Category: Senate

July 18th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Rapper and singer Kid Rock for Republican senator?

Kid Rock — real name Robert James Ritchie — seems to be making strides into entering the political arena, and after kicking around the idea of running for Senate, has unveiled some of his policies on things such as health care and taxes.

Ritchie on Monday revealed his possible plans for the future, and in a tweet said, “I believe if you work your butt off and pay taxes, you should be able to easily understand the laws, tax codes, health care and anything else the government puts in place that affects us all.”

Last week, Ritchie seemed to announce a tentative bid for Senate in the wake of looming reports that he’d be running — also on Twitter — saying, “I will have a major announcement in the near future.”

See his full announcement in the Twitter update below.

https://t.co/RRVgISDFeq pic.twitter.com/zPDlqeHzJl

— Kid Rock (@KidRock) July 17, 2017

Posted in Celebrities, Entertainment, Kid Rock, Politics, Republicans, Senate, senators

July 17th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) doesn’t believe the Senate will repeal Obamacare and pass a health care replacement bill anytime soon. Paul offered the sobering update over the weekend during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.”

When asked if he believes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has enough votes to pass an Obamacare replacement, Paul said he doesn’t believe McConnell does.

“You know, I don’t think right now he does,” Paul said.

“The real problem we have is that we won four elections on repealing Obamacare but [the Senate GOP’s replacement bill] keeps most of Obamacare taxes, keeps most of the regulations, keeps most of the subsidies and creates something that Republicans have never been for and that’s a giant insurance bailout superfund,” Paul explained. “That’s not a Republican idea to give taxpayer money to a private industry that already makes $15 billion in profit.”

When asked by show host Chris Wallace what course of action Republicans should take should they fail to pass health care reform, Paul suggested they repeal Obamacare and its taxes, regulations and mandates then worry about passing a replacement bill later.

“What I’ve suggested to the president…if this comes to an impasse, I think if the president jumps into the fray and says ‘Look guys, you promised to repeal it, let’s just repeal what we can agree to,’” Paul explained. “And then we can continue to try to fix, replace or whatever has to happen afterwards.”

“But the one thing we should do is try to repeal as many of the taxes, as many of the regulations and as many of the mandates as we possibly can,” Paul emphasized, noting that he’s optimistic for compromise to come to Senate Republicans.

Paul explained that he can’t currently support the Senate’s health care bill because it keeps the heart of Obamacare alive, which Paul called the bill’s “fundamental flaw.”

“Mandates on insurance cause prices to rise and young, healthy people then say ‘Ill wait until I get sick [to buy insurance].’ And then the insurance pool gets sicker and sicker — it’s called adverse selection, we also call it the ‘death spiral,’” Paul said. “The Republican plan admits that it will continue.”

“The Republican plan doesn’t fix the death spiral of Obamacare, it simply subsidizes it,” Paul explained.

McConnell over the weekend announced that any vote on a health care replacement would be postponed until Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) returns to Washington. McCain is recovering at home in Arizona after undergoing surgery on Friday for a blood clot above his left eye.

.@RandPaul: “I don’t think Republicans should put their name on this [bill].” https://t.co/rE5W333VUU pic.twitter.com/OMPNg9e78k

— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 16, 2017

Posted in Fox News, GOP, Health Care, Obamacare, Politics, Rand Paul, Republicans, Senate, watch

March 31st, 2017 by Staff Writer

With the United States Senate poised to vote next week, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) announced Thursday that she will support Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

“After doing my due diligence by meeting with Judge Gorsuch and reviewing his record and testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I’ve decided to vote in favor of his confirmation. He has a record as a balanced, meticulous, and well respected jurist who understands the rule of law,” Heitkamp said in a statement, according to CNN. “He has unique and critical experience with tribal sovereignty, Indian law, and public lands issues in the west, and has received the endorsement of numerous tribes and major Native American organizations.”

 

BREAKING: SenHeitkamp 2nd Dem Senator to say she’s a yes on J.Gorsuch for #SCOTUS, calls him “balanced, meticulous, and well respected”

— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) March 30, 2017

She criticized the Republicans for playing politics with Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination, but said she would not engage in the same game.

