The 16 other Rs that supported Trump's impeachment don't regret their vote and several defend Cheney. They just don't see it as their job to respond to Trump's election lies every time he puts out a statement. They want to focus on policy/Biden
@MZanona “I tend to focus on policy, not personalities. And I made my [impeachment] decision very clear by giving a long floor speech explaining it. And it’s time to move on to the challenges we’re facing,” Collins said.
Burr: “It’s you guys that are starting the stories on Trump"
@MZanona There was talk of the impeachment 10 working together in the House, per Mel. And hope that Cheney would give the others cover.
Instead, “this keeps putting them back in [trouble] with their base back home,” said a Hosue R. "Liz is hurting the impeachment folks the most.”
@marianne_levine Collins: “I believe that President Biden does want a bipartisan approach ... I have no reason to believe that he has changed. But I think that there is a lot of pressure on him from his staff and from outside leftist groups. And I would urge him to remember his past successes"
@marianne_levine Biden can pass his infrastructure/tax bill with just Democratic votes, but it could put chill on other issues if he leaves Republicans behind again
Portman: "You lose the muscle memory of working together if you’re constantly jamming through partisan measures."
Klobuchar: "You are seeing a fundamental difference between the two parties on voting. Let’s not sugarcoat it.”
“I don’t think there is common ground," Blunt says.
Klobuchar said there are 9 bipartisan things in bill. Blunt's retort: “So what? That means absolutely nothing.”
“Folks want to know where people like me fall on the filibuster. I think the bigger question is: Where do they fall on voting rights?” says Sen. Warnock. “The filibuster is a Senate rule. Voting rights goes to the foundation of who we say we are as American people.”
@marianne_levine “I’ve taken immense grief [for my vote]. And I’m in favor of raising the minimum wage," said Sen. Angus King. A compromise is “better than nothing," he added. "And nothing is what we got eight years ago … it’s going to take 60 votes. So it’s going to require compromise.”
@marianne_levine Sen. Hassan on Bernie $15 bill: “I’ve long supported an increase in the minimum wage. I’ve generally been supportive of a $12 increase, but I was very concerned that in the midst of this pandemic this would have an impact, particularly on the restaurant business,”
"Joe Manchin looked at it and was unsure,” Schumer said in a Saturday interview. “If Manchin would have approved the [GOP] amendment, the bill probably couldn't have passed the House. And I told him that. And he understood that.”
@marianne_levine This was Schumer's first big legislative victory as leader. It was messy but significant: Joe Manchin and Bernie Sanders (and every Democrat) each providing the deciding vote on one of the biggest spending bills ever.
Talked to Biden and Klain multiple times a day over past few
@marianne_levine “This last 24 hours was really chaotic. If this was the first big test, I don’t think he … crushed it. It was a very undisciplined, unorganized process,” said Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) of Schumer.
New agreement that Manchin approved keeps $300 unemployment payments through Sept. 6, per an aide. $10k in UI payments still not taxable but only applies to households making $150k or under
Manchin: “The President has made it clear we will have enough vaccines for every American by the end of May and I am confident the economic recovery will follow. We have reached a compromise that enables the economy to rebound quickly while also protecting those receiving” UI
Manchin’s whole thing was pushing people to go back to work and not incentivize people to stay on unemployment. He ended up getting several weeks shaved off the Carper proposal and means-testing eligibility for UI tax deductions
We are officially in WTF territory on the Senate floor. The vote-a-rama has been stalled out for more than three hours. Dems don't yet have 50 for their most important amendment and Rs are trying to bring Manchin on board to Portman's unemployment trims.
The order of the votes hasn't been determined either. If Portman's goes first and it succeeds, Dems could rewrite it with Carper amendment. Until then, Democrats would prefer to stay on min wage vote until infinity rather than start working through GOP amendments
Sinema, Tester and Cortez Masto are working on Manchin, who seems to be the sticking point. Sinema told him the vote is today, implying that negotiations can’t continue forever. Tester could tell we were listening because I heard him making fun of me
They’ve moved to the cloakroom. Best I can tell Manchin isn’t entirely sold on the new UI deal
Portman seems to think he has Manchin’s vote for his proposal to shrink the UI benefit to $300 without some of the other changes
New: Republicans leaning hard on Murkowski to reject the $1.9 stimulus bill. No. 3 GOPer Barrasso: “Sen. McConnell has been very clear on that, for all Republicans. The goal is to present a united front"
Murkowski voted for Haaland today and also was lobbied on Tanden. But Rs see the stimulus bill as different
Lankford: “Alaska’s definitely a unique state, to say the least. But it is still part of a $2 trillion consequence, long-term, for the whole country.”
Rounds: "none of us begrudge the fact that she will look at that. We are hopeful that she will decide the amount of bad in the bill is enough to where she will decide it’s not appropriate to support it,”
a few days ago, Democrats were preparing to leave Republicans behind on a minimum wage. Now the GOP might be their only shot at raising the wage this Congress — because it looks like Dems need 60 votes to do anything this Congress @marianne_levine politico.com/news/2021/03/0…
Republicans like Graham, Capito and Collins said they’d look at going above $10. Graham is looking at a proposal from Waffle House to get to $15 over 6-7 years
“It is a more durable solution if it’s 60 votes,” said D Sen. Coons, who is beginning to talk to Republicans
Republicans “realize it’s got to be raised,” said Sen. King. “There are 3 principled pieces: The number, the phase-in and the tipped wage. Those are the three things we should work on. We ought to try and have some discussions. That’s the way you’re supposed to legislate.”
@natashakorecki Tanden has exposed that one early D no vote gives McConnell huge leverage. His caucus is divided too, but if Democrats don't put up 50 votes Biden may not be able to rely on Collins, Romney or Murkowski
Whip Durbin: “In a 50-50 Senate, anybody can pick a fight."
@natashakorecki Asked Manchin if he realized, or believed, he was handing leverage to McConnell by opposing Tanden: “You’re thinking more strategically than I do.”
"They’re about to find out just how hard it is to manage a 50-50 Senate," warned Sen. Blunt, a former House whip
Even after criticizing Trump's "dereliction of duty," McConnell also has no apparent challenger. The most likely McConnell successors, Thune and Cornyn, both back him strongly
Cornyn: "I believe he enjoys the overwhelming support of the conference.”
“The biggest disaster would be if we split in some fashion. It’s exactly what the Democrats would be looking for. And most of us are going to let time be our friend," says Sen. Braun. Senate GOP primaries start in earnest a year from now
McConnell interview on future of the GOP: “Have nominees representing the Republican Party who can win in November ... Some of them may be people the former president likes. Some of them may not be. The only thing I care about is electability."
@MZanona He says he will strongly back all incumbents against primary challenges to people like Thune or Murkowski -- wherever Trump falls
"I’m not predicting the president would support people who couldn't win. But I do think electability — not who supports who — is the critical point"
@MZanona McConnell torched Trump yesterday -- after acquitting him. Don't expect him to keep going after Trump. He wouldn't talk about prosecution of Trump, or criticisms that he's trying to have it both ways. Would he oppose Trump if he runs in 2024? He won't say: "I’m focused on ‘22.”
News: in email to colleagues McConnell says he will vote to acquit Trump, per two sources familiar
McConnell says it was a “close call” but says impeachment is “primarily a tool of removal” and the Senate lacks jurisdiction . He says criminal conduct by a president in office can be prosecuted when the president is out of office