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$1 NEWS // TUESDAY, JANUARY 30
After months of stressing the need for immediate action at the border, House Republicans are now scuttling a bipartisan immigration deal because they say it doesn’t do enough to solve the crisis. (Axios)
The bill would allow authorities to automatically turn away migrants and asylum seekers at the border once daily crossings exceed a daily average of 5,000 in a week or 8,500 in a single day. House Republicans say the threshold for shutting down the border should be lower. Donald Trump, the likely GOP presidential nominee, reportedly told GOP senators he opposes the bill because it’d give President Biden a political win.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at a private GOP meeting last week discussing border security negotiations: “Politics on [fixing the border] have changed. … We don’t want to do anything to undermine [Trump].”
The seriousness of the border situation has been acknowledged by both left and right, with multiple Democratic city mayors criticizing the Biden administration’s response.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre: “If [Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson] continues to believe — as President Biden and Republicans and Democrats in Congress do — that we have an imperative to act immediately on the border, he should give this administration the authority and funding we're requesting.”
Following pressure from climate activists, President Biden on Friday ordered a temporary pause on new liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports pending an investigation into the environmental impacts. (WSJ)
A White House statement: “As Republicans in Congress continue to deny the very existence of climate change while attempting to strip their constituents of the economic, environmental and health benefits of the President’s historic climate investments, the Biden-Harris Administration will continue to lead the way in ambitious climate action while ensuring the American economy remains the envy of the world.”
Criticism from American Conservation Coalition President Chris Barnard: “If America exports less LNG, our adversaries will fill the supply gap. … The more our allies rely on Beijing and Moscow to keep the lights on, the greater sway these bad actors will have over those allies’ policymaking. Iran also gains geopolitical power from a U.S. permitting pause, as energy insecurity fuels instability and conflict in the Middle East.”
Journalist Matt Yglesias’ take: “Increasing LNG exports will generate modest economic benefits for the United States of America by increasing natural gas production and natural gas exports … To the extent that cheaper gas displaces coal and oil, that will make global greenhouse gas emissions lower. But to the extent that it leads to more aggregate energy use, it could make climate change worse. … One certainly can’t object, in principle, to the idea that the government should run these numbers and try to reach a decision.”
The deaths of three American soldiers in Jordan on Sunday is a tragic marker of how quickly and profoundly the situation in the Middle East has degenerated. (Reuters)
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in September: “The Middle East region is quieter today than it has been in two decades.”
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken yesterday: “This is an incredibly volatile time in the Middle East. I would argue that we have not seen a situation as dangerous as the one we're facing now across the region since at least 1973, and arguably even before that.”
Since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, Iran-aligned militants have attacked the roughly 2,500 U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Syria more than 150 times. In addition to the three Americans killed on Sunday, 25 were wounded. The Houthis, an Iran-backed militant group based in Yemen, have launched more than two dozen attacks on ships in the Red Sea.
Is Donald Trump’s GOP presidential primary performance a sign that the adage, “all politics are local,” no longer applies? (Politico)
The signs: Trump is polling 30 percentage points ahead of Republican primary rival Nikki Haley — in Haley’s home state of South Carolina. Trump won New Hampshire and Iowa with more than 50% of the primary vote despite both states’ popular Republican governors endorsing his opponents. Only 23% of likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire reported being personally contacted to support a candidate, a sharp decline from February 2016 when 49% received such contact.
Politico reporter Adam Wren: “A fast-twitch news cycle, declining local news and political action committees carpet-bombing the early states have sanded away regional quirks and pet issues. Racking up stops on Iowa’s Pizza Ranch circuit and trudging through New Hampshire’s snowpacks doing the diner-to-town hall dash matters less than ever.”
A 2015 study on the nationalization of politics:
There’s a growing consistency between presidential election results and House and Senate election results.
In 2012, 91% of party identifiers and leaners voted for their party’s presidential candidate, tying the record set in 2004 and 2008.
The 2012 House elections saw 90% party loyalty, tying the 1956 record, and the Senate elections had 89% loyalty, breaking the 1958 record of 88%.
You can add Arizona to the list of swing state Republican parties experiencing serious dysfunction ahead of the 2024 election after U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake’s latest leaked audio controversy. (AP)
Lake was booed by a crowd of fellow Republicans Saturday after she leaked audio which led to the resignation of Arizona GOP chair Jeff DeWit. DeWit resigned last week after the recording showed him appearing to attempt to bribe Lake to keep her from running. In a statement, DeWitt said the remarks were taken out of context and Lake’s team had threatened to release a more damaging recording if he didn’t resign.
Big picture, Arizona’s been thrown into the same type of turmoil that’s plaguing swing state Republican Parties. Infighting between old guard Republicans and Trumpier conservatives, as well as financial troubles have affected the GOP parties in Michigan, Florida and Georgia. The Nevada GOP’s chair and vice chair have both been indicted in a 2020 fake electors case. Kristina Karamo, the chair of Michigan’s Republican Party, was voted out by local state party officials earlier this month.
NBC News political reporter Allan Smith on the benefits of having a functional state GOP in 2024: “Well-organized state parties rowing in the same direction can be invaluable to campaigns, taking the lead in raising money that helps promote candidates while otherwise serving as a centralized apparatus for voter turnout efforts.”
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