Rush Limbaugh Was Right: Anonymous GOP Aide Leaks House Leadership Purge Story to Politico

Rush Limbaugh’s recent assertion that Politico is the “go-to inside the Beltway publication for Republican establishment leaks” is proving true again. In a featured story that relied upon an anonymous “Republican staffer familiar with the meeting,” Politico reported: Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 3 House Republican, is laying plans to boot lawmakers from the leadership’s elite vote-counting team if they oppose party-line procedural motions. That might sound like insignificant inside baseball, but it’s a critical development — and yet another sign that top Republicans are looking to ostracize troublemakers in the Capitol. On his nationally syndicated radio show last...

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Rubio presidential run could appeal to GOP establishment and conservatives, analysts say

Could U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio win back the White House for the Republicans? Some political experts think so, describing the Florida lawmaker as a candidate who has the support of the party’s conservative base, but who also has crossover appeal. Rubio, who is said to be seriously leaning toward running for president in 2016, has earned credibility with both so-called establishment Republicans, and the party’s conservative faction, which has wielded considerable influence in recent national and local elections, especially during the all-important primaries. “Marco Rubio is one of the best organized” in terms of political campaigns, Alfonso Aguilar, executive director...

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They're back! The new tea party surge

Congress hasn’t even been in session a month and a raft of Republicans are already being threatened with primaries in 2016. The reasons run the gamut, from backing John Boehner for speaker to objecting to an anti-abortion bill. One congressman is under fire for failing to amass clout that would help his district on a key issue. It’s the latest proof that divisions within the GOP are very much alive, despite the triumph of the establishment GOP wing over the tea party in last year’s midterms. Since the new Congress kicked off Jan. 6, more than a half-dozen Republican congressmen...

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Israeli center-left alliance looks to unseat Netanyahu: Likud behind in polls

JERUSALEM (AP) — When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dissolved his unwieldy coalition and called new elections last month, he appeared almost certain to be returned once more to office. But a new center-left alliance has surged past his Likud party in the polls, turning the March 17 contest into a toss-up. After joining forces with former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to create a joint grouping they call "The Zionist Camp," Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog is looking, to increasingly many Israelis, like a viable alternative to Netanyahu. He promises to reverse the country's slide toward international isolation and corrosive social...

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Boehner defectors not returning to Rules panel, aides say

After publicly defying Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Florida GOP Reps. Daniel Webster and Richard Nugent won’t be getting their seats back on the Rules Committee, The Hill has learned. Boehner and his allies booted the pair of congressmen from the influential Rules panel on Jan. 6, just hours after they joined a failed bid by 25 conservatives to oust the leader from his post. In the wake of the vote on the House floor, the Speaker said the GOP conference would be having a “family conversation” about whether to further punish his conservative foes. Boehner left the door open to...

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House leaders may boot dissenters from whip team

House Republican leadership’s crackdown against dissenters is continuing. Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 3 House Republican, is laying plans to boot lawmakers from the leadership’s elite vote-counting team if they oppose party-line procedural motions. That might sound like insignificant inside baseball, but it’s a critical development — and yet another sign that top Republicans are looking to ostracize troublemakers in the Capitol. Procedural motions are crucial for the majority party. The rule vote, for example, is a party-line motion that allows the speaker to control the House floor by laying out the guidelines for legislative debate. If the House...

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Mavericks? Independents far outnumber Republicans and Democrats - and it’s recordbreaking

Republican, Democrat — and Maverick? We already know that Americans are weary of Congress, the White House, gridlock and government. Now that ire has inspired voter defections: The number of self-described ‘independents” is at a record high level says substantive new Gallup research. “An average 43 percent of Americans identified politically as independents in 2014,” says analyst Jeffrey M. Jones, who also reports the number is the highest since the pollster began tracking the phenomenon in 1988.

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Boehner’s Canny Immigration Gambit (another friggin lawsuit!)

The speaker’s plan to sue Obama over his immigration executive action may capture support of even those lawmakers who back reform. Even Republican supporters of immigration reform aren’t inherently opposed to a potential congressional lawsuit against the Obama Administration over the president’s executive action on immigration. Speaker John Boehner announced Tuesday morning that he was exploring ways to sue the White House on behalf of the House of Representatives over the controversial November executive action, which allowed up to 5 million illegal immigrants to remain in the United States without fear of deportation. While the president’s action was applauded by...

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Tea Party lawmakers may take on McCain

A couple of Tea Party lawmakers are strongly considering challenging Sen. John McCain in 2016, but they won’t both get in the race. Arizona GOP Reps. Matt Salmon and David Schweikert, who are “best friends” on Capitol Hill, have spent recent weeks mulling over the possibility with family members, analyzing polling and keeping tabs on McCain, as he makes moves toward running for a sixth Senate term. ADVERTISEMENT But if one decides to take a shot against the state’s entrenched senior senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee, the other won’t. “If Matt came to me and said he wants to...

