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Monday, December 09, 2019

Tag: mitch mcconnell

With Campaign Faltering, Trump Promotes Authoritarian 'Education Reform' (VIDEO)

Former President Donald Trump has launched a new attack on education with his proposed plan of action to revise how public school administrators and faculty members are put in place.

In a new presidential campaign ad, Trump expressed a need for more "patriotic teachers" as he called for the termination of school faculty members he described as “radicals.” According to Trump, there should also be a “direct election” process for school principals. Under that election system, students’ parents would have the right to appoint principals.

Trump is also pushing for the defunding of schools that follow a curriculum that includes “critical race theory, gender ideology or other inappropriate racial, sexual or political content.”

"Our public schools have been taken over by the radical left maniacs," Trump said in the clip, as he went on to share his proposed plan.

"Here is my plan to save American education: Restore power to American parents," he began. "First, we will cut federal funding for any school or program pushing critical race theory, gender ideology, or other inappropriate racial, sexual, or political critical content onto our children. We're not going to allow it to happen. Next, I will direct the Department of Justice and Education to open civil rights investigations into any school district that has engaged in race-based discrimination."

He continued, "That includes discrimination against Asian Americans. The Marxism being preached in our schools is also totally hostile to Judeo-Christian teachings, and in many ways it's resembling an established new religion. Can't let that happen. For this reason, my administration will aggressively pursue potential violations of the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the Constitution. That's very simple."

Although Trump has expressed concern about discrimination, he has actually made repeated discriminatory remarks, namely anti-Asian slurs that have been leveled at Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) wife, Elaine Chao, who also served as former U.S. secretary of transportation under his administration.

Trump is now facing backlash for the campaign ad as Twitter users are also highlighting the irony in his remarks.

"Anyone can't possibly wonder now why he loves Russia, China and North Korea education systems and Governments and above all Dictators," one Twitter user said.

"The nightmare that never ends," another user added.

Watch the video below or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

'Primary McConnell!' Angry Trump Demands Revenge On Senate GOP Leader

Days after talking up House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and the ultra-right lawmakers pulling his strings, former President Donald Trump called on Republicans to primary Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and any Senate Republicans who vote with him.

In a Monday post to Truth Social, a barely moderated Twitter clone for his extremist cult, the ex-president congratulated McCarthy on clinching the gavel — for which he has since taken credit — and laid into McConnell and other GOP Senators who voted to pass the $1.7 omnibus spending package late December in time to avert a partial government shutdown.

Central to Trump’s fury over the package’s passage is that it happened just before the GOP-controlled House of the 118th Congress convened, barring the GOP caucus, which would later strongarm veto power over McCarthy’s speakership, netting President Biden and the Democrats a political victory.

“We must now stop Mitch McConnell,” Trump wrote, the latest in the fusillade of attacks he has directed at the Minority Leader, who criticized him for provoking a mob of his supporters into storming the Capitol on January 6, 2021, to overturn the official certification of his loss.

“It’s as though he just doesn’t care anymore, he pushes through anything the Democrats want. The $1.7 TRILLION quickly approved Bill of the week before was HORRIBLE,” Trump said in his Truth Social post. “Zero for USA Border Security. If he waited just ten days, the now ‘United Republican Congress’ could have made it MUCH BETTER, or KILLED IT.”

Trump added, “Something is wrong with McConnell, and those Republican Senators that Vote with him. PRIMARY THEM ALL!!!”

The sprawling package comprised increased funding for the military; additional Ukraine aid; increased spending for college access, childcare, disaster aid, protections for pregnant workers, and more: a provision to repeal the 1887 Electoral Count Act, the 135-year old law that Trump and his attorneys tried to exploit to overturn Biden’s 2020 election triumph.

Eighteen GOP Senators — and later, nine House Republicans — some of whom are vocal critics of their counterparts across the aisle, voted with Democrats to pass the package, rebuffing a cascade of threats from prominent entities within the Republican Party.

