Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said he’s mulling a presidential run because of his concern over the direction of the GOP, specifically regarding national security. King: “Whether it’s me or anyone else in the Republican Party who runs, I hope we run on having strong national defense and also carrying the banner high. Waving the banner of the United States of America and realizing that whatever other countries may do or whatever complaints they may have, no one has done more for freedom than the United States. But most of all, Americans need to have faith in their leader that he’s not going to back down when things get tough.”
In an interview, King “was unsparing about his own party, too, saying he’s gravely concerned that Republicans are starting to project the same image of timidity in international affairs that has plagued Democrats over the years.” King singled out Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), saying: “He’s a knee-jerk isolationist. Just the level of his arguments — ‘build bridges in the U.S. rather than Afghanistan’ — has superficial appeal. But what does that mean? Does he consider, analyze — what happens when we withdraw?”
King “went so far as to say that the rise of anti-war voices in the GOP threatens to make Democrats the better option for voters who want a strong national defense.” King: “I want to make sure our alternative is better than theirs. … If I’m going to be criticizing the Obama policies, and then we end up nominating someone whose policies I think are more dangerous than [Obama’s], we’ve failed as Republicans.” (Politico)
What We're Following See More »
"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”
The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.
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."
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.