“This vote does not diminish how disturbed I am by what Republicans did to Judge Garland. Senate Republicans played politics at its worst,” Heitkamp said. “But I was taught that two wrongs don’t make a right.”

Heitkamp’s announcement came minutes after Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced he would also vote in favor of nominating Gorsuch.

Calling Gorsuch an honest and thoughtful man, Manchin said, “After considering his record, watching his testimony in front of the Judiciary Committee and meeting with him twice, I will vote to confirm him to be the ninth justice on the Supreme Court.”

 

I will vote to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to be the ninth justice on the Supreme Court. pic.twitter.com/MpVbaqf0LB

— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) March 30, 2017

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised Gorsuch’s confirmation on April 7.

Posted in Government, Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin, Judge Neil Gorsuch, Senate, Supreme Court

March 22nd, 2017 by Staff Writer

Judge Neil Gorsuch reflected on the toll of the Supreme Court confirmation process during his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday afternoon.

While fielding questions from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) about campaign finance — specifically regarding the conservative Judicial Crisis Network’s $10 million ad buy supporting Gorsuch’s confirmation to the bench, the nominee lamented the sacrifices that come with entering the political fray.

“Senator,” Gorsuch began, “there’s a lot about this confirmation process today that I regret. A lot. A lot.”

That comment sparked a few nervous laughs to break out, piercing through the awkward silence filling the chamber.

Gorsuch, a 49-year-old federal appellate judge on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, invoked the late Supreme Court Justice Byron White, a fellow Coloradan for whom he clerked and remembers as a “childhood hero,” noting how the process has changed over the years.

Former President John F. Kennedy, a Democrat, nominated White for the Supreme Court  in 1962.

“When Bryon White sat here,” Gorsuch told Whitehouse, “it was 90 minutes. He was through this body in two weeks and he smoked cigarettes while he gave his testimony.”

“There’s a great deal about this process I regret,” he continued. “I regret putting my family through this.”

Gorsuch, who is President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, went into conformation hearings Monday under a cloud of political rancor.

In the final year of President Barack Obama’s administration, the outgoing Democrat nominated Judge Merrick Garland to replace Scalia on the Supreme Court bench. The Republicans, however, never held hearings on Garland, citing the so-called “Biden rule,” named after former Vice President Joe Biden.

In 1992, Biden, then-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said: “Action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over.”

“It is a president’s constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court justice and it is the Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check on a president, and withhold its consent,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in March 2016.

On Tuesday, Gorsuch refused to comment on Garland’s predicament, arguing that it would be inappropriate for him to engage in “political” discourse as a judge.

“I think it would be imprudent for judges to start commenting on political disputes between themselves or the various branches,” he said, according to the Washington Post.

As for questions regarding campaign finance, Gorsuch’s answer to Whitehouse was simple: If you don’t like the law, change it.

“The fact of the matter is, it is what it is, and it’s this body that makes the laws,” the Trump nominee said. “If you wish to have more disclosure, pass a law, and a judge will enforce it, senator.”

Posted in confirmation hearing, Democrats, Donald Trump, Neil Gorsuch, Politics, Republicans, Senate, Supreme Court

January 30th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) announced on Twitter late Sunday that she is preparing to introduce two bills on Monday in response to President Donald Trump’s recent executive order on immigration and refugees.

In a series of three tweets, Feinstein said that Trump should not be able to “unilaterally ban groups of immigrants,” which is why she is preparing to introduce the legislation.

Feinstein said the first bill would rescind Trump’s executive order while the second would limit Trump’s executive authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

(1/3) Congress must take swift action in response to President Trump’s discriminatory order. I am drafting two bills to introduce tomorrow.

— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) January 29, 2017

(2/3) The first bill immediately rescinds the order. The second limits executive authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) January 29, 2017

(3/3) Under our bill, the president would not be able to unilaterally ban groups of immigrants.

— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) January 29, 2017

Feinstein, who vice chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, wasn’t the only Democratic senator to discuss introducing legislation next week opposing Trump’s order. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) vowed on Sunday that Democrats in the Senate would push legislation this week seeking to undo Trump’s executive order.