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Republican leaders look for escape plan on immigration

Republican leaders in the House and Senate are boxed in on immigration and searching for a way out. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) are struggling to find a way to fund the Department of Homeland Security while meeting conservative demands to unwind President Obama’s executive actions giving legal status to millions of immigrants who would otherwise face deportation. Congress is only scheduled to be in session for three weeks in February, giving lawmakers little time to craft a funding bill that would prevent an embarrassing shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on...

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Conservatives Take Credit for Derailing Border Security Bill

With inclement weather grounding planes across the country Monday, GOP leaders pulled a border security bill from the floor schedule this week, citing the weather and an already condensed schedule. One day later, though there are no blizzards conveniently scheduled for next week, Speaker John A. Boehner wasn’t about to commit to a timeline for resurrecting the border bill — a delay that some hard-line conservatives are already chalking up as a victory. “We’re going to continue to talk to our members about these issues,” Boehner said following a Tuesday morning conference meeting. “When you look at it, it wasn’t...

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House Freedom Caucus a Real Opportunity for Conservatism in Washington

Ever since Republicans swept the midterm elections in November, we’ve had to report on a lot of disappointing news for conservatives. Some days it’s almost as if the elections never occurred. But today, we have some positive and promising news with the formation of a new formal House conservative group, the Freedom Caucus. We have been arguing for quite some time that conservatives needed a new home outside of the ineffective Republican Study Committee – a working group to collaborate, strategize, and reassert control over party leadership that is more concerned with lobbyist wish lists than providing a bold conservative...

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GOP lawmakers confront Jim DeMint over ratings

Long-simmering tensions between the Heritage Foundation, its sister political arm and House Republicans erupted Tuesday during a weekly meeting of conservatives, as GOP lawmakers confronted the nonprofit group’s leader behind closed doors. Several Republican lawmakers unleashed on Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint — a former South Carolina senator — griping mostly about Heritage Action’s legislative scorecard. The Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action are related groups, but the latter advocates for policy and has a scorecard that judges lawmakers’ voting records on Capitol Hill. Story Continued Below . . The heated exchange comes just one day before conservative Republicans head to...

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Secretive ‘Freedom Caucus’ Claims Scalp On Border Bill Delay

Members of the newly-formed, staunchly conservative House “Freedom Caucus,” which just announced its nine founding members, are already claiming credit for blocking an immigration bill that had been scheduled for floor action this week. “The communications were made to the House leadership by our Freedom Caucus last week, and all of the sudden this week you see the bill has been delayed,” said Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), a top immigration hawk who was not named as part of the group but nonetheless has been attending its meetings. The group is clearly considerably larger than nine, and it includes many outspoken...

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Senate's swing-state Republicans break ranks

It didn’t take long for vulnerable Republican senators to start bucking their new majority’s party line. Just three weeks into Mitch McConnell’s reign as Senate majority leader, he’s already confronting the challenges of running a caucus filled with blue-state Republicans who face reelection next year. They’ve begun departing from the GOP stance on issues like energy and climate change — a move that lets them espouse independence back home, but also exposes divisions that are bound to intensify as 2016 draws nearer. The Senate’s dynamic was on display in a series of amendment votes over the last week on the...

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Is Iowa turning into a no-win situation for establishment Republicans in 2016?

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who famously skipped Iowa in the 2012 Republican presidential race by saying the state "picks corn, not presidents," has since admitted he was wrong. "You gotta play Iowa," Huntsman said on "Morning Joe" recently, adding: "You don’t have to win [in] Iowa, but you have to get the top four." Huntsman is right. Skipping states in this political-media world is simply unworkable. Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani's decision in 2008 not only to skip Iowa but also, inexplicably, to take a pass on New Hampshire ensured that by the time the race got to...

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New GOP Caucus Could Set Stage for Leadership Coup

A group of 30-40 House Republicans — more than enough to prevent House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) from mustering 218 votes for anything — is organizing into a formal caucus and hiring staff. The organization is devoted to pushing conservative legislative goals, as I write on the home page, but it could be an important component of the next leadership elections. That’s because the existence of the caucus provides outsiders with an opportunity to count votes, and court supporters, in public. “Any leadership election is pretty much about organization and who has votes lined up or who can reach...

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The danger of RINO presidents

The Republican Establishment seems to believe that conservatives will naturally line up behind a RINO candidate because the alternative – President Hillary, for example – is so awful. Conservatives understand, however, the real dangers of electing a RINO president. When a RINO sits in the White House, he can parade around as the “mediator” between conservatives and the left. RINO presidents can craft “compromises” and claim to be able to “get things done.” RINOs see themselves as practical men, pragmatists who assume that the left wants government and politics to work. As a consequence, these RINO presidents appoint to the...

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Levin: Maybe Jeb Realizes Immigration Position ‘Just Not Flying’

On Monday, talk radio host and author of “The Liberty Amendments,” Mark Levin suggested that Jeb Bush was changing his tone on immigration because he realized his position was “just not flying.” After playing a clip of Bush saying “we ought to be able to figure out where they [illegal