The biggest divide within the Republican party is as much over style as substance ““ whether conservatives should be more confrontational or seek to achieve their goals more quietly and strategically. It’s more of a cultural divide as it as an ideological one.
— That divide is playing itself out in an Alabama Republican runoff for the Mobile-based seat of former GOP Rep. Jo Bonner. Republicans, conservative and establishment alike, have rallied behind Bradley Byrne, who is as credentialed as they come. He’s a former gubernatorial frontrunner, state community college chancellor, and attorney. His opponent, Dean Young, eked out a second-place finish in the primary, thanks to a socially-conservative message targeted to evangelical Christians.
— Just check out this Guardian (UK) Q&A with the two candidates. Byrne’s political idol is Winston Churchill. Young’s is Roy Moore, the Alabama Supreme Court Justice who fought to keep a monument of the 10 Commandments on government property. Young said he’s not a “big world traveler” when asked what county he admired. Byrne said President Obama‘s birthplace was Hawaii; Young called it the “$64,000 question.”
— And Young, despite being outspent and outendorsed, is running neck-and-neck with the prohibitive favorite. (One GOP robo-poll showed him with a within-the-margin lead.) Despite only having one campaign staffer, his comparisons to Ted Cruz and outspoken social conservatism are drawing grassroots conservatives to his side in a low-turnout election.
Remember: Bonner’s old district isn’t a tea-party hotbed; it’s the business epicenter of the state. The Cook Political Report wrote: “A Young victory would send shock waves throughout the House GOP.” As if the party needed any more reminders.
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"House Republicans are circulating the text of an amendment to their ObamaCare replacement bill that they believe could bring many conservatives on board. According to legislative text of the amendment," drafted by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), "the measure would allow states to apply for waivers to repeal one of ObamaCare’s core protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Conservatives argue the provision drives up premiums for healthy people, but Democrats—and many more moderate Republicans—warn it would spark a return to the days when insurance companies could charge sick people exorbitantly high premiums."
President Trump on Wednesday "will order a review of national monuments created over the past 20 years with an aim toward rescinding or resizing some of them—part of a broader push to reopen areas to drilling, mining, and other development." Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters on Tuesday said he'd be reviewing about 30 monuments.
"An emerging government funding deal would see Democrats agree to $15 billion in additional military funding in exchange for the GOP agreeing to fund healthcare subsidies, according to two congressional officials briefed on the talks. Facing a Friday deadline to pass a spending bill and avert a shutdown, Democrats are willing to go halfway to President Trump’s initial request of $30 billion in supplemental military funding."
The Michael Flynn story is not going away for the White House as it tries to refocus its attention. The White House has denied requests from the House Oversight Committee for information and documents regarding payments that the former national security adviser received from Russian state television station RT and Russian firms. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking member Elijah Cummings also said that Flynn failed to report these payments on his security clearance application. White House legislative director Marc Short argued that the documents requested are either not in the possession of the White House or contain sensitive information he believes is not applicable to the committee's stated investigation.