He said that such legislation could be successful if enough Republicans get on board. Some Republican senators have already openly opposed Trump’s order, including: Iowa Sen. Ben Sasse, Arizona Sen. John McCain, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.

In addition to the legislation, House and Senate Democrats plan to hold a protest on the steps of the Supreme Court on Monday.

Trump’s executive order, signed late Friday, temporarily halts the U.S. refugee resettlement program for 120 days until the Trump administration can create an effective vetting process. The order also bars people from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Somalia — from entering the U.S. for the next 90 days.

Posted in Democrats, Diane Feinstein, Donald Trump, Immigration, Politics, refugees, Senate

January 2nd, 2017 by Staff Writer

Top Senate Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has vowed to undermine and slow down the confirmation process of eight of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees, the New York Democrat said Sunday.

According to the Washington Post, Schumer — the incoming Senate Minority Leader — disclosed the information recently to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

According to the Post, Schumer and Senate Democrats plans to target:

  • Rex Tillerson, Trump’s nominee for secretary of state
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Trump’s nominee for attorney general
  • Rep. Mick Mulvaney (S.C.), Trump’s nominee for the director of the Office of Management and Budget
  • Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for education secretary
  • Rep. Tom Price (Ga.), Trump’s nominee for health and human services secretary
  • Andrew Puzder, Trump’s nominee for labor secretary
  • Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s nominee for treasury secretary
  • Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Trump’s nominee for the head of the Environmental Protection Agency

“Any attempt by Republicans to have a series of rushed, truncated hearings before Inauguration Day and before the Congress and public have adequate information on all of them is something Democrats will vehemently resist,” Schumer said in a statement, according to the Post.

“If Republicans think they can quickly jam through a whole slate of nominees without a fair hearing process, they’re sorely mistaken,” he went on to say, adding that Trump is “attempting to fill his rigged cabinet with nominees that would break key campaign promises and have made billions off the industries they’d be tasked with regulating.”

Schumer also said that he is demanding at least two days of hearings per nominee and that no more than two nominees will have hearings in the same week.

Noticeably absent from Schumer’s list is Retired Gen. James Mattis, Trump’s nominee for defense secretary, who Trump has said he wants confirmed as quickly as possible.

Congress reconvenes this week and will begin hearings. Tillerson and Sessions are likely to be the first two nominees to receive hearings.

Posted in Andrew Pudzer, Betsy DeVos, Chuck Schumer, Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, Mick Mulvaney, Politics, Rex Tillerson, Scott Pruitt, Senate, Steve Mnuchin, Tom Price

October 23rd, 2016 by Staff Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The clamor for change fueling Republican Donald Trump’s presidential campaign may help a little-known Democrat upset a powerful GOP senator in red-state Missouri on Election Day. And with just a handful of competitive races around the country, the outcome in Missouri could help determine control of the Senate.

The contest between Missouri’s secretary of state, Democrat Jason Kander, and Sen. Roy Blunt did not start out high on either party’s list of competitive Senate races in a state Trump is likely to win. But Kander, a 35-year-old veteran, has proved to be a smart and aggressive campaigner, challenging Blunt’s attempts to brand him a liberal by running an ad in which he assembles an AR-15 rifle blindfolded and describes his combat service.

Missouri Democratic Senate candidate, Secretary of State Jason Kander. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

Missouri Democratic Senate candidate, Secretary of State Jason Kander. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

Kander also has sought, unapologetically, to exploit the outsider mood that’s propelled Trump to the fore, criticizing the 66-year-old Blunt as a Washington insider who is part of a failed system.

“Really Donald Trump’s entire message is that people like Sen. Blunt are the problem,” Kander said before a recent rally in Kansas City where Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren appeared on his behalf.

“Washington’s broken and we’re not going to change Washington until we change the people we send there,” Kander added, “and here in Missouri folks recognize that and they’re looking for a new generation of leadership.”

Missouri is one of three GOP-friendly states, along with North Carolina and Indiana, that have emerged as top battlegrounds as Democrats fight to gain a Senate majority. Democrats need to pick up five seats to accomplish that, or four if they hang onto control of the White House, because the vice president casts tie-breaking votes in the Senate.

