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GOP Hardliners Just Embarrassed John Boehner on the House Floor

Democrats, at the urging of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, largely voted against the effort. That left conservative lawmakers to either side with GOP leadership or risk a partial shutdown of a federal agency that includes the Secret Service, TSA, FEMA, and Coast Guard. In the end, roughly 50 Republicans opted for the second of those two options.

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Here Are the 52 House Republicans Who Defied John Boehner on Contentious …

WASHINGTON (TheBlaze/AP) — The Republican-controlled House unexpectedly rejected short-term funding for the Department of Homeland Security on Friday, increasing the prospect of a partial shutdown at midnight of an agency with major anti-terrorism responsibilities.

The vote was 224-203 against the measure, as 52 Republicans defected on the leadership-backed legislation to fund DHS for three weeks.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Here are the Republicans who defied House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Friday:

1. Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas)

2. Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.)

3. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas)

4. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)

5. Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.)

6. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.)

7. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.)

8. Rep. Curt Clawson (R-Fla.)

9. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.)

10. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas)

11. Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.)

12. Rep. John Fleming (R-La.)

13. Rep. Randy Forbes (R.Va.)

14. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.)

15. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)

16. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.)

17. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.)

18. Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.)

19. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.)

20. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas)

21. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.)

22. Rep. Robert Hurt (R-Va.)

23. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas)

24. Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.)

25. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)

26. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)

27. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho)

28. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.)

29. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.)

30. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.)

31. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.)

32. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.)

33. Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas)

34. Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas)

35. Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.)

36. Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.)

37. Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas)

38. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas)

39. Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.)

40. Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.)

41. Rep. Thomas Rooney (R-Fla.)

42. Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.)

43. Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.)

44. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas)

45. Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.)

46. Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio)

47. Rep. Roger Williams (R-Teas)

48. Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.)

49. Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas)

50. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.)

51. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.)

52. Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.)

Additionally, the 12 Democrats who joined House GOP leadership and voted for the short-term funding bill are: Reps. Mike Ashford (D-Ohio), Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), John Delaney (D-Md.), Gwen Graham (D-Fla.), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.), David Scott (D-Ga.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

You can view the final roll call vote, including who all voted for the bill, here.

With less than seven few hours remaining before the midnight deadline, it was unclear what Boehner and other Republican leaders would next propose.

The dispute stems from funding for President Barack Obama’s executive immigration action. The president’s first immigration directive, in 2012, lifted the threat of deportation from many immigrants brought to the country illegally as youngsters. Another order last fall applied to millions more who are in the United States unlawfully.

Referring to the immigration action, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said of the GOP leadership-backed DHS funding bill, “It does not make any difference whether the funding is for three weeks, three months or a full fiscal year. If it’s illegal, it’s illegal.”

A largely symbolic attempt to advance legislation that would repeal Obama’s immigration directive of last fall failed on a vote of 57-42, three short of the 60 required.

Obama has vowed to veto any legislation that undercuts his immigration action.

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John Boehner scrambles for Plan B

What’s the Plan B?

After 52 GOP lawmakers brought down a three-week spending bill for the agency, House Speaker John Boehner and his leadership team were scrambling Friday to find a way to keep the Department of Homeland Security from shutting down at midnight. The vote was a demonstration of the limits to Boehner’s authority, and one of the most humiliating setbacks of his time atop the Republican Conference.

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There was no sense that Boehner would step down from the speakership, but leadership aides and key lawmakers didn’t reject the idea outright. The speaker’s aides said he had no plans to give up his position, but there was widespread speculation in private among Republican lawmakers and aides about his future.

Rep. Walter Jones, an outspoken critic of Boehner’s, said he was shocked by the number of Republicans who voted against leadership.

“You have to know your workers to be successful and you have to be in touch with them,” the North Carolina Republican said. “Early on my friends who feel the way I do, most people were thinking anywhere from 25 to 30 [no] votes. That is a real message there. Time will tell.”

Boehner huddled for hours after the vote with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and other party leaders. Some GOP insiders suggested Boehner may put a one or two-week bill on the floor.

“Anything is possible at this point,” said a top GOP aide.

