House Republicans picked Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana as their nominee for speaker on Wednesday, but it’s unclear if he can lock down the votes needed to win the gavel following Kevin McCarthy’s abrupt ouster.
As of now, Scalise, who currently serves as House majority leader, lacks the 217 votes needed to be elected speaker in a floor vote and multiple Republicans have not committed to supporting him, signaling the potential for a drawn-out fight for the gavel. It’s not yet clear when the House will hold a speaker vote.
Until a speaker is elected, the House remains effectively paralyzed following McCarthy’s removal, an unprecedented situation that has taken on new urgency amid Israel’s war against Hamas. Raising the stakes further, the longer it takes Republicans to elect a new speaker, the less time lawmakers will have to try to avert a government shutdown with a funding deadline looming in mid-November.
Scalise won out over Rep. Jim Jordan in a closed-door vote by the House GOP conference to pick their speaker nominee on Wednesday.
Now-former speaker confirms he will not run again as Republicans plan to hold a vote for a new speaker next Wednesday.
The deal hammered out between Joe Biden and Kevin McCarthy isn’t perfect. It could have been much worse.
By Hayes Brown, MSNBC Opinion Writer/Editor
The House voted on Wednesday night to pass the Fiscal Responsibility Act, the bill codifying the deal between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to raise the debt ceiling. The final vote — 314 — 117, with Democrats providing the majority of the votes in favor — highlighted just how much the final agreement changed versus when the GOP passed its “Limit, Save, Grow Act” in April.
With just days before a June 5 deadline that would have left the U.S. unable to pay its bills, there’s been no time to spare in actually getting the deal through Congress. Tellingly, the vote reflects the fact that the deal is bipartisan in the sense that it’s gotten votes from both parties, not that it is a win for both parties equally. Likewise, it is a compromise in that only some Americans will have their lives impacted for the worse. The alternative was either a massive hole Republicans tried to cut into the social safety net with their original bill, or widespread economic chaos a default would have caused.
In all, though, it is clear that the bill could have been much worse. The Republican priorities it contains have been significantly pared back and there are a few Democratic priorities that were unexpectedly worked into the deal.
First, the deal raises the debt ceiling until Jan. 1, 2025.
The bill includes federal spending caps for the next two fiscal years.
The bill further rescinds about $28 billion in unspent Covid relief funds.
Politics aside, the bill as passed is one based on a principle that government should do the least harm possible while benefitting the most. In this case, a decision was made to only hurt some people rather than allow a debt default that would have hurt everybody. Of course, the “some” isn’t ever the wealthy, whose tax rates were never at risk of rising thanks to Republicans shielding them. Predictably, the burden falls on the poor and needy, who are expected to be grateful they get any help at all.
DeSantis takes to twitter with musk for president announcement
The Twitter launch of Ron DeSantis’s 2024 bid for the White House was struck by early tech issues with the sound repeatedly dropping out.
The Twitter Spaces event crashed several times on Wednesday evening, with Twitter owner Elon Musk saying the servers appeared to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of people trying to listen.
He’s constructed a political force field against failures and scandals that would have felled any other politician.
DeSantis’ winning hasn’t proved nearly as valuable as Trump’s losing (assuming one thinks that getting indicted on felony charges —any felony charges — is a bad thing).
How is that possible?
Trump has constructed an impenetrable political force field. In his own telling, he’s strong and a fierce fighter at the same time that he’s a victim — because his adversaries are out to get him since he’s so strong and such a fierce fighter.
Source: Opinion | Why Trump Can’t Lose
Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman was taken to the hospital Wednesday after a U.S. Senate event.
Fetterman communications director Joe Calvello said the results of an MRI and other tests eliminated the possibility of a second stroke.
“He is being monitored with an EEG for signs of seizure – so far there are no signs of seizure, but he is still being monitored,” Calvello said in a statement provided to CNN.
Calvello did not indicate when Fetterman might be able to leave George Washington University Hospital.
Shortly before last year’s election, which Fetterman won by defeating celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, Fetterman’s doctor released the results of an exam amid concerns that Fetterman’s health problems might prevent him from assuming his duties if elected.
The US is tracking a suspected Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon over the continental United States, defense officials said on Thursday, a discovery that risks adding further strain to tense US-China relations.
A former retired executive from Hempfield announced this week he will seek election as Westmoreland County commissioner. John Ventre, 65, said he will run in this year’s Republican primary and is targeting first-time incumbent Doug Chew as his chief opponent this spring.
Josh Shapiro has become the 48th governor of Pennsylvania at the inaugural ceremony at the state Capitol.
