Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) joined most Democrats in voting against Gina Haspel’s CIA director successful nomination on Thursday.
Four of the six Democrats who voted in favor of Haspel’s confirmation—Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Joe Manchin (D-WV)—are up for reelection in 2018. (Hotline reporting)
TAKEAWAYS. “When she did prevail, winning six Democrats’ support despite three Republican opponents, the outcome did more than disappoint progressives. It shined a bright light on the political limitations of a Democratic minority that has also failed to unite members against Mike Pompeo’s bid for secretary of state and a banking deregulation bill. … Democratic leaders, who must defend 10 seats this fall in states that Trump carried, freed centrist senators to vote as they wanted amid an intense GOP pressure campaign to confirm Haspel. Her opponents point a finger at senior Democrats for that move. … In theory, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer … could have whipped his caucus to oppose Haspel. But in reality, that was never going to happen.” (Politico)
“Trump is reveling in a new round of attacks on the 10 senators up for reelection in states that the president won in 2016. … And Democrats are responding with a shrug, total silence or, in … Manchin’s case, effusive praise for the commander in chief. Vulnerable Senate Democrats have made a conscious decision not to engage Trump on his terms, after watching the president tear apart the GOP primary field in 2016 with personal insults, derisive nicknames and political broadsides.” (Politico)
LAY OF THE LAND. “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell … warned Thursday that control of the Senate is ‘absolutely’ in play in the midterm elections. … McConnell listed the states he believes the battle for the Senate will run through: Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, Montana, North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia and Florida. … Notably absent from his list were three states that were key to Trump’s 2016 win, in which Democratic senators are up for reelection this year: Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. … McConnell said there are ‘credible candidates that could get onto the radar screen’ in Ohio and Pennsylvania. But they are not yet in the tier of races he thinks will determine the majority.”
“McConnell also confidently predicted that the government will not shut down in September just weeks before the midterms, despite recent agitation from President Trump that there will be ‘no choice’ but to shutter the government in September if he doesn’t get funding for his border wall.” (Washington Post)
MIDWEST MONEY. Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) was added to Vice President Mike Pence’s Friday fundraiser for former Indiana state Rep. Mike Braun (R) and Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R). “Pence is expected to help bring in a fundraising haul of over $500,000 to be split among the three candidates.” (NBC)
COMING UP NEXT. “Conservatives are trying to rally interest in one last attempt at repealing Obamacare this summer, as Republicans increasingly fear that having no plan, coupled with high insurance costs, will hurt them in the midterms. The repeal attempt has little chance of success given how past efforts dramatically failed. But its advocates argue it’s the party’s one last chance to fulfill a major promise and define its identity on health care.” (BuzzFeed)