POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Democrats Put Their Butts Where Their Mouths Are

Donald Trump has been poised for a turnaround so many times at this point you’d think he was Marco Rubio. House Democrats bravely skipped fundraisers and monotonous call time at the DNC to sit in the well of the House and hang out with their friends. And GOP lawmakers, presumably, readied a counter-sit-in, though whether it's to call for eliminating the estate tax or drug testing welfare recipients remains to be seen. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016:

DEMS HOLD SIT-IN FOR GUN CONTROL - Jen Bendery and Sam Stein: "Democrats literally sat down on the floor of the House chamber on Wednesday — and forced the House into a temporary recess — as part of an effort to compel Republican leadership to vote on gun control legislation. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the civil rights icon who led sit-ins all through the 1960s, spearheaded the effort with a fiery, sermon-like denunciation of Congress for its failure to act in the wake of mass shootings... the Republican lawmaker sitting in the chair gaveled the House into a temporary recess until noon. The House cut off the C-SPAN cameras that normally broadcast the floor. Later, when lawmakers reconvened, Democratic members still refused to budge, forming a circle in the well of the floor while chanting. Republicans were forced to gavel into recess once more...Democratic senators also showed up to stand or sit with their colleagues. Among them were: Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Chris Coons (Del.), Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Al Franken (Minn.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Chris Murphy (Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.) and Mazie Hirono (Hawaii)." [HuffPost]

This is why you ditch the BlackBerry: "House Republicans learned an important lesson Wednesday: It’s hard to keep a lid on information in the smartphone era. Shortly after Democrats began a sit-in at the House chamber to call for gun control, Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) declared a recess — causing the cameras that normally feed live footage to C-SPAN to shut down instead. Undeterred, the network switched to footage broadcast by Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) via Periscope, a smartphone app that allows anyone to “live stream” video of their surroundings." [HuffPost's Damon Beres]

Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong would like to remind you of THE RULES: "The House cannot operate without members following the rules of the institution, so the House has recessed subject to the call of the chair."

REPUBLICANS UNVEIL LONG-AWAITED OBAMACARE REPLACEMENT - As your insurance company might say, this is not a bill. Jonathan Cohn and Jeffrey Young: "House Republicans unveiled what they’re calling an Obamacare replacement on Wednesday, 2,283 days after President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. The plan, which isn’t legislation and is more like a mission statement, lacks the level of detail that would enable a full analysis, but one thing is clear: If put in place, it would almost surely mean fewer people with health insurance, fewer people getting financial assistance for their premiums or out-of-pocket costs, and fewer consumer protections than the ACA provides. It’s difficult to be certain, because the proposal, which House Speaker Paul Ryan(R-Wis.) will talk up at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington on Wednesday, lacks crucial information, like estimates of its costs and effects on how many people will have health coverage. The document weighs in at 37 pages, which includes the cover, three full pages about how terrible Obamacare is, and two blank sheets." [Do you even lift, document? HuffPost]

Social Security still ain't broke, its trustees affirmed today.

DELANEY DOWNER - Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is putting vulnerable Maine families at risk with his food stamp crusade, a spokesman for the federal agency in charge of nutrition assistance said Wednesday. If the federal government won’t let him stop Mainers from using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program debit cards to buy candy and soda, LePage said in a recent letter to the Obama administration, then the state of Maine will wash its hands of the program and let the federal government deal with it. Matt Herrick, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, says the agency can’t just step in and do the state’s job of distributing the federal benefit. “We don’t have the authority or the funding to administer SNAP at the state level,” Herrick told The Huffington Post in an interview. In other words, if the state government won’t deal with nutrition assistance in Maine, no one will. If the situation comes to pass, it would be unprecedented. “So what this means in real terms, for real word people, is that children suffer, they don’t have adequate nutrition,” Herrick said. “There are about 100,000 families in Maine who depend on the program and they’re no different than anyone else and they shouldn’t be penalized or threatened with greater hardship.”

