The Week Ahead for Feb. 11, 2019
We are now only 5 days away from yet another partial government shutdown this year as bipartisan negotiations over border security have reportedly broken down. The Senate will vote to confirm William Barr this week. The House Judiciary Committee will have a full hearing on the oversight of the Trump Administration’s so-called family separation policy. President Trump will host his first 2020 campaign rally in El Paso, Texas at the same time as former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s March For Truth. Later in the week the President will meet with the President and First Lady of Colombia.
Monday, February 11
Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) delivers his State of the District address to update constituents, students, and elected officials on the future of North Jersey jobs, education, and the economy.
Democrats Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and New Jersey Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr., Frank Pallone Jr., and Andy Kim outline bipartisan, bicameral legislation to fully restore the federal State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction.
Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) will attend a Press Club event on ‘Using Sanctions to Protect Journalists’ at the National Press Club in Washington, DC
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) will attend a forum at Morris College in Sumter, SC
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) will host the March for Truth: ‘Stop the Wall, Stop the Lies,’ hosted by Women’s March El Paso, to coincide with President Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ rally in the city
President Trump will host a rally in El Paso
Tuesday, February 12
Howard Schultz will attend a CNN Town Hall
House Judiciary members will hold a full committee hearing on oversight of the Trump Administration’s family separation policy in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC
Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) will attend a ASMSU Political Action Meet and Greet at Montana State Capital in Helena, MT
Tom Steyer will attend a town hall in Springfield, MA
Wednesday, February 13
Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) will speak at an event in Manchester, NH
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) office visit Grand Rapids, MI
DNC Chair Tom Perez, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) will attend the IWillVote Gala in Washington, DC
Schultz will attend a book tour stop at The Parkway Central Library in Philadelphia, PA
Trump addresses the Major County Sheriffs and Major Cities Chiefs Association Joint Conference.
Thursday, February 14
The DNC will host its winter meeting at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC
Hickenlooper will speak at an event in New Hampshire
Schultz will attend a book tour stop at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, DC
Friday, February 15
The DNC continues its winter meeting at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC
Former Vice President Joe Biden will attend the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) will attend campaign events in South Carolina
Stacey Abrams will speak at a discussion on race and power at The Brookings Institute in Washington, DC
Booker will attend a Happy Hour at PJ Ryan’s at The Rock in Newark, NJ
Saturday, February 16
The DNC continues its winter meeting at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) will attend an organizing event at Central Gwinnett High School in Lawrenceville, GA
Biden will attend the Munich Security Conference at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany
Kamala Harris will attend campaign events in South Carolina
The Week Ahead for Feb. 4, 2019
It’s a busy week in Washington. President Trump will deliver the State of the Union address on Tuesday followed by the Democratic response from Stacey Abrams. On Thursday he delivers remarks at the 2019 National Prayer Breakfast, and attorney general nominee, Bill Barr, is expected to receive a committee vote.
The House will vote this week on the Veterans’ Access to Child Care Act. The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on presidential tax returns. The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing with Acting Attorney General Matthew Whittaker. The Senate will vote on Monday “to adopt the bipartisan McConnell amendment to S1, the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act.
Monday, February 4
Senate is back in session
Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) will attend a rally for Montana’s future leaders at The Governor’s Reception Room at the Montana Capitol in Helena, MT
Howard Schultz will attend a book tour stop at VenueSIX10 at 610 S Michigan Avenue in Chicago, IL
Tuesday, February 5
President Trump will deliver the State Of The Union address at the U.S. Capitol
Stacey Abrams, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, will deliver the Democratic response to the State of the Union
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) will attend the State of the Union with air traffic control specialist Trisha Pesiri-Dybvik at the US Capitol in Washington, DC
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) will attend Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversation in Times Square, New York City, NY
Howard Schultz will attend a book tour stop at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA
Wednesday, February 6
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) will attend the National Rural Health Association Policy Institute at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC
Trump has dinner with faith leaders.
Thursday, February 7
Trump delivers remarks at the 2019 National Prayer Breakfast and has lunch with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Harris will attend a reception in Midtown New York, NY
Friday, February 8
The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing with Acting Attorney General Matthew Whittaker at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) will attend an event in Mason City, IA and a roundtable in Waterloo, IA
Saturday, February 9
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) will make a presidential announcement in Lawrence, MA
Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) will attend the Young Women Run Atlanta Event at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA
Booker will attend a forum in Des Moines, IA
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) will attend The Granite Slate Awards at the Currier Museum in Manchester, NH
Sunday, February 10
Warren will attend an organizing event at the Veterans Memorial Building in Des Moines, IA; an organizing event at the Iowa Memorial Union at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA; and a roundtable discussion at The Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, IA
Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX) will attend a town hall at Richland College in Dallas, TX
Harris Makes a Splash, Schultz Dips a Toe, & Beto Stalls: 2020 Dems
It’s been two weeks since our last AR Intel 2020 Democrats update, and quite frankly, a lot has happened. Kamala Harris made it official (twice), Starbucks’ former CEO is mulling a run as an independent, Beto O’Rourke says a decision could still be months away, and Joe Biden was forced to apologize for thanking a Republican secure cancer research funding.
The 2020 primary has been a wild ride lately – get caught up to date here:
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)
An estimated 20,000 people helped Harris officially kick off her 2020 campaign in Oakland on Sunday. Though Harris made her initial splash on “Good Morning America” last week with the news that she was forming an exploratory committee, the rally in Oakland marked the official kickoff for the campaign. Crowd estimates are difficult to make, and those reported by campaign staff should be viewed with particular scrutiny, but it is notable that Harris is the first 2020 candidate to attempt a rally-style event, and she appears to have pulled it off.
