Few, if any, have been better about getting her members to vote the way she wants than Nancy Pelosi.
Today, the Democratic House leader's message for rank-and-file members grumbling that jobless benefits weren't included in the Paul Ryan-Patty Murray budget deal was blunt: "Embrace the suck."
NBC confirms that was part of Pelosi's rationale for Democrats to get on board in a closed-door meeting Thursday.
“We need to get this off the table, so we can go forward," Pelosi also said, according to people close to her.
Politico first reported the comments.
The House of Representatives approved a modest budget agreement that would essentially forestall the threat of a government shutdown through late 2015 in a Thursday evening vote.
The budget framework, which enjoys the support of President Barack Obama, passed in a 332 to 94 vote, an overwhelming show of bipartisan unity that trumped the token opposition from 62 conservative Republicans. The Senate could approve the legislation next week.
The budget represented a modest compromise that didn't satisfy either party. Speaker John Boehner had chastised conservatives and outside advocacy groups for mobilizing against the deal before its terms were finalized.
"Is it perfect? Does it go far enough? No, not at all," the speaker said in a floor speech before the vote. "But this budget is a positive step in that direction; it's progress."
Democrats weren't fully mollified, either: Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Calif., encouraged fellow Democrats to "embrace the suck" and support the measure during a closed-door meeting at the Capitol on Thursday.
Following the bill's passage, White House press secretary Jay Carney called the agreement "an important moment of bipartisan cooperation and shows Washington can and should stop governing by crisis," while noting it did not include everything the president called for.
The legislation is a modest agreement that sidesteps some of the most vexing fiscal issues facing the nation, including tax rates and spending on entitlement programs. It instead sets baseline spending levels for the next two years, the specifics of which will be detailed by appropriators.
Most significantly, the agreement – forged by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan for House Republicans and Washington Sen. Patty Murray for Senate Democrats – sets spending levels slightly above the caps established by the automatic spending cuts known as the “sequester,” which took effect earlier this year. The higher spending is financed by cuts and reforms in the budget, and new, non-tax revenue. The negotiations were borne from the agreement to end a protracted government shutdown in October.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner fires back at a conservative group Thursday on Capitol Hill.
And though leaders of both parties have previously decried the sequester cuts for their indiscriminate cuts to the budget, some conservatives have balked at approving the bipartisan budget deal precisely because it busts sequester spending caps.
The internal GOP rift over the spending deal has once again laid bare the divisions between the party’s elected leaders and its activist wing. Conservative advocacy groups had begun to mobilize against the budget framework before its details were formally announced, which has prompted rare reprisals from Republican leaders on Capitol Hill.
“Frankly, I just think that they have lost all credibility,” Boehner said of groups like the Club for Growth, Heritage Action and Americans for Prosperity, at a press conference on Thursday. Those conservative groups have said they’ll track lawmakers’ votes for “scorecards” that serve as metrics for Republican lawmakers’ conservatism. A low mark on those scorecards can sometime endanger incumbents locked in primary battles versus challengers.
Still, the budget framework appears likely to win over a number of GOP lawmakers, and perhaps fare even better among Republicans than did the October legislation to reopen the government and extend the nation’s debt limit.
Even if some Republicans do jump ship, House Democrats appear prepared to support the budget agreement in large numbers. Progressive groups have expressed their misgivings about the legislation for excluding an extension of unemployment benefits, and for not going far enough to address sequester cuts. But those liberal objections have been far less vocal or influential than the protests to have emerged on the right.
Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi comments on the Murray-Ryan budget deal, saying she does not "under or over-estimate the power of this one event."
“I don’t think our members will let this bill go down,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday, adding that while she does not like the bill, “it’s an okay thing to vote for.”
The legislation would next travel to the Senate, which is locked in a series of acrimonious fights involving presidential nominations that kept the chamber in session overnight on Wednesday evening and into Thursday morning. Still, Democratic leaders have said that they intend to move forward with the budget agreement before leaving town for the holidays.
More significantly to Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Thursday that he’ll bring up an extension of unemployment benefits as his first item of business in the new year. The fate of that legislation in the House is anything but clear, though.
Still, the speedy passage of a consensus budget bill offered a marked contrast from a Congress that has governed largely from deadline-to-deadline for much of the past three years. The agreement would seem to clear the way for other legislative efforts in 2014, like immigration reform or gun control, though those initiatives still face a tricky path ahead.
