Kevin McCarthy says he’s 100 percent sure they have the votes to do it. Is that right?
News… THE HOUSE is moving toward putting the $5 billion wall bill on the floor.
GOP confident it will pass. I’m less confident. And this is just one of the seven approps bills that needs to go through.
A stunt that could — theoretically — move dc toward reality. pic.twitter.com/KwA0fGImLR
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) December 12, 2018
McCarthy has a math problem here — namely, 40 Republicans in the House just had their political careers ended in a midterm election dominated by Trump and, specifically, his campaigning on immigration issues like the caravan. Most of those Republicans are moderates who represent suburban districts that have now gone blue. Why would they do Trump a favor now, particularly on this issue?
Riddle me this: Why would an Erik Paulsen or a Peter Roskam or any other soon to be unemployed suburban Republican lawmaker participate in this messaging exercise after watching Trump's antics tank their political careers? https://t.co/RKynmU1Hlp
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) December 12, 2018
David Drucker, who covers Washington for the conservative Examiner, also thinks it’ll be a “tall order” for Paul Ryan and McCarthy to get to 218: “The political will & unity of policy are unlikely to be there.” It’d be one thing, perhaps, if the bill was destined to pass the Senate easily, but after yesterday’s Oval Office spectacle Schumer’s obviously resolved to filibuster it. Which lame-duck congressmen want to bother casting a symbolic vote for a top MAGA priority that’s headed for the garbage can?
A fun quote from Politico:
A House GOP member who lost reelection said Trump’s performance on Tuesday “was unbelievable. I literally couldn’t believe a president of the United States was acting that crazy.” When asked why he didn’t come out publicly with his criticism, the soon-to-be-ex-lawmaker deadpanned “Hey, I gotta work, don’t I?”
Sounds Mark-Sanford-esque, although Sanford probably would have put his name to a quote like that. Trumpers should actually consider the quote encouraging, though: Any lame-ducker who’s still afraid to go on record in criticizing POTUS is probably also too scared to vote against his wall-funding bill. These people are leaving Congress but not politics, necessarily. Anyone hoping to move over to lobbying naturally wouldn’t want to anger Trump or his base by blocking money for the wall, particularly when doing so would look petty and spiteful and particularly after Trump just had a big public confrontation with the Democratic enemy. The Oval Office meeting was probably useful to POTUS in getting funding through the House in that sense, by polarizing the debate further along partisan lines. Now, if lame-duck Republicans block funding for the wall, they’ll be seen as complicit in a grand Democratic humiliation of the president that began yesterday on TV. That might make them make them unemployable (temporarily) in professional Republican circles.
If the bill does pass, it might be nothing more or less than goodwill towards McCarthy within the caucus that gets it done. He’s the incoming leader; for him to fail on his first showcase vote amid a nasty public standoff between Trump and the Democrats would be a devastating letdown. Departing Republicans might throw him a yes vote purely as a vote of confidence, and to buy him some time as the standoff proceeds before he has to take the uncomfortable step of privately nudging the president to make a deal he might not like to end the paralysis.
Exit question via Fox News’s 10 p.m. host: Where is Trump getting the idea that “a lot of wall has been built”? Do his fans now believe literally anything he tells them, even when the evidence to the contrary is glaring?
Trump: "A lot of wall has been built."
Laura Ingraham: "I must have missed the wall being built… That's not a wall. Stop saying it's a wall. There's no wall… I know it's bad cause he made the promise but they're not building the wall so you gotta stop saying that." pic.twitter.com/N7r7Qkg6ZB
— Contemptor (@TheContemptor) December 12, 2018