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GOP Establishment steamrolls its own base

Senate Sunday Vote

In a year when Republicans are trying to establish a reason why they should be trusted to control two of the three branches of government, leadership in the U.S. Senate showed Americans it doesn’t matter if you put Republicans or Democrats in charge. In rare Sunday votes, the Senate blocked a bill to defund Planned Parenthood while passing another that re-establishes the Export-Import Bank.

Topic A LogoThe amendment to the Highway Trust Fund bill was offered by U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who had partnered with GOP presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on the legislation, was blocked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, who has endorsed McConnell previously, has been a vocal proponent of the defunding effort.

To override McConnell, 10 senators needed to support the measure. It failed to gain that support.

Instead, senators expressed their disappointment in Cruz for his blistering critique of McConnell on Friday. The Senate then voted to advance an amendment that would reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank on a 67-26 vote. Among those voting in favor of the procedural vote were U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa.

The Senate also failed to pass legislation that would have repealed Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act. Grassley and Ernst both voted in favor of the legislation to replace the healthcare law.

 

Meanwhile, in Iowa …

While that was going on, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump returned to Iowa for a rally in Oskaloosa, where he spoke to a standing room only crowd. Simultaneous to the event, two more polls came out that continue to suggest Trump’s rebuttal to criticism from U.S. Sen. John McCain has had no negative impact. And, in Hancock County, a GOP straw poll conducted at the county fair found 31 percent of those who voted — including independents and registered Democrats — would like Trump to be the GOP presidential nominee.

 

And over in Kenya …

In a homecoming — literal or figurative, depending on who you ask — President Obama became the first sitting president to visit the Republic of Kenya this weekend. Kenyans claim Obama, whose father (at the very least) was born there, as one of their own, and the President played up to those views by declaring himself the “first Kenyan-American to be President of the United States.” He also hit a raw nerve with Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta by attacking the nation’s record on homosexual rights. Kenyatta would have none of that, issuing one of the most effective smackdowns of the Obama presidency.