Lawmakers will also have to confront another dollars-and-cents deadline come early February, when the most recent extension of the debt limit expires. Though Republicans had previously tried to use that deadline as leverage to extract concessions from Obama and congressional Democrats, they might be disinclined to try that again after being chastened by this October’s showdown.
NBC News’ Carrie Dann contributed to this report.
This story was originally published on Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:03 PM EST
Bob Barker wants you to come on down and vote for Florida Republican David Jolly.
The famed "Price Is Right" host is showcasing his political stripes in a new TV ad endorsing the GOP candidate in next month's special election primary in Florida's 13th District.
"Folks when you get to be as-- young as I am, you call it like you see it. That's why I'm supporting David Jolly," says Barker. The show's longtime former host goes on to praise Jolly, a lobbyist and former aide to Rep. Bill Young, for his work alongside the late GOP congressman he's looking to replace "helping wounded veterans, protecting seniors and children and by standing up for Pinellas with character and honor."
"With Jolly, the choice is right," says Barker.
As first reported by Roll Call, the ad is smartly targeted to a specific demographic Jolly needs to lock down not just in his primary race but in a competitive special general election, too. The ad will run during Thursday's special edition of "The Price is Right" that's celebrating Barker's 90th birthday. The daytime game show draws high ratings among senior citizens, and both the buy and the backing from Barker could make an important impact in the senior-heavy district that's one-fifth 65 and older.
Jolly will face off against state Rep. Kathleen Peters in the January 14 primary. The winner will face likely Democratic nominee Alex Sink on March 11 in the highly competitive race.
The NBC/WSJ poll found that Pope Francis, Time’s Person of the Year, gets high favorability ratings overall (57%), but that liberals had higher positive feelings toward the pope than conservatives.
It also found that likely because of the ideological split, Francis’ 57% was lower than Pope John Paul II’s 64% back in 1998.
A look back at the crosstabs from 15 years ago confirms that. The Democratic coalition was essentially the same – with ratings in the 60s for John Paul II. But conservatives back then felt far more positively about John Paul II than about Francis today.
Conservatives view Francis 17 points less positively than John Paul II, the highest of the ideological groups. Republican presidential voters were 10 points less, Republicans seven points less.
Contrast that to liberals and Democratic presidential voters, who view Francis more positively than John Paul II by three and five points, respectively. (See table at right.)
A new robo poll from Gravis Marketing shows former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee leading the 2016 primary field in South Carolina. The field looks like this:
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush 17%
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 16%
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz 13%
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio 8%
former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum 3%
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker 2%
NBC has a policy of generally not reporting on robo polls based on NBC standards relating to methodology. But this poll is a reminder that Huckabee should not be overlooked. He came within a Fred Thompson of winning South Carolina in 2008. And he's getting visits from South Carolina pastors at an event Thursday in Arkansas, the same day he is ending his syndicated radio program.
And any day a GOP politician is getting headlines like this from The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., it's a good one for them: "Mike Huckabee leads poll of SC GOP voters for 2016." (H/T: NBC producer Terry Pickard.)
To that point, Sarah Huckabee, Huckabee's daughter and former campaign adviser, says her father is keeping his options open and considering another bid for president.
"He is definitely keeping the door open and has received a lot of support from people all over the country encouraging him to run," she told First Read in an email. "It is still early and he has certainly not made a decision, but he is considering another run. Polls like the one in SC show that voters are also giving him a strong look for the race and that is hard to ignore."
Exit polls from the night Republican Chris Christie was overwhelmingly reelected as governor of New Jersey, showed that Democrat Hillary Clinton would beat Christie in the Garden State. But a poll out Wednesday from Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press shows Christie would narrowly edge the former Secretary of State 46%-43%.
More results like that would help boost Christie's electability argument ahead of a potential 2016 run. New Jersey hasn't gone Republican in a presidential year since 1988.
By the way, speaking of a possible 2016 run, the vast majority (69%) of New Jersey residents expect Christie to run for president and they're OK with it (67%), even if it means he resigns mid term (69%).
If Clinton doesn't run, Christie is even stronger in New Jersey against another potential Democratic opponent -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Christie beats Cuomo, 52%-33%.
Sen. Mary Landrieu is up with her first ad, and it's about the health-care law. It stresses her work -- and sometimes tough talk to the president -- to fix the law to make sure Obama’s promise that people who like their insurance can keep it.
The ad, to air in key markets around the state, highlights the hurdle the law presents for Democratic incumbents running in red states.
Democratic congressman Charlie Rangel's 2010 censure by the U.S. House was upheld Wednesday by a federal judge, who threw out Rangel's lawsuit seeking to overturn the House's action.
