Yesterday Senate Majority Leader Mitch MCconnell announced he will be bringing to vote in the Senate this week two stand-alone COVID-19 relief packages. On Tuesday, he will put to vote a Paycheck Protection Program bill to help small businesses, and on Wednesday he will bring back the same $500 billion stimulus package Democrats rejected last month.
News of Ruth Bader Ginsbirg’s death broke just about a month ago. At the time, a giddy Mitch McConnell could barely contain his excitement. The GOP worked to fill the seat.
The many Republican lawmakers who said in 2016 that a Supreme Court Justice shouldn’t be sat in an election year were happy to wear egg on their faces. And the hearing process was furiously pushed, culminating this week.
There is little that Democrats can do to stop Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment. Simply put, the Republicans have the necessary votes. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, hoped to at least give the GOP pause with a stirring speech on Thursday.
“Don’t think when you have established the rule of ‘because we can,’ that should the shoe be on the other foot, you will have any credibility to come to us and say: ‘yeah, I know you can do that, but you shouldn’t,’” Whitehouse began. “Your credibility to make that argument at any time in the future will die in this room and on that Senate floor if you continue.”
Earlier today, it was revealed that Donald Trump wanted to wait on passing a coronavirus relief bill until after the election occurs. The president would like to concentrate on his Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for right now.
The decision will likely seriously imperil Trump’s re-election bid. But he’s not in it alone. The stimulus punt is also likely to hurt a number of Republican congresspeople and senators who share the ballot with him.
Susan Collins may be the most affected of all the incumbent lawmakers. She is one of two GOP senators who have said that she won’t vote to confirm Coney Barrett in an election year.
The long-serving senator said in a statment, “
Waiting until after the election to reach an agreement on the next Covid-19 relief package is a huge mistake. I have already been in touch with the Secretary of the Treasury, one of the chief negotiators, and with several of my Senate colleagues.”
Two of the most senior Republicans in Congress will not attend a ceremony at the Capitol today honoring the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, according to reporting from NBC.
NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Kasie Hunt reported on Friday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was listed as not attending while House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy won’t attend either.
“Mitch McConnell is on the ‘list of regrets’ for the ceremony honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Capitol today, — where she is the first woman ever to lie in state, a source tells me,” Hunt tweeted.
.@senatemajldr Mitch McConnell is on the “list of regrets” for the ceremony honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Capitol today, — where she is the first woman ever to lie in state, a source tells me
@GOPLeader is also not expected to attend and has not been seen
Donald Trump has slammed the Republican governor of Massachusetts after he defended mail-in voting and criticized the President for refusing to commit to a peaceful transition of power.
Governor Charlie Baker said he was appalled by Trump’s suggestion he might not leave office if he loses in November. Baker made the comments on Thursday, having previously criticized the President on Wednesday.
“RINO Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts is unsuccessfully trying to defend Mail In Ballots, when there is fraud being found all over the place. Just look at some of the recent races, or the Trump Ballots in Pennsylvania that were thrown into the garbage,” Trump tweeted on Friday morning.
RINO Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts is unsuccessfully trying to defend Mail In Ballots, when there is fraud being found all over the place. Just look at some of the recent races, or the Trump Ballots in Pennsylvania that were thrown into the garbage. Wrong Charlie!
The United States has had over 6 million COVID-19 cases. The death count from those cases is nearing 200,000 and the country is regularly seeing over 1,000 deaths a day.
Americans have also been waiting on a decision about expanded unemployment benefits since the end of July. Since Republicans in the House seemingly have nothing better, though, they’ve decided to ask William Barr to prosecute Netflix.
The GOP lawmakers are concerned with what they see as the hyper-sexualization of young girls in the film, Cuties. The film-makers say they movie is meant be a criticism of this sexualization.
33 Republican Congresspeople wrote in a letter to Barr, “
We’re writing to recommend you bring charges against Netflix, Inc. for the distribution of the film ‘Cuties,’ which contains child pornography.”
A Republican group opposed to Donald Trump’s reelection has claimed it has the backing of a high level official still working for the U.S. government but hasn’t revealed who that is.
Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform (REPAIR) released a list of its backers this week, highlighting former officials from the past GOP administrations.
A former Director of the Office of Government Ethics has issued a stark warning about what he described as “Fascist” language at this week’s Republican National Convention.
“Fact checking won’t work,” Shaub said. “Akin to a tonal language, Fascist is about sounds, not words. I say akin because the key is the grunts and yells, not tones.”
Fact checking won't work. Akin to a tonal language, Fascist is about sounds, not words. I say akin because the key is the grunts and yells, not tones. It's a gruntyell language that seeks to stir emotions, not thoughts. The problem with fact checks is they don't address emotions.
Today, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy appeared before the House of Representatives. The Trump appointee seemed uprepared to answer even basic questions and contradicted himself on a number of occasions.
Nancy Pelosi appeared on MSNBC on Monday to talk about the Trump administration and its attack on the Post Office. The Speaker of the House, however, ended up sounding a bit like the President himself. She referred to the GOP as “enemies of the state.”
Host Ayman Mohyeldin asked the Speaker, “Can you tell people today that they should not be afraid of what happens on November 3rd?”
Pelosi responded, “We took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. And sadly, the domestic enemies to our voting system and our honoring our Constitution are right at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with their allies in the Congress of the United States.”
Pelosi labeled Republicans "domestic enemies of the state"
YUP YUP 👍
— Trump'sPissingMeOff 🌊😘👠🦸♀️.❣️TriggeringMagats (@RetiredMaybe) August 24, 2020
Due to family drama, the Lincoln Project recently lost a founding member in George Conway. While the lawyer says he is taking a break from social media, he promised that he is still completely behind the groups message.
It didn’t take long for the Trump-trolling collective to find a new prominent Republican to join their cause. On Monday, the Lincoln Project sent out an announcement welcoming former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele to the team.
Steele said in a statement releaed by the group, “
The chair behind the Resolute Desk has always been bigger than any political party.
With all the crazy things that have occured in 2020, Kanye West’s attempt at politics is among the craziest. While he long been one of the few celebrity supporters of Donald Trump, few could have expected it could have gone as far as the rapper running for President.
West cannot even get on enough ballots to accrue 270 electoral votes, so the the decision to run was a bit strange. But it’s now become clear that the performer is only running to try and take votes from Joe Biden.
And this attempt at taking votes from the Democrats is being done in conjunction with the GOP. It was recently reported that this con-job also includes the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Kushner was asked about the relationship between him and the rapper on Thursday. “Kanye’s been a friend of mine for — I’ve known him for about 10 years.”
The aide to Donald Trump continued:
“We both happened to be in Colorado, and we got together and we had a great discussion about a lot of things. He has some great ideas for what he’d like to see happen in the country and that’s why he has the candidacy that he’s been doing. But again there’s a lot of issues that the president has championed that he admires.”
Mary Trump has candidly discussed the possibility that Donald Trump’s children could enter politics if he loses the White House in the November election.
The President’s niece gave an interview to the UK’s Independent newspaper where she talked about the possibility of her cousins seeking elected office after Trump’s administration.
Mary Trump suggested that Donald Jr. and Ivanka were the most likely candidates but she said it reflected poorly on the GOP.
“The fact that the Republican Party is in such a state that either one of these people could be considered is quite astonishing,” she said.
Trump argued that the President’s eldest son is the more obvious choice for Republicans looking to maintain a Trump political dynasty.
“He’s tied into the base in a more fundamental way because he’s so abrasive and so vicious from what I can see online, he has no boundaries he won’t cross, and there’s nothing he wouldn’t do to advance Donald’s agenda,” she said.
“So I assume the same thing would be true for his own.”
“But I don’t see Ivanka having the same kind of appeal to them in brute force terms.”
However, Trump, who is a clinical psychologist, doesn’t think her cousins “would for one second think they’re fit for or worthy of these kinds of aspiration” if they had any real self-awareness.
“Whether it’s having been brainwashed into thinking that Donald is the greatest thing that ever lived and by extension as [his] children, that they also share those characteristics, or because they’re just taking advantage of his position and they know how to manipulate him, I don’t know,” she said.