Even in his fifth year as speaker, Boehner — his weakness, and his strategy for dealing with that vulnerability —is the central running drama of House politics. Perhaps more than with any party leader in the past several decades, what happens or doesn’t happen in the House is all about Boehner.

Boehner is guaranteed to be a focus of House Republicans next week regardless of what happens with the shutdown. After being invited by the speaker, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu will be in Washington to address a joint session of Congress. Boehner extended the invitation without telling the White House, helping to open a serious rift between the U.S and Israeli governments.

As for DHS, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Boehner should simply allow a vote on a Senate-passed bill to fund the agency through Sept. 30.

“Every Democrat would vote for that,” Hoyer said. “Surely there are 30 Republicans who would vote to fund the Department of Homeland Security.”

But Boehner may not be able to politically survive such a vote. Twenty-five Republicans voted against him for speaker last month, and he would most likely lose even more support if he simply put the long-term funding bill on the floor without thoroughly whipping his members first.

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Congress passes one-week DHS fix

The House voted late Friday to stave off a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security for another week, narrowly averting a funding lapse for the agency that has become the battleground over President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

The vote was 357-60. The Senate approved the stopgap measure earlier Friday evening and it was signed by President Barack Obama minutes before the midnight deadline when the department’s funding was to expire.

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The 11th-hour move came after dozens of House Republicans dealt a humiliating defeat to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders. Conservatives teamed up with Democrats to shoot down a Boehner-backed measure that would have funded DHS for three weeks.

Boehner’s allies are concerned after Friday’s setback that his critics inside the Republican Conference may try to oust him as speaker if — as expected — he puts a long-term DHS funding bill on the House floor next week. While Boehner shrugs off such speculation, close friends believe such a move is a real possibility.

“There is a lot of speculation about this,” said a GOP lawmaker who is close with Boehner. “People are watching for this very, very closely.”

Twenty-five Republicans voted against Boehner for speaker on the floor in early January, signaling his continued problems with his conservative hardliners. And Boehner’s allies believe that the earlier DHS debacle on Friday, when 52 Republicans voted against the three-week plan, was in part aimed at toppling the speaker.

One issue for Boehner’s GOP opponents — beyond his continued popularity with the vast majority of House Republicans — is who would succeed him. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would seem like a natural choice, but he is close to Boehner and would never seek to replace him. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has strong ties to many members, yet that may not necessarily translate for support for speaker.

After those two men, there’s a large drop-off to the next tier of potential choices. That helps Boehner’s cause.

The drama over Boehner’s future came after a day of unexpected twists in the homeland security saga.

With just hours to spare until the department’s expired, House and Senate Democratic aides said they reached a “deal” with Republicans: House Democrats would provide the votes to pass a one-week funding extension. In return, Democrats said they secured an agreement that a vote would be allowed next week to fund DHS through September. That would happen as long as the Senate votes down a request to go into formal House-Senate negotiations on the DHS bill, which is expected on Monday.

“Your vote tonight will assure that we will vote for full funding next week,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wrote to Democrats in a letter shortly before the measure was approved.

But Republicans denied a formal deal with Pelosi. “It’s her opinion, there is no agreement,” said Michael Steel, Boehner’s spokesman.

Boehner held discussions with both Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as the day unfolded Friday.

The vote earlier earlier in the afternoon against the three-week measure was the latest and perhaps most stinging repudiation of Boehner and his leadership team, who have struggled repeatedly to corral rank-and-file Republicans against the backdrop of legislative crisis. The Ohio Republican has been caught between conservatives demanding that he use the DHS issue to block President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration and avoiding a funding lapse of the anti-terrorism agency.

For much of the day, Boehner and other GOP leaders had been scrambling to lock down votes ahead of the vote, which was delayed in the afternoon to give them more time to line up support. Just before 1 p.m., the House recessed. Senior GOP aides claimed they were on the brink of rounding up enough backing to approve the stopgap bill coupled with a motion to enter formal negotiations with the Senate. The aim had been to secure enough support to ensure that no Democrats were needed to bring the bill across the finish line.

Instead, 52 Republicans voted against the measure — after House leaders kept the vote open for nearly an hour. Only 12 Democrats ultimately voted in favor of the funding bill, but they initially held their votes close to the vest in a strategy to force the GOP to cough up their own votes.

“It’s quite a vote,” said Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), one of the GOP “no” votes and a frequent thorn in the side of leadership. “This has not been a very good showing for the leadership at all.”

Rep. Stevan Pearce (R-N.M.), who voted against the short-term measure, said his vote rejecting the measure was a sign that he was sick of the “brinksmanship” over DHS funding that began weeks ago. He noted that the House sent over legislation to the Senate last month, and senators were just now sending over their own version of DHS legislation.

“It’s a protest vote on the way the whole thing is working,” he said shortly after the failed vote. “It is not a way to govern. What are we going to do 30 days from now that’s different?”

With the House disarray, the Obama administration began preparing for a potential funding lapse. Obama met with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan and other members of his senior team, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

Obama also called Pelosi and Reid for updates, Earnest said in a statement.

One problem for leadership in the first vote had been that conservatives believed Boehner, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) would still lack a plan to fund DHS when money ran out in three weeks. The vote was a test for Scalise in particular, since he had run on his ability to persuade conservatives to support leadership’s priorities.

“I’ve done all my work,” said Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), who chairs the subcommittee that oversees DHS funding. “It failed.”

House Democrats — whose leadership was furiously whipping against the three-week DHS bill — had their own drama.

Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) decided to support the stopgap measure, but was facing pressure from both Democratic leaders and fellow Congressional Black Caucus members to withdraw his backing for the bill. His Atlanta-based district is home to many Transportation Security Administration workers, who would either be furloughed or forced to work without pay during a DHS shutdown.

At one point during the vote, Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) began yelling at Scott in the Speaker’s lobby off the House floor over his support.

“David, you are making a mistake,” Brown yelled. “The strength of the wolf is in the pack. You don’t need to vote with those damn Republicans. You need to stop them now.”

Compared to the raucous House, the Republican-controlled Senate was tame.

On a 68-31 vote, it passed a funding bill for DHS that would run through the end of September, free of provisions to undo Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Separately, the Republican-controlled Senate tried to open debate on a bill by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) that would override the action Obama issued in November. But that measure was blocked by mostly all Democrats.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said in a statement after the late afternoon vote that House Republicans should “immediately” pass the DHS funding legislation that passed earlier Friday.

“The Republican Congress has shown that it simply cannot govern,” Reid said. “Two months into the Republican Congress, we are already staring a Homeland Security shutdown square in the face, even as terrorists around the world threaten to strike America.”

Lauren French and Jake Sherman contributed to this report.

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Elizabeth Warren Shreds Congress For Screwing The Middle Class While …

Elizabeth Warren Shreds Congress For Screwing The Middle Class While Passing Keystone XL

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Elizabeth warren morning joe

While discussing the unveiling of the Middle Class Prosperity Project along with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) ripped Congress for wasting months on passing Keystone XL for an oil company and shutting down DHS while the middle class gets screwed.


Sen. Warren said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe:

Look, coming out this Great Recession the administration has done a lot, the economy is surely recovering, but what it really means is that rich people are doing well. Giant corporations are doing well, and the middle-class is just getting hammered. And what is this Congress doing? You know, The United States Senate, the Republicans are now in charge, and what have they spent their time on?

First they wanted to spend weeks passing a pipeline that principally benefit some foreign oil company, and now they want to spend a month on shutting down Homeland Security at a time when we face terrorist threats. So, what we’re trying to do is get some focus on what’s happening to America’s working people. What’s happening to the middle-class, and to remind people that the middle-class is in trouble because of deliberate policy choices made in Washington.

That means that we can make changes here in Washington, and that’s what we want to draw some attention to.

Warren and Cummings explained in a piece for USA Today that their goal is to give a voice to the middle-class, and undo a Washington that only works for the special interests, “That’s why this week we’re launching a new Middle Class Prosperity Project to give a voice in Washington to those who need it most — hard-working people across this country. On Tuesday, we will hold the first in a series of forums to examine economic policies threatening the middle class, and we’ll hear from leading economists about how to help families rebuild economic security. After the Great Depression, Congress enacted progressive policies to build and expand the middle class. But Washington became captive to powerful interests that game the system at the expense of the middle class. It’s time to change that system. We must free our government from the grip of armies of lobbyists and the corruption of corporate influence.”

