Chuck Schumer is digging his heels over the border wall. On Sunday the New York Democrat called on Republicans to oppose President Trump’s demands for $5 billion in border wall funding and keep the government from shutting down. Trump has said he’s willing to allow a partial government shutdown if Democrats don’t give a little on the wall money. The White House contends that border security is an important issue to the American people and believes it can win a publicity war with the Democrats.
—QUOTABLE: “We should not let a temper tantrum — threats — push us in the direction of doing something even our Republican colleagues know is wrong…President Trump should understand there are not the votes for the wall in the House or the Senate. He is not going to get the wall in any form.” -Schumer
MEANWHILE—House conservatives are standing behind President Trump’s call for more border wall funding. As Trump and congressional Democrats approach a showdown over keeping the government funded that looms this Friday, Ohio Republican Jim Jordan insists a bill putting $5 billion toward the wall, which is what Trump has asked for, could pass the House.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy handily defeated Rep. Jim Jordan in a battle over who would lead the new Republican minority in the House. McCarthy, a California Republican favored by retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan, delivered an old fashioned whooping to Ohio’s Jordan—159-43—to become the next minority leader. Most of the other leadership elections went as thought—Steve Scalise of Louisiana was named minority whip and Liz Cheney (Dick Cheney’s daughter) of Wyoming became the GOP Conference Chair.
House Republicans are bracing for an ugly internal battle now that they lost the majority. While Democrat Nancy Pelosi is confident she will take her throne as Speaker without drama, the battle for minority leader—the leader of the House GOP caucus, is shaping up to be more of a mess. Already, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California plan to run for the spot. McCarthy was Paul Ryan’s top lieutenant and is thought to be in the best position, but Jordan’s stock has risen among conservatives as co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus.
—MEANWHILE, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming announced she plans to run for House Republican Conference Chair, challenging Washington Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers, creating even more discord in the new minority caucus leadership elections.