Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) “said Thursday she is waiting for some family health issues to be resolved before she announces whether she’ll run for another term in 2018.”
“The time is coming, be assured. I’ve had reasons for waiting, and so once those problems are solved, I’ll let you know,” Feinstein said.
“Feinstein wouldn’t give more details about the family issue, but she skipped the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last summer after her husband, Richard Blum, was diagnosed with lung cancer. She herself was fitted with a pacemaker in January, raising additional questions about whether she plans to run.” (Los Angeles Times)
TOWN HALL. Feinstein “attempted to field questions on an array of issues from frustrated constituents during a frenzied town hall Thursday morning in Los Angeles. The sold out town hall drew about a thousand people to the First AME Church in South Los Angeles. There were also protesters outside the church. The crowd often shouted their disappointed with the senator. At one point, she was asked if she would be co-sponsoring a single-payer healthcare bill with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and she responded no.”
“She wouldn’t say whether she plans to seek reelection.” (CBSLA.com)
LOOKING AHEAD. Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-28) “fast-rising profile” as ranking member of the House Intelligence committee and public face of the congressional investigation into Russia’s influence on the 2016 elections “is fueling speculation he might be laying the groundwork for a run for higher office — for the Senate or governor’s mansion, or maybe even the White House. Schiff himself acknowledges harboring grander ambitions but adds the obligatory qualifiers in an interview: He’s busy with his current job and hopes that” Feinstein “will seek reelection in 2018.” (Politico)
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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."
Facebook "outlined new measures it is taking to combat what it calls 'information operations' that go well beyond the phenomenon known as fake news" on Thursday. Facebook acknowledged that there are governments using its platform as a tool to launch propaganda information campaigns and "manipulate public opinion in other countries. ... Facebook suspended 30,000 accounts in France ahead of last Sunday’s first-round presidential election."
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.