Hours before the Senate passed the package, Trump attacked supposed “radical Democrats” for “[ramming] through this monstrosity in the dark of night” and accused McConnell of being “more of a Democrat than a Republican.”

In Monday’s Truth Social rant, Trump again referred to Elaine Chao, McConnell’s wife and his former transportation secretary, as “Coco Chow,” a racial slur.

"[Trump] is trying to get a rise out of us. He says all sorts of outrageous things, and I don't make a point of answering any one of them," Chao, who was born in Taiwan, said in December, according to Newsweek.

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'Fix That Damn Bridge': Biden And McConnell Hail Bipartisan Rebuilding

President Joe Biden, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, and other bipartisan leaders gathered Wednesday in Cincinnati to tout recently passed infrastructure that will allocate $1.6 billion to help pay to replace the aging Brent Spence Bridge. The move comes after Biden vowed to “fix that damn bridge” during a town hall in July 2021. Biden is now delivering on that promise.

Built in 1963, the Brent Spence Bridge which connects Cincinnati to Kentucky has been considered “functionally obsolete” for years. It has become a symbol of the nation’s declining infrastructure, with several presidents vowing to not only work on it but create better roads and bridges across the country.

While several issues have vied to gain bipartisan support, infrastructure bills and bridge projects bridge the political divide, with Congress approving the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

"I believe it sends a message, an important message, to the entire country," Biden said, referring to the law that made the bridge project possible, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. "We can work together. We can get things done. We can move the nation forward."

"After years of politics being so divisive, there are bright spots across the country," Biden added. "The Brent Spence Bridge is one of them."

According to The Enquirer, the $1.6 billion in federal grants will help repair the Brent Spence Bridge and build a new bridge adjacent to it.

“It connects Michigan and Florida,” former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said in 2021 of the bridge, according to NBC News. “It's one of the most-traveled highways in the country. And if we're gonna be competitive with China and other countries, we've got to have vibrant, working infrastructure.”

According to WLWT, the project is expected to begin by 2023, but additional details (outside of the project expecting to last until 2030) are unknown at this time.

“I am thrilled that the President is choosing to visit Ohio and Kentucky to highlight how our economy and infrastructure continues to grow stronger because of his work,” Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval said in a statement regarding the visit.

“The historic amount of money going towards this project is proof of what can be accomplished through strong regional, bipartisan collaboration. This is just the beginning.”

While several people also questioned whether Biden’s stop in Kentucky was about highlighting his relationship with Mitch McConnell, who was one of 19 Senate Republicans to support the infrastructure law, Biden and McConnell dismissed such claims.

“This is a bridge that has been a major national issue for 25 years, my top transportation project for decades. And it’s going to be fully funded by the infrastructure bill, which I supported," McConnell told reporters Tuesday according to the Associated Press. “It's important for me to be there.”

The Brent Spence Bridge isn’t the only one Biden’s administration is planning to work on. According to the Federal Highway Administration, $400 million of the $1 trillion federal infrastructure package approved in 2021 has been allocated to the Golden Gate Bridge, in order to complete the third and final phase of the seismic upgrades that will allow it to withstand earthquakes.

"This project is as important as any transportation infrastructure project you can find in America," said Rep. Jared Huffman of San Rafael.

"Can you imagine the calamity and the damage if a major earthquake hit and the Golden Gate Bridge was seriously damaged or destroyed?" he continued. "That's the scenario you have to think about and plan for."

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Bannon, Trump, Greene Blast 'Enemy' Republicans Over Spending Deal

Ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon hopped on his “War Room” podcast Wednesday to blast Republican lawmakers working with Democrats on a nearly $1.7 trillion spending package, which the Senate passed on Thursday with a bipartisan 68 - 29 vote.

Bannon joined other voices of the often-seething far-right falsely branding the omnibus package — which would stave off a partial government shutdown and fund federal agencies until September 2023 — a wishlist of Democrat pet projects and demanding a stay on all long-term spending until the GOP-led House of the 118th Congress is seated.