Austin Davis, a McKeesport native, was sworn in as the first Black man to serve as Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor in a ceremony in the state Senate chamber.
Shapiro, 49, takes over in the nation’s fifth-most populous state with more experience in state government than any of his recent predecessors, including six years as Pennsylvania’s attorney general.
He took the oath from Chief Justice Debra Todd on a cold winter day, with lawmakers, ex-governors, members of Congress and several thousand others looking on.
“I am humbled to stand before you today as Pennsylvania’s 48th governor,” Shapiro said at the start of his remarks from the podium. “Along the winding road that has led to this moment, I have been grounded in my faith and family.”
Shapiro succeeds term-limited Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, and is the first governor of Pennsylvania since 1966 to be elected to succeed a member of his own party.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday appointed a special counsel to investigate the presence of classified documents found at President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, and at an unsecured office in Washington dating from his time as vice president.
Walkers, joggers and bicyclists in Greensburg should have an easier time getting to the Five Star Trail after improvements are added next year at several points along the recreational path. The city is partnering with PennDOT on a project that will establish a new trailhead at George Street, which parallels East Pittsburgh Street.
The project has an estimated cost of about $334,500, including construction and engineering, Raykes said. The cost will be covered in large part by federal Transportation Alternative-Set Aside funds, with Greensburg providing a 20% match.
As House Republicans officially take over Congress and clamor to investigate the Biden administration, a new line of attack fell squarely into their laps: classified documents recovered from one of President Joe Biden’s private offices when he served as vice president.
“President Biden has been very critical of President Trump mistakenly taking classified documents to the residence or wherever and now it seems he may have done the same,” House Oversight Chairman James Comer, a key lawmaker in leading investigations in the 118th Congress, said Tuesday. “How ironic.”
The news of Biden’s possession of classified documents and the prompt Republican response that followed came as Congress voted Tuesday to establish a panel engineered to investigate the “weaponization” of the federal government, adding to an already growing list of oversight priorities House Republicans have laid out now that they have committee control and subpoena power. The party-line vote was 221-211.
After suffering yet another stinging defeat on Wednesday, in which he lost a sixth round of voting for House speaker, Kevin McCarthy proposed more key concessions in his push to get 218 votes — including agreeing to propose a rules change that would allow just one member to call for a vote to oust a sitting speaker, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Acting Pittsburgh police chief Tom Stangrecki issued an order this week advising officers to return to the practice of enforcing minor traffic violations, such as broken headlights or expired inspection stickers.
The police bureau banned officers from enforcing those secondary traffic offenses after Pittsburgh City Council passed legislation last year barring officers from engaging in that practice.
Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess sponsored the legislation that he said disproportionally targeted African American drivers.
Target 11 Investigator Rick Earle spoke with Councilman Burgess, who said he was unaware of the reversal and he had no idea why Police changed the policy.
EARLE: Do you think they are almost slapping this back in your face?
Rev. Ricky Burgess: I don’t take this personally, but again I just think they should reconsider it because I think it will actually have the reverse effect and make us less safe.
Burgess said he stands by the ordinance and the data supports it.
“We have shown through data that when you do these secondary stops it targets disproportionately African Americans and African American communities,” said Councilman Burgess.
Target 11 reached out to the city on Monday.
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The city sent an emailed response Tuesday afternoon, stating that the move was made because of recent changes to state law.
Live Updates: House Adjourns Until Tonight After McCarthy Loses 6th Speaker Vote
The Republican leader failed to gain the speaker’s post in another three straight votes, and the House adjourned until 8 p.m. The empty speaker’s position means that the House is at a standstill. Without sworn members, it is unable to perform oversight, pass bills or set up constituent services.
- Sources say House Republicans discuss ‘nuclear option’: Lower vote threshold to be speaker
- House adjourns until 8 p.m.
- McCarthy loses speaker vote for the sixth time
- McCarthy says: ‘We’re gonna break … then go meet’
- Boebert calls on McCarthy to withdraw
- Who is Byron Donalds, latest protest nominee against McCarthy?
All eyes will be on the nearly two dozen conservatives who prevented Rep. Kevin McCarthy from winning the speaker’s gavel and are rallying behind conservative Rep. Jim Jordan.
WASHINGTON — Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and his conservative detractors will square off for a second consecutive day as lawmakers prepare to resume voting Wednesday to pick the next House speaker.
A group of 20 far-right rebels banded together Tuesday and blocked McCarthy from winning the 218 needed votes.