Trump went on to say that the President would likely support his children’s political aspirations because they would reflect on him but Ivanka and Don Jr. would be “considered something of a joke” by voters at large.
A Republican senator has categorically ruled out delaying the presidential election following Donald Trump’s tweet on the subject Thursday morning, causing widespread condemnation.
Wyoming Senator John Barrasso told Fox Business that the election would not be delayed. He repeated his position several times as host Stuart Varney pushed him on mail-in ballots.
“I think we’re going to vote on election day,” the Republican said.
Watch the video:
Fox Business host Stuart Varney seems to be seriously considering the merits of delaying the election
Varney: "If we have mail-in-balloting … there is absolutely no way you'll get an election result on election night … that is a mess. What do you think, delay the election?" pic.twitter.com/Chpp9jHm4W
For months now, many Republicans have avoided wearing masks when appearing in government buildings. Lawmakers like Jim Jordan and Rand Paul have made a bit of a show of their refusal to take extra precautions during the pandemic.
Texas’ Louie Gohmert is yet another GOP congressman who has often refused to wear a mask in public. That decision came back to bite him on Wednesday when it was announced that he had come down with Covid.
While answering questions from reporters, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy coined Gohmert with a new and unfortunate nickname.
“We want to be able to trace them, put them out,” said McCarthy. “And just as Congressman Covid, uh, Congressman Louie Gohmert says that he didn’t have any symptoms. And there could be other people like that.”
Kevin McCarthy accidentally calls Louie Gohmert "Congressman COVID" pic.twitter.com/UcQcvHtEU9
— The Recount (@therecount) July 29, 2020
Gohmert has been widely mocked for coming down with the illness as he has refused to wear masks the past few months. He told CNN’s Manu Raju in June, “I don’t have the coronavirus. … As of yesterday, I’ve never had it. But if I get it, you’ll never see me without a mask.”
The Congressman also reportedly returned to his office following the diagnosis because he wanted to personally tell his staff he’d been infected.
Gohmert even continued to question the use of face masks and wondered if they could have contributed to his positive test. He remarked Wednesday to a Texas TV station, “I can’t help but wonder if by keeping a mask on and keeping it in place, if I might have put some germs, some of the virus on the mask and breathed it in.”
Louie Gohmert has tested positive for Covid-19 following a screening at the White House. He becomes the latest person in President Donald Trump’s orbit to be diagnosed with the illness.
The Republican congressman from Texas was due to fly back to his home state on Wednesday with the President, which is apparently why he was tested. Gohmert had publicly refused to wear a mask.
“I don’t have the Coronavirus, turns out as of yesterday I’ve never had it. But if I get it, you’ll never see me without a mask,” Gohmert told CNN in June.
When he was pressed about the fact asymptomatic people can transmit the virus, Gohmert was equally dismissive. He claimed that since he didn’t have the disease it didn’t matter.
“But I keep being tested and I don’t have it. So I’m not afraid of you, but if I get it I’ll wear a mask,” he said.
Gohmert attended the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing with Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday, though the members of the committee sat at a distance from each other.
Chairman Jerry Nadler called out some Republicans by name for not keeping their masks on. Gohmert was not among them, despite the fact he’s been seen in the Capitol not wearing one.
“I would remind Mr. Jordan, Mr. Biggs and Mr. Johnson to stop violating the rules of the committee,” Nadler said.
“To stop violating the safety of the members of the committee. To stop holding themselves out as not caring by refusing to wear their masks.”
Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell held an unscheduled meeting at the White House on Monday along with other senior Republicans. They were reportedly discussing the upcoming stimulus bill.
The Senate Majority Leader met with the President, according to CNN’s Manu Raju, who shared a photo on Twitter. Also in attendance were House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
McConnell arriving at the WH this morning for a meeting with Trump, McCarthy, Meadows and Mnuchin on the Senate GOP recovery plan. The meeting was not listed on Trump’s schedule put out by the WH. Pic via @abdallahcnn pic.twitter.com/np9KHGb3nj
Allen West has been elected the new chair of the Texas Republican Party in a virtual convention held early Monday morning. The former congressman defeated the incumbent chairman.
