What’s sticking out in the flood of fundraising numbers coming out this month? The Hotline found plenty to buy and sell in these reports:
— Senate. The most glaring fundraising disparity of the quarter was in North Carolina: Sen. Kay Hagan‘s (D) $3.6 million far outpaced the $1.6 million Thom Tillis raised, as the state House speaker toils in an extended special legislative session. The other EMILY’s List nominees in Georgia and Kentucky raised about as much or more. Meanwhile, Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) outraised Sen. Mark Pryor (D) again, and state Sen. Joni Ernst‘s (R) quarter in Iowa was important considering her previous fundraising struggles — but even though she bested Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA), she still has catching up to do in cash on hand.
— House. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) ($742,000) and challenger Andrew Romanoff (D) ($842,000) are both winners: They’re keeping pace with each other and might be the best-equipped opponents out there to define themselves in outside spending-dominated House races. Rep. Patrick Murphy‘s (D-FL) continued strong fundraising ($752,000) has helped keep his race quiet, while Rep. Chris Gibson‘s (R-NY) $819,000 quarter was especially important given Sean Eldridge‘s (D) self-funding ability. But further south in New York, Rep. Michael Grimm‘s (R) paltry $71,000 means he might run out of money quickly in the fall — when outside help might not be there, either.
— Governors. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who raised $8.2 million from January through June, is a sound stand-in for the ranks of incumbent guvs vastly outraising their competition. (Mary Burke (D) raised $3.6 million and trails Walker in cash 3-to-1.) Georgia state Sen. Jason Carter (D) was one of the few to buck the trend. But in Massachusetts, favorite Martha Coakley‘s (D) efforts have been underwhelming, both compared to Democratic rivals and especially to Charlie Baker (R).
Candidate fundraising doesn’t mean what it used to, but it’s still important — and more than a few candidates have something to celebrate or mourn in the recent reports.
— Hotline Staff
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After more than a month of back and forth, a failed bill, and GOP embarrassment, the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus has announced that it will support the Obamacare replacement legislation in its most recent iteration. Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the caucus, said the roughly 30 members of the caucus view this compromise as the best option short of a full repeal. A recent amendment, authored by Meadows and Rep. Tom McArthur, co-chair of the more moderate Tuesday Group, would allow states to apply for waivers exempting them from provisions forbidding insurers from charging higher prices to those with pre-existing conditions if the state set up a high-risk pool. The plan's passage in the House is not a done deal though, as a number of moderate lawmakers have resisted supporting the amendment.
"A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer fired a warning flare toward an Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessel coming near it in the Persian Gulf. The incident happened Monday as the vessel closed to within 1,000 meters of the USS Mahan, "despite the destroyer trying to turn away from it." After attempting to contact the Iranian vessel and sounding its whistle, it deployed the flare. After that, the ship had had enough and turned away.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick Tuesday blocked the Trump administration from enforcing part of an executive order calling for the end of federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities. The decision was followed by a scathing rebuke from the White House, a precedent-breaking activity which with this White House has had no qualms. A White House statement called the decision an "egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge." The statement was followed by an inaccurate Wednesday morning tweetstorm from Trump, which railed against the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. While Judge Orrick's district falls within the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit, Orrick himself does not serve on the Ninth Circuit.
"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."