Senate Republicans voted down a bid Wednesday to direct an extra $250 million toward election security in advance of the 2018 midterms, despite heightened warnings from intelligence officials that foreign governments will try to interfere in the contests and evidence that some lawmakers have already been targeted.
The 50 to 47 vote fell far short of the needed 60 votes to include the $250 million amendment, proposed by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), in an appropriations package that the Senate was set to approve Wednesday. Only one Republican senator — Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), who frequently prioritizes deficit concerns — voted for the additional funds.
Three other Republicans did not vote: Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.), who chairs the Intelligence Committee, Jeff Flake (Ariz.) who is traveling in Africa, and John McCain (Ariz.), who is in Arizona receiving treatment for a serious form of brain cancer. All four of those Republicans have been critical of President Trump’s refusal to prioritize a more robust response to resist foreign government interference in future election cycles.
It’s really hard to avoid the conclusion that they actually want the Russians to penetrate our systems.
* Julie Hirschfeld Davis reports that the Trump administration is really honoring American values:
The White House is considering a second sharp reduction in the number of refugees who can be resettled in the United States, picking up where President Trump left off in 2017 in scaling back a program intended to offer protection to the world’s most vulnerable people, according to two former government officials and another person familiar with the talks.
This time, the effort is meeting with less resistance from inside the Trump administration because of the success that Stephen Miller, the president’s senior policy adviser and an architect of his anti-immigration agenda, has had in installing allies in key positions who are ready to sign off on deep cuts.
Last year, after a fierce internal battle that pitted Mr. Miller, who advocated a limit as low as 15,000, against officials at the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and the Pentagon, Mr. Trump set the cap at 45,000, a historic low. Under one plan currently being discussed, no more than 25,000 refugees could be resettled in the United States next year, a cut of more than 40 percent from this year’s limit. It would be the lowest number of refugees admitted to the country since the creation of the program in 1980.
Give me your tired, your poor— on second thought, to hell with all of you.
* A new Quinnipiac poll shows Ted Cruz’s lead over Beto O’Rourke shrinking to 6 points.
* A new Monmouth University poll of a special House election in Ohio in a solidly red district shows that it has become a dead heat.
* Hunter Woodall, Jessica Huseman, Bryan Lowry, and Blake Paterson report on how anti-immigrant crusader Kris Kobach convinced towns all over the country to pass ordinances targeting immigrants, and ended up costing them millions in legal fees with nothing to show for it.
* After Trump today called on Jeff Sessions to fire Robert S. Mueller III, Rep. Adam Schiff responded by pointing out that Trump is trying to obstruct justice right there in plain sight.
* Data for Progress has interesting data on the wide popularity of many progressive policies.
* John Stoehr argues that the time has come for the press to take sides.