According to a report from Politico, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stunned his fellow Republicans in the Senate this week with his surprising decision to help push forward President Joe Biden's infrastructure deal that already has some bipartisan support.
The report notes that McConnell's closest associate, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) was also caught by surprise as saying he heard rumblings about McConnells decision to support proceeding with the bill until the senior Republican tweeted out his decision.
"The leader just kind of let everybody do their own thing, and they did. And he did his own thing." Thune explained.
Not all Republicans are happy with McConnell's decision, with some complaining that he will be handing the Democratic president a win, and questions are being raised why McConnell -- who is notorious for his obstructionism -- has chosen to throw his support behind a multi-billion dollar bill that is anathema to budget-conscious Republicans.
According to Politico's Burgess Everett and Marianne Levine, McConnell's decision falls in line with the one thing he cares about in the Senate: maintaining his personal power.
In particular, he's worried about losing the ability to filibuster.
According to the report, "McConnell also surmises that if he and his party became the face of obstruction, it could lead Democratic moderates like Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona to waver on the filibuster, advisers said. So in order to keep his veto power intact, McConnell is taking a more conciliatory approach on infrastructure, which he views as less ideological compared to the other issues."
The report goes on to note that McConnell also willing to face Donald Trump's wrath after the former president attacked him for his announcement of support for an infrastructure bill.
You can read more here.
According to a report from the Charlotte Observer, the Republican leadership in North Carolina is growing increasingly nervous about a possible candidate for the U.S. Senate in the 2022 election who was handpicked by former president Donald Trump.
At issue is Trump's endorsement of relatively obscure Rep. Ted Budd (R) and whether he will stand a chance against a well-funded Democratic opponent.
Trump's choice of Budd in June during a rally in the state baffled the state's GOP leadership at the time and, after watching another Trump endorsee lose in a Republican primary last week, they are afraid that Budd will win the primary and then lose in the general election -- handing a Republican-held seat in the Senate to the Democrats.
The Observer reports, "On Tuesday, a Navy veteran supported by former Texas Gov. Rick Perry beat the Trump-endorsed Susan Wright in a Republican special election primary for Texas's 6th Congressional District. The loss garnered national attention as political strategists try to determine the value of a post-presidency Trump endorsement," before adding, "In North Carolina, some were paying particular attention, as Trump had already weighed in on the Republican primary for Senate and given his full endorsement to Rep. Ted Budd on June 5."
According to a campaign adviser to former governor Pat McCrory (R) -- who is also seeking the GOP nomination -- Trump's pick was influenced by the conservative Club for Growth, and they are both betting on the wrong horse.
"With the short campaign period in Texas, the Trump endorsement and Club for Growth money should have made it easier to win," explained Jordan Shaw. "But the Club gave Trump bad advice and pushed him into endorsing an unvetted candidate who couldn't win, just like they've done in North Carolina."
The report goes on to note that a poll taken in the state by Paul Shumaker shows a Trump endorsement could cripple a candidate in the state.
"When comparing a Trump endorsed candidate to a Biden endorsed candidate, (Republicans') advantage with the Unaffiliated voters evaporates," Shumaker wrote in a report distributed to Republicans.
He added ominously, "Candidates for state and federal office at any level who are on the wrong side of these issues will alienate suburban voters and jeopardize Republicans' chances of winning in 2022."
You can read more here.
In an interview on Fox News late Friday night, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) dismissed the idea of mandating vaccinations for COVID-19, saying mandates should only used in the case of an "incredibly deadly disease."
Speaking on the "Ingraham Angle" with guest host Brian Kilmeade, Johnson was asked, "Could you ever get behind a vaccine mandate for everybody?" to which he replied, "No, not unless there's some incredibly deadly disease. I mean, much higher infection-fatality rates than we have with COVID."
Without noting the over 613,000 Americans who have already succumbed to the deadly disease in just over a year -- and the frightening increase in new infections due to a variant -- Johnson added, "We don't know the final infection-fatality rate but right now it's looking like it's not going to be much more than double a bad season of flu."
Those comments set off a furious backlash from critics of the Republican lawmaker with one person calling the senator a "loud idiot."
You can see some responses below:
@JEandJL @Acyn Even if it’s 1%… if every American gets it, that’s 3 MILLION people. That is “incredibly deadly” to me.— msdr (@msdr) 1627701832.0
@Acyn Maybe the families of some of the over 600,000 dead American COVID victims can show up at Ron’s door & have h… https://t.co/UbHCsVCyYX— Serenity Now! (@Serenity Now!) 1627704175.0
@Acyn Like say, a disease that had already killed over 600k Americans and over 4 million people worldwide? A deadly disease like that?— Israel Jablonski (@Israel Jablonski) 1627701297.0
@Acyn The fact over a million Americans will die in two years and they won’t consider it incredibly disgusting is fucking terrible.— National Champion School Graduate (@National Champion School Graduate) 1627701834.0
@Acyn Was he dropped on his head when he was a small child? I'm seriously asking.— David Eoll (@David Eoll) 1627702217.0
@Acyn I guess it has to be like measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus. chickenpox, whooping cough, Diphtheria, and the a… https://t.co/kfqSy7YBRZ— Jªℓª℘ℯƞℴℓⱭĐƔ (@Jªℓª℘ℯƞℴℓⱭĐƔ) 1627726772.0
@Acyn 5 bucks says that double talking dbag is vaccinated.— Bryan 💉x2 M (@Bryan 💉x2 M) 1627701872.0
@Acyn If Fox keeps putting Sen. Johnson on TV, will he become an even deadlier variant--like the disease he is willing to let spread?— NC Vates (@NC Vates) 1627702863.0
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