GOP SENATE DYSFUNCTION RETIRES ONE OF THEIR OWN. The first two months of the Republican-controlled Senate has been nothing short of a disaster. They’ve undermined national security by leading us to the brink of a DHS shutdown, signed a dangerously shortsighted letter to Iran during sensitive negotiations, attacked women’s health at the expense of human trafficking victims and refused to hold a vote to confirm Loretta Lynch.
The GOP Senate’s dysfunction is so bad that it retired a Senator from their own party.
COATS OUT: GOP NOT “ABLE TO GOVERN.” Indiana Senator Dan Coats announced this week that he will not be running for reelection in 2016. Flashback to three weeks ago, when Coats told Politico that the GOP’s inability to govern would factor into his decision:
Indiana Sen. Dan Coats isn’t sure whether to run for reelection – but if he does, it’ll be because he has some degree of confidence the new GOP Congress can get something done.
The Department of Homeland Security debacle, he says, has been discouraging in that regard.
“I thought we were off to a good start with Keystone, but now we’ve hit a wall, so I’m trying to weigh where we are going for the next 18 months or so,” Coats said. He added: “We have been at this for two months now, and we are already hung up in terms of not being able to govern.”
DSCC Chair Jon Tester: “Indiana’s Senate race is now one of the most competitive Senate races in the country, and Democrats are ready to put together a strong campaign just like we did in 2012. We’re confident that we will find a great candidate who will put Indiana first and win this seat in 2016.”
Washington Examiner: Coats Retirement Sets Up Competitive Indiana Senate Race
Roll Call: Indiana Senate Race No Longer Safe
And don’t buy GOP spin on this one. Indiana’s open seat is far more meaningful for who controls the Senate after 2016 than open races in Maryland or California.
BUDGET WATCH: SKEWED PRIORITIES ON FULL DISPLAY IN BUDGET VOTES. Ron Johnson, Mark Kirk, Rob Portman, Roy Blunt, Pat Toomey, Richard Burr, Marco Rubio and Kelly Ayotte will have a tough time explaining their decision to vote against students, seniors, families and workers to their constituents back home.
Pat Toomey, Kelly Ayotte, Rob Portman, Ron Johnson, and Chuck Grassley also threw their constituents under the bus when it comes to basic consumer protections against predatory credit card companies, payday lenders and big banks.
And when it comes to Medicare, don’t miss this memo that outlines how the Republicans are attempting to trick voters into thinking they don’t support vouchering Medicare. The truth is, these Senators have all voted multiple times for a plan that would turn Medicare into a voucher program, and if they think they are fooling anyone, they are mistaken.
DSCC CHAIR ON LEADER HARRY REID: “OUR COUNTRY IS BETTER FOR HIS LEADERSHIP.” Senator Tester released the following statement on Harry Reid’s announcement and the Nevada Senate race:
“Harry Reid’s legacy in the Senate has cemented his place in the halls of history, and I am proud to call him both a colleague and a friend. As the longest serving member of Congress from Nevada, a tireless advocate for his state, and the leader of the Democratic Party in the Senate he has never backed away from a fight when the lives of middle class families were on the line, and our country is better for his leadership. I wish him and Landra all the best as they begin this new chapter in their lives.
“There is a talented pool of Nevada Democrats who are ready to step up to the plate, and we will recruit a top-notch candidate in Nevada who will be successful in holding this seat in 2016.”
RON JOHNSON BEGS STUDENTS NOT TO SUPPORT HIM IN 2016. In Ron Johnson’s never-ending effort to alienate the entire state of Wisconsin, he proclaimed that student aid is “pretty easy to get” and since “it’s kind of free money” that students are taking longer to graduate because “they don’t feel any urgency to get to work and start contributing to the economy.” How much is he worth again?
More from The Hill: GOP Senator: Students Graduating Late Because ‘College Is Fun’
IN THE STATES
OHIO – Ohio Democrats slam Rob Portman for his poor record on jobs, Columbus Dispatch reports.
ILLINOIS – Joe Walsh is still considering a primary challenge to Mark Kirk, spelling trouble for the already vulnerable Republican.
FLORIDA – After Congressman Patrick Murphy got in the race for Senate, the NRSC started racking up the first of what promises to be many “Pants on Fire” ratings for their false attacks.
Also – stay tuned for lots of GOP infighting as a primary develops in their party to succeed Marco Rubio.
TWEET OF THE WEEK: Politico’s Manu Raju wins this week with this one that says so much about the GOP’s problems governing:@mkraju: Dan Coats told me last month he would retire if he thought the GOP Congress wouldn’t be able to legislate