Outgoing Chairman James Dickey was seeking a second term at the helm of the party but West managed to defeat him in the early hours of Monday morning.
West declared victory at around 3.30 am and Dickey conceded defeat thereafter.
“I just want to say how truly humbled I am by this honor, and that I will work hard for Texas and Texans,” West said on Twitter.
I just want to say how truly humbled I am by this honor, and that I will work hard for Texas and Texans.
I would like to thank my amazing and dedicated team, as well as an incredible number of supporters.
Thank you all!
Now the work begins…
John Kasich will speak in favor of Joe Biden at the upcoming Democratic National Convention. Reports on Monday suggested Kasich would be one of many prominent pro-Biden Republicans in the coming weeks.
Kasich was the governor of Ohio and once had his own presidential ambitions. He’s widely considered a more moderate and traditional Republican than President Donald Trump.
According to the Associated Press, the former governor is “among a handful of high-profile Republicans likely to become more active in supporting Biden in the fall.”
“Trump, meanwhile, is doing virtually nothing to expand his appeal beyond his most loyal supporters,” the report claimed.
Earlier this month, Kasich claimed President Trump was “in a meltdown.”
“So, you can see the Republicans beginning to retreat, and we see independents retreating in mass,” Kasich said of voters’ views of Trump.
“It’s a very hard thing to fix,” he went on.
“It’s never over until it’s over. As Yogi [Berra] said, it ain’t over till it’s over.”
“But at this point, losing all these people, including increasing numbers of the religious faithful is very, very difficult. It’s a very tough thing to dig out of.”
Nancy Pelosi has suggested she misses other Republican presidents. The Democrat made the claim while criticizing Donald Trump’s handling of Coronavirus.
The Speaker of the House called on Trump to use “the full power” of the Defense Production Act to supply desperately needed equipment to tackle the pandemic.
“I yearn for other Republican presidents,” Pelosi said on Thursday.
“While we may have disagreed on many points, at least we had a shared commitment to the governance of our country.”
“The President has made so many bad executive decisions. We wish he would make a good executive decision, and do that,” she said.
“We still don’t have the needed testing and PPE, and the President refuses to use the full power of the Defense Production Act needed for reopening.”
“This is such a massive dereliction of duty. People are dying.”
“All of the answers are there — the scientists have the answers,” Pelosi stressed.
“We know that testing, tracing, treating, distancing, masking, sanitation, can stop the spread of this virus. And yet the President continues to go down the wrong path, and refuses to ask for directions from scientists who know better than any of us.”
However, she also sounded an optimistic note.
“Because we are Americans, we’re going to beat this. But we have to beat it scientifically, and in order to do that, you have to believe in science, and you have to believe in governance,” she said.
Conservative Bill Kristol sounded a dire note about the future of the Republican Party this week. In an op-ed and a TV interview, he wondered if the GOP cause was lost.
Kristol published an article at The Bulwark on 14 July asking hard questions about the future of the party. He reiterated the view on MSNBC on Thursday night.
“On the one hand, with embarrassingly few exceptions at every level, the Republican Party is Donald Trump’s party,” Kristol wrote.
“So in many ways, it deserves to be a lost cause. On the other hand, after November 3, the GOP may stop — more or less suddenly, and more or less convincingly — being Donald Trump’s party.”
“It might even stop being the party of Trumpism,” he said.
“On the third hand, it will still have been Donald Trump’s party. And that moral and political stain can’t, and shouldn’t, simply be wished away.”
Throughout his op-ed, Kristol equivocated, saying he didn’t really know if the party was lost or not. He offered various different possibilities about the “Grand Old Party” and its future.
“I will admit that my heart, today, is with ‘the Republican party is a lost cause’ faction,” he admitted toward the end of the article.
“Heart or mind? Lost cause or worth trying to save? I don’t know,” he lamented.
On Thursday, Kristol repeated this feeling to MSNBC’s Chuck Todd.
“Part of me thinks it may well be a lost cause, and it may deserve to be a lost cause,” he said.