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TRUMP SAYS CRAZY THINGS, BUT IN A MORE COMPOSED MANNER, SO HE'S SERIOUS NOW - Fewer hand gestures and everything! Christina Wilkie: "Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump launched a new attack against Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, saying the former secretary of state 'may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency.' ''Hillary Clinton has perfected the politics of personal profit and even theft,' Trump told an invited group of supporters and journalists in New York. 'She gets rich making you poor.' Speaking from a teleprompter, a move he’s derided in the past, Trump sought to turn the page on his presidential campaign after a terrible few weeks...it did suggest that Trump’s campaign chairman — the experienced Beltway insider Paul Manafort — is now firmly in charge of the candidate’s message following the ouster of Trump’s truculent former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski." [HuffPost]

NYT factcheckers: "[H]e took liberties with the truth, delivering a series of inaccurate and misleading statements." [NYT]

SANDERS: I PROBABLY WON'T WIN - Bravely makes announcement on C-SPAN. "In a wide-ranging and elegiac interview with C-SPAN set to air Wednesday, Bernie Sanders said in the strongest terms yet that he will not be the Democratic nominee for president. Asked by host Steve Scully whether he would speak at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Sanders said he did not know. 'It doesn’t appear that I’m going to be the nominee, so I’m not going to determine the scope of the convention,' Sanders said. 'I've given a few speeches in my life. It would be nice to speak at the Democratic National Convention. If for whatever reason they don't want me to speak, then whatever. But I do think I'll speak at the convention.' Again and again, over the course of an hour, Sanders criticized 'corporate media' for asking him so many questions about the political process instead of his policies." [WaPo]

NM, RUBIO RUNNING - Thirsty for service. Patricia Mazzei, Amy Sherman and Mary Ellen Klas: "Ending weeks of political speculation, Marco Rubio announced Wednesday he has changed his mind and will run for re-election to the U.S. Senate, reversing his pledge to return to private life after his presidential campaign collapsed three months ago. His decision could give Republicans an edge in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country. Rubio cited a sense of duty to try to remain in office under either President Donald Trump or President Hillary Clinton — two candidates he considers mediocre. 'No matter who’s elected president, there’s reason to worry. If it’s Hillary Clinton, you know we’re going to have four more years of the same failed economic policies, four more years of the same failed foreign policy,' he told the Miami Herald. 'The prospect of a Trump presidency is also worrisome to me in many ways. It’s no secret that I have significant disagreements with Donald.' National Republicans fearful of losing Senate control to Democrats mounted a campaign to keep Rubio on the ballot for Florida’s swing seat. He consented just two days before Friday’s qualifying deadline." [Miami Herald]

LOL: "Marco Rubio missed a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Wednesday morning — at the same time he was announcing plans to run for reelection. The first-term Republican senator, who was pilloried during his presidential run for his record of missed votes and hearings, skipped a closed hearing on security for sales of military equipment to other nations, according to attendees from both parties." [Politico's Burgess Everett]

NEVER STOP BEING YOU, DAVID VITTER - No, no, no, you don't understand, Trump is the only Republican who wants to make lists… Janie Velencia: "Louisiana Sen. David Vitter (R) has put forward legislation that would require the U.S. Census — for the first time in American history — to identify non-U.S. citizens. The two-term senator hopes to attach an amendment to the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Act that would mandate the Census Bureau add two new questions to the 2020 survey. One asks whether a person is a U.S. citizen, and the second asks about the legal status of their residency. If the bureau refuses to include these questions, it would lose all its funding, according to the terms of the amendment. Vitter, who is retiring this year, wants all non-U.S. citizens enumerated in the 2020 decennial count of the population. This way, non-U.S. citizens could be excluded from a Census count that determines the allocation of some $400 billion in yearly federal spending, as well the apportionment of US representatives, which happen severy 10 years." [HuffPost]

HOUSE DEMS PLAY UP BECERRA VP TALK - Mike Lillis: "House Democratic leaders are rallying behind a push for Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) to be the party's vice presidential candidate in November. Becerra, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, has been a tireless campaigner for Hillary Clinton, the party's presumptive presidential nominee, and recent reports have him on her shortlist of potential running mates. After Clinton met with House Democrats Wednesday morning, Becerra told reporters he has 'no knowledge' that he's being vetted for the position. But other Democratic leaders were less demure, rushing to the microphone to hype Becerra and lionize his political bona fides. 'This guy is my classmate, we've been serving for 24 years together now. He is absolutely ... a stand-up kind of guy,' said Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.), the third-ranking House Democrat. 'If he's not being vetted, I hope he will be.' Rep. Joe Crowley (N.Y.), vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, echoed that endorsement, saying Becerra "possesses a lot of the talent" required of 'a great vice president.'" [The Hill]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a soccer-loving dog

COMFORT FOOD

- "Game of Thrones" meets a well-known 2000s meme.

TWITTERAMA

@aedwardslevy: Build a roof and make the rainclouds pay for it

@crushingbort: reporters constantly fact-checking Trump is a noble cause but also like trying to explain to a dog why eating its own poop is bad

@mattyglesias: I was going to try to explain my thinking on a complicated issue on Twitter, and then I realize that’s a terrible idea!

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