The judge essentially told Rangel to take it up with Congress.
"U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates ruled Wednesday that Rangel's demands implicate 'insurmountable separation-of-powers barriers' to the court's authority. Bates added that Rangel's quarrel is with the House, and it must stay there," the AP reports. "Rangel's suit claimed that staff and members of the House Ethics Committee that conducted the probe against him willfully suppressed evidence of misconduct in how the investigation was conducted."
The House voted 333-79 to censure Rangel three years ago on 11 ethics violations, ranging from violating the House gifts ban to improper use of influence and failure to disclose income.
Depite the rebuke, Rangel eked out a 2012 primary win and went on to overwhelmingly win reelection with 91% of the vote in a general election in this Harlem, NY, district that voted 95% for President Obama.
Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, R, fired his chief of staff on Wednesday after the staffer's personal residence was searched in connection to a child pornography investigation.
NBC's Kelly O'Donnell reports on an investigation into Sen. Lamar Alexander's chief of staff for allegations involving child pornography.
Alexander, a veteran senator who's up for re-election in 2014, said that law enforcement agents had conducted a search this morning of the residence of Ryan Loskarn. Alexander announced earlier in the day that Loskarn had been placed on administrative leave, and later released a statement to announce had been let go.
“The courts will judge Mr. Loskarn’s guilt or innocence, but under these circumstances, he cannot continue to fulfill his duties as chief of staff of this office. Therefore, as of today, I have removed him from the payroll,” Alexander said in a statement.
Alexander's legislative director, David Cleary, was promoted to the position.
A chief of staff is typically the most senior staff position in a congressional office. That role carries even more import in an office like Alexander's, which carries a degree of seniority and influence with it.
U.S. Postal Inspectors conducted the raid.
“The Postal Inspectors Service was involved in a law enforcement action in Southeast DC," a spokesman for the agency told NBC News, declining further comment.
NBC News' Kasie Hunt contributed reporting.
This story was originally published on Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:24 PM EST
Boehner strikes back -- at conservative groups… And the conservative groups punch back… House vote on Ryan-Murray budget takes place around 6:00 pm ET… Watching the 2014 politics with the vote, especially in the Senate… Vent-time for Senate Republicans… Inside the NBC/WSJ poll: Obama’s base of support loses two legs… On Wall Street and 2016… And Bob Barker endorses in FL-13.
A bipartisan budget agreement may be more difficult to pass than originally thought as Speaker John Boehner criticizes members of his own party who are against the bill.
*** Boehner strikes back -- at conservative groups: House Speaker John Boehner did something yesterday that we haven’t seen him do before: He lashed out at conservative groups opposing the Paul Ryan-Patty Murray budget deal, arguing that they do so even before they saw the specifics. "They're using our members and they're using the American people for their own goals," Boehner told reporters, per NBC’s Mike O’Brien. "This is ridiculous." Call it Boehner’s revenge for the shutdown. To our eyes, this has been brewing since early last fall, when these same conservative groups and politicians took Boehner and other House leaders down a road (the government shutdown) that you could tell they didn’t want to travel (and in fact had promised NOT to travel). But this time, Boehner stood up. And here’s the thing -- the Ryan-Murray deal represents the bare minimum what Republicans can support, and Boehner’s reaction seemed to be: “If you conservative groups can’t be for the bare minimum, what can you be for when our party has to govern at least one chamber of Congress?” The question, however, is if Boehner standing up to these groups is just the beginning. (Will he do the same on immigration next year? On other issues?) Or is it a one-time thing? As New York Magazine’s Jon Chait writes, “So the deal will probably pass. But conservative opposition signals that deal-making of any kind is painful enough that Republicans shouldn’t dare try it again.”
*** House vote on Ryan-Murray takes place around 6:00 pm ET: It’s possible that’s the message conservative groups want to send here – don’t do this again. That said, this does look like an attempt by the Republican establishment to retake control of the party. But they won’t get it without a fight. Per NBC’s Frank Thorp, the House will vote on the Ryan-Murray budget deal around 6:00 pm ET.
