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Tuesday, September 29, 2015
406 Days until Election Day 2016
125 Days until the Iowa Caucuses
29 Days until the Next Republican Debate
14 Days Until the 1st Democratic DebateIt's Tuesday, September 29, 2015, I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
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Capitol Hill News
- A House Divided: Boehner’s Resignation Sets Up Leadership Contests for House GOP With House Speaker John Boehner’s Friday announcement that he plans to resign at the end of October, the House will need to choose a new Speaker soon – and possibly elect other leaders as well.
- Republicans in the lower chamber are holding a group meeting at 5pm tonight to discuss their “strategy going forward”. The House Republican Conference is made up 247 members, with varying opinions, philosophies, and placements on the political spectrum. This meeting is a chance for them to all come together (which they rarely do in evening sessions) and talk out the Conference’s problems – the issues that led to Boehner’s resignation in the first place.
- The meeting will also provide GOP congressman to size up the candidates for Speaker, and other potential leadership races. Here’s a roundup of those races and candidates:
- Speaker of the House Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA), Boehner’s top deputy (the current House Majority Leader), is the prohibitive favorite to take Boehner’s place. McCarthy enjoys sizable support within the GOP Conference, and maintains relationships with its moderate and conservative members alike; the Californian announced his Speakership bid Monday with a letter to his colleagues in which he pledged to unite the Republicans while staying tough on Democrats. McCarthy announced his run to the public with a tweet, stating “”
- The House Freedom Caucus, made up of the hard-liners who take credit for Boehner’s exit, has yet to field a candidate for Speaker who could match McCarthy. The chamber’s most prominent conservatives, Jeb Hensarling (TX), Paul Ryan (WI), and Jim Jordan (OH) – the chairman of the Freedom Caucus – have all taken themselves out of the running.
- The only candidate who has announced a challenge to McCarthy is Rep. Daniel Webster (FL). Webster, who ran for Speaker against Boehner at the beginning of the current Congress (receiving 12 votes), has failed to catch on, even among his fellow conservatives.
- House Majority Leader (IF Leader McCarthy becomes Speaker) Therefore, McCarthy is heavily favored to move up to Speaker, which would create an opening for his current position. This race will be a lot more interesting. The race is expected to be between two candidates: Reps. Tom Price (GA), chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee, and Steve Scalise (LA), next in line for the position as House Majority Whip.
- This is the contest where conservatives see their best chance of holding power in the leadership, and could create a split in the right-wing faction. Both Price and Scalise are former chairmen of the Republican Study Committee, a group of the lower chamber’s conservatives, and are both known for their conservative views.
- A more moderate candidate, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), House GOP Conference Chairwoman, announced Monday that she would not run for Leader and will remain in her current post, surprising some. Rep. Pete Roskam (IL), former Chief Deputy Whip, has been making some moves in the conference and is another potential candidate: he is the one who called for tonight’s special meeting, causing many to speculate he will run for a leadership position.
- Of the two candidates for Leader, Price seems to be catching more momentum. The Georgian picked up endorsements Monday from two influential committee chairs: Jeb Hensarling, who holds the Financial Services gavel (and is a former chairman of the House Republican Conference) and Paul Ryan, the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee and chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee (as well as Price’s predecessor at Budget).
- House Majority Whip (IF Leader McCarthy becomes Speaker AND Whip Scalise becomes Leader): In the scenario that the top two positions (Speaker and Leader) are filled by those next in line for them (the current Leader and Whip), there will be a race for Whip.
- The favorite to win this race is Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC), the current Chief Deputy Whip, although he faces a challenge from Rep. Dennis Ross (FL), a Deputy Whip. Rep. Markwyane Mullin (OK), a sophomore congressman, may also run
- Another potential candidate, Rep. Pete Sessions (TX), could give McHenry a run for his money. Sessions, chairman of the House Rules Committee and former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, is considering a bid for the post.
- Only the first of these races is guaranteed to occur; any of them that do happen will likely be held on October 7 (the election date is expected to be announced today).
- Once the dust settles and the elections are held, we could be looking at a radically different leadership roster than the one John Boehner led, or a very similar one. The everyone-moves-up scenario (McCarthy à Speaker, Scalise àLeader, McHenry àWhip) is possible, but by no means certain. In each race, there are younger, more conservative challengers, and they could overtake the more experienced, established frontrunners.
- One thing is certain: the leadership team, whoever ends up a part of it, will face the same troubles John Boehner did. The House Republican Conference remains a divided group, and no Speaker will have an easy time of taming it.
- Senate Advances Continuing Resolution, Shutdown Threat Averted The U.S. Senate voted Monday to advance a continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the government through December 11, with no strings attached (i.e. defunding Planned Parenthood).
- The procedural vote, which required 60 “yeas,” was successful by a 77-19 vote. All 19 “nays” were Republicans; the CR is now set to be passed by the Senate today. The House will pass the measure on Wednesday, and send it to the President’s desk for his signature that day, just hours before government funding runs out at 11:59pm on Wednesday.
- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who is currently running for his party’s presidential nomination, took to the floor after the Monday vote, requesting a roll call on his amendment to the CR, which would defund both Planned Parenthood and the Iran nuclear deal.
- Cruz spoke for an hour, before being cut off by a Democratic floor aide when his time expired. The Texan’s remarks centered on Planned Parenthood and Iran, while also going off on rants about his party’s leadership and the CR they have offered.
- The CR is “essentially a blank check to Barack Obama. That’s not very clean to me – it actually sounds like a very dirty funding bill,” Cruz said. The resolution is called “clean” because it does nothing more than funds the government for 70 more days.
- When Cruz asked for a voice vote to determine if his amendment could be voted in, even his fellow Republicans denied him that simple courtesy. The entirety of the Senate Republican Conference, all except for Mike Like (UT), bellowed “no” in response to Cruz’s request.
- But the Planned Parenthood fight isn’t over yet. A shutdown over the issue could still occur when Congress reaches the new December 11 deadline. Three House committees (Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and the Workforce) have begun work on budget bill defunding Planned Parenthood and Obamacare.
- These measures, expected to pass out of committee this week, will be considered through the reconciliation process, a fast-track process for budget measures that prohibits a filibuster in the Senate.
White House Watch
- The President’s Schedule President Obama holds meetings and summits on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) today:
- At 9:45am, Obama will sit down with Cuban president Raul Castro, who is attending the UNGA for his first time. This is the first meeting of the two presidents since the United States opened an embassy in Cuba, and vice versa.
- At 10:30pm, President Obama chairs the Leaders’ Summit on Countering ISIL and Countering Violent Extremism, a meeting among world leaders to discuss strategies to combat the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL).
- Finally, the President will sit down with President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan at 12:10pm, before departing New York at 1:25pm, and arriving back at the White House at 2:35pm.
- *All times Eastern
- Who’s Up, Who’s Down in WSJ/NBC Poll The new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll was released Monday, showing lots of new data in the presidential race. Here’s who’s up, and who’s down:
- UP: Ben Carson The neurosurgeon is neck-and-neck with frontrunner Donald Trump, claiming the support of 20% of GOP primary voters (10-point jump from the WSJ/NBC July poll), to Trump’s 21% (2-point jump).
- If first and second choices for the GOP nominee are combined, Carson beats Trump, 35% to 31%. In addition, the poll tested various general election scenarios. In the scenario matching up Carson vs. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, Carson bests Clinton 46% to 45%.
- UP: Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina The next place in the GOP race was occupied by Rubio, a Florida senator, and businesswoman Fiorina. They tied for third place, each getting 11% support, a 6-point bump for Rubio and a huge increase for Fiorina, who received 0% in the last WSJ/NBC poll from July.
- DOWN: Jeb Bush The former Florida governor saw a 7-point decrease, with just 7% in the new poll, compared to 14% in the last. In addition, Bush loses to Hillary Clinton in a general election match-up, 44 to 45%.
- DOWN: Hillary Clinton, UP: Bernie Sanders The former Secretary of State had a 34-point lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, her closest competitor, in July, 59% to 25%. Now that lead is just 15 points, 53% to 38%.
- In general election match-ups, while she beats Trump and Bush, Clinton loses to Carson, as well as Fiorina, 45% to 44%.
- UP: Joe Biden Those numbers are without a run by Vice President Joe Biden. If Biden runs, he has support from 17% of voters, and the race between Clinton and Sanders tightens even more: 42% to 35%.
- 17%, while nowhere near Clinton, is a solid base to begin with for an unannounced candidate. In addition, Biden did much better than Hillary Clinton in all the general election scenarios.
- Biden had 21 points over Donald Trump, compared to Clinton’s 10-point lead over him. Against Fiorina and Carson (who beat Clinton), Biden once again does better, besting both of them, with a 6 points over Fiorina and 8 points on Carson. Against Jeb Bush, Biden also has an 8-point lead, compared to Clinton’s 1-point lead.
- LINK Biden received more good news Monday: he could announce the day of the Democratic debate, on October 13, and still be allowed to participate. More from Politico: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/biden-will-have-chance-to-appear-in-first-democratic-debate-cnn-says-214141
- LINK: Trump Tax Plan Donald Trump unveiled his tax plan Monday. More from the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/09/28/heres-whats-in-donald-trumps-tax-plan/) and Vox (http://www.vox.com/2015/9/28/9411243/donald-trump-tax-rich)
- LINK: Is Rand Paul on his way out? Rand Paul said Monday that he will “absolutely” stay in the presidential race, but The Hill has reported that he will be fundraising for his Senate race instead this week: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/255184-paul-takes-break-to-raise-funds-for-senate-campaign
Question of the Day
- Today’s Question When was the last time a Cuban President visited the United States?
- Answer the question by emailing me (email@example.com). Anyone who answers correctly gets their name in tomorrow’s Wake Up!
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