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House Republicans might release a budget next week with sharp spending cuts to aid programs, though states will be given flexibility to provide hobos and tramps with train rides out of town. In the wake of the Karen Handel’s win in the Georgia special election, Republicans and Democrats have found common ground by concluding the outcome proves all their previously held beliefs on everything. And Jared Kushner has popped over to Israel to solve that whole peace problem by repeatedly yelling, “Do you know who my father is??” at Palestinian officials. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, June 21st, 2017:
JARED KUSHNER BRINGS PEACE TO MIDDLE EAST - His qualifications for this duty include marrying up and looking stupid in flak jackets. Luke Baker: “President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Wednesday, beginning a new U.S. effort to revive long-fractured Middle East peace efforts. Kushner, a 36-year-old real estate developer with little experience of international diplomacy or political negotiation, arrived in Israel on Wednesday morning and will spend barely 20 hours on the ground ― he leaves shortly after midnight.” [Reuters]
HEY MAYBE THE HOUSE WILL PASS A BUDGET - Three cheers for possibly achieving the bare minimum of governing. Sarah Ferris: “The House Budget Committee is planning to unveil a long-awaited budget resolution next week calling for a spending boost to the Pentagon alongside cuts to domestic programs, despite lingering disputes within the GOP conference. House budget writers reached a tentative agreement this afternoon to move ahead with a resolution that would set spending levels at $511 billion for domestic programs and $621 billion for defense, two lawmakers confirmed. Compared to current law, that would amount to a $72 billion boost for defense and a $4 billion cut for domestic spending.” [Politico]
SEE YOU IN COURT, COURT! Lawrence Hurley: “The Trump administration on Wednesday made its final plea to the U.S. Supreme Court to allow its proposed ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries to go into effect as the justices weigh how to handle the hotly contested dispute. The court papers filed by President Donald Trump’s administration complete the briefing on the government’s emergency application asking the justices to block lower court injunctions in favor of challengers to the ban. The Supreme Court could now act at any time. [Reuters]
REMEMBER THAT TIME A FOREIGN COUNTRY SABOTAGED OUR ELECTIONS? This actually happened! And we aren’t really doing anything about it! Dustin Volz: “Russian hackers targeted 21 U.S. states’ election systems in last year’s presidential race, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security official told Congress on Wednesday.” [Reuters]
SO TIRED OF LOSING - Igor Bobic: “The outcome is especially painful for Democrats who viewed Ossoff’s candidacy as a prime opportunity to land a blow against President Donald Trump. Handel, a 55-year-old former Georgia secretary of state, replaces Republican Tom Price, who left Congress to become Trump’s secretary of health and human services. Ossoff, a 30-year-old documentary filmmaker and former congressional aide, was ultimately unable to peel away enough anti-Trump Republicans or mobilize enough new Democratic-leaning voters to overcome the district’s deep-seated Republican leanings. ‘It was really all about the Republican candidate Karen Handel getting her Republican base to show up in force,’ said Kerwin Swint, chair of the political science department at Kennesaw State University, just outside Atlanta.” [HuffPost]
MORE: Democrat Archie Parnell also fell short in his bid for Mick Mulvaney’s South Carolina seat. Jonathan Chait says Dems should stop freaking out because these are really Republican districts. Matthew Yglesias thinks Dems should try having an agenda.
