyed by the prospect that President Joe Biden will name the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court. Justice Stephen Breyer’s pending retirement, confirmed by numerous sources on Wednesday, couldn’t have come at a better time for a Democratic Party reeling from the collapse of Biden’s legislative agenda last week, including a push to overhaul election laws that voting rights advocates said was critical to protecting democracy. As Democrats regroup with an eye on maintaining a tenuous grip on Congress after November’s midterm elections, the prospect of naming Breyer’s replacement offered an opportunity to pause from those bruising battles. Seeing Biden’s campaign pledge to appoint the first Black woman to the Supreme Court fulfilled, Democrats hope they can energize a dejected base, particularly Black voters whose support will be crucial in the fall campaign. “This is a huge opportunity for us,” said Aimee Allison, founder of She the People, a national organization that encourages women of color...
    When Stephen Breyer was nominated to the Supreme Court by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1994, just nine Republican senators voted against him. The confirmation process for the nominee to take Breyer’s place upon his retirement, playing out in an evenly divided Senate that Democrats control due to Vice President Kamala Harris’s tiebreaking vote, is unlikely to be so bipartisan. President Joe Biden will select a nominee in a midterm election year as his own job approval ratings suffer to the detriment of Democrats seeking to defend razor-thin congressional majorities. BIDEN’S DILEMMA: FILIBUSTER REFORM OR FAILURE Many of the senators who will vote on this nominee are likely to at least consider running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, potentially setting up a competition over who can do the most to bloody a liberal nominee. Political norms around judicial nominations have also changed dramatically since Breyer was tapped to join the court. The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had even fewer Republican senators oppose her confirmation in 1993, with three staunch conservatives voting against her over her liberal legal philosophy...
    Supreme Court Justice Stephen BreyerStephen BreyerProgressives see Breyer retirement as cold comfort Briefing in brief: Biden committed to naming Black woman to Supreme Court The names to know as Biden mulls Breyer's replacement MORE’s upcoming retirement is throwing a curveball into both parties’ midterm plans, injecting a highly partisan issue into an already combustible election cycle. Supreme Court nominations have been the subjects of some of the most bitter fights between Democrats and Republicans in recent years, and Democrats are still smarting from the battles over former President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Kemp leading Perdue in Georgia gubernatorial primary: poll US ranked 27th least corrupt country in the world MORE’s three conservative additions to the bench. Breyer’s retirement and his replacement won’t change the ideological makeup of the court, but it gives President BidenJoe BidenNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Clyburn predicts Supreme Court contender J. Michelle Childs would get GOP votes Overnight Defense & National Security — US delivers written response to Russia MORE the opportunity to leave...
    The growing threat that Russia may invade Ukraine has Congress scrambling to respond, but lawmakers are at odds over how the United States should get involved. While some Republicans are calling on the Biden administration to send U.S. troops to the region in order to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from invading Ukraine, others are wary or downright opposed to the U.S. devoting lives and resources to another overseas conflict. The split comes as President Joe Biden has announced that 8,500 U.S. troops are on alert for deployment to the region in order to back up NATO forces. Biden said U.S. forces won’t enter Ukraine but emphasized that a reaction to a Russian invasion of the country would be swift and severe. “There will be enormous consequences if he were to go in and invade, as he could, the entire country, or a lot less than that, for Russia,” Biden told reporters Tuesday night. “Not only in terms of economic consequences and political consequences, but there'll be enormous consequences worldwide.” BLINKEN WARNS US CIVILIANS COULD...
    When news broke on Wednesday that Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer, 83, was retiring, it was predictable that scarred Democrats immediately started stressing about the two senators who’ve so far exercised veto power over their party’s agenda. In the evenly split Senate, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have stymied Democrats’ marquee climate and social spending bill and scuttled the party’s promises on voting rights by refusing to support changes to Senate rules. With President Joe Biden set to make one of his most momentous moves yet—the appointment of a Supreme Court justice—the centrist duo could again play the spoiler role on an enormous stage. But they probably won’t. There are a few reasons Democrats believe that the incentives for Manchin and Sinema to complicate Biden’s first high court pick are minimal, bordering on nonexistent. To begin with, explained one Senate Democratic aide, the stakes of this fight are far less fraught, because Democrats are moving to replace a liberal justice with a liberal justice. If a conservative were being replaced by Biden, perhaps Manchin or Sinema would...