Trump’s slide in the polls has sparked growing fears among Republicans that he could cost them majorities in the Senate and even the House. Yet operatives on both sides say the top Senate races remain very close, and thus far, at least, GOP candidates have not cratered in the polls as a result of Trump’s problems.

Blunt counters Kander’s attacks by tying the Democrat to Hillary Clinton, who is highly unpopular in the state, and painting him as too liberal. Blunt’s ads describe the “Clinton-Kander agenda” and they hit Kander for supporting President Barack Obama’s health care law and policies on immigration and taxes.

An ad released Saturday in support of Blunt’s campaign goes even further, portraying Clinton and Kander as identical on issues such as liberal Supreme Court justices. The ad by the Senate Leadership Fund acknowledges Clinton is likely to be elected, and argues: “One Hillary in Washington would be bad enough. Reject Jason Kander.”

An ad on the air for GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire contains a similar message. The strategy of arguing in favor of GOP congressional candidates as a check against a President Clinton may become widespread if Trump’s loss looks inevitable.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt. (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt. (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)

“This is really an important time. You look at how much is at stake,” Blunt, who backs Trump, said at a rally in the St. Louis suburb of O’Fallon. “We’re going to live with this for a long time.”

Blunt served seven terms in the House before his election to the Senate in 2010, and he’s a member of the Senate GOP leadership. Yet he seemed to be caught unawares in a volatile election year in which Missouri voters also nominated a Republican candidate for governor who’s a young outsider with little political experience.

In recent weeks Blunt’s sagging poll numbers have forced GOP campaign committees to start spending millions to bail him out, to the annoyance of some Republicans. And now Blunt is talking like he’s the underdog.

“It is not easy in our state,” Blunt said. “We’re in a fight. It’s one we can win but nobody needs to take anything for granted here.”

“We’re in a fight. It’s one we can win but nobody needs to take anything for granted here.”

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Republicans have tried all year to insulate their Senate candidates from disruptions at the top of the ticket, running races focused on local issues and trying to avoid getting drawn into the controversy of the day with Trump. But as Trump’s poll numbers worsen with the election just over two weeks away, the limits of that strategy may start to show.

Democrats have a financial advantage going into the end stretch and intend to use it in part by running more ads that tie GOP incumbents and candidates to Trump. As Clinton pulls away from Trump nationally, that is freeing up even more money for Democratic candidates in the top Senate races: New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Indiana, Missouri and Nevada. Republicans have essentially given up on incumbents in Illinois and Wisconsin, while GOP Sens. John McCain in Arizona and Rob Portman in Ohio are considered to be safe.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is also looking strong, though for him and other Republicans there is probably a limit to how far they can outrun Trump if the mogul goes down to a major loss.

Most concerning to Republicans of late is Trump’s rhetoric about the election being “rigged,” which some fear could keep GOP voters from coming out to the polls.

“If his supporters actually think the election is ‘rigged’ than you have to wonder if they will think it’s worth coming out to vote,” said Brian Walsh a GOP consultant and former official at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “And that could have real consequences down ballot because we need everyone on the GOP side to vote.”

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Posted in Missouri, Politics, Senate

June 29th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blasted Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) Tuesday, saying the former presidential candidate should be sued for missing votes while on the campaign trail.

“I feel that Marco Rubio should be sued to pay back all the money that the federal government paid him,” Reid told reporters. “He was never here, and the state of Florida was missing a senator during that time.”

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Nevada lawmaker also opined on Rubio’s decision to run for re-election to the Senate, a move the Republican senator repeatedly vowed he would not take after bowing out of the race for the GOP nomination.

“On the day he announces he’s running for the Senate he misses a very important Foreign Relations meeting,” Reid said. “He owes the people — the state of Florida — some time.”

Tuesday was not the first time Reid slammed Rubio.

The retiring Democrat has frequently used his weekly press conferences to call out Rubio, who missed more votes than any other senator in 2015. Last year, Reid, who often called on Rubio to resign, said his conservative counterpart was “denigrating the Senate” by missing so many votes.

While on the campaign trail, Rubio defended his voting record, saying he would go back to Washington, D.C., for important votes or when his vote would sway the result in one way or another.

