Dems Between Jobs Maximize Side Work Ahead of 2020

Tim Ryan called for a steel and aluminum tariff on bad actors, not allies.

March 6, 2018, 10:56 a.m.

“In the months leading up to the midterm elections, former Democratic officials in transition are finding new ways to be useful, padding their résumés with miscellaneous prep work ahead of November when down-ballot results roll in—and early presidential bids are expected to roll out.

“The “Now what?” phase of post-office politics affects a small but influential crop of national leaders in limbo. No longer in government and with no immediate plans to be, former Cabinet secretaries, governors, and other ambitious Democrats are staying busy by committing to causes that could be useful later on.”

Former officials, including Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, beltway governors Terry McAuliffe of Virginia and Martin O’Malley of Maryland, and Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander are some of the leaders who have been writing books, launching political action committees, and traveling the country on behalf of Democratic candidates and causes—moves that could help them even the playing field if matched against current office holders in 2020. (National Journal)

HEALTH CARE. According to a survey conducted by Civis Analytics, “significant pluralities of American voters, and Democrats specifically, want the Democratic Party to prioritize health care if they retake the White House and Congress in 2021. Asked of likely voters: ‘If there’s a Democratic president and the Democratic Party controls Congress in 2021, which of the following issues would you most like to see the president and Congress address?’ Out of all likely voters, 31 percent said they would want Democrats to focus on health care. Guns were the second most cited issue, at 15 percent, followed by immigration (14 percent), deficit reduction (11 percent), and climate change (only 6 percent).”

“It’s reasonable to ask whether Democrats, if they win the White House and Congress in 2020 (or 2024) and have two years to pass meaningful legislation before they inevitably lose control of Congress in the midterms, should focus on expanding health coverage or pivot instead to immigration, or try to prevent climate apocalypse, or make DC and Puerto Rico states, or end gerrymandering and expand voting rights, or finally take action on gun control.

“But Democratic voters, and voters in general, seem very clear in their preference that health care come first. Civis allowed respondents to offer open-ended responses to the question, and found that even some self-described conservative Republicans wanted Democrats to focus on health care.” (Vox)

GUNS. “Just eight years ago, the National Rifle Association dished out $372,000 in campaign contributions to a record 66 Democratic incumbents. By the 2016 cycle, that number had dwindled to four.” (Roll Call)

BANKS. “Ten years after a financial crisis rocked the nation’s economy, the Senate is poised to pass legislation that would roll back some of the safeguards Congress put into place to prevent a relapse.

“The move to alter some key aspects of the Dodd-Frank law has overwhelming Republican support and enough Democratic backing that it’s expected to gain the 60 votes necessary to clear the Senate. Several Democratic lawmakers facing tough re-election races this year have broken ranks with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. The legislation would increase the threshold at which banks are considered too big to fail. Such banks are subject to stricter capital and planning requirements, and lawmakers are intent on providing them relief in hopes that it will boost lending and the economy.” (AP)

WARREN. Warren held a press conference Tuesday on “the Senate’s effort to deregulate the biggest banks in the country.” (release) She “announced her intention Tuesday to cause as much trouble as possible for Republicans and her fellow Democrats who are aiming to advance a bipartisan banking relief bill this week.” Warren: “This bill is all about the big banks.” (Washington Examiner)

DELANEY. Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) “the lone declared Democratic presidential candidate, just wrapped up his sixth visit to the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire.” (WMUR)

DNC ON DACA. Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez on Monday “pressed Congress to pass the DREAM Act, as the deadline for lawmakers to craft a legislative fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program passes.

“Perez in a statement said Trump’s rescinding of DACA … caused ‘an unnecessary crisis.’” (The Hill)

TARIFFS. “Trump’s victory came in large part because he demolished the ‘blue wall’ comprised of three states—Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin—that had not backed a Republican for president since the 1980s.

“Trump won Ohio, traditionally a closely fought battleground and a state President Obama carried twice, by 9 percentage points. Some prominent Democrats from industrial states have backed Trump on the tariffs, including Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (Pa.) and Reps. Tim Ryan and Marcy Kaptur, both of Ohio.” (The Hill)

MORE ON RYAN’S STANCE. Ryan urged Trump to place a “steel and aluminum tariff on bad actors, not key allies and calls for exemptions for key allies like Canada. ‘Implemented in a practical and measured approach, these tariffs will help protect our steel and aluminum industries from further decline,’” he wrote. (WFMJ)

Meanwhile, Ryan “criticized the Democratic Party’s fixation with raising the minimum wage as a policy that does not speak to people’s aspirations during remarks to the International Association of Fire Fighters labor union on Monday.

“Ryan, whose district is mainly in Youngstown, Ohio, touched on the declining economy for blue-collar workers in his district during his speech. … Ryan said his constituents see the stock market surging on the news but don’t ‘feel it.’

“‘They drive through communities that have 10 or 12 dilapidated homes on their way to a job that pays a hell of a lot less than the one they had a few years back,’ Ryan said. ‘And I get upset sometimes when my party talks about the minimum wage, the minimum wage, the minimum wage, 10 bucks, 12 bucks, 15 bucks.’ Ryan said he supports raising the minimum wage, but added his district’s residents used to make $40 an hour.” (Washington Free Beacon)

What We're Following See More »
U.S. Grand Jury Seeks info on How 737 MAX Is Made
7 minutes ago

"Federal prosecutors and Department of Transportation officials are scrutinizing the development of Boeing Co.’s 737 MAX jetliners, according to people familiar with the matter, unusual inquiries that come amid probes of regulators’ safety approvals of the new plane. A grand jury in Washington, D.C., issued a broad subpoena dated March 11 to at least one person involved in the 737 MAX’s development, seeking related documents, including correspondence, emails and other messages."

MBS Stripped of Some Powers
9 minutes ago

"The heir to the Saudi throne has not attended a series of high-profile ministerial and diplomatic meetings in Saudi Arabia over the last fortnight and is alleged to have been stripped of some of his financial and economic authority, the Guardian has been told. The move to restrict, if only temporarily, the responsibilities of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is understood to have been revealed to a group of senior ministers earlier last week by his father, King Salman."

Mass Shooting in Dutch City of Utrecht
11 minutes ago
Feds Raided Broidy's Offices Last Year
12 minutes ago

"Federal authorities raided the office of Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy last summer, seeking records related to his dealings with foreign officials and Trump administration associates, according to a sealed search warrant obtained by ProPublica. Agents were authorized to use the megadonor’s hands and face to unlock any phones that required fingerprint or facial scans."

Beto Outraises All Other Contenders in First Day Donations
51 minutes ago

Beto O'Rourke raised $6.1 million in the first 24 hours of his presidential campaign, his campaign said Monday, in what amounts to the largest announced first-day haul of any 2020 Democratic contender to date. The former Texas congressman raised $6,136,763 in online donations from all 50 states in the first day, his campaign said. That tops the $5.9 million one-day total Sen. Bernie Sanders announced after he launched his campaign. The closest other 2020 Democratic candidate to publicize their first-day fundraising total was California Sen. Kamala Harris at $1.5 million.


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.