“You're giving Nancy Pelosi another year. Didn't the American people just vote on that?" Bannon demanded mid-rant. “Isn’t that what democracy is — we gave you a democracy, got 4 million more votes and flipped the House.”

As both Republicans and Democrats will struggle to deliver on promises in the next Congress — given its GOP House and Democratic Senate makeup — the hefty bill, which comprises $858 billion to fund the military and $772 billion in domestic spending, provided red and blue senators a last-ditch opportunity to push through their legislative priorities.

Also included in the bill, per the New York Times, are billions in aid to Ukraine, which wartime hero Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, appealed for in his surprise visit to Washington this week.

"It's not simply the spending, which is going to crush everybody," Bannon said, according to Newsweek. "It's about leverage.”

"Now we're sitting here, and this is just up in your face, and anyone who voted for this is your enemy politically," he added, taking aim at the Republican senators who worked on the bill.

So crucial was the spending package to Senate lawmakers, though, that even some Biden critics, including Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Todd Young (R-IN), voted in favor of the bill, incurring the wrath of far-right House Republicans and former president Trump.

The bipartisan support for the bill, which is on its way to House for approval and then to President Biden’s desk for his signature, unhinged the conspiratorial anti-Ukraine arm of the House GOP.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor “Jewish Space Lasers” Greene (R-GA) assailed the “TRAITORS” in Senate who voted to pass “omnimonster to send YOUR money to defend Ukraine’s border but NOT America’s border!”

In a video posted to Truth Social on Thursday, Trump lambasted “radical Democrats” for what he said was an ill-intended crusade to “ram through this monstrosity in the dark of night when no one has even had a chance to read its over 4,000 pages,” reported the Hill.

“Every single Republican should vote no on the ludicrous, unacceptable $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill. It’s a disaster for our country, and it also happens to be a disaster for the Republican Party because they could stop it,” the coup-plotting ex-president declared in the video.

Trump alleged that the bill was “crammed with left-wing disasters” and “Washington betrayals” and accused Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) of being “more of a Democrat than a Republican.”

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Fallen Officer's Family Snubs GOP Leaders At Congressional Medal Ceremony

GOP leaders Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) were red-faced after all the award recipients of Tuesday’s Congressional Gold Medal award ceremony pointedly refused to shake their hands at a ceremony to honor the officers who defended the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Senior Capitol Police officers and their relatives, including the family of fallen officer Brian Sicknick, who defended the Capitol during the riot and died one day later, warmly greeted outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in the Capitol Rotunda as they accepted their Congressional Gold Medals.

McConnell, the Senate minority leader, wore a forced — and almost unhinged smile — as he held out his hand for handshakes that never arrived, even after late Officer Sicknick’s mother, Gladys Sicknick, kissed the cheek of Schumer, who was right beside him.

“They’re just two-faced,” Gladys Sicknick told CNN, referring to the Republican leaders. “I’m just tired of them standing there and saying how wonderful the Capitol police is, and then they turn around and … go down to Mar-a-Lago and kiss his ring and come back and stand here and sit with — it just, it just hurts.”

Ken Sicknick, the late officer’s brother, rebuked the dour-faced duo more forcefully: “[McConnell and McCarthy] have no idea what integrity is. They can’t stand up for what’s right and wrong.”

Pelosi presided over the award ceremony, held to honor the Capitol officers who had served during the Capitol attack.

Four Congressional Gold Medals, the Congress's highest honor, were bestowed during the event, almost two years after former President Trump incited a mob of his supporters on lawmakers to overturn his 2020 election loss.

"January 6 was a day of horror and heartbreak. It is also a moment of extraordinary heroism. Staring down deadly violence and despicable bigotry, our law enforcement officers bravely stood in the breach, ensuring that democracy survived on that dark day,” Pelosi said at the ceremony.

McCarthy, who wore a sullen expression during the snub, his hands gripping a medal box, praised the officers for their heroism that day.

“To all the law enforcement officers who keep this country safe: thank you,” he said. “Too many people take that for granted, but days like today force us to realize how much we owe the thin blue line.”

