Wake Up To Politics - October 10, 2017
I'm Gabe Fleisher, reporting live from WUTP World HQ in my bedroom. It's Tuesday, October 10, 2017. 392 days until Election Day 2018. 1,120 days until Election Day 2020. Have comments, questions, suggestions, or tips? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell your friends to sign up to receive the newsletter in their inbox at wakeuptopolitics.com/subscribe!
2018: Feinstein Announces Re-Election Bid: After months of publicly wrestling with the decision, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) announced plans to run for a fifth full term on Monday. Feinstein, 84, is the oldest U.S. Senator currently in office; if she wins re-election in 2018, she would be 91 at the end of that term. "I am running for reelection to the Senate," Feinstein said on Twitter. "Lots more to do: ending gun violence, combating climate change, access to health care. I'm all in!"
Many California progressives are actively looking for a primary challenger to go after Feinstein from the left. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), a fellow member of the Golden State congressional delegation, told Politico just hours after Feinstein's announcement that he was urging Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich to challenge Feinstein. Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti and California State Senate president pro tempore Kevin de León are seen as other potential challengers. In an interview with Vox, Khanna called Feinstein "out of touch with the grassroots of our party," adding that "she continues to cling to office as a voice for the status quo."
Feinstein has frustrated activists on the left for a string of recent comments, telling a San Francisco audience in August that if "he can learn and change," Donald Trump "can be a good president." She has also come under fire for comments critical of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and single-payer health care proposals. In a tweet on Monday, Daily Kos founder Marks Moulitsas called Feinstein "the most pro-Trump Blue-state Dem in the country."
Feinstein's re-election prospects were boosted on Monday with an immediate endorsement by her state's junior senator, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who has more ties with progressive activists.
Environment: Pruitt to Withdraw From Clean Power Plan: Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt plans to formally repeal the Clean Power Plan today, withdrawing from a sweeping Obama-era regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. The rule planned to decrease U.S. carbon pollution by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030. Under the plan, each state had to "meet specific carbon emission reduction standards based on their individual energy consumption," according to CNN; however, the initiative never took effect due to a Supreme Court ruling in February 2016. The rule was challenged by 28 states attorneys general, including Pruitt, who was then serving as Oklahoma's top law enforcement officer.
Pruitt announced his plans to sign the withdrawal at an event with Kentucky coal miners on Monday. "The war against coal is over," he told them, saying that the Obama Administration rule was a way to "pick winners and losers [in] how we generate electricity in this country," which he criticized as an abuse of regulatory power.
Russia Probe: New Email Supports Russian Lawyer's Account of Trump Tower Meeting: The Washington Post reported on Monday about the existence of an email offering evidence for Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya's account of her June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. The email focuses on the Magnitsky Act, a law placing enhanced sanctions on Russians; since the first disclosure of the meeting, Veselnitskaya has claimed that it was to discuss sanctions. Previously released emails showed music promoter Aras Agalarov telling Trump, Jr. that the attorney would have damaging information on Hillary Clinton to share.
White House: Managing Trump Recent stories on what it's like inside the West Wing:
- Vanity Fair: "Amid a widening rift, John Kelly has a Mar-A-Lago strategy to contain Trump"
- Washington Post: "A ‘pressure cooker’: Trump’s frustration and fury rupture alliances, threaten agenda"
- Politico: "White House aides lean on delays and distraction to manage Trump"
- CNN: "Tillerson chaos lays bare Kelly's struggle to manage White House"
- Axios: "A civilian salute to John Kelly's new reality"
The President's Schedule
At 10am, President Donald Trump receives his daily intelligence briefing.
At 11:30am, the President meets with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. This is at least Trump's third sit-down with the nonagenarian diplomat since being elected President, following a meeting down the transition and another in May.
At 12:30pm, the President has lunch with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis, amid speculation that Tillerson will resign after reports that he called Trump a "moron." Trump responded to the reports again in a Forbes interview published today, saying: "I think it's fake news, but if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win."
At2:45pm, the President greets the Pittsburgh Penguins, the 2017 Stanley Cup champions, holding an event celebrating the team's victory at 3pm.
Today in Congress
The Senate stands adjourned, meeting for a pro forma session only, with no business conducted.
The House is scheduled to hold votes on seven bills, all renaming government buildings. The bills include a measure renaming a Postal Service facility in New Jersey after Noble Prize-winning mathematician Dr. John Nash, Jr., who was the subject of the book and film, "A Beautiful Mind." Another of the bills names a Boston facility of the Postal Service after John F. Kennedy.