*** Conservatives punch back: But after Boehner’s remarks, conservative groups -- like Heritage Action and Club for Growth -- punched back. Here was Heritage Action: “Over the next few days, lawmakers will have to explain to their constituents, many of whom are our members, what they’ve achieved by increasing spending, increasing taxes and offering up another round of promises waiting to be broken.” And here was Club for Growth: "We stand with Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Tom Coburn, Rand Paul, members of the Republican Study Committee and every other fiscal conservative who opposes the Ryan-Murray deal. After carefully reviewing the budget deal, on which we never commented until it was complete, we determined that it would increase the size of government.” Bottom line: A month ago, Democrats were the ones divided (over the health-care website, over those cancelled private-market health plans). Yet now Republicans are the ones who are back to the infighting (once again). And it all comes when conservatives and Republicans have ALREADY WON the philosophical argument about cutting spending.
*** Knowing when to declare victory: This is the aspect that frustrates so many non-Tea Party Republicans. They have the Democrats agreeing to the premise of “what should we cut,” not “what should we spend.” Sure, conservatives think Democrats aren’t as fervent about cutting spending as they are, duh! But the fact they have Democrats agreeing to look for spending cuts is a fundamental philosophical chance right now. The conservative movement just doesn’t know how to declare victory; it’s akin to caring more about the margin of victory in a football game than simply the victory itself.
*** Watching the 2014 politics: There’s one more aspect to this intra-GOP budget fight: The Tea Party challengers to the Republican Senate incumbents in 2014 all say they oppose the Ryan-Murray deal. Yesterday, we saw Matt Bevin (challenging Mitch McConnell), Milton Wolf (taking on Pat Roberts), and Chris McDaniel (taking on Thad Cochran) all issue releases stating their opposition to the deal and urging these incumbents to vote against it. And it appears that McConnell will vote against it. But here’s something to consider here: McConnell’s support for the deal that ended the government last October was based on championing the sequester cuts. So him opposing the Ryan-Murray deal is consistent with that position he took in October. Still, the timing does make it seem like that the Senate minority leader -- and the other incumbents facing Tea Party challenges next year -- are simply protecting their right flanks. Then again, as even some House Republicans have pointed out, for many Senate Republicans, opposing this deal is a free vote
*** Vent-time for Senate Republicans: So the vote on the Ryan-Murray budget deal is the action in the House. Meanwhile, here’s what’s going on over in the Senate. The Hill: “Senate Republicans made plans Wednesday to stage a more than 30-hour talkathon on the chamber floor to protest Democrats’ triggering of the ‘nuclear option’ last month. The GOP protest, which could extend into the weekend, will throw a wrench in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) hopes of wrapping up legislative business for 2013 as soon as possible. The Republicans aimed to push a final vote on Nina Pillard, one of President Obama’s picks for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, until the wee hours of the morning.” Here’s the best way to view this: This is a chance for Senate Republicans to vent after Democrats changed the filibuster rules. For what it’s worth, isn’t this precisely how senators should act if they want to gum up the system -- you should have to take EXTRAORDINARY action to protest something, right? The question is if we see this kind of protest for Senate Republicans again and again, or if are they simply making their point now and drop it.
*** Inside the NBC/WSJ poll: Obama’s base of support loses two legs: President Obama’s decline in the NBC/WSJ poll can be attributed, in part, to his loyal base fraying. There have been four different segments of his base: African Americans, Latinos, young voters, and women with college degrees. But according to the poll, the president’s approval rating is now upside down with two of those groups, 18 to 34 year olds (45%-49%) and Latinos (where his approval is in the 40s). He’s still performing very well among African Americans (87%-10%) and women with college degrees (55%-44%). But as everyone knows, a stool that loses two of its legs falls down.
*** On Wall Street and 2016: Politico has a piece about Wall Street in 2016, and how it’s placing its bets on Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie. But as the article notes, Wall Street might not realize how the ground has shifted on it and the financial sector. They may think this is about the folks in Washington who are beating them up but it’s about the public both on the right and left who are angry at the rich getting richer while they feel left behind and “Wall Street” is their bogeyman. And the closer Wall Street gets to both Clinton and Christie, it could potentially undermine them in 2016. Just something to watch as a strong strand of populism now resides in BOTH political parties.
*** Bob Barker endorses in FL-13 race: And finally, don’t miss this Roll Call story about next year’s special congressional election in Florida: “Former game show host Bob Barker will endorse GOP lobbyist David Jolly in a television ad on Thursday that will air during a special episode of ‘The Price is Right.’ ‘Because with Jolly, the choice is right,’ says Barker in the spot. Jolly’s campaign has reserved advertising time during Thursday’s episode of ‘The Price is Right,’ according to a source who tracks media buys in the Florida special election. Barker will make a special appearance on his former show that day to celebrate his 90th birthday.”
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