• Warren puts heat on Hillary and Obama
• Grab a rotating hot dog, a Slurpee and some ObamaCare
• Power Play: Foreign policy and the GOP Sixteeners
• #mediabuzz: Rolling Stone implosion
• Now that’s a stick up
WARREN PUTS THE HEAT ON HILLARY AND OBAMA
Liberal Democrats are angry at President Obama over the CIA, his foreign policy, increasing Wall Street coziness and a host of other disappointments. The left wing is also frustrated with their party’s presumptive 2016 nominee and in the shadow of a humiliating midterm loss. So they're acting out. Facing what promises to be a very unhappy two years in the minority with lame duck president and a presidential candidate who is deeply distrusted by the Democratic base, liberal lawmakers have adopted policies and practices they once abhorred from Republicans. And as it happens, the woman leading the charge is the only potential threat to 2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton and the area of dispute is centered directly on one of Hillary’s weakest spots: her deep Wall Street ties. So what does this say about the future of the party and the instigator of this brinksmanship, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren?
[“If the president is lobbying, we do not like it, and we're saying to our members, ‘Don't be intimidated by anybody.’”—Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., on opposing the spending bill.]
Just getting warmed up - They might not have won this time, but Warren & Co. have shown clout and the ability to organize to disrupt the best plans of the establishment. It seems highly unlikely that Obama and Hillary will be able to keep the rank and file in line, especially since the alliance between the two Democratic leaders is more of a cease fire than a partnership. That means more pressure on Hillary to move left and launch her official campaign sooner than her rumored early spring target. Giving Warren three or four months to raise her profile and stake out far-left positions would make Hillary’s task of crushing her harder and limit her ability to pivot center as soon as possible. It also means little hope for the president to enact any of the legacy-securing initiatives he had hoped for in his final years.
[WaPo: “The provision was so important to the profits at those companies that J.P.Morgan's chief executive Jamie Dimon himself telephoned individual lawmakers to urge them to vote for it, according to a person familiar with the effort.”]
Can Warren still block the bill? - Senate liberals could still scuttle the deal, but they would need some help from the right, which also hates the bill. Last night, both the House and Senate passed a two-day continuing resolution to fund the government and avoid a partial shutdown. The House also passed the “CRomnibus,” the hideously named, $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the remaining nine-and-a-half months of the federal fiscal year (a conventional omnibus spending plan) but funding immigration programs for just three months (allowing Republicans to try to roll back Obama’s temporary amnesty after the Senate is in GOP hands). The House’s move punted the bill back to the Senate for final passage and eventually Obama’s signature. But that is not as easy as it seems, with thanks and apologies to Fox News Hill honcho Chad Pergram, here’s the lay of the land:
- The Senate reconvened at 10 a.m. ET, but must first finish the National Defense Authorization Act. Time runs out on this bill this afternoon.
- Until the must-pass military measure is finished, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid cannot file cloture to move to the vote for the spending package, which requires 60 votes.
- This is the crucial moment for bill. If Warren and liberal senators get enough help from conservative Republicans opposed to the bill for other reasons, they could prevent it from advancing. But finding 41 votes for a move that would precipitate a shutdown seems highly unlikely.
- Members from the left and right, however, have some additional options even after it passes. A single senator or a small group could insist on using all 30 hours of debate time, pushing past the two-day emergency funding plan approved Thursday night. That would force leaders to go back to the House for another emergency budget patch. Another vote would give conservatives who say they were hornswoggled by House leaders into backing the emergency bill on the grounds that the bigger bill was dead and buried. And with the shutdown threat revived, liberals and conservatives alike could make some additional demands, or at least use the time to try to find 51 senators to vote against final passage.
See ya - Is any of that likely to happen? No way. But the procedure provides some sticking points to bedevil the establishment but also some unhappy votes for ideological purists. The Senate can avoid this whole mess by invoking “unanimous consent” to vote on the big spending bill this afternoon. However, as the name states, the decision has to unanimous. If one senator objects, the decision is rejected. And that means that the Warren wing and the Republican rebels alike would all have to cave to some degree. With the left and right demanding maximum resistance, a consent vote could be painful. The question will be whether that is more painful than the experience of dragging Congress and the country through that risky tedium to obtain a limited and uncertain goal. Unless they can scrounge up 41 votes in the Senate to kill it, this Frankenbudget is going to stagger forth.
That was then - “But for many of them, I call them legislative arsonists.” – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, September 2013
This is now - “I thank those who continue to give us leverage to improve the bill.” .” – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, December 2104
GRAB A ROTATING HOT DOG, A SLURPEE AND SOME OBAMACARE
The Hill: “ObamaCare ads will now appear on 7-Eleven receipts at more than 7,000 stores nationwide as government health officials expand their outreach in the second year of healthcare sign-ups. Information about ObamaCare sign-ups will appear on the bottom of receipts for anyone using a mobile payment company called PayNearMe, which allows bank-less customers to pay in stores like 7-Eleven and Family Dollar. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced the new partnership with the tech start-up PayNearMe on Thursday at a store in Washington, D.C. ‘Putting these reminders at the bottom of PayNearMe receipts will help get health coverage information into the hands of traditionally hard-to-reach consumers,’ HHS wrote in a statement. The partnership will help HHS ‘reach financially underserved and other cash-preferring consumers,’ the statement reads.”
[According to the latest Fox News poll, 70 percent of Americans feel the IRS investigation should last until “someone is held accountable.”]
