“Undeterred by the rapid groundswell of Democratic Party support for” former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy (D) “in his run for governor, state Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D) said Thursday he is forming a committee to explore his own candidacy in 2017.”
Wisniewski: “I am announcing a team to look at the landscape and prepare to run for office if that is how things shake out.”
“In addition,” state Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D) “said he has not dropped his plans to run in the Democratic primary.”
Lesniak: “I prefer to have a head-to-head race with Murphy. … It’ll focus the campaign on Goldman Sachs vs. the people.” (NJ Advance Media)
“The Union County lawmakers plans to file campaign finance paperwork with the Election Law Enforcement Commission by Friday afternoon.” (Politico)
MURPHY’S LAW. “Northern county Democrats came together this afternoon behind the gubernatorial candidacy of … Murphy. … Bergen, Passaic and Hudson all muscled up behind Murphy, with Middlesex and Essex prepared to do the same and other counties also in, Mercer, Monmouth, Hunterdon, Warren and Morris among them.” (PolitickerNJ)
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka (D) also endorsed Murphy after supporting Jersey City Steven Fulop’s (D) abandoned bid.
Baraka: “He is a fresh face in this political machine. An outsider, if you will, of all the power players and brokers in the State of New Jersey, which I think is a plus for him.”
“Murphy began meeting with Democratic leaders in 2014. He set up a think tank with the ostensible aim of growing New Jersey’s economy, but staffed it with some of New Jersey’s top Democratic consultants, including Julie Roginsky and Brendan Gill. Murphy also spread his personal wealth around liberally, donating several hundred thousand dollars to state and local Democratic organizations and candidates before launching a political advocacy organization and then officially launching his campaign in May with a $10 million self-loan.”
“Murphy called Sweeney a ‘class act,” but would not commit to keeping him in the Senate presidency” following Sweeney’s decision to skip a run for governor.
Murphy: “We’ve made no markers, no decisions on any persons, seats or item whatsoever, period.” (Politico)
Murphy: “Sweeney … and I spoke briefly this morning, and we’ve pledged to work together to see that we elect Democrats throughout the state and up and down the ticket next year.” (NJ Advance Media)
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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.