What Warren and Cummings are doing is not about passing a specific bill. Their goal is to galvanize a movement that give Washington back to the people. Sen. Warren was right. The Republican-controlled Congress is ignoring the middle-class. The Keystone XL pipeline is a microcosm of how Congress no longer works for the middle-class.

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President Obama Mourns The Death Of Leonard Nimoy

President Obama Mourns The Death Of Leonard Nimoy

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After it had been announced that Leonard Nimoy had passed away at the age of 83 from COPD, President Obama issued a statement that paid tribute to the man who brought Spock to life.

In a statement, the president said:

Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy. Leonard was a lifelong lover of the arts and humanities, a supporter of the sciences, generous with his talent and his time. And of course, Leonard was Spock. Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek’s optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity’s future.

I loved Spock.

In 2007, I had the chance to meet Leonard in person. It was only logical to greet him with the Vulcan salute, the universal sign for “Live long and prosper.” And after 83 years on this planet – and on his visits to many others – it’s clear Leonard Nimoy did just that. Michelle and I join his family, friends, and countless fans who miss him so dearly today.

To anyone who was a child during the 1970s when Star Trek became a pop culture phenomenon through reruns, Leonard Nimoy will always be Spock. Nimoy will also always be known as the person who replaced Rod Serling as the host of In Search of… But Nimoy was so much more. He was a published poet, and an accomplished photographer.

In recent months, Nimoy appeared to be saying goodbye on Twitter.

His final tweet a few days ago was:

Leonard Nimoy became a timeless pop culture icon by playing Spock, but the man demonstrated a warmth and care for others that will be deeply missed.

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Speaker John Boehner must allow the House to vote on a clean Homeland …

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner must not be swayed against his own political instincts by those in his House Republican caucus who, no matter the cost to the country or their own party, can’t let go of their anger at President Barack Obama’s unilateral immigration moves.

Whatever the merits of the argument that Obama acted unconstitutionally or just inappropriately in his immigration decrees, causing the partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security as a tactic to oppose those actions is foolish, wrongheaded and will be seen as petulant by many Americans. This appears to be a classic example of foot-shooting on the GOP’s part. 

Funding for the federal Department of Homeland Security runs out today without new legislation. Boehner maintains that Democrats will be to blame if a partial shutdown ensues. Good luck getting anyone to buy that.

Boehner must allow the House to vote on a “clean” bill that includes money DHS would need to carry out Obama’s immigration-related orders. The legality of Obama’s orders is even now playing out in the federal court system, where it belongs.

Obama has said he will veto a bill that defunds DHS on those programs. Any interruption in the operations of a department charged in part with keeping the country safe from terrorists is in neither party’s interests.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has paved the way for the Republican-controlled Senate to vote on a clean Homeland Security bill by also calling for a separate vote on Obama’s immigration action. That’s fine. At least he’s not holding national security hostage in the process.

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Boehner and the GOP would be well-advised to let the argument over whether Obama’s actions were unconstitutional play out in the courts while deciding on a better game plan to fight the president on immigration.

A federal judge in Texas recently issued a preliminary injunction that halted implementation of the new deportation policy that Obama had orderedThe White House has appealed and asked for a stay of the judge’s order.

The better way for Congress to deal with the president and his unilateral immigration reforms is to go back to work on a comprehensive legislative package that would address concerns voiced over pathways to citizenship and border security, while reflecting the immigration consensus already reached among business, labor and farming interests who rely heavily on those workers at risk of being deported.

Republicans can still impart their vision on immigration reform in this manner without disrupting essential U.S. national security interests.

Meanwhile, it’s time for Boehner and Congress to do what Boehner has been saying should be done since 2012: reform immigration in a way that resolves the issue justly and legally, and that makes such brinksmanship and legal wrangling unnecessary.

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House Speaker John Boehner Invites Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to Address …

Associated Press

House Speaker John Boehner invites Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to address Congress.