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...
With the economy still sputtering along, unemployment rates have remained high. But among American men, the story has been different. Rather than just losing work, recent years have seen a sharp rise in men dropping out of the workforce altogether. Where did they all go? NYT reports that since the 1960s the number of unemployed men not working has increased from 5 percent to 16 percent. Only about one third of them are not working because of unemployment. The Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics asks the remaining two thirds to describe their situation. About 13 percent of non-workers say they are currently in school. 20 percent of new non-workers say they are disabled, especially for those over the age of 50. Once out of the work force because of disability, workers are extremely unlikely to return. The remaining factors include being a homemaker, though still rare, the number of men staying home has doubled since 2000 and finally retirement. Early retirement among prime-age workers has actually increased while workers over the age of 55 have put off retirement longer with the decline of pension plans and the increased age for Social Security benefits.
Got a TIP from the RIGHT or LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM
Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 42 percent//Disapprove – 53.3 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 26.3 percent//Wrong Track – 66.3 percent
POWER PLAY: HOW WILL FOREIGN POLICY PLAY FOR GOP SIXTEENERS?
A debate on war powers, harsh interrogations and domestic surveillance has again roiled the GOP. So how will that shape the campaign for the party’s nomination in 2016? When it comes to foreign policy and the potential 2016 GOP presidential contenders, Republican strategist Sarah Lenti called Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., too “isolationist” on the issues, while she believes Jeb Bush has enough foreign policy experience through watching his father and brother as presidents, as well as through his experience as governor of Florida. Democratic rainmaker David Mercer said Republicans don’t even have a foreign policy record. Watch the debate here.
[Nuke ‘em? - Should the incoming Senate Republican majority keep the Democrat’s “nuclear option” of a 51-vote threshold for executive branch nominees? “Watch Lenti and Mercer hash it out here.]
“This week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee debated an authorization to use military force against the Islamic State. But instead of giving the president what he needs to win this struggle, many in the Senate seem more focused on telling him what he should not do…It’s time for members of Congress to ensure that the president has the flexibility and authority he needs to keep America safe, not to further tie his hands. The ultimate success of this battle and the safety and security of Americans are at stake.” – Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in a WaPo op-ed.
Pitch Mitt-er- Citing unnamed sources, Politico reports, “While some people close to [Mitt Romney] insist he hasn’t moved from saying he has no plans to run, the 2012 Republican nominee has sounded at least open to the idea in recent conversations, according to more than a dozen people who’ve spoken with him in the last month.”
“There’s not a better time to go into any job than when things are out of control, because there’s nowhere to go but up.” --Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio speaking in Arizona Wednesday on a possible presidential run in 2016.
Midwestern Push - Gov. Rick Snyder, R-Mich., is getting good publicity over Detroit’s comeback from bankruptcy, and that’s getting political pundits fired up about his political future. Read all about it in the Detroit Free Press.
Feds dig for options on Christie probe - NYT: “Federal prosecutors investigating the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge last year are considering charges based on a rarely used provision of a fraud statute, under which they could argue that associates of Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey used the bridge for a purpose other than its intended one, according to people close to the case…Mr. Christie has been doing his best to put the scandal behind him. Having come off a successful campaign leading the Republican Governors Association, he has scheduled another trip in late January to Iowa, which holds the nation’s first presidential caucuses, and is widely expected to declare his intention to seek the Republican nomination around that time.”
Santorum’s second act- In an interview with WaPo, 2012 Presidential candidate -Rick Santorum announced that he is in the running for 2016, saying, “We’re just obviously in a better place right now. Our message will be a lot more focused this time than it was last time.”
FOX NEWS SUNDAY: CIA INTERROGATIONS AND GOP MIDTERMS
Chris Wallace will discuss the continued fallout from the CIA enhanced interrogation report with Jose Rodriguez, former director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service. Josh Holmes, campaign manager for Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will talk about the strategies behind McConnell’s recent re-election victory and what it means for Republicans gaining control of both houses. “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace” airs at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET on Fox News. Check local listings for air times in your area.
#mediabuzz: ROLLING STONE IMPLOSION - This week Howard Kurtz welcomes Washington Post reporter T. Rees Shapiro to discuss his reporting that has unraveled a blockbuster story from Rolling Stone about an alleged rape at the University of Virginia Watch “#mediabuzz” Sunday at 11 a.m. ET, with a second airing at 5 p.m.
NOW THAT’S A STICK UP
Peoria [Ill.] Journal Star: “Two teens with a tree limb tried to rob someone in South Peoria on Tuesday, but the victim refused to cooperate and walked away. A 33-year-old man told police he was walking home about 5:30 p.m. in the 2400 block of West Starr Street when two males wearing hoodies, one of them carrying a tree branch, approached him and demanded he empty his pockets. One of the teens threatened to stab the man, but he refused to give them anything and kept walking home, according to a police report on the incident. He called police when he arrived home, but officers couldn’t find the suspects.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“They end up releasing every single report without any of that - no rebuttal, no context, no statements - which to me tells me they had a single intent, hanging the CIA out to dry and they went looking for the evidence that fit.” —Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Watch here.
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily Fox News Halftime Report political news note and co-hosts the hit podcast, Perino & Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What. He also is the host of Power Play, a feature video series on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on network programs, including America’s Newsroom, Special Report with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. He also provides expert political analysis for FNC’s coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.