Battleground candidates attract most of the attention when FEC filing time rolls around, but make sure to check out House Majority Whip-elect Steve Scalise‘s latest report, which details the path to power inside the Capitol. — Scalise raised and spent more money in the second quarter, around $350,000 each, than in any quarter since 2008, the year of his first election to Congress. Outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sparked the flow of money with his June 10 primary loss; after that, Scalise’s campaign committee went into action as part of his leadership campaign. — Scalise’s campaign committee gave $30,000 to 14 different Republican members, including Cantor, after Cantor’s loss, and Scalise spent a comparable sum on dinner meetings in that time. The souvenir baseball bats Scalise gave his campaign team also appear in the FEC report. But the really interesting relation between Scalise’s campaign account and leadership race comes on the fundraising side, not the spending side. — Over $122,000 came into Scalise’s campaign account from 64 different PACs on the last day of the second quarter, after Scalise had secured the whip position. Around than 20 of them had never before given to Scalise during his three-plus terms in Congress. We’re betting that we’ll see plenty more groups join those new friends in the next FEC report from July through September, Scalise’s first full quarter as an incoming member of GOP leadership and then, after July 31, the majority whip himself.— Scott Bland
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misidentified PACs that had previously given to Scalise.
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President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."
Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.
Members of Congress are eyeing a one-week spending bill which would keep the government open past the Friday night deadline, giving lawmakers an extra week to iron out a long-term deal to fund the government. Without any action, the government would run out of funding starting at midnight Saturday. “I am optimistic that a final funding package will be completed soon," said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
The White House on Wednesday laid out its plan for tax reform, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying it would be "the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country." The tax code would be broken down into just three tax brackets, with the highest personal income tax rate cut from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. The plan would also slash the tax rate on corporations and small businesses from 35 percent to 15 percent. "The White House plan is a set of principles with few details, but it’s designed to be the starting point of a major push to urge Congress to pass a comprehensive tax reform package this year," said National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.