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John Boehner scurries to round up votes

John Boehner is pictured. | AP Photo

Republicans will vote on the motion to start negotiations with the Senate before the vote on the funding bill.

House Republican leaders are scrambling to lock down votes to pass their bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security for three weeks, with a shut down less than 12 hours away.

The vote was delayed Friday afternoon to give the leadership more time to line up support. Just before 1 p.m., the House recessed. Senior GOP aides say they are on the brink of rounding up enough support to approve the stopgap bill coupled with a motion to enter formal negotiations with the Senate. The aim is to secure enough support to ensure no Democrats are needed to bring the bill across the finish line.

Story Continued Below

Republican leaders say they are aiming for a 2 p.m. vote. Only a few minutes before, they said they were aiming for a 1:30 p.m. vote.

One problem for leadership is that conservatives believe Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) have no plan to fund DHS when money runs out in three weeks. This vote presents another test for Scalise, who ran on a platform of being able to convince conservatives to support leadership’s priorities.

Moderates, meanwhile, are also giving the leadership a headache. Their issue is this: Republicans will vote on the motion to start negotiations with the Senate before the vote on the funding bill. If the motion to go to a formal conference fails, then Republicans will not be able to pass the funding bill and are back to square one. Democrats are not expected to vote for the motion to go to conference because Senate Democrats will ultimately reject it.

Boehner personally ?weighed in and huddled with a group of members on the floor, including Pennsylvania Reps. Charlie Dent, Bill Shuster and Mike Fitzpatrick. New Jersey Reps. Rodney Frelinghuysen and Tom MacArthur were also talking with Boehner and Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.).

The procedural motion that allowed for debate passed with all 240 Republicans present voting in favor.

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Fighting Back: Senate Democrats Outraise Senate Republicans by a Stunning …

Fighting Back: Senate Democrats Outraise Senate Republicans by a Stunning Margin

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After a brutal but expected loss due to the map, Democrats are fighting back hard by donating to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) to the record setting tune of $4.5 million in January, which they describe in the header of their press release as the “best off year January in the history of the committee.”

In a press release, the DSCC announced:

The DSCC had its best off-year January in the history of the committee, raising $4.5 million and outraising the NRSC by a whopping $2 million. Just one month into 2015, the DSCC already has more than $2.6 million on hand. Thanks to our record setting month, the DSCC lowered its operational debt to $15 million.

Democrats seem to be taking nothing for granted going into 2016, not wanting to see a repeat of 2014 let alone 2010. However, 2016 is a presidential election year, and these bring out the Democratic voters. The 2014 election was brutal for Democrats, but this was expected in the 6th year of a President’s term, in an non presidential election year, and due to the map favoring Republicans. In 2016, all of this will be different, much of it favoring Democrats.

But winners take nothing for granted, and the time to start fighting for 2016 is now, especially with Republicans trying to destroy the country in just a few weeks of power, with the countdown to the Republican shutdown of homeland security imminent.

DSCC executive director Tom Lopach said in a statement, “After just a few weeks in power the Republican Senate is already trying to shut down the Department of Homeland Security and Democrats are energized and engaged in our fight to take back the Senate. Our supporters want to see a Senate that governs responsibly instead of playing political games, and we’re grateful that they’re standing with us as we lay the foundation for a successful 2016.”

With Republicans stumbling over their own bills and scoring touchdowns for the other team while they pontificate on camera about how shutting down homeland security won’t be that bad, it should be pretty easy for Democrats to raise money. The American people should be slightly afraid of the frat boys running Congress right now. Things are not going well, to put it mildly.

Ms. Jones is a Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Since joining Politicus in February of 2009, Sarah has been quoted by Talking Points Memo, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, The Richard Dawkins Foundation and more. Sarah co-hosts Politicus Radio with Jason Easley and is the political correspondent for KPTR 1450′s California Woman 411, hosted by Dee Jae Cox. Sarah is an award-winning producer with a background in TV/Film (TV host, news anchor, producer writer) and a member of the Screen Actors Guild/AFTRA and SPJ. Sarah graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a major in Psychology minor in Latin. She spends her free time dancing (ballet) and horseback riding (English).

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