Sen. Ted Cruz loves to stick his finger in the GOP establishment’s eye, and he did so again on Monday, hiring a top Republican operative who was fired just last month by House conservatives for leaking internal talks to outside groups.
Cruz announced that Paul Teller, who had spent a decade as the executive director of the Republican Study Committee, the powerful group of leading House conservatives, will be his new deputy chief of staff.
“Paul’s many years of experience working in Congress and his tireless work to advance conservative principles make him a tremendous addition to our team,” Cruz said in a statement.
Teller was one of the most influential aides in the House in recent years, as the rise of the tea party saw a swelling of the ranks of the Study Committee. He had remained a top lieutenant for a string of Republican chairmen and fought to ensure that the group did not drift leftward as it expanded.
But Teller was unceremoniously fired in December, amid the latest budget battle, for allegedly leaking member-level talks to outside groups that were agitating against a deal.
Some of those groups rose to defend him. “Paul Teller is an American hero,” Andy Roth, vice president of government affairs at the Club for Growth, said on Twitter.
Cruz likely won’t have to worry about Teller working with outside groups against his wishes. The Texas Republican has coordinated very closely with those same conservative activists to amplify his hard-line message, most notably in the months leading up to last October’s government shutdown, when he joined a Heritage-led nationwide tour to support the cutting off of funds for the new health care law.
“It is an honor and privilege to work for Sen. Cruz,” Teller said in a statement. “His leadership is truly motivating, and I can’t wait to get started on our collaboration for liberty.”
Teller’s first day will be Thursday.
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When it comes to name-calling among America's upper echelon of politicians, there may be perhaps no greater spat than the one currently going on between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump. While receiving an award Tuesday night, she continued a months-long feud with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Calling him a "small, insecure moneygrubber" who probably doesn't know three things about Dodd-Frank, she said he "will NEVER be president of the United States," according to her prepared remarks."We don't know what Trump pays in taxes because he is the first presidential nominee in 40 years to refuse to disclose his tax returns. Maybe he’s just a lousy businessman who doesn’t want you to find out that he’s worth a lot less money than he claims." It follows a long-line of Warren attacks over Twitter, Facebook and in interviews that Trump is a sexist, racist, narcissistic loser. In reply, Trump has called Warren either "goofy" or "the Indian"—referring to her controversial assertion of her Native American heritage.
The House on Tuesday voted 403-12 "to pass an overhaul to the nation’s chemical safety standards for the first time in four decades. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act aims to answer years of complaints that the Environmental Protection Agency lacks the necessary authority to oversee and control the thousands of chemicals being produced and sold in the United States. It also significantly clamps down on states’ authorities, in an effort to stop a nationwide patchwork of chemical laws that industry says is difficult to deal with."
"Leaders of the Republican Party have begun internal deliberations over making fundamental changes to the way its presidential nominees are chosen, a recognition that the chaotic process that played out this year is seriously flawed and helped exacerbate tensions within the party." Among the possible changes: forbidding independent voters to cast ballots in Republican primaries, and "doubling the number of early states to eight."
Citing the unpredictable nature of this primary season and the possible leverage they could bring at the convention, John Kasich is hanging onto his 161 delegates. "Kasich sent personal letters Monday to Republican officials in the 16 states and the District of Columbia where he won delegates, requesting that they stay bound to him in accordance with party rules."
"Speaker Paul Ryan is changing the rules of how the House will consider spending measures to try to prevent Democrats from offering surprise amendments that have recently put the GOP on defense. ... Ryan announced at a House GOP conference meeting Tuesday morning that members will now have to submit their amendments ahead of time so that they are pre-printed in the Congressional Record, according to leadership aides." The change will take effect after the Memorial Day recess.