This week is the time to give thanks. What are folks in politics thankful for this year?
— Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) is thankful for former Sen. Scott Brown‘s (R-MA) indecision. Brown has been publicly flirting with a NH SEN run for months, and other Republicans have been passing on the race left and right. Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds (R) should be thankful for Democrat Rick Weiland, who hasn’t united his party behind his candidacy, despite being the only real candidate. Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is thankful for Matt Hoskins and Senate Conservatives Fund for playing the role of chief antagonists to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
— Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is thankful that potential Dem rivals Bill Daley and Lisa Madigan passed, effectively granting him renomination. Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is thankful that 2010 candidate Eliot Cutler (I) wants to give it another go next year, improving LePage’s chances at winning a 3-way race. The DCCC is thankful for the government shutdown, while the NRSC is thankful for the botched Obamacare rollout. Both committees are fighting uphill battles this cycle to win back majorities in their respective chambers (the DCCC much more so than the NRSC, per Tuesday’s new CNN generic ballot poll), but they both end the year with more potent cases to make against the other side than they started with.
— On the lighter side, members of Congress should be thankful for the wealth of extra-curricular activities D.C. has to offer! Plenty of pols complain that Washington is a horrible place, but Trey Radel and Mike Crapo have demonstrated there’s plenty to do around here besides legislating and fundraising. And Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) is thankful that he no longer has to go without towel service at the House gym, now that the government has reopened.
And we are forever thankful for you, our readers, for your support over the years. Have a happy Thanksgiving, and we’ll see you back here on Monday.
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The great restroom war of 2016 continues apace, as eleven states have sued the Obama administration in federal court, claiming its federal guidance on how schools should accommodate transgender students "has no basis in law." "The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on behalf of Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The lawsuit argues that the federal government has worked to turn workplaces and schools 'into laboratories for a massive social experiment.'"
By a 29-10 vote, the House Natural Resources Committee today passed the bill to allow Puerto Rico to restructure its $70 billion in debt. The legislation "would establish an oversight board to help the commonwealth restructure its un-payable debt and craft an economic recovery plan."
"Though every major party nominee since 1976 has released his tax returns while running for president, the practice has never been required by law. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) wants to change that. The senior Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, which handles tax issues, introduced a bill on Wednesday that would force presidential candidates to release their most recent tax returns. The Presidential Tax Transparency Act, as the bill is called, would require candidates to make their latest three years of tax returns public no later than 15 days after becoming the nominee."