Mike Lillis reports that “Democrats unanimously back debt ceiling discharge petition” at The Hill. Lillie explains that “Every House Democrat has endorsed the discharge petition to force a vote on legislation to hike the debt ceiling and prevent a default, party leaders announced Wednesday….The signatures of the last final holdouts — Reps. Jared Golden (D-Maine) and Ed Case (D-Hawaii) — puts the total number at 213, meaning Democratic leaders still need to find five Republicans if the petition is to be successful….That’s a heavy lift, since it would require GOP lawmakers to buck the wishes of Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is in tense negotiations with the White House over a debt-ceiling package and is opposed to a vote on the “clean” debt-limit hike preferred by Democrats….The procedural gambit is a long-shot: Only two discharge petitions have been successful in the last two decades. Still, Democratic leaders are hoping their party’s unanimity on the document will pressure moderate Republicans to sign on, particularly if the talks between President Biden and McCarthy don’t yield fruit and the threat of default is imminent….“We’re five signatures away,” said Rep. Pete Aguilar (Calif.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. “So for our Republican colleagues who give interviews and go back home and talk about how they want to work together, and talk about how they’re not extreme like Marjorie Taylor Greene, and how she doesn’t speak for them — this is their opportunity.” Long shot or not, the discharge petition vote is important for two reasons: It puts 100 percent of Democrats solidly on record for a solution, in stark contrast to the Republicans; it also underscores the fact that just five Republican congress members could end the crisis and protect America’s credibility – if they so choose.
Luke Goldstein has an eye-opener article, “How Washington Bargained Away Rural America” at The American Prospect. Among his observations: “Liberal Democrats may be hesitant about lavishing subsidies on powerful corporations, but their main priority is to make sure poor people can afford food. Conservative Republicans have often fulminated against so-called welfare queens, but they want to keep farm interests happy. And so a corrupt bargain is struck every half-decade, where neither side does much to really challenge the other’s prized possession. The bundling of rural and urban interests ensures the farm bill’s passage, but it comes at a steep cost: a status quo bill full of endless logrolling and backroom deals, which stacks the deck against family farmers….This leaves only a narrow window for progress. A reform movement, composed of independent farmers and ranchers, environmental advocates, and anti-monopolists from both parties, may be more organized than it’s been since the 1980s farm crisis. But it will square up against the might of Big Ag, which spends more on lobbying in Washington than the defense industry. Ag lobbyists are so enmeshed in congressional dealings that in 2014 one of the largest trade groups, the North American Meat Association, held a barbecue with House Agriculture Committee lawmakers inside the very hearing room where the lobbyists’ clients testified the next day.” As with needed reforms across the board, our highly-polarized, angry politics makes bipartisan legislation a fading hope. Meanwhile Democrats have plenty of room for doing more to support family farms, which have been all but deserted by Big Ag’s lapdog Republicans. That’s a strategy worth exploring.
If you were wondering about the shelf-life of abortion politics with respect to he 2024 elections, consider Natalie Jackson’s observations, quoted here from “The Red Ripple Excerpts: Five Takeaways from 2022” at Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “The mixed outcome from the election mostly supported the idea that the combination of salience and competitive races meant that abortion mattered in some places more than the others,” she wrote, highlighting Michigan, where Democrats did well as voters approved a constitutional amendment in support of abortion rights as a prime example of a competitive state where abortion was a highly salient issue.”….As legislatures and health officials across the country struggle to adjust to the new post-Roe normal—in which there is no federal guidance, and state-level laws, exceptions, and conditions vary tremendously—it is likely that reproductive rights and restrictions will remain a significant part of electoral politics. The 2022 midterms did not show that the issue was a substantial determinant of the national mood, but it did show that it can matter for close contests, and it can produce some surprising results when on the ballot in the form of a referendum in Republican-led states….The public opinion landscape is still shifting, however. Late 2022 survey results showed that even most Republicans were against the harshest restrictions, including not allowing abortions in cases of incest and rape (70 percent of Republicans and 89 percent of Democrats oppose), and about two-thirds of Republicans (and more than eight in ten Americans overall) oppose allowing private citizens to sue those who seek abortions or criminalizing seeking an abortion. And, tracking data shows that Republicans went from about 20 percent saying abortion should be illegal in all cases to just 11 percent holding that view in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision….Looking toward 2024, reproductive rights are likely to play a similar role as they did in 2022. In the shadow of a presidential election that might include former president Donald Trump, there is little reason to think reproductive rights will be the top issue on Americans’ minds. But there is every reason to think the fluctuating state laws and associated court cases will keep the issue on the map as one that matters in some areas and for some competitive elections.”
The integrity and nonpartisan credibility of the U.S. Supreme Court ought to be higher priorities in all races for the U.S. Senate. and among all voters Yet, Devan Cole reports that the “Supreme Court approval rating declines amid controversy over ethics and transparency: Marquette poll” at CNN Politics. As Cole writes: “Americans’ approval of the Supreme Court has fallen since the start of the year, according to a new poll released Wednesday, with 41% of the country saying it approves of the nine justices amid a barrage of media reports and watchdog complaints concerning ethics and transparency at the nation’s highest court….The Marquette Law School poll provides fresh insight into how the public is reacting to a court that has become engulfed in controversy that, for the most part, is unrelated to its decisions in high-profile, politically fraught cases that typically shape the nation’s view of the court….Conducted between May 8 and May 18, the survey is the first to be completed by the school since ProPublica published an explosive report in early April about years of lavish trips and gifts Justice Clarence Thomas accepted from a GOP megadonor, the first in a series of stories concerning the conservative jurist’s lack of transparency on his financial disclosure forms….Since 2020, Marquette finds, approval of the court has frequently “oscillated” between surveys, but with declining high points in each cycle. The results of the new poll – which found that 59% of US adults disapproved of the court – are similar to those found in a July 2022 iteration of the survey taken days after the court overturned Roe v. Wade, but represent a downtick from more recent versions of the poll. In January, the same poll found that 47% of American approved of the court, while 53% disapproved….Democrats and Republicans were deeply divided in their view of the court, according to the new poll, which found that the court had a 24% approval rating among Democrats and a 60% approval rating among Republicans.” Every day the case for expanding the Supreme Court as soon as possible grows stronger.