DEMOCRATS GETTING TIRED OF SEEING PELOSI’S FACE IN THEIR OPPONENTS’ ADS - Good thing they’ve got young leaders to succeed her, like Steny Hoyer, who ― oh, he’s actually older than she is. John Bresnahan, Heather Caygle and Kyle Cheney: “There is no challenge to Pelosi’s leadership, and none is going to happen at this point, said numerous Democrats. But it’s clear frustration is growing with the longtime Democratic leader following the extensive losses Democrats have suffered over the past half-decade…. Some Democrats want to replace Pelosi atop their caucus, as they have since last November’s poor showing at the polls; they say there is no way to get back in the majority with her as their leader. And others who backed her in last year’s leadership challenge have now flipped their stance.” [Politico]
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WHAT A TERRIBLE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS - Matt Fuller and Igor Bobic: “Senate Republicans are speeding toward a vote next week on their Obamacare replacement bill, even as GOP lawmakers can’t answer simple questions about the legislation, express frustration with the brazenly secretive and closed process, and don’t appear to have the votes yet for passage…. When Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was asked whether this bill should be a template for lawmaking in the future, he sarcastically answered that ‘this is exactly the kind of legislative process our Founding Fathers had in mind,’ going on to explain that he was obviously concerned the Senate may be voting on a health care bill next week that members won’t have seen.” [HuffPost]
Steve Scalise is doing better. ”House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) has been upgraded from being in a serious condition to a fair condition, his official Twitter account announced, adding he ‘continues to make good progress.’” [HuffPost’s Jenna Amatulli]
The shooter had a ton of ammo stored up. “The gunman who opened fire on a GOP baseball team in Virginia had a local storage locker with more than 200 rounds of ammunition that he visited daily, including less than an hour before he shot more than 60 times at the team during a morning practice June 14.” [WaPo’s Ann E. Marimow and Dana Hedgpeth]
Attempted assassinations of members of Congress not terrorism, feds say. “The FBI said in a press release that James T. Hodgkinson ‘made numerous posts on all of his social media accounts espousing anti-Republican views,’ although all of the posts they reviewed were protected First Amendment speech. Hodgkinson did not make any specific threats against members of Congress on his social media accounts, according to the bureau. But despite the apparent political motivations of the shooter, the FBI did not refer to the attack ― which severely injured a high-ranking Republican member of Congress ― as terrorism.” [HuffPost’s Ryan J. Reilly]
ALL HAIL THE NRA, STALWART GUARDIAN OF WHITE PEOPLE’S’ RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS - Andy Campbell: “The National Rifle Association loves to beat its chest after shootings in America. A day after the mass shooting last year at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Chris Cox, executive director at the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, took aim at ‘radical Islam.’ … But don’t expect the same kind of treatment from the NRA if you’re a black man in America ― even if you’re a registered gun owner like Philando Castile, who was exercising his Second Amendment right like an NRA poster child when a police officer shot him to death during a traffic stop in Minnesota last year. Castile’s story is emblematic of the NRA’s hypocrisy.” [HuffPost]
The White House makes a lot of empty promises about answering questions. “Below, our list of all of the times someone from the White House communications office promised to get back to the American public with more information — and, to the best of our ability to determine the answer, whether they did.” [WaPo’s Philip Bump]
WHEN THE MAN WHO ABUSES YOU IS ALSO A COP - Chilling investigation by Melissa Jeltsen and Dana Liebelson: “It is nearly impossible to calculate the frequency of domestic crimes committed by police — not least because victims are often reluctant to seek help from their abuser’s colleagues. Another complication is the 1996 Lautenberg Amendment, a federal law that prohibits anyone convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse from owning a gun. The amendment is a valuable protection for most women. But a police officer who can’t use a gun can’t work — and so reporting him may risk the family’s livelihood as well as the abuser’s anger. Courts can be perilous to navigate, too, since police intimately understand their workings and often have relationships with prosecutors and judges. Police are also some of the only people who know the confidential locations of shelters. Diane Wetendorf, a domestic violence counselor who wrote a handbook for women whose abusers work in law enforcement, believes they are among the most vulnerable victims in the country.” [HuffPost Highline]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here is video of a driverless New York City bus rolling backwards on a Brooklyn street making a big mess.
CELEBRATE LOSERS WITH HUFFPOST - The new season of “Candidate Confessional” podcast is out! Sam Stein, Jason Cherkis and Zach Young: “This season, we talk to the risk takers, the near-glass ceiling breakers, the hopeless and a self-described ‘hip-hop conservative.’ We talk to a key Hillary Clinton strategist and to Jason Kander, a Missouri Democrat who lost a Senate run despite having the best ad of 2016. All reaffirmed the fact that losing still sucks. But they also underscored the layers of humanity that are often obscured in our nation’s rough-and-tumble political system.” [HuffPost]
- Behold what’s probably the first cat video in history — from 1894!
- Earn $64,000 a year as a nanny in this creepy, haunted Scottish house.
- The president of Costa Rica ate a live wasp.
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