The House’s passage of the 21st Century Cures Act on Wednesday could be a template for the kind of legislation that advances under President-elect Trump: lofty goals, a big price tag, and opposition from both conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus and liberal senators. Final roll-call votes on an infrastructure package next year—if they happen—could look very similar.
“Once he’s president-elect, the rules of engagement changed.”
—Jason Forge, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys behind the Trump University case, explaining to The National Law Journal why they were able to reach a settlement last week.
“Clearly, for Xavier Becerra it’s not about what is good for the caucus, but what is politically expedient for Xavier Becerra.”
— Rep. Filemon Vela, in a scathing letter criticizing his fellow Democrat’s bid to be Ways and Means Committee ranking member.
ON DECK FOR DEC. 1
10:30 a.m. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on counterterrorism strategies.
5 p.m. The National Park Service holds the 94th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting featuring the first family.
7 p.m. Donald Trump and Mike Pence kick off their “Thank You” tour in Cincinnati.
7 p.m. The National Archives holds a discussion on the Fourteenth Amendment.
The Office of Government Ethics, which was so giddy over Donald Trump’s decision to divest his business interests to his children that it praised him in nine tweets.
Rep. Barbara Lee, who lost the race for House Democratic Caucus vice chair by only two votes.
$100: The cost of a “phone bed”—complete with satin mattress—to store your digital device overnight on Arianna Huffington’s new Thrive Global venture.
QUICK TAKES ON THE NEWS: Chair-raising contest to lead House panel
Unlike Wednesday’s anti-climactic Democratic leadership vote, the race between John Shimkus and Greg Walden to chair the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee is hard to handicap in advance of Thursday’s vote in the Republican Steering Committee. Energy and Commerce has partial jurisdiction over the House’s Obamacare replacement plan, and will deal with renewable-fuels policies, fuel-economy standards, and the Clean Power Plan. Shimkus, the head of the environment and economy subpanel, has seniority and has promised to use the post to dig into policy matters, especially on energy where he is in lockstep with the incoming Trump administration. (He’s also coming off a legislative victory with passage of a bipartisan, bicameral chemical-reform bill.) Plus, he outraised Walden among donors from the health care and energy industries this cycle. For his part, Walden outdrew Shimkus from the telecom and Internet industries, and is himself coming off a huge victory as head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, with the GOP only losing six seats in the House. And what would a race be without a dark horse? Former panel chairman Joe Barton has pushed for consideration, but is likely on the outside.
SPOTLIGHT ON POLITICS: In defeat, a silver lining for Tim Ryan
If he runs for governor in 2018, Rep. Tim Ryan will have served all of his 16 years in Congress with Nancy Pelosi as the leader of the House Democratic caucus.
Even though he failed to topple Pelosi on Wednesday, his public push for the party to adjust its message and his long-shot bid to be the new messenger could position him well to run statewide back home in Ohio.
Ryan first ran for Congress in 2002, winning the Democratic nomination despite being vastly outspent by an eight-term incumbent forced by redistricting to run for the seat of expelled Rep. Jim Traficant. Ryan ran with the endorsement of the National Rifle Association and attacked Rep. Tom Sawyer’s votes for NAFTA and normalizing trade relations with China.
Since then his name has seemingly floated every two years for other offices, including this year to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate. He has declined multiple chances to run for governor and Senate.
But in the wake of Donald Trump’s victories across the industrial Midwest, being the guy who took on Pelosi and who publicly encouraged Democrats to reach out to working-class constituents could prompt the 43-year-old father of three to take a shot.