McConnell, too, issued words of praise for the officers: “Thank you for having our backs. Thank you for saving our country. Thank you for not only being our friends but our heroes.”

When CNN approached McConnell later for comments on the tense incident, the senator pivoted to save face.

“I would respond by saying — today, we gave the gold medal to the heroes of January 6. We admire and respect them. They laid their lives on the line, and that’s why we gave a gold medal today to the heroes of January 6.”

The Kentuckian's gratitude was not enough for some, including Ken Sicknick, who said that the Republican leadership’s failure to confront Trump for inciting the mob that would storm the Capitol had spurred their decision, unlike Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WV).

“With them, it’s party first,” Ken Sicknick told CBS News’ Scott MacFarlane. “Liz gave up her political career to do what was right.”

Both congressional leaders had criticized Trump in the immediate aftermath of the insurrection at the Capitol, but neither voted to impeach or convict the former president for inciting the crowd that stormed the halls of Congress in an attack that claimed five lives.

McCarthy, a frontrunner for House speakership in the 118th Congress, has been assailed for traveling to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club and residence in Palm bay, Florida, on January 28, 2021, to court the power-hungry demagogue at the height of his false widespread voter fraud claims.

Last week, McCarthy vowed to investigate the House Select Committee — a bipartisan House panel looking into the Capitol attack — and said the House GOP would launch its own January 6 probe in a letter addressed to its chairman, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), according to the Washington Post.

The families of the Capitol officers slammed McCarthy for the decision at the ceremony, noting that it had contributed to their choice not to shake hands with him.

Several other Republicans who attended the ceremony dodged questions about Trump’s vocal support for the January 6 mob and his endorsement of a far-right fundraiser supporting the rioters.

"Well, um, these guys are heroes and patriots, as was pointed out," Sen. John Thune (R-SD) told the outlet when asked to denounce Trump's pro-insurrectionist stance. "And, you know, I can't imagine any American working against that."

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), who voted to acquit Trump, sought a safe distance from questions regarding Trump’s support for alleged Capitol rioters, saying, "Yeah, I'll leave that up to him.”

Why Did Republican Plans Backfire In This Election Cycle?

Democrats get way too giddy about immediate gains and take their eyes off the ball, while Republicans excel at playing the long game. Overused sports metaphors aside, that has been the conventional wisdom because there’s a lot of truth in it.

Want proof? After Barack Obama’s historic 2008 presidential win, it was Republicans who ignored predictions of a “blue” future. They went to work. While Sen. Mitch McConnell did not ultimately succeed in his wish to make Obama a “one-term president” in 2012, he and his party delivered a 2010 midterm “shellacking” — to use Obama’s own word — that won control of the House and gained seats in the Senate.

In 2014, the GOP won that Senate majority McConnell craved, and the country still lives with the result — a solid conservative block on the Supreme Court, one that overturned Roe v. Wade and seems intent on rolling back voting rights and other signature issues claimed by today’s Democrats.

Few who watched McConnell's block-and-delay strategy, one that shaped that court, would argue with his coaching skill and foresight. But after last week’s anemic midterm GOP showing, the wisdom of Republican guile and “Democrats in disarray” is looking a lot less conventional.

It’s Democrats who are being credited with thinking ahead.

So, was the blue team taking notes, or did Republicans get a little too cocky? Why did some of those best-laid plans backfire?

After the results of the midterms, the partnership with Donald Trump, who refuses to go away, has not aged well. He did win the presidency in 2016, but Republicans ignored a lot that was in plain sight — things like competence and character.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina, was all in when he asked and answered his own question in an appearance on Fox News in 2021: “Can we move forward without President Trump? The answer is no.” He added, “I’ve determined we can’t grow without him.”

But remember, this was the same guy who tweeted in 2016: “If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed.......and we will deserve it.”

He knew better. So did Rep. Kevin McCarthy.

The definition of a nanosecond is the time it took for the House minority leader to segue from condemning Trump’s complicity in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol to a humiliating pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago to kiss the ring.

