A story in Politico Tuesday notes that the Republican Party is preparing to push back, and hard, against the claim that it has a problem with women:
The party launched a program earlier this year to place more women in Republican campaigns.
And the three big national party committees have teamed up to respond to Democratic attacks. They even showcased women who work for the party at the top of their latest talking points. [Politico]
The problem with the GOP's attempt to showcase female party members is that there simply aren't that many of them in Congress, relatively speaking:
There are 76 female Democratic lawmakers in the current Congress, versus just 23 Republicans. And that wide gulf isn't going to change any time soon. According to the Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics, there are 173 female Democratic candidates this cycle, compared to 99 on the Republican side. Jon Terbush
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday warned President Trump that continuing to make baseless claims about voter fraud could "undermine his ability to govern this country." In a statement released the day after Trump repeated claims at a meeting with congressional leaders that he lost the popular vote because of the millions of illegal votes cast against him, Graham said he is "begging" the president to either offer up evidence of this alleged fraud, or stop talking about it.
"As a matter of fact, I'd like you do more than stop saying it, I'd like you to come forward and say, 'Having looked at it, I am confident the election was fair and accurate and people who voted voted legally,'" Graham said.
Read Graham's statement in full below. Becca Stanek
Sen Graham (R-SC) really wants Pres Trump to stop taking about inaccurate claims of millions of illegal voters voting in the #2016 election: pic.twitter.com/E0F1awSuZC
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) January 24, 2017
President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he plans to announce his "truly great" Supreme Court nominee next week. Trump said he would make the decision on the nominee this week; the president is meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley, and Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the vacancy.
President Trump's shortlist is believed to include conservative judges Neil Gorsuch, Diane Sykes, Joan Larsen, Steven Colloton, Thomas Hardiman, and William Pryor Jr., who many believe is Trump's frontrunner for the position. Jeva Lange
Contrary to what the screaming voice in the back of your mind told you during your last delayed flight, airline service in the U.S. is actually improving. In 2016, 7 percent fewer flights arrived late, fewer bags were lost per passenger, and the number of canceled flights dropped 21 percent — all despite last summer's major technical glitches at Delta and Southwest Airlines. Overall, 80 percent of all U.S. and international flights arrived on time, up from 78 percent in 2015, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Alaska Airlines led the pack for overall best performance, scoring number one for on-time arrivals, least number of delays, and fewest customer complaints. Spirit Airlines was the most tardy, experiencing the most "extreme delays" and fewest number of on-time arrivals. But the overall worst airline of the year? That ignominious title goes to American Airlines.
OMB nominee advises Senate committee not to 'read too much into' his description of Social Security as a 'Ponzi scheme'
At his Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), President Trump's nominee for director of the Office of Management and Budget, clarified that he does not think Social Security or Medicare are "unconstitutional" — despite his vote in the South Carolina Senate in 2009 declaring both programs exactly that. He also reassured the Senate Budget Committee that his description of Social Security as a "Ponzi scheme" was simply a way of explaining the program's cash flow. "I wouldn't read too much into [my] description of it as a Ponzi scheme," Mulvaney said.
However, while Mulvaney said he would not "be arguing to the president of the United States" that either of those programs are "unconstitutional," he did indicate he would push Trump to make changes to entitlement programs, which Trump has promised not to cut. "The only thing I know to do is tell the president the truth," Mulvaney said, arguing that the programs are not sustainable and that funds would soon run dry; he suggested means-testing Medicare or raising the retirement age for Social Security.
Even before Mulvaney's hearing began, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was tweeting his concerns, suggesting Mulvaney's nomination meant Trump "doesn't intend to not cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid":
It seems to me that Rep. Mulvaney is way, way out of touch with what the American people want and what President Trump campaigned on.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 24, 2017
Watch Sanders question Mulvaney below. Becca Stanek
— American Bridge (@American_Bridge) January 24, 2017
This summer, America will open its first new privately owned passenger rail service in more than a century. Called Brightline, the new train line will link Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach in a bid to alleviate some of the traffic-choked highways along the Florida coast. The project will convert a "lightly used freight rail corridor" into a passenger line able to carry thousands of people a day, with the additional benefit of "adding millions of square feet of residential and commercial space" around it, Slate reports. Critics warn that residents of these auto-centric communities won't ditch their cars in sprawling cities where businesses are still far from downtown. Kelly Gonsalves
President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed executive actions that will allow for the advance of TransCanada's Keystone Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners' Dakota Access Pipeline. He signed at least five orders related to energy projects, Bloomberg Politics reports.
— Bloomberg TV (@BloombergTV) January 24, 2017
Keystone was outright rejected under former President Barack Obama in 2015, while the Dakota Access Pipeline stalled late last year in part due to massive protests about drilling under Native American water supplies and through sacred lands. Environmentalists heavily oppose both the Keystone and the Dakota Access pipelines.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump intended to grow jobs with the pipeline projects. Jeva Lange
Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), faces his second day of grilling before the Senate on Tuesday over his nomination for health and human services secretary. While Price has already faced intense scrutiny from Democrats, the hearing Tuesday was briefly interrupted when Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) went off topic to ask Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) during a transition, "Did you really wink at me and smile? Bless your heart."
Sen. Pat Roberts at Price hearing: "Did you really wink at me and smile?" https://t.co/pgxDklfMV2
— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) January 24, 2017
Roberts previously needled Wyden at Steven Mnuchin's Senate confirmation hearing, suggesting the senator take a Valium.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 24, 2017
Never let anyone tell you Senate confirmation hearings are dull! Jeva Lange