Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) “warned the president not to underestimate the gun lobby. The Connecticut Democrat has fought for gun control since Sandy Hook, and said, ‘it’s going to have to be you that brings the Republicans to the table on this … because right now, the gun lobby would stop it in its tracks.’”
“‘I like that responsibility, Chris. I really do,’ Trump said. ‘I think it’s time. It’s time that a president stepped up, and we haven’t had them—and I’m talking Democrat and Republican presidents. They have not stepped up.’” (Real Clear Politics)
MORE ON GUNS. In the meeting, “Democrats argued that Trump had power Democratic President Barack Obama never had: trust with the Republican base that he would not infringe on the Second Amendment.
“‘With President Trump no one believes he will take their guns away,’ said West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin.
“But the impact of the meeting at the White House, which stunned some within the President’s own party and puzzled aides back on the Hill, was still uncertain.
“‘Holy s—-,’ one Democratic Senate emailed as they watched the meeting unfolding. ‘I don’t know, man,’ another Democratic Senate aide said. ‘We’ll see what happens, I guess.’ (CNN)
SANDERS. Murphy, along with Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) “introduced Wednesday a bipartisan joint resolution to remove U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis in Yemen pursuant to the War Powers Resolution. The bill will force the first-ever vote in the Senate to withdraw U.S. Armed Forces from an unauthorized war.” (release)
STEYER. Democratic mega donor Tom Steyer’s Need to Impeach campaign “has just reached more than five million supporters. This milestone comes at the kickoff of phase two of the campaign. In this stage, Need to Impeach will focus on reaching new audiences across the political spectrum about the need to remove Donald Trump from office, while continuing to deepen its reach and engage constituents in districts held by members of Congress who have not voted for impeachment.” (release)
TAXES. “The … risk for Democrats this year is that they will be caught in an endless succession of Trump-centered battles … and fail to effectively challenge the GOP claim that its tax-cut plan is benefiting average families. … [T]he trajectory shows that, in the short term, Republicans—and their business allies—have been winning the tax debate. If Democrats can’t reverse that trend, it could limit their gains this fall.” (The Atlantic)
DNC. The Democratic National Committee is “planning to contact 50 million voters before the November elections. The DNC, which has struggled financially and faced doubts about its relevance, will focus its 2018 organizing plans for the midterms around partnerships with a wide range of groups aimed at boosting turnout among Democratic-leaning voters, who have been less likely to get to the polls in recent nonpresidential elections.”
“In addition to working with state parties and Democratic mayors from more than 30 cities, the DNC says it will partner with groups focused on key demographics, like the Congressional Black Caucus’ PAC and Latino Victory Fund, as well newer ‘resistance’ groups opposing President Donald Trump like Swing Left and Flippable, among others.” (NBC News)
RUN FOR SOMETHING. Run for Something, “which launched last year to encourage young progressives to jump into local races, on Thursday will unveil Fund for Something, to direct interested donors to preferred candidates through an online portal. The first wave of 29 candidates in the program, running in 14 different states, are all going up against NRA-backed candidates. One is from near Newtown, Conn. One is from near Parkland, Fla.” (Politico)
BLUE DOG DEMOCRATS. The Blue Dog Democrats “launched a working group aimed at promoting bipartisan policies—largely economic—they hope will resonate with voters in those pockets of the country where the post-recession recovery has lagged behind that in the cities and suburbs. Politically, their message reflects the underlying belief that the road to a Democratic majority cuts straight through the heartland.”
“The group is concentrating its message on four broad policy areas: growing jobs and the economy; weeding out “antiquated” regulations they deem a hindrance to economic expansion; eliminating disparities in rural access to health care, including efforts to tackle the opioid crisis; and enhancing services to military veterans who have served abroad.” (The Hill)
PLANNED PARENTHOOD. “Planned Parenthood’s political arm is targeting eight states with competitive Senate and governor’s races in its largest-ever midterm election campaign.
“The offensive is set to cost $20 million, an initial mark that the organization’s officials say is all but certain to be exceeded. … The initial list of targets includes eight states: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. … The targeted states are part of two-for-one approach of prioritizing states with competitive races this fall for both Senate seats that could help Democrats keep Trump in check and governors’ offices that are crucial to the redistricting process after the 2020 Census.” (CNN)
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President Trump named retiring Rep. Darrell Issa "to head the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, setting up what could be a contentious confirmation battle in the Senate." As former House Oversight Committee chairman, Issa accused top IRS officials "of targeting conservative groups for political purposes, led the charge to hold former Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, and accused President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton of trying to covering up the Benghazi, Libya, terrorist attacks in 2012." If confirmed, Issa would lead the Trump Administration's multi-front effort to renegotiate more favorable trade deals.
"Christine Blasey Ford told Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley Tuesday night that she wants the FBI to investigate her claims of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, raising further doubts about whether she and Kavanaugh will appear before the committee on Monday." Grassley still wants her to