McCarthy is now on the verge of finally fulfilling his dream of leading a House majority, and the prospect of herding his contentious crew may make that dream a nightmare. If he had sought advice from former GOP speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan, McCarthy might have stiffened his spine and kept Trump at arm’s length. But those short-term gains were too tempting to ignore.

McConnell’s pre-midterm laments about “candidate quality” hint that even the master planner, who thought he could both use and control the former president, might be having some second thoughts. He survived a leadership challenge from Florida Sen. Rick Scott.

In the weeks before the midterms, the media paid way too much attention to the GOP flooding the zone with polls, meant to excite fans and demoralize the opposition, I suspect. But so did Republicans trapped in their own echo chamber, one devoid of solutions but chock-full of conspiracy theories, election deniers and jokes at the expense of the husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi as he recovered from a brutal attack.

Did they not see there might be a few lines too indecent or unbelievable to cross?

In the meantime, it was Democrats who foresaw that voters could care about more than one issue at the same time (it’s the economy and abortion rights and democracy), who predicted that women might not easily forget the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision striking down Roe v. Wade, who appealed to young people who might not answer a poll-taker but who might care about climate change, gun reform and criminal justice reform.

Young voters are still an underrepresented percentage of the electorate, and in some areas they trended toward Republicans. But they made a difference for Democrats in college towns and swing states. And that student debt relief package proposed by President Joe Biden, something he was criticized for promoting, may have been one incentive.

While many pundits, including some in his own party, thought Biden naive for leaning into the survival of democracy as a topic worthy of speeches, it appears that making a final pitch to the head, heart and conscience of a nation actually worked.

You have to give him credit for seeing something many did not, for engaging in aspiration appeals many dismissed as too amorphous to capture the attention of bored and cynical citizens.

It would not be the first time Biden has been underestimated.

It is unfortunately true that grievance, a driving force for elections past, still attracts a sizable percentage of Americans who want to return to a nonexistent past, to a time when glory meant ignoring and oppressing others, thus the Make America Great Again refrain.

Razor-thin midterm margins reveal a still polarized nation.

But Democrats’ belief that Americans would choose policy solutions and a calmer political playing field instead of chaos held — at least in this election cycle.

Speaking of the past, Trump, awash in criminal investigations, has announced he is again running for president in 2024, ready to drag the Republican Party along with him. Knowing who and what Trump is and has always been, odds are pretty good he will always put himself, not his party, front and center.

Admittedly, the former president changed the GOP, remade it in his own image, and, even in this past week, had some successes in Ohio, Wisconsin and elsewhere. You can never count him out.

But Republicans must be wondering if hitching their star and their future to such an unpredictable and uncontrollable force, if emphasizing culture wars, if elevating fear and suspicion, were wise choices if the goal is building a bigger and better GOP.

Have they dropped the ball?

Mary C. Curtis has worked at The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun, The Charlotte Observer, as national correspondent for Politics Daily, and is a senior facilitator with The OpEd Project. She is host of the CQ Roll Call “Equal Time with Mary C. Curtis” podcast. Follow her on Twitter @mcurtisnc3.

Reprinted with permission from Roll Call.

Mortified Mitch And Cowering Kevin, GOP 'Leaders,' Are Paralyzed By Trump

The day after the victory in Nevada by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, securing the Senate for Democrats, is one of those days you don’t even have to read the stories. The headlines spewing the panic on the Right are more than enough:

The Washington Post: “Republican rivals start plotting a post-Trump future -- The GOP’s disappointing midterm results spur some donors and party leaders to consider other 2024 candidates.”

The Washington Post: Election deniers lose races for key state offices in every 2020 battleground -- The candidates could have gained power over election administration. Voters rejected them in the six most pivotal states.

The New York Times: Trump Angst Grips Republicans (Again) as 2024 Announcement Looms -- While Republicans pick up the pieces from the midterm elections, former President Donald J. Trump is already forcing them to take sides in the next election.

