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Steny Hoyer Tag

What the heck was wrong with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday? I planned to write up one set of comments, but I'm glad I didn't because another set of comments came up today that received criticism from her #2 in the House. These comments included slamming the companies that have used their savings from the tax reform bill to give raises and bonuses to their employees. Then she criticized the fact that five white guys have started to work on a DACA bill and asked if they wanted to open a hamburger stand, which Minority Steny Hoyer (D-MD) called offensive.

With today's revelation of yet another Representative John Conyers' (D-MI) staffer alleging sexual harassment, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is reportedly in talks with Conyers about his resigning from Congress.  Of note, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is quietly supporting the move. CNN reports:
Several Congressional Black Caucus members are in talks to get veteran Rep. John Conyers to resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct, several Democratic sources told CNN on Tuesday. Those members are trying to ease his exit without trampling on his legacy during his 50-plus years in the House. Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, is the longest currently serving member of the House of Representatives.

While everyone is talking about statues or President Donald Trump taking a glance at the eclipse, America has some serious issues to address once Congress returns from its recess. This includes the debt ceiling. Last month, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged Congress to raise the debt ceiling to prevent the government from running out of money to pay its bills. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) provided some comfort to Mnuchin by assuring him there's a "zero chance" Congress will not raise the debt ceiling.

The House passed two bills today: One is known as Kate's Law that increases penalties for illegal immigrants who keep trying to re-enter the United States, especially those who have criminal records. The second denies federal grants to sanctuary cities. From Fox News:
Kate's Law is named for Kate Steinle, a San Francisco woman killed by an illegal immigrant who was in the U.S. despite multiple deportations. The two-year anniversary of her death is on Saturday. President Trump called the bill's passage "good news" in a tweet, adding "House just passed #KatesLaw. Hopefully Senate will follow."

Margaret Thatcher once famously said that "the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." Is that what's happened to the Democratic party? Morning Joe devoted a navel-gazing segment today to the question of where Dems go from here given their loss of the presidency, their failure to take back either house of congress, and their hemorrhaging of governorships and hundreds of state-legislature seats. There was consensus that Nancy Pelosi and her septuagenarian cohort in the Dem leadership were past their sell-by dates. But the bigger problem that was posed was the lack of a Dem agenda, and the suggestion that the Dems need to come up with "new ideas." One Dem panelist claimed "we do have some of those" ideas, but neither he nor anyone else could describe them in any detail. And therein lies the looming disaster for the Dems.

Last July, we responded to President Barack Obama's challenge to read the nuclear deal he made with Iran and concluded that it was awful. One of the worst parts of the deal was language (appearing twice) that said, "Iran has stated that if sanctions are reinstated in whole or in part, Iran will treat that as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part." Or in the words of Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, this is Iran's "nuclear snapback."

In a look at the history of the tensions between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, The New York Times several days ago started with an interesting anecdote.
For President Obama, it was a day of celebration. He had just signed the most important domestic measure of his presidency, his health care program. So when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel arrived at the White House for a hastily arranged visit, it was likely not the main thing on his mind. To White House officials, it was a show of respect to make time for Mr. Netanyahu on that day back in March 2010. But Mr. Netanyahu did not see it that way. He felt squeezed in, not accorded the rituals of such a visit. No photographers were invited to record the moment. "That wasn't a good way to treat me," he complained to an American afterward. The tortured relationship between Barack and Bibi, as they call each other, has been a story of crossed signals, misunderstandings, slights perceived and real. Burdened by mistrust, divided by ideology, the leaders of the United States and Israel talked past each other for years until the rupture over Mr. Obama's push for a nuclear agreement with Iran led to the spectacle of Mr. Netanyahu denouncing the president's efforts before a joint meeting of Congress.
It's interesting because this is not at all how I remembered it. I remember that the lack of attention to the meeting was perceived as an intentional slight of Netanyahu. A quick check of the contemporaneous reporting confirmed this.

Today, the State Department sent the Obama Administration's now-infamous Iran nuclear deal to Congress for review. This means that starting now, Congress has 60 days to fully read, analyze, and pass judgment on the bill of goods Obama and Kerry are selling. Will any of that work matter, though? Maybe not. The other parties to the agreement with Iran are putting enormous pressure on the Obama Administration to push this deal through the UN before our Congress has the opportunity to either accept or reject its contents. The Administration, in turn, appears to have decided to take away all of the legitimacy of Congressional review by acquiescing to the demands of the international community---and Congress is not happy about it. Via The Hill:
The battle is uniting Republicans, from conservative firebrand and presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to GOP leadership and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, urged the administration to hold off on the U.N. Security Council vote.

After almost two months of funding drama, Congress is no closer to resolving the Department of Homeland Security's funding in a dispute over President Obama's immigration executive action. In a Ground Hog-esque day turn of events, we're right back where we started. Thanks, Democrats. Speculation that Pelosi and company agreed to support a one week bill because Boehner was considering a "clean" funding bill akin to the Senate, found its way into more than one mainstream media write up of the DHS debacle this weekend. Because we'd rather not take someone else's word for it, we inquired independently. This weekend, Speaker Boehner's office assured us House Republicans had no plans to capitulate to the demands of Senate Democrats. As to the speculation that there was some kind of a deal with Pelosi? "There is no such 'deal' or promise," says Boehner Spokesman Michael Steel. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise echoed the sentiments saying, “There is no such deal and there’s no such bill,” Scalise said on “Fox News Sunday." “On Friday, there was a bill on the House floor to pass a clean funding bill. We rejected that because we said we’re fighting the president on what he’s doing illegally on immigration," according to The Hill. "We are not giving in to Senate Democrats’ blackmail," Boehner said, "Will keep fighting Obama’s unilateral action on immigration to protect Constitution."

The Obama Administration's foreign policy has from the start been plagued by a near-fatal dose of mixed messaging regarding the actions of our enemies, our mission in the Middle East, and the place the American military should hold in the context of the global economy. Late last year, members of Congress lashed out against the Administration over the Executive's inability to define exactly what we were doing in the Middle East, and what we should be doing to prepare for future missions. Now, we may finally receive some answers. In a meeting with Congressional leadership today, President Obama indicated that he's ready to propose terms authorizing U.S. military force against Islamic State. He's been having this conversation with the leadership since November, but this is the first time he's even come close to showing his hand. From Bloomberg:
“A good starting place is for him to tell us what he wants,” McConnell of Kentucky told reporters after the meeting. A debate over efforts to defeat Islamic State would reopen tension over the president’s authority to conduct military operations and uneasiness among some lawmakers -- mostly Obama’s fellow Democrats -- about being drawn into open-ended conflicts and ground combat. Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the Senate’s second-ranking Republican, told reporters after today’s meeting at the White House that the president’s statement came as “a little bit of a surprise.” “I think that’s helpful because we’ve been trying to get him to come up with the plan and show a little bit of what his strategy is going to be,” the senator said. Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said he believes Obama “is going to make some proposal” on an authorization for use of military force.

This has been a particularly troubling week for Democrats' bad behavior on display for the public. First, as Professor Jacobson reported yesterday, a plagiarizing national Democrat politician had to step aside (no, not Joe Biden). But Walsh is just the tip of the iceberg for Democrats this week. Probably the most shocking and disturbing behavior was from Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) who is the second most powerful Democrat in Congress.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer made an attempt at humor over his title Wednesday by telling an audience at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit that he does not “whip people.” “First of all, let me tell my friends from Africa, I do not whip people,” the Maryland Democrat told the crowd, receiving muffled laughs. “And if you watch ‘House of Cards,’ it is not accurate.” Wednesday’s event, titled “Dialogue with African CEOs,” was hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus, The Daily Caller reported. Mr. Hoyer’s speech covered initiatives meant to boost economic growth in Africa.
Imagine, if you will, if the House Republican Whip had made such a joke. MSNBC would be having a serious of aneurysms and Think Progress would have the torches and pitchforks out for the next six months. But the Hoyer "joke" hasn't made the mainstream media at all. Shocking, right?

Pennsylvania Republican Tom Marino sent a panicked Nancy Pelosi running across the house floor last night after speaking the truth about the Democratic Party and our current border crisis. John Parkinson of ABC News reported:
Pelosi Chases Republican Tom Marino Across House Chamber In an unusual breach of decorum, even for the divided Congress, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi chased Rep. Tom Marino across the House floor, taking offense at comments by the Pennsylvania Republican during debate on the border funding bill Friday night. "We don't have law and order," Marino began as he wrapped up his comments on the border supplemental. "My colleagues on the other side don't want to do anything about it." "You know something that I find quite interesting about the other side? Under the leadership of the former Speaker [Pelosi], and under the leadership of their former leader [Rep. Steny Hoyer], when in 2009 and 2010, they had the House, the Senate and the White House, and they knew this problem existed," he continued. "They didn't have the strength to go after it back then. But now are trying to make a political issue out of it now." Off-mic, Pelosi then approached Marino, crossing the aisle in view of cameras, and apparently challenged Marino's assertion that Democrats did not do anything about the issue when they had majority control. "Yes it is true," Marino replied directly to Pelosi, who was House speaker in those years. "I did the research on it. You might want to try it. You might want to try it, Madam Leader. Do the research on it. Do the research. I did it. That's one thing that you don't do." Marino then urged lawmakers to support the border supplemental "because apparently I hit the right nerve." After Marino concluded his remarks and as many Republicans applauded their colleague, Pelosi crossed the chamber again in view of cameras, enraged, pointing and sticking her finger at Marino. She then followed Marino up a Republican aisle, gesturing and arguing with him. Lawmakers on the GOP side gathered in dismay as one spoke out to tell the chair that the House was not in order, in an effort to halt the bickering.
Here's the video, via Scott Johnson of Powerline:
ABC News | More ABC News Videos John Parkinson's story has an entertaining update.

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