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GOP strategists warn party to stop playing games with debt ceiling

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Republican strategists are attempting to warn the party that they have seen the biggest threat facing the GOP in the 2014 midterm elections and that it is themselves. Talking Points Memo reported on a blog post at The Hill that said the party’s tactical gurus are urging conservatives not to play their usual hostage game with the debt ceiling when it comes up for renewal for fear of a public backlash.

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“What Republicans have to realize [is] the political winds are in our direction. We can’t risk changing the winds at this stage,” said GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak to The Hill. “You can shut down the Obama agenda completely if you have the Senate.”

Conservatives believe that the GOP can hold on to a majority in the House of Representatives and retake the Senate for the first time since 2006 by playing up the initial difficulties of the Obamacare rollout. However, if the disastrous government shutdown in the fall of 2013 — spearheaded by freshman Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) and other far-right Tea Party politicians — is any indication, the Republicans could squander whatever good will they may have gained with the public by attempting another such political stunt.

“When Republicans screw with the debt ceiling and threaten a government shutdown, their unfavorable ratings go up. When they talk about Obamacare, Democrats’ unfavorables go up,” said longtime GOP strategist Mark McKinnon.

“The only way you lose the House is if Dems intercept a Hail Mary pass on the debt ceiling,” an anonymous GOP planner said to The Hill. “If you lose the House, you open the door to everything.”

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Nonetheless, Republican politicians appear to be gearing up for another fight when the debt ceiling comes up for renewal in February or March.

Tom Kludt at TPM wrote, “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) already foreshadowed a coming debt ceiling fight last month, and The Hill noted that fiery tea partiers like Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) “are sounding as combative as ever.”


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Judiciary Democrats schedule Trump ‘corruption’ hearing on ’emoluments and profiting off the presidency’

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The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a "corruption" hearing on President Donald Trump's business practices.

The committee on Tuesday, which is controlled by Democrats, posted a notification about the hearing on its website.

The hearing is titled "Presidential Corruption: Emoluments and Profiting Off the Presidency." It is scheduled for Sept. 23 at 2 pm. A witness list was not immediately available.

Trump's opponents have argued that he has violated the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution by profiting off foreign dignitaries who visit his hotels and restaurants.

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House GOP loses yet another incumbent as California’s Paul Cook announces retirement

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Another day, another retirement for House Republicans.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Rep. Paul Cook R-CA) is heading for the exits and retiring at the end of his term in 2020.

Instead of serving in Congress for another term, Cook will run for a seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, the congressman's chief of staff tells the Los Angeles Times.

Even though Democrats made major gains in California during the 2018 midterm elections, Cook's district will be difficult for the party to pick up. Cook last year won reelection with 60 percent of the vote and his opponent wasn't even a Democrat, but fellow Republican Tim Donnelly.

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Michigan Republicans thank ‘Uncle Ted’ Nugent for testifying after he says their state ‘doesn’t qualify as America’

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Republican lawmakers in Michigan invited conservative rocker Ted Nugent to testify even though he has said the state "doesn't qualify as America."

In testimony on the Michigan state House floor on Tuesday, Nugent spoke in support of a bill that would reverse a ban on deer and elk baiting. The ban was put in place in 2018 due to suspicions that chronic wasting disease (CWD) was being spread through piles of bait.

For his part, Nugent argued that the ban was ineffective because deer are "swapping spit."

"If they think they can stop deer from swapping spit, they're idiots," Nugent testified, according to The Detroit News.

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