The bad news for Harris is that it puts a target on her back. A San Francisco law professor familiar with Harris’s work as district attorney and attorney general penned a scathing op-ed in the New York Times that criticized Harris for, among other things, helping to put innocent citizens behind bars. How Harris deals with the harsh glow of the spotlight will go a long way in determining whether she manages to hang on for essentially two full years of campaigning.
Fmr. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz
Howard who? Despite reportedly being on Hillary Clinton’s VP shortlist in 2016, the former Starbucks CEO is not particularly well known by voters. The self-described life-long Democrat isn’t focused solely on winning over Democratic primary voters, though. That’s because he would run as an independent, if he jumps in the 2020 race at all. Schultz told CBS News’ Scott Pelley he would run as a “centrist independent.”
But Democrats are none too pleased with Schultz’s quasi-announcement. More than a few Democrats tweeted that Schultz would almost certain serve as a spoiler for whomever ultimately wins the Democratic Party’s nomination, thereby handing President Trump a second term. But a Schultz decision could be months away. He told the New York Times he plans to “crisscross the country” on a book tour and make a decision after that.
Fmr. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (D-NY)
Ironically, Schultz is taking a page out of the Bloomberg playbook with this potential independent run. It’s been widely reported that Bloomberg mulled an independent bid for the White House in 2016, but opted against it for fear that his candidacy would hand Trump the presidency. Trump won anyway, and now Bloomberg is again considering a run, but this time within the constraints of the Democratic primary. He put out a statement on Monday, taking a shot at Schultz without mentioning him by name:
“Now I have never been a partisan guy — and it’s no secret that I looked at an independent bid in the past. In fact I faced exactly the same decision now facing others who are considering it,” Bloomberg wrote in a statement on Monday. “Given the strong pull of partisanship and the realities of the electoral college system, there is no way an independent can win.”
Bloomberg’s top lieutenant, Howard Wolfson, was a bit more direct in a tweet Sunday night.
I have seen enough data over many years to know that anyone running for POTUS as an independent will split the anti-incumbent, anti-Trump vote. The stakes couldn’t be higher. We can not afford the risk of spoiler politics that result in Trump’s re-election.
— howard wolfson (@howiewolf) January 28, 2019
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Warren scored headlines late last week when it leaked that she plans to unveil a “wealth tax” on those U.S. citizens with more than $50 million in wealth. Warren and two Berkeley-based economists want to tax those with at least $50 million in wealth a 2-percent tax and those with more than $1 billion with a 3-percent tax. It would be an unprecedented move in the U.S., and at least one Yale economics professor, Robert Shiller, has already predicted it would fail.
The Washington Post editorial board also took issue with the plan, which contains a $50-million fee for those who do exactly what Shiller predicts: flee the country. The editorial board said the move “conveys a certain authoritarian odor” and noted that other countries’ attempts to implement a similar policy have failed.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Is Brown the new Bernie? The Ohio Democrat is determined to win back working-class voters who had traditionally voted Democratic but went for Trump in 2016. He’s kicking off what he calls the “Dignity of Work” tour on Wednesday, with stops in Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina.
In a strange way, some of Brown’s positions overlap with Trump’s. While Brown is very pro-union, his emphasis on supporting workers puts him in line with Trump on issues like trade. Brown is “very much anti-free-trade,” according to one Ohio State University political science professor.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Gillibrand continues to grapple with her past. NBC News noted on Monday that on the issue of immigration, Gillibrand “sounded more akin to President Donald Trump than the modern Democratic Party” as of just a decade ago. Whereas Gillibrand now wants to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, just a few years ago she was in favor of additional border security funding “to catch illegal immigrants,” a term that is no longer used by many Democrats.
“I did not think about suffering in other people’s lives,” she said last Sunday in an interview on CNN. “I realized that things I had said were wrong. I was not caring about others.”
Fmr. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)
O’Rourke’s decision to join the growing presidential field could still be months away, according to a Politico report. He continues to complain of “exhaustion” following the conclusion of his losing Senate campaign against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
O’Rourke stressed that he does not want to “raise expectations” about a potential 2020 run, adding that a final decision could still “potentially” be months away. “If he does not run for president, O’Rourke said he is considering teaching,” Politico’s David Siders wrote.
Fmr. Vice President Joe Biden
The former veep caught flak last week for a $200,000 paid speech in which he praised a House Republican for helping to increase federal funding for cancer research. To repeat, Democrats are criticizing Biden for thanking a Republican who helped secure money to combat cancer. While some Democrats are upset that Biden gave a paid speech, a la Hillary Clinton, others are upset that Biden’s kind words lent a hand to Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), who won a 17th term in 2018, defeating his opponent by more than 13,000 votes (or about 5 percentage points).
Biden remained defiant, however. During a speech last week, Biden said, “I like Republicans. Bless me, father, for I have sinned.”
.@JoeBiden: "I read in New York Times today that I — that one of my problems is if I ever run for president, I like Republicans. Bless me father for I have sinned. But…from where I come from I don't know how you get anything done." pic.twitter.com/LbV3pWQUPw
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 24, 2019
On whether he might pull the trigger and actually run for president in 2020, Biden said on Monday: “I’m a lot closer than I was before Christmas, and we’ll make the decision soon.”