“[A] large number of the votes that are now taken in Congress in Washington, D.C., are precooked,” Rubio told Fox Business host Neil Cavuto earlier this year. “The votes are already counted. Oftentimes the votes are just for show in order to make a statement.”

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Posted in Campaign 2016, Harry Reid, Marco Rubio, Politics, Senate

June 21st, 2016 by Staff Writer

A series of gun control measure, the first legislation proposed following the deadly Orlando terrorist attack, failed Monday to garner enough votes in the Senate to move forward.

The first vote was on an amendment by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa) to expand funding for an already-existing gun background check program, which needed 60 votes to move forward. The final vote was 53 to 47.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (C) (D-NY) speaks during a press conference held by Democratic senators calling for action on gun violence June 16, 2016 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Sen. Chuck Schumer (C) (D-NY) speaks during a press conference held by Democratic senators calling for action on gun violence June 16, 2016 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The second vote was for a measure proposed by Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.) to enhance gun background checks and halt the so-called gun show loophole where firearm purchases are not tracked. The final vote for his amendment was 44 to 56.

Additionally, Republican Sen. John Cornyn (Texas) pushed an amendment that would allow the government to delay a firearm sale to a suspected terrorist for 72 hours. However, the measure would require prosecutors to go to court to show probable cause in order to permanently block the sale. Even with the backing of the National Rifle Association, the bill failed in a 53 to 47 vote.

The final measure came from Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and would have banned people on a government terrorist watch list or other suspected terrorists from purchasing guns. The Justice Department endorsed the amendment, which failed in a 47 to 53 vote.

The votes come after Murphy filibustered for nearly 15 hours last week, hoping to usher in gun control measures in response to the deadly Orlando terror attack that left 49 dead and dozens more injured. The shooter, Omar Mateen, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State during the violent attack.

“It’s hard to believe, but still true, that our Republican colleagues voted to allow suspected terrorists to buy guns,” Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) said after the votes, according to Fox News. “We will keep pushing until they see the light.”

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill were wholly unable to come together on the compromise legislation. Democrats were expected to block two Republican measures, arguing they fall short in controlling gun sales, and Republicans were expected to stop two amendments, claiming they take aim at constitutional rights of gun owners.

According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the best way to prevent attacks like the one in Florida is to defeat radical groups like the Islamic State overseas.

“Look, no one wants terrorists to be able to buy guns or explosives,” he said.

McConnell added that Democrats were using Monday’s votes “as an opportunity to push a partisan agenda or craft the next 30-second campaign ad.” In his view, it was only the GOP that was seeking “real solutions.”

Hours before the measures were shot down, Murphy slammed Republicans for not getting on board with more stringent gun control measures. The senator went so far to say his conservative counterparts had “decided to sell weapons to” the Islamic State.

“We’ve got to make this clear, constant case that Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS,” he told the Washington Post Monday. “ISIS has decided that the assault weapon is the new airplane, and Republicans, in refusing to close the terror gap, refusing to pass bans on assault weapons, are allowing these weapons to get in the hands of potential lone-wolf attackers.”

“We’ve got to make this connection and make it in very stark terms,” he added.

Republicans, however, have long argued such measures establish a dangerous slippery slope that could ultimately all together deprive Americans of their Second Amendment right to firearms.

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse (R) took to Twitter Monday evening to respond to Murphy’s comments.

“This isn’t true,” Sasse tweeted in response to Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), who shared Murphy’s remarks. “You know this isn’t true. But that probably doesn’t matter for your political purposes.”


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Posted in 2nd Amend., Congress, Gun Control, Orlando Shooting, Politics, Senate

June 16th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the one-time challenger for the Republican presidential nomination, said Wednesday he is reconsidering his decision to retire from the Senate and could launch a re-election campaign as soon as next week.

The lawmaker’s decision comes after a Sunday talk with his friend, Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R), who is currently in the running to succeed him in the Senate. The two men had the conversation on the sidelines of the scene of the terror attack in Orlando, the Washington Post reported.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“Obviously, I take very seriously everything that’s going on — not just Orlando, but in our country,” Rubio said. “I enjoy my service here a lot, so I’ll go home later this week, and I’ll have some time with my family, and then if there’s been a change in our status I’ll be sure to let everyone know.”