                 In a Wednesday tweet, U.S. Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN-02) laid out four different ways the Democrat election bill would affect Tennessee and its voters. “Democrats in Washington tried to seize control of Tennessee’s election laws and fortunately they failed miserably,” Rep. Burchett wrote in the tweet. “Here are some of the ways they would have forced Tennessee leaders to change our election laws without our consent.” Democrats in Washington tried to seize control of Tennessees election laws and fortunately they failed miserably. Here are some of the ways they would have forced Tennessee leaders to change our election laws without our consent. pic.twitter.com/0okKf6ebOr — Rep. Tim Burchett (@RepTimBurchett) January 26, 2022 The first change the legislation would have on Tennessee is voter identification. According to Burchett’s tweet, Tennessee requires a government-issued photo ID to vote. Under the Democrats’ legislation, Tennessee would be forced to accept a simple sworn statement as sufficient proof of identity. The second change the legislation would have on Tennessee involves same-day voter registration. Burchett’s tweet notes, Tennessee requires individuals to register to vote...
              by Robert Romano   “No, it’s a great asset. More inflation. What a stupid son of a bitch.” That was President Joe Biden’s hot mic description of Fox News’ Peter Doocy on Jan. 24 after he asked “Will you take questions on inflation then? Do you think inflation is a political liability ahead of the midterms?” Sometimes it’s hard to tell when Biden is being sarcastic, but this is not one of those circumstances. It is rare to see a president acknowledge electoral vulnerabilities in this manner. As inflation has taken off the past nine months — it’s been above 4 percent since April 2021 and hit 7 percent in Dec. 2021, the highest since 1982 — Biden’s approval ratings have plummeted. For example, the latest Economist/YouGov poll has Biden at just 42 percent approval and 53 percent disapproval. Meanwhile, 43 percent in the same poll say inflation is a bigger problem than unemployment, with only 10 percent agreeing unemployment was a bigger problem than inflation. Similarly, Republicans are consistently leading the Congressional generic ballot, according to the latest sampling of polls by RealClearPolitics.com, with an average...
                 A new ad campaign from the Michigan Freedom Fund blasts the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) over a now-deleted, controversial social media post. Earlier this year, the political party published a Facebook post that contended parents should not have an input on what their children are taught in school. “Not sure where this ‘parents-should-control-what-is-taught-in-schools-because-they-are-our-kids’ is originating, but parents do have the option to send their kids to a hand-selected private school at their own expense if this is what they desire,” the post, which appeared to be an image with text, said. After intense backlash, the group deleted the post, claiming the publication did “not reflect the views of Michigan Democrats and should not be misinterpreted as a statement of support from our elected officials or candidates.” However, conservatives in the state contended the opposite is true: Democrats favor teachers’ unions over the opinion of local parents. The new ad, entitled “Government Doesn’t Own Our Kids,” compiles clips of notable Democrats, like former Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, making statements against parental opinion in education. Furthermore, the 90-second video includes...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats who have played defense for the last three Supreme Court vacancies plan to move swiftly to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, using the rapid 2020 confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett as a new standard. Barrett was confirmed exactly a month after President Donald Trump nominated her to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — and just five weeks after Ginsburg’s death in September of that year. Democrats sharply criticized that timeline then, arguing that most confirmations had taken much longer and that Republicans were trying to jam the nomination through in case Trump lost reelection. But now that they hold the presidency and the Senate, though just barely, Democrats navigating the complicated politics of a 50-50 chamber are eyeing a similarly swift schedule, even if Breyer does not officially step down until the summer. In statements, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., made clear that they would move quickly once President Joe Biden makes his pick. Biden said as...