President Barack Obama has a plan to save the Senate’s tenuous Democratic majority: Sell a populist message, try to make Obamacare work better and raise lots of cash.
And unlike previous years when Senate Democrats were mostly left to fight on their own, the White House is wasting no time coordinating its political and policy agenda with congressional leaders and vulnerable lawmakers.
The 55-member Senate Democratic Caucus will meet with Obama on Wednesday at the White House, the first such session since October.
White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer and legislative director Katie Beirne Fallon have already briefed Senate leadership aides on the outlines of proposals Obama is considering for the Jan. 28 State of the Union address, and they’re expected to do the same with House Democratic leadership aides.
A Republican-controlled Senate and House would be a nightmare for the president, likely reducing him to full lame-duck status as the GOP works to block what’s left of his agenda, including a minimum wage hike and climate change, as official Washington looks ahead to 2016.
THE HUFFINGTON POST
By Sam Stein and Arthur Delaney
WASHINGTON — The looming expiration of federal unemployment benefits raises the question of whether Democratic lawmakers bungled the debate.
Though Congress can still act retroactively, Democrats‘ goal had been to pass an extension of the benefits before Dec. 28, when they are set to expire. The administration and allies on the Hill tried to attach a provision to the budget deal passed in mid-December. But by the time they began engaging the fight, few Democrats seemed particularly attentive and Republicans were more than comfortable running out the clock.
Now, with Congress in recess, long-term unemployment insurance will come to an end for 1.3 million Americans, potentially costing 240,000 jobs, according to the White House‘s Council of Economic Advisers. Was it inevitable? Or was it a case of political mismanagement?
By Morgan Whitaker
A pair of polls show Americans are largely unhappy with both the GOP and the tea party wing of the party.
Tea party favorability has fallen to an all-time low according a Gallup poll released Wednesday, which found a slight majority (51%) of Americans have an unfavorable view of the tea party. The poll finds 30% of Americans feel positively about the tea party, down from a high of 39% in 2011. Republicans are most likely to support the movement, with 58% seeing it favorably, and unsurprisingly Democrats overwhelmingly dislike the tea party – 74% to 10%.
Moderates aren’t too keen on the movement either. While the split is not as stark as with Democrats, moderates are more likely than even the general public to say they don’t favor the tea party (54%) and only 23% say they do favor it.
It turns out moderates tend to prefer the Democratic Party to the Republican Party as well. A secondGallup poll released Wednesday finds Democrats maintain a 10-point lead over Republicans in terms of favorability with the American public. While moderates are currently evenly split on the Democratic Party, with 47% viewing it positively and another 47% viewing it negatively, only 27% of moderates have positive views of the Republican Party right now.
- Tea party hits a new low (washingtonpost.com)
- End Of Year Polling Reveals Bad News For Republicans, Awful News For The Tea Party (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Gallup’s bad news for tea party (politico.com)
- Boehner Blasts Conservatives As Tea Party Hits New Low With Voters (miami.cbslocal.com)
- The decline of the tea party – in 5 charts (washingtonpost.com)
- Majority of Americans Now View Tea Party Unfavorably (webpronews.com)
- Poll: Tea Party favorability hits new low (thehill.com)
RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
By Suzy Khimm
Having watched their party descend into chaos over the government shutdown, Republicans aren’t likely to let the fiscal negotiations upstage Obamacare’s problems again. And that could be good news for the Congressional leaders who are struggling to put together a budget agreement by mid-December.
Republicans have seen a huge reversal in political fortune since the government reopened and Obamacare’s problems have taken center stage. “It would argue against not having another shutdown: have Democrats keep shooting themselves in the foot and the president keep giving disastrous press conferences,” says Tevi Troy, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a former Bush health official.
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