SENATE REPUBLICANS CAN’T GOVERN: 100 DAYS LATER EDITION. The Republican-controlled Congress is now nearly 100 days into their new majority with little to show for it. Between driving the Department of Homeland Security to the brink of a shutdown, playing politics with victims of human trafficking and failing to even hold a vote to confirm Loretta Lynch, the GOP is working hard to make sure they don’t keep their majority come 2016. As the Huffington Post reports:
“Nearly 100 days into their new majority, congressional Republicans have had a harder time than they anticipated proving they’re ready to govern.
“In the past three months, Republicans have sent doomed legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline to the president, failed to secure votes on a controversial bill aimed at banning abortions after 20 weeks and battled through a standoff over funding to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Republican lawmakers in both chambers were able to pass a budget blueprint, but that, too, was a contentious process that highlighted fractures in the party.
The ups and downs of the past few months have led even the reliably conservative Wall Street Journal to write a scathing review of the new GOP-controlled Congress.”
HERE’S WHY IT MATTERS: Politico released its list of Senate seats most likely to flip control and 13 of the 15 seats are currently in Republican control. So are 8 of the top 10 and 4 of the top 5.
MASTO IN FOR NEVADA SENATE. Former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced her bid to succeed Senator Reid in Nevada yesterday. In the first day of coverage, Masto was hailed as a “fresh face” and a “strong fundraiser” who could be the first-ever Latina Senator.
DSCC Chair Senator Jon Tester released the following statement endorsing her:
“Catherine Cortez Masto has made protecting Nevada families and consumers her life’s work, and she is the strongest candidate to keep this Senate seat in Democratic hands and continue Harry Reid’s legacy of fighting for Nevada’s best interests. As state Attorney General, Cortez Masto built a record of working to combat drug dealing, standing up for homeowners and consumers, and protecting seniors, children and women from abuse. Cortez Masto’s record and her reputation for integrity and staunch advocacy will power her campaign to a victory in 2016.
“We look forward to supporting Catherine Cortez Masto in her campaign and are confident she will go on to serve as the next Senator from Nevada.”
Q1 FUNDRAISNG UPDATE: STRONG GRASSROOTS SUPPORT FOR BENNET, DEMS. Fundraising numbers for the first quarter show a groundswell of support for Democratic candidates in states across the map.
Denver Post: Michael Bennet Raises $2 Million in First Quarter
Kansas City Star: Jason Kander’s Senate Campaign Collects $783,000 In First Six Weeks
Columbus Dispatch: Columbus Dispatch: Strickland’s haul: $671,073 in 35 days
MCCAIN GETS FROSTY RECEPTION ON REELECTION ANNOUNCEMENT. John McCain announced this week that he would run for reelection in Arizona, and the immediate reaction was less than warm. Talking Points Memo reports “Tea party-aligned Senate Conservatives Fund quickly brought out the knives in response to Sen. John McCain announcing he would seek a sixth term.” State Sen. Kelli Ward has officially formed an exploratory committee – the steady drumbeat calling for a primary challenger spells trouble for McCain. Read more:
Mohave Daily News: Ward Makes Senate Move
The Hill: Senate Conservatives Fund Targets McCain
Talking Points Memo: Senate Conservatives Fund Spoiling For A Fight Against Sen. McCain
MARCO’S MANIC MONDAY. Marco Rubio is set to make his presidential bid official on Monday, confirming what we’ve long known that he has no interest in serving the people of Florida. Thanks to his record of skipping ISIS hearings for “aggressive” fundraising swings,missing more votes than anyone else, and generally working against the best interests of middle class families, Marco Rubio had already made Florida a top pickup opportunity for Democrats. But with Monday’s announcement, Florida is now expected to become an open-seat competition. No surprise that the NRSC was reportedly begging Rubio to stay in the Senate race. Ouch.
NOT SO (G)RAND. Rand Paul’s attempt to run against the Washington machine by seeking TWO jobs in DC at the same time has made it clear that he views representing Kentucky in the Senate as a consolation prize. His first disastrous days in the race have made clear that he’s got trouble ahead in both races.
National Journal: Rand Paul Again Scolds a Reporter for Asking Him Uncomfortable Questions
Washington Post: Rand Paul’s problem with female interviewers just cropped up again
Associated Press: Rand Paul Dodges Question On Exception To Abortion Ban
IN THE STATES:
OHIO – STRICKLAND WITH COMMANDING 9 POINT LEAD. A Quinnipiac University poll found Ted Strickland with a 9-point early lead over Rob Portman in Ohio.
ZINGER OF THE WEEK: Ted Strickland with some real talk for Washington insider Rob Portman: “If the election were held on Wall Street Rob Portman would be the winner. But the election is going to be held here in the heartland.”
ILLINOIS –KIRK TAKES HEAT FOR HIS EXTREME RHETORIC, THEN DOUBLES DOWN. The Chicago Sun Times reports that Rep. Jan Schakowsky slammed Mark Kirk for his “truly appalling” rhetoric in invoking Hitler when talking about the Iran deal.
Meanwhile Politico writes that “no incumbent faces headwinds as stiff as Republican Sen. Mark Kirk.”
COLORADO – SCANDAL MONEY. As it turns out, Colorado Congressman and likely Senate candidate Mike Coffman was one of the top recipients of campaign cash from disgraced Congressman Aaron Schock who resigned in scandal last month and is now under investigation.
NEW HAMPSHIRE – AYOTTE SLAMMED FOR POLITICKING ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING BILL. The Board Chairwoman of Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund didn’t mince words when calling out Kelly Ayotte for playing politics with the victims of human trafficking in this op-ed.
TWEET OF THE WEEK: This week’s tweet comes from the one and only @RalstonReports: “The NRSC thinks Catherine Cortez Masto is “liberal.” Yes, I know it’s boiler plate, but, um, evidence she is?”