Three separate votes were held, and each time McCarthy, R-Calif., a veteran member of GOP leadership, fell short. It was the first time in 100 years that the speaker vote has gone to multiple ballots.
“This is about saving the country and getting somebody that’s going to cut and get us on a financial path of solvency,” said Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., one of the so-called Never Kevins who voted against McCarthy. “I’ll sit here for six more months — it doesn’t matter.”
But McCarthy has won the support of 202 Republicans — more than 90% of the 222-member GOP Conference — and the number of his detractors has stayed relatively steady. His allies vow to hold roll call votes until the opposition caves.
Former president Donald Trump has gloated against “political thugs” as he said he did “nothing wrong” after the House select committee investigating the Jan 6 attack announced it would be withdrawing a subpoena against him.
In a statement on Truth Social, Mr Trump wrote: “Was just advised that the Unselect Committee of political Thugs has withdrawn the Subpoena of me concerning the January 6th Protest of the CROOKED 2020 Presidential Election.”
Long Island Rep.-elect George Santos came clean to The Post on Monday, admitting that he lied on the campaign trail about his education and work experience — but insisting that the controversy won’t deter him from serving out his two-year term in Congress.
“I am not a criminal,” Santos said at one point during his exclusive interview. “This [controversy] will not deter me from having good legislative success. I will be effective. I will be good.”
Santos’ professional biography was called into question earlier this month after the New York Times reported that he misrepresented a number of claims, including where he attended college and his alleged employment history with high-profile Wall Street firms.
“My sins here are embellishing my resume. I’m sorry,” Santos said Monday.
Santos confessed he had “never worked directly” for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, chalking that fib up to a “poor choice of words.”
City of Pittsburgh residents won’t see an increase in property taxes next year due to Pittsburgh Public Schools. The school board narrowly approved its nearly $680-million-dollar budget in a five-to-four vote. Two board members who voted against the budget said they didn’t support it because it carries a $9 million deficit.
An effort led by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) to maintain Title 42 is threatening efforts to pass a sweeping government funding bill before a shutdown deadline later this week.
Congressional negotiators on both sides say the biggest holdup is ongoing negotiations to decide what the voting threshold would be to pass the amendment.
The Senate voted on Thursday evening to pass a stopgap bill to avert a government shutdown at the end of this week with funding currently set to expire on Friday at midnight.
Indian and Chinese troops have clashed on their disputed Himalayan border, the first known incident between the two nuclear-armed Asian powers in nearly two years.
Despite the Georgia runoff results, a split Congress means both Democrats and Republicans will have trouble passing legislation in January.
Warnock winning also puts Democrats in a better position in the next Senate election when the map will favor Republicans, former President Barack Obama said during a campaign stop last week.
Schumer, whose caucus held onto all incumbent seats and picked up Pennsylvania, was gleeful during a Wednesday morning press conference as he cheered the new 51-49 majority. .
“It’s going to be a lot quicker, swifter and easier,” Schumer said, noting that this year marks the first time since 1934 that each Senate incumbent of the party in power won their race.
German officials arrested 22 suspected members and three suspected supporters of a far-right terrorist organization across the country on Wednesday on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government.
Democrat Raphael Warnock will face Republican Herschel Walker after a long, and at times bitter, campaign.
On Tuesday, Georgia’s seven million registered voters will go to the polls for the fifth time in four years.
That’s thanks to a quirk in the state’s election law that requires winning candidates for state-wide posts in general elections not just to get more votes than everyone else, but to get fifty percent of the votes cast.
Twice in the past four years candidates from both parties have fallen short of that mark. Hence the need for a run-off election in 2021 for both Georgia’s US Senate seats and another one this time around.
The U.S. Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that would protect federal recognition of same-sex marriage, a measure taken up in response to worries the Supreme Court could overturn a 2015 decision that legalized it nationwide.
Kevin McCarthy has indicated that he would reinstate Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar on committees
“I mean beyond unpunished, Kevin McCarthy has made a very clear statement – has stated that he intends to reward some of the most racist members of Congress that we have served in recent years,” she told The Independent.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez has been subjected to numerous death threats and verbal harassment since she won her primary election in 2018 against House Democratic Caucus chairman Joe Crowley. She has specifically become a subject of right-wing anger and vitriol. In addition, her campaign regularly spends fees as large as $5,000 a month for security consulting since members have to pay for their own security.
In addition, Representative Pramila Jayapal, chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, expressed concern.
“I’m worried about a lot of things in terms of the danger to our country, the danger to us personally. The danger to our democracy, I think it’s going to be a very difficult time,” she told The Independent.