At one point, a frustrated audience member implored him: “Answer the question Mitch!” after he offered a curt answer to a woman asking about lost coal jobs in eastern Kentucky. As he began leaving the event, escorted by state and local law enforcement, a few in the crowd booed. Someone shouted “Do your job!”
Besides the open Supreme Court seat that Republicans refused to act on during Obama’s last year in office, there are currently 112 vacancies across the federal bench. Obama made 54 nominations to those seats that Republicans refused to confirm, including several dozen where they never held a final vote. In short, the GOP mounted a judicial coup.
Until recently, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tolerated Trump’s turbulent debut because they agreed with the direction the White House was heading — or were confident they could nudge it in the desired one. But the newfound partnership is showing signs of serious strain.
There’s no question that the decision to silence Warren backfired — badly. The furor gained the Massachusetts senator far more attention than her otherwise routine speech would have if it hadn’t been interrupted. The result: The majority leader turned the confirmation vote on Sessions, a loss for the Democrats, into a vehicle they could use to rally their partisan base.
I first noticed this influx of visitors from the past — men, mostly — shortly after the election. Filling my email inbox. Trolling my Twitter and Facebook feeds. Offering one unsolicited directive after another about how women should be conducting themselves. Lately, I’m wondering whether time travel isn’t contagious. Spreads like a syndrome maybe.
When Mitch McConnell tangled with Elizabeth Warren over the Sessions nomination on the Senate floor, Danziger was watching (and saw the majority leader get smoked).
Silenced on the Senate floor by Republican colleagues, Elizabeth Warren took her criticism of Trump’s attorney general nominee out to the hallway — and found much larger platform. The action prompted a tide of support on Facebook for Warren under a hashtag #LetLizSpeak after she went outside the chamber and read the letter in a video posted on the site that drew more than 5 million views.
President Donald Trump said in remarks broadcast on Sunday that he would put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of a commission to probe what he believes was voter fraud in last November’s election.
Can Democrats, who are more philosophically invested in showing that government can function, really bring themselves to replicate McConnell’s obstructionist methods? If Chuck Schumer and his Senate Democrats choose a path of obstructing President Trump’s agenda, they will have learned from the best.
Republicans have spent decades weaponizing the Supreme Court as a political tool and are on the brink of a payoff that Trump’s creditors never could have imagined. But they also did something dangerous: They proved there is no price for creative obstruction. Democrats need to understand they have the people on their side. And to keep them there, they have to be willing to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous obstruction. Our democracy depends on it.
The Senate voted 93 to 6 to confirm Elaine Chao as head of the U.S. Transportation Department, which overseas aviation, vehicle, train, and pipeline safety. Chao, a former U.S. labor secretary and deputy transportation secretary, will face key decisions on how to regulate the growing use of drones and automakers’ plans to offer self-driving cars.
Democrats remain furious over Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal last year to allow the Senate to consider Democratic President Barack Obama’s nomination of appeals court Judge Merrick Garland for the vacant seat, an action with little precedent in U.S. history.
As the Barack Obama presidency dwindles down to the last day, there’s no silent amen. Donald Trump people are swarming the streets around Union Station. These Republicans seem to have come from the country to claim the country, what’s theirs. The barricades and bollards surround the beloved Capitol, the place looks like a police state. The citadel of democracy looks captured.
Democrats are still seething over the Republican-led Senate’s decision last year to refuse to consider outgoing President Barack Obama’s nomination of appeals court judge Merrick Garland for a lifetime post on the court. The action had little precedent in U.S. history and prompted some Democrats to accuse Republicans of stealing a Supreme Court seat.
While there is criticism of Chao, in particular on environmental issues, there is no significant opposition to her nomination and she is expected to be confirmed.
McConnell is the perfect partner and lying propagandist for Trump. He maintains a straight face, which never upstages the coverage of Trump’s latest antics. As Americans will soon see, many shades of darkness inhabit Trump’s Washington.
The first casualty of the new government taking over Washington may be information about the government itself, ethics watchdogs say. The new GOP Congress is moving toward confirming several of Trump’s choices to run executive-branch departments even though they have not had their financial disclosures vetted and cleared by ethics officials.
Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” McConnell said: “There ought not to be a great gap” between repealing the act and replacing it and that Republicans would be “replacing it rapidly after repealing it.” McConnell did not define what he meant by “rapidly.”
With six different confirmation hearings stacked on the same day, on top of Trump’s press conference, it’s impossible for the media to provide the information people need. And that’s the point — it appears to be a deliberate effort to manipulate both the press and the public.
The Republican-led U.S. Congress began its first session of the Donald Trump era in turmoil on Tuesday as the House of Representatives backed away from a decision to defang an ethics watchdog after a public outcry, including a dressing-down from the president-elect.
Despite his promise to unite a deeply divided country, Trump will be sworn in on Jan. 20 leading a Republican Party that early on will push legislation through Congress without significant – or any – Democratic support.
With the election over and Republicans occupying all branches of government, as well as controlling most state legislatures, it’s easy to forget that just a few short months ago the Republican Party seemed to be collapsing under the weight of its own contradictions.
These whiplash-inducing ideological switcheroos are an underappreciated source of entertainment in the loamy interims between major-party handovers of the White House. On issues such as Putin and privacy, federalism and free trade, the teams are swapping core issues like jerseys.
Infrastructure projects need highly trained workers, such as heavy equipment operators and iron specialists. But as a result of the 2008 recession, which caused an estimated 25 percent of construction jobs to vanish, their ranks have thinned.
Elaine Chao’s family owns ships flagged abroad, a way to avoid U.S. taxes and higher labor costs. But one of Chao’s missions at the Transportation Department will be to press American-owned ships to fly the U.S. flag.