SHUTDOWN WOULD BE ON GOP WATCH. Hours away from the GOP’s government shutdown, DSCC spokesman David Bergstein released this statement:
“It was hard to imagine how Mitch McConnell could make the GOP-controlled Congress even more toxic for their Senate candidates, but that’s exactly what their shutdown would do. Republicans would rightfully bear responsibility – just ask their colleagues ready to pass a bipartisan agreement like Senators Graham and Rounds. In the months ahead, voters won’t remember the blame game but they will know that if the government shuts down, it was on Republicans’ watch.”
From Jennifer Rubin: Republicans are fooling themselves if they think they have a shutdown leg up.
MCCONNELL THE “NEW BOOGEYMAN.” The National Journal takes a look at how toxic the leader of the Republican Party has become and how he may factor in the midterms:
ICYMI: MITCH MCTURTLE. Nevada Democrats debuted their new 2018 mascot:
REPUBLICANS’ “WEEK FROM HELL.” That’s how the National Journal described another week of Republican recruitment failures, intraparty primary battles, and “eye-popping fundraising numbers” from Senate Democrats.
ANOTHER WEEK, ANOTHER RECRUITMENT FAILURE. From former Governor Tim Pawlenty’s announcement that he wouldn’t run for Senate in Minnesota to the continued fallout over Congressman Cramer’s decision to not run in North Dakota, Republicans continue to struggle with candidate recruitment. Do read this handy CNN roundup of the GOP’s failures to recruit top-tier candidates in Montana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana.
DEMS “STOCKPILING HUGE SUMS” FOR MIDTERMS. Dems continue to post “fundraising totals commensurate with the supercharged energy that the party base is experiencing in the age of Trump.”
Jacky Rosen raised $1.56 million and has $1.8 million cash on hand, with an average campaign donation of $63.
Bill Nelson raised $2.4 million and has $8 million cash on hand from more than 30,600 donors.
Elizabeth Warren raised $2.88 million and has $14.6 million cash on hand. 98 percent of donations were $100 or less.
DSCC OUTRAISES NRSC *AGAIN.* For the 9th consecutive month, the DSCC outraised the NRSC, bringing in $5.8 million in December and ending the year with $19 million cash on hand.
From The Hill:
TAX SCAM UPDATE: FEW WAGE INCREASES, MORE LAID OFF WORKERS. A report from CNBC finds that “few large US companies say they’ll use tax savings to boost wages” and, when pay increases have occurred, they’ve “been few and far between.” Meanwhile, Republicans have largely abandoned their efforts to bring back manufacturing jobs – for example, Carrier has laid off more than 1,500 employees in the last year.
SCOTT USING GOVERNOR’S OFFICE TO “GRANDSTAND.” Two examples, one self-serving Governor who uses his office to “make governing a perpetual campaign.” Last week, theAssociated Press reported that Governor Scott’s cell phone was the “bottleneck” in response time to providing aid after Hurricane Irma. One individual said she believes Scott was “grandstanding to boost his likely Senate campaign.” And Scott is still experiencing blowback for his “conversion… to become an environmentalist in time for the 2018 election” when he pulled his PR stunt and ‘prevented’ Florida from being included in the list of offshore drilling sites.
NEW: SCOTT LIED ABOUT OFFSHORE DRILLING BAN TO BOOST POLITICAL AMBITIONS. Today, Floridians learned that their state may not be exempted from the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plans. Scott’s political stunt has shone a spotlight on his spotty environmental record and his penchant for using his office to benefit himself.
GOP SOLUTION TO NUMBER OF UNINSURED RISING: TAKE AWAY MORE HEALTH CARE. The percentage of Americans without health insurance rose this year, the first increase since the implementation of the ACA, but Republicans aren’t fazed. In fact, they’re scheming behind the scenes to strip away coverage for individuals receiving health care through their jobs – which covers roughly half the country.
IN THE STATES.
IN – WIBC: Sen. Donnelly Urges President To Re-Up Opioid Crisis Declaration
(MORE) IN – WBIW: Donnelly Releases 2017 Annual Report Highlighting Work on Behalf of Hoosiers
MI – Livingston Daily: Stabenow tours Howell businesses, talks skilled trades worker shortage
MO – Kansas City Star: Despite flu, McCaskill plays key role in sending surveillance bill to Trump’s desk
MT – Billings Gazette: Sen. Tester visits Billings union hall, looks for input on possible federal infrastructure bill
NV – Las Vegas Review-Journal: Rosen sponsors bipartisan bill to prevent return of earmarks
(MORE) NV – News 4: Congresswoman, Senate candidate Jacky Rosen defends Nevada’s cannabis law
PA – PennLive: Pa.’s Bob Casey, 49 other Senators endorse resolution to restore net neutrality rules
WV – Metro News: Manchin signs letter asking for extension of opioid declaration
(MORE) WV – WVNews: Sen. Manchin questions VA Secretary about Clarksburg facility
(EVEN MORE) WV – Manchin releases #IKnowJoe video on his bipartisan work to protect coal miners’ health care and pensions
WI – Wisconsin State Farmer: Sen. Baldwin urges Senate leadership to strengthen dairy MPP
TWEET OF THE WEEK.