During the conversation, Lopez-Cantera urged Rubio to reconsider his decision not to run and even pledged to bow out of the race if he decided to do so, according to a Politico interview with the lieutenant governor. The primary election is slated for Aug. 30.

“I have asked Sen. Marco Rubio to reconsider his decision and enter the Senate race,” Lopez-Cantera wrote in an email sent to supporters obtained by the Post. “The decision is his and his alone to make. … I am still in this race and nothing has changed. However, if Marco decides to enter this race, I will not be filing the paperwork to run for the U.S. Senate.”

As he made his way to a closed-door briefing on the Orlando attack in the Capitol Wednesday, Rubio told reporters he is re-thinking his long-held position that he will not re-enter the race for the Senate. He took no questions after making the brief statement.

The Florida politician is up against a filing deadline June 24, when he is scheduled to headline a fundraiser for Lopez-Cantera in a Coral Gables hotel.

Along with Lopez-Cantera, four other prominent state Republicans have launched campaigns to fill Rubio’s seat in the Senate. One candidate, Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.), has openly noted that he will leave the race if Rubio decides to launch a re-election bid and has planned a Friday presser to announce whether or not he will continue with his Senate campaign, run for re-election to the House, or retire from politics all together.

In a statement on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Jolly seemed poised to bow out: “I think [Rubio] decides to get back in,” he said. “But it’s just a supposition; it’s not based on any conversation, any knowledge.”

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), another Republican contender, has not addressed the possibility, but two other wealthy political outsiders — Carlos Beruff and Todd Wilcox — said earlier this month they do not plan to back down for Rubio.

Wilcox filed to enter the race formally Wednesday and spokeswoman Erin Isaac said the candidate has no plans to withdraw should Rubio decide to re-enter the race. Chris Hartline, spokesman for Beruff’s campaign, said Florida voters “value real world experience more than political experience,” confirming that his candidate also plans to continue, regardless of Rubio’s decision.

“They’re sick of career politicians and power-brokers in Washington who care about one thing: holding on to power,” he said. “They don’t get to pick our candidates.”

Several national Republican leaders have urged Rubio to launch a re-election campaign. Namely, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has urged the senator to run over fears that none of the current candidates could successfully challenge their Democratic opponent.

However, a recent Public Policy Polling survey shows Rubio’s support has greatly dwindled since his failed presidential campaign. According to the poll, only 32 percent of voters approve of the lawmaker’s job performance.

The calls for Rubio to run for re-election has frustrated some of the other candidates, who have seen their donor pools dry up as they await Rubio’s final decision.

Jolly faulted national Republican leaders and campaign officials for hurting the GOP field, accusing them of having “done nothing to lift a finger in the past 10 months.”

He said, “If they are unsuccessful in getting Marco in the race, boy, they have done a lot of damage to the Republican field and, in many ways, have made an in-kind contribution to the Senate campaign of Patrick Murphy,” the likely Democratic nominee.


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Posted in Florida, Marco Rubio, Orlando Shooting, Politics, Republican Party, Senate

February 15th, 2016 by Staff Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jeb Bush says it doesn’t matter to him whether Senate Republicans vote on a Supreme Court nominee President Barack Obama may send to Capitol Hill to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Bush tells CNN’s “State of the Union” that the decision is up to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — who’s said there will be no such vote until Obama leaves office in January.

The Republican presidential candidate says it’s “really not important to me” whether there’s a vote before then.

That sentiment isn’t shared by Bush’s Republican presidential rivals. Soon after Scalia’s death, they were demanding that a prospective Obama nominee not get a vote.

Bush says Obama has “every right” to submit a nominee to the Senate. But the former Florida governor says he doesn’t think Obama would nominate someone who’s “in the mainstream.” He said that if Obama sends a nominee who’s out of what Bush considers “the mainstream,” Senate leaders should block or reject the nomination.

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Posted in Antonin Scalia, Barack Obama, Campaign 2016, Government, Jeb Bush, Politics, Senate, Supreme Court, Video, watch

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