The Washington Post: In election 2022, the party of Trump pays for being the party of Trump

The Washington Post: Congressional Republicans panic as they watch their lead dwindle -- Private consternation reached a public boiling point Friday as lawmakers in both chambers confronted the fallout from Tuesday’s elections

The Washington Post: Democrats surged to flip state legislatures, defying past GOP gains

If you’re a Republican “leader,” as Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) pretend to be, you have to be looking at the headlines and asking yourself what the fuck happened, don’t you? Well, you would if you were a sane person occupying a leadership position in an actual political party. The situation for Kev and Mitch, however, is somewhat different. If they open their traps and a natural reaction comes out, something along the lines of “Oh, my God!”, it will be read by the MAGA faithful as a betrayal of the real leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump. If they even twitch in the direction of criticizing the Great One, they’ll be politically drawn and quartered within the hour.

Quite a dilemma for the boys, huh? Well, just as a reminder, their party has been here before – specifically, when Richard Nixon was clinging to the White House by his fingernails after the Judiciary Committee had voted on three articles of impeachment and plans were being made to schedule a vote in the House and a trial in the Senate way back in 1974. Republican Senators Hugh Scott and Barry Goldwater, accompanied by Minority Leader Jacob Rhodes, got in a car and drove from the Capitol to the White House and met with Nixon and told him his support in both the House and Senate was thin and he would not survive an impeachment and trial. Nixon resigned as president the next day.

I’d be willing to bet my next paycheck that ol’ Mitch is ruing the day he didn’t rally his Republican troops and push through a conviction of Trump at his second impeachment trial in the Senate in February of last year. The Constitution’s ban on running again for president would have parked Trump permanently on the sidelines of American politics and left an open field to Republicans in the midterms this year. Instead, Trump hung like a black cloud over the elections in the House and the Senate, not to mention down in the state houses the Republicans lost. So many of Trump’s hand-picked candidates lost, they practically threw a coronation when the odious J.D. Vance was able to win Ohio's Senate race.

The option of getting some Republican billionaire to loan them a plane to fly down to Palm Beach for a sit-down with The Man Himself is still open to Tremblin’ Mitch and Shiverin’ Kev. The chances of either one of them overcoming the shakes long enough to Do What Must Be Done for the Republican Party, however, are either close to zero or zero itself, their fear of Trump’s MAGA masses is so great.

It's amazing, isn’t it, to watch an entire political party full of professional politicians be aware of what must be done to save themselves and their party from a crushing defeat across the board in Washington and further erosion of their grip on legislatures down in the states in 2024, and still they just sit there petrified for their own political lives if they even move a muscle in that direction.

But that’s where they are, with Kev biting his nails as he watches the last few results come in that will determine whether Republicans regain the majority in the House of Representatives. Piece of advice, Kev: Don’t bother worrying yourself into sleepless nights. You’re finished as a “leader” of the loons who will take charge if the Republicans squeak-out enough victories to carry the day for the party in the House. You’ll have plenty of time to gaze at your pin-striped navel and wonder What Went Wrong.

Alternatively, you could pay another groveling visit to Mar-a-Lago and ask Mr. Indictment Himself for help corralling his MAGA minions in the House. That would make you look weak and him look strong, but if that’s the way you want to play it with 2024 looming on the horizon, more power to you. I know a few Democrats who hope you do just that.

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

Reprinted with permission from Lucian Truscott Newsletter

McConnell, McCarthy Challenged As Hill Republicans Bicker Over Wreckage

Calls are growing from within the GOP for their Congressional caucus to hold off on leadership elections in light of the party’s underwhelming midterm performance and narrowing path to victory in both chambers.

As things stand, the partisan breakdown of the forthcoming 118th Congress remains unclear: Major networks called the Arizona Senate race for Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) late Friday, putting Democrats in a prime position to grasp a 51 - 49 majority in the U.S. Senate, with incumbent Democratic senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Raphael Warnock (D-GA) favored to outdo their Republican challengers.

