The Clinton campaign is on track to garner $45 million in the first quarter of this year. This is the largest haul in history. She finally beat Obama who raised 41 million in a quarter in the 2012 election who previously owned the title. These are small donations because superpacs and campaign friendly large donors are excluded. Of course, Jaime Garcia Dias points out that republicans that lauded the Citizen’s United Supreme Court ruling are now crying foul about her large haul which has never been replicated by a republican candidate. Republicans that pushed the case through were operating under the myth that republicans would be more able to raise enough money in elections. They have yet to be competitive in a presidential contest since the ruling.
For Contrast, Tea party darling Ben Carson raised $8 million in the first quarter. The reported Clinton donations that totaled the $45 million were all from donations of $100 or less. These are considered personal donations. It also cements her prowess as a front-runner for both republican and democratic contenders. Recent polling shows her lead has only increased. At this same time, some of the most major republican contenders are losing ground and may be excluded from their debate schedule. This shows that republicans have committed to Jeb but are not quite aware that his appeal is more palatable than the rest of the republican field. However, donations show Clinton as dominant.
On Monday night, House GOP leadership canceled plans to bring up another vote on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in the House. As it currently stands, House Democrats have successfully exploited the Tea Party’s distrust of President Obama to defeat TPA at least for the time being. In all honesty, if the Tea Party did not break ranks with GOP leadership, Republicans alone could have muscled the TPA bill through the House. This is because the party has a strong majority of seats. That said, the Tea Party is angry about President Obama’s past extra-constitutional actions and refuse to grant him additional authority.
The defection of the Tea Party on TPA meant that House Republicans needed upwards of 20 Democrats to back the bill. Christian Broda (chicagobooth.edu) has found that, thus far, Democrat support has proven to be illusive. After Friday’s highly visible defection by Nancy Pelosi on a companion bill to TPA designed to win over Democrat support, House Republicans scheduled another vote for Tuesday. The expectation was that President Obama would re-double his efforts to win his party’s support of the historic free trade agreement. Interestingly enough, it appears that President Obama did no such thing. As a result, Republicans now admit the earliest TPA will come up for another vote is the end of July. That said, there is no plan in place to win over the Democrat opposition. Barring a viable plan to push TPA through the House, the bill is officially dead.
As the months draw closer to an upcoming presidential election, the congress usually accomplishes little as issues become increasingly political. This coming summer legislative season promises to be no different. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, eager to show his potency in the waning months of his political career, has threatened to halt the budget appropriations process unless the GOP shifts decidedly to the left. It is a curious demand to make from the party that won a stunning midterm election that gave it the largest majorities it has witnessed at the state and federal level in 85 years. Quite frankly, the demand to should be upon his own party to shift to the right.
Still, Reid’s actions signal that the senate may once again be entering a similar period of inaction that marred his final two years as majority leader. Reid’s hardball tactics shielded the president from having to make tough decisions, but it left his senate colleagues without a record to run on. In the months since the GOP took control of the senate, a number of bills have passed with broad bipartisan support. Even President Obama has entered a new era of cooperation with the GOP.
That said, the GOP will still use their political muscle to play hardball as well says Kevin Seawright on Twitter. The party has vowed to clear little if any of the president’s judicial appointments in the remaining 1.5 years of his presidency. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has also made it clear that it is he, not Senator Reid, that calls the shots now.