3/11/23 - Newsletter
According to a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll, Donald Trump's favorability is diminishing in Iowa. 44% find him favorable, while 42% favor Governor Ron DeSantis. 47% of self-identified Republican Iowans would support Trump if he were the 2024 nominee of the GOP, compared to 69% in June 2021.
Registered voters statewide were asked about policy issues and bills introduced during the 2023 legislative session for a University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab poll. 59% of registered Republicans said they would vote for DeSantis over Trump (27%) in a 2024 match-up.
70% of all registered voters support "a proposed amendment to the Florida State Constitution that would allow adults in Florida aged 21 and older to purchase and possess small amounts of Marijuana for personal use."
61% oppose banning diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and activities in public colleges and universities.
77% oppose allowing the carrying of concealed weapons without a permit. (93% Ds, 77% independents, 62% GOPs.)
65% of voters oppose a proposed constitutional amendment requiring school board candidates to identify by party affiliation.
62% strongly oppose a six-week abortion ban. (F 67%, M 56%.)
The jobs report the Bureau of Labor Statistics released yesterday shows that the U.S. added 311,000 new jobs in February, surpassing experts’ expectations and signaling a robust economy. President Joe Biden has overseen the creation of over 12 million jobs since taking office. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will likely continue to raise benchmark interest rates, depending on the February Consumer Price Index, which will be released next week. In February, the unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, its lowest in over 50 years.
House Freedom Caucus
After 15 speakership rounds of voting, Kevin McCarthy finally took the gavel in January. But he had to make major concessions to the far-right wing, the House Freedom Caucus.
The debt ceiling drama will intensify between Congress and the White House, especially after the HFC announced its demands yesterday to support raising the debt ceiling and averting an economic crisis. It won't appease the moderate Republicans in swing districts that Joe Biden won in 2020.
$130 billion in spending reductions.
Stricter work requirements for low-income Americans who require federal assistance.
Cutting back on "woke" IRS and climate change spending.
End Biden's student loan relief plan.
Here are their full demands:
ICYMI: During the 14th speakership vote, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) had to be held back from lunging at Rep. Matt Gaetz.
The House and Senate unanimously passed the Covid–19 Origin Act of 2023. The bill would require the national intelligence director to declassify the origins of COVID. It now heads to President Biden's desk.
Senate Democrats and Republicans of the Environment and Public Works Committee aggressively questioned Norfolk Southern CEO Alan H. Shaw on Thursday at a hearing regarding the catastrophic environmental disaster caused by its train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
A bipartisan group of Senators introduced the Nuclear Fuel Security Program Act. If signed into law, it would require the Secretary of the Department of Energy to create a nuclear fuel program “with the purpose of onshoring nuclear fuel production to ensure a disruption in Russian uranium supply would not impact the development of advanced reactors or the operation of the United States’ light-water reactor fleet.”
Senator Moran (R-KS) introduced a bipartisan bill with Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and John Hickenlooper (D-CO). The Network Equipment Transparency Act would “increase broadband supply chain transparency through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in order to ensure an on-time rollout of federal broadband programs.”
House Representative Brandon Williams (R-NY) did not mince words last night during an interview on the Anderson Cooper 360 show when asked about the latest allegations of George Santos being the mastermind of an ATM scheme:
“You know, it looks like he’s been using Nassau County donors as ATMs. And he just upped his game. So, I think it’s a continuation of, frankly, of a confidence scheme. Very much like Bernie Madoff, and it’s all being exposed.
So the fact that his deception goes much farther back doesn’t surprise me at all.”
When Anderson asks Williams if he’s confident in the House Ethics Committee’s probe into Santos:
“Well, I’m confident of a couple of things, Anderson. I’m confident that leadership has taken the steps to initiate this ethics investigation, that it will be thorough. I’m actually confident that the FEC similarly will do its investigation.
It appears like there’s a lot to look at there. I know that Nassau County prosecutors are also looking, and I guarantee you that they will do a very exceptional job, and I’m confident that we’re going to see George Santos in handcuffs in front of a judge hopefully not in the too distant future.”
For the four Republicans who flipped swing districts in New York last November, things are only exacerbating, making it impossible to serve their constituents effectively as freshmen. They worry Democrats will flip those seats in 2024 and have already introduced legislation to penalize Santos that would forbid convicted members of Congress from "profiting off book deals, speech commissions, television shows and more, according to a copy first obtained by POLITICO."
The House Majority PAC, a Democratic-aligned committee that works to elect Democrats to the House of Representatives, has already announced a $45 million program for New York to take back the majority in 2024. The program includes "television ads, grassroots organizing, digital communications, message development, other forms of advertising and voter registration."
Additionally, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a $500,000 billboard campaign linking vulnerable New York House Republicans: Brandon Williams, Marc Molinar, Anthony D'Esposito, Nick LaLota, and Mike Lawler for receiving donations from their disgraced colleague George Santos, who is under federal investigation.
War on LGBTQI+
The White House condemned Republican leaders for remaining silent as 450+ anti-LGBTQI+ bills are passing through GOP-controlled state legislatures:
Karine Jean-Pierre is the first woman of color and openly gay person to serve as the White House press secretary.
It is precisely the silence of the Republican Party’s (my former party) leadership that enables this to happen in America today. Neo-Nazis, Proud Boys, and other far-right groups protesting shouting bigoted words at a public drag show in Ohio: