And it looks as if the GOP Congress is set to hand Clinton a lot more material.
The recent period of calm (relative, of course) in Congress has perhaps led people to forget just how crazy things are going to get this fall. But Politico has a good reminder this morning:
Lawmakers have teed up a hellish final few months of 2015, as a series of high-stakes deadlines looms on everything from keeping the government open to doling out money for roads and then, for good measure, raising the federal government’s borrowing limit. It promises to be a major test of the Republican Party’s ability to govern as the GOP prepares to ask voters to continue one-party control of Congress…
Mix in a contentious vote on President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal in mid-September and the first attempt by a GOP-led Capitol to raise the debt ceiling later in the fall or winter and you have a perfect storm of deadlines with little time to meet them.
The phrase “first attempt by a GOP-led Capitol to raise the debt ceiling” is rather frightening, isn’t it? Also, there may well be GOP-led Congressional investigations into Planned Parenthood, too. And note this:
Meanwhile, every decision on Capitol Hill is likely to be second-guessed by the rowdy band of Republicans trying to secure their party’s presidential nomination, four of whom serve in the Senate.
In other words, the likes of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio may use these must-pass measures to stage confrontations designed to appeal to GOP primary voters. Many of these deadlines will hit just as the GOP primaries are really getting underway. With Democrats hoping to paint the outbreaks of Congressional chaos as evidence that GOP governance is incompetent and even dangerous, this raises the interesting possibility that the conduct of GOP candidates who are also in Congress could weaken the GOP’s overall hopes of winning the White House.
However, all these looming confrontations ideally will place some pressure on Clinton, too. Hopefully she’ll go big in addressing some of the fundamentals that are partly responsible for the dysfunction — such as deepening polarization, negative partisanship, and the built-in incentives against compromise that are more pronounced on the GOP side — and why she’d be able to navigate them effectively.
Indeed, it is hardly a given that voters will conclude that electing another Democratic president is the answer to GOP-fomented Congressional chaos. It’s possible it could play in favor of current and former GOP governors running for president, such as Scott Walker and Jeb Bush, who might use Congress as a foil by pointing to their outside-Washington executive experience.
The Environmental Protection Agency will give states an additional two years — until 2022 — to begin phasing in pollution cuts, even as the agency toughens the standards that many states will ultimately have to meet…the EPA will offer credits and other inducements to encourage a rapid shift to renewable energy under the Clean Power Plan.
Mitch McConnell is urging GOP governors to resist, to make it harder to reach an international climate agreement by sowing doubts about whether the U.S. can meet its end of the bargain. That resistance probably won’t be dimmed by incentives.
Republican leaders say that while they have passed the measure in previous years, this time around, Republicans want to attract broader support, and believe they can accomplish that by first holding a series of hearings and conducting investigations into what practices are behind the undercover videos.
Republicans think hearings generating more media momentum against Planned Parenthood will put Dems on the spot over whether to keep backing the organization. So this will drag on.
Still, if the Obama administration approves the project, Clinton will have a tough decision to make at that time.
Some Dems believe Jeb’s cultural appeal to Latinos actually could go a long way in reversing the GOP’s demographic problems in national elections. That may not help him that much among GOP primary voters, though.
Because he is defiantly not a part of the political class, he is impervious to conventional political weaponry. In fact, the attitude of the DC class toward his candidacy — temper tantrums and bouts of monumental arrogance — is only making him stronger.
Tune in to the first GOP debate on August 6th!