Tea Party Patriots Action Weekly Report from Washington for 3/18/19
The House and Senate are both in recess this week. They will both return on Monday, March 25.
LAST WEEK ON THE HOUSE FLOOR:
The House returned to work on Monday, and took up and passed two bills under Suspension of the Rules.
On Tuesday, the House took up and passed three bills under Suspension of the Rules.
On Wednesday, the House took up and passed the Rule that would govern consideration of H.Con.Res. 24, expressing the sense of Congress that the report of Special Counsel Mueller should be made available to the public and to Congress.
On Thursday, the House took up and passed that resolution, by a vote of 420-0.
And then they were done.
THIS WEEK ON THE HOUSE FLOOR:
The House is in recess this week.
LAST WEEK ON THE SENATE FLOOR:
The Senate came back to work on Monday, and voted to invoke cloture on the nomination of Paul Matey to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. On Tuesday, the Senate voted to confirm Matey to that position.
Later on Tuesday, the Senate voted to invoke cloture on the nomination of Neomi Rao to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Sen. Josh Hawley of MO, who had slowed down the process over some concerns he had over Rao’s beliefs, voted favorably on the cloture vote.
On Wednesday, the Senate voted to confirm Neomi Rao to that judgeship. Hawley again voted in favor.
Later Wednesday, the Senate voted to invoke cloture on the nomination of William Beach to be Commissioner of Labor Statistics, and then the Senate voted to confirm William Beach to his new position.
Still later on Wednesday, the Senate considered S.J.Res. 7, a joint resolution to direct the removal of U.S. armed forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress. That resolution passed by a vote of 54-46, and was sent to the President for his signature or veto. He will likely veto the measure.
Then, on Thursday, the Senate took up H.J.Res. 46, the joint resolution overturning the national emergency declared by President Trump on February 15, 2019, regarding the crisis at the southern border. Twelve Republicans crossed party lines, and the final vote in favor of the resolution was 59-41.
And then they were done.
THIS WEEK ON THE SENATE FLOOR:
The Senate is in recess this week. When the Senate returns on March 25, they will resume consideration of Bridget S. Bade to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The first vote of the week, at 5:30 PM, will be a vote to invoke cloture on the nomination of Bridget S. Bade to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.
Leader McConnell also filed cloture on a motion to proceed to consideration of S.J.Res. 8, the Green New Deal, and a motion to proceed to consideration of H.R. 268, Disaster Supplemental Appropriations, so that’s what will be next on the Senate agenda after the Bade cloture vote.
STATE OF EMERGENCY:
So, first, let’s talk about the 12 Republican Senators who voted against President Trump. They were: Lamar Alexander of TN, Roy Blunt of MO, Susan Collins of ME, Mike Lee of UT, Jerry Moran of KS, Lisa Murkowski of AK, Rand Paul of KY, Rob Portman of OH, Mitt Romney of UT, Marco Rubio of FL, Pat Toomey of PA, and Roger Wicker of MS.
Those 12 added themselves to the 13 House Republicans who voted for the resolution of disapproval when it was considered in the other chamber. So that’s a total of 25 congressional Republicans who voted against the President – 25 out of 250. That’s exactly 10 percent. So I’m not worried about some huge GOP revolt against the President on Capitol Hill.
So what else do we know about the 12 GOP Senators who broke with the President? Well, 11 of the 12 are not running for reelection – which means they don’t need to worry about whether or not President Trump will seek revenge against them by supporting a primary challenge. Of the 12 GOP Senators who broke with Trump, only Susan Collins is running for reelection in 2020. And, given the politics of Maine, she might actually look favorably upon a Trump-backed primary challenger – she would likely win that primary, and that would position her right in the center, exactly where she wants to be as she runs in the general election.
Cory Gardner, Ben Sasse, and Thom Tillis – each of whom is running for reelection this cycle – all voted against the resolution. Tillis did so even after writing a Washington Post op-ed last month in which he explained his reasoning for voting FOR the resolution of disapproval. Go figure.
Half the Republicans who voted for the resolution sit on the Appropriations Committee. This goes to prove one of Pascoe’s Axioms: Congress isn’t split between Democrats and Republicans, or even liberals and conservatives. Congress is split between appropriators and everyone who wants to be an appropriator. They just don’t like a president – ANY president – messing with their turf, and that’s the way they view this entire episode. This is just a president undoing their work, messing with them. I’m amazed, in fact, that Richard Shelby didn’t join them. He’s the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, but he stuck with the president.
Early in the week, it looked as if there might not be a vote against the President on this resolution. That’s because Sen. Mike Lee of Utah was working hard on a new bill and a deal. The new bill would have amended the National Emergencies Act to require Congress to vote within 30 days to keep a presidential declaration of national emergency in effect. If Congress failed to act within 30 days, then the presidential declaration would be nullified.
Lee was working with Vice President Pence to try to strike a deal with the White House – if Trump would agree to sign such legislation, then Lee would work to solidify opposition to the House-passed resolution in the Senate. But President Trump didn’t want to see his authority restricted, and sent word that there would be no deal. So the Senate went ahead and voted on the resolution, and it passed with 12 GOP votes.
President Trump vetoed the resolution on Friday afternoon. It was the first veto of his presidency.
The measure originated in the House, so the House will go first in attempting to override the veto. House Democrats have already announced they plan to attempt to override that veto. They’ll bring that measure to the floor on Tuesday, March 26, the day after they return from their current recess. That measure will fail – they’ll need 55 House Republicans to vote to override his veto, and, given that only 13 House Republicans voted against him on the first vote, I can’t see any way that number would grow to 55. So that attempted veto override will fail, and, because the measure failed in the House, there will be no attempted veto override in the Senate, and that will be that.
And then it will be “game on!” on in the courts.
HOUSE DEM CHAOS:
STATE OF EMERGENCY: