You may have missed it in the tumult of Syria coverage, but Rep. Peter King announced this weekend that he is running for president.
In an interview this week, the Republican lawmaker from New York who’s perhaps best known for protecting America from scary ” radicalized Muslims,” told a New Hampshire radio station that he was in the state “because right now I’m running for president,” according to the New York Daily News.
King has been trying to generate buzz around the idea since at least as early as July, when he sent an e-mail to supporters saying he’d been “floated” as a possible presidential pick by prominent members of his party.
The announcement makes King the first Republican to officially declare his intentions to run for president in 2016. It also puts him in the dubious company of a whole host of other candidates who, as Wonkette put it, were first to shout “First!” in the proverbial chat room of presidential elections.
For your viewing pleasure, National Journal has compiled a recent rundown of other candidates to declare earliest in recent years.
The first Republican to announce that year was longtime political activist and campaign consultant Fred Karger. Ever heard of him? Neither have we. But Tyler Kingkade wrote about him and he sounds like a nice guy.
John Cox, a “Ronald Reagan-style Republican,” announced his candidacy after ” getting a standing ovation when he outlined how he will solve the illegal-alien debacle.” Ever heard of him? Thought not.
The first Democrat to announce that year was then-Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack. We’re guessing you have heard of him. Gallup polls placed Vilsack at 1 percent in December of 2006. It fell to 0 percent on Jan. 7, where it remained until his he withdrew from the race. He is now the secretary of Agriculture.
To recall the 2004 presidential election is to recall Howard Dean. And indeed, he was the first to announce his candidacy. Dean, if you remember, polled in first place throughout much of the presidential primary, occasionally polling second to Dick Gephardt. But we all know how that ended.
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"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”
The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.
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.