NBC News currently projects a slim GOP House majority of “220-215” in the next Congress, with a “+/- 7” margin of error, positing — regardless of insurrectionist Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO)’s sudden lead in Colorado’s third Congressional district race — the slight but real possibility Democrats could hold the House, albeit by a tiny margin.

Despite this remarkable outcome on the horizon, which has stunned lawmakers of both parties, Senate GOP leaders reportedly plan to hold leadership elections next week, inciting the ire of other right-wing lawmakers demanding a delay and posing a direct challenge to McConnell.

Senators Cynthia M. Lummis (R-WY), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have publicly demanded the postponement of next week’s secret election, in which McConnell is expected to win re-election, the Washington Post reported Friday.

Hawley and Cruz have called for a stay in GOP Senate election proceedings until after the Georgia Senate runoff on December 6, the Post noted in its report.

“We are all disappointed that a Red Wave failed to materialize, and there are multiple reasons it did not,” Johnson, Lee, and Scott wrote in a letter circulated to other GOP senators, according to Politico.

“Holding leadership elections without hearing from the candidates as to how they will perform their leadership duties and before we know whether we will be in the majority or even who all our members are violates the most basic principles of a democratic process,” the senators added.

Rubio tweeted Friday that leadership elections should not hold until the party is “sure that those who want to lead us are genuinely committed to fighting for the priorities & values of the working Americans,” a sentiment Hawley quickly agreed with.

A Rubio advisor told the Post that the senator wants “Senate Republicans to figure out ‘what in the world happened’ before they elect their next leaders” and didn’t rule out Rubio, who won his race by a large margin, going for a leadership spot.

According to CNN, the internal back-biting may have been incited, to some extent, by the beleaguered former President, Donald Trump, who is seeking to shift blame for the GOP’s devastating midterm losses to McConnell, presenting a new headache for the Senate minority leader.

Representatives for McConnell didn’t return the Post’s request for comment. However, Senate GOP leaders are moving forward with plans to hold the election despite the bubbling dissension, reports Politico.

“After presentations from candidates, and there is every opportunity to address questions from every member, we will complete leadership elections,” Sen. John Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, wrote to his colleagues on Friday afternoon in a letter, an excerpt of which Politico published.

Tough Reality For House Republicans

Republican lawmakers in the U.S. House, who — like their Senate counterparts — believed they would cruise to a smashing victory, are finally contending with the reality that the GOP might fall short of a large majority, if they win at all, quashing their prospects of enacting pre-planned legislation and leadership maneuvers.

The Post reported that House Republicans understand Democratic votes would be crucial in a lower chamber narrowly dominated by the Republican Party.

“It’s an unworkable majority. Nothing meaningful will get passed,” a senior House Republican told the Post on the condition of anonymity.

In a statement to the Post, outgoing Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) blamed the Republican party’s grim outlook on the extremism perpetuated by its conspiratorial far-right caucus, which culminated in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters.

“By midnight on January 6, it was obvious that if we continued to sleepwalk down the path of crazy we’d face a rude awakening,” Meijer said.

“Instead of facing those facts, the GOP spent the last two years heading in the same direction and actively avoiding any internal reckoning. After Tuesday, we have no choice but to heed voters when they say that ‘the grass is green, the sky is blue, and by the way, you just got your ass handed to you.’ But waking up to that reality is going to be rough,” he added.

Like McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has pushed on with his speakership bid, defying opposition from factions of House Republicans opposing his efforts.

On Friday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said in a tweet that the House GOP ought to “put our star players in a position to shine brightest so that we can attract more people to our policies and ideas” and denounced McCarthy and his allies as the “C-team.”

“There are people who swear upon firstborn children that they’ll never vote for McCarthy,” an aide to a senior Republican lawmaker told the Post, anonymously discussing internal party consternations.

Members of the House's far-right pro-Trump faction, the Freedom Caucus, have also reportedly withheld their support for McCarthy’s drive until its laundry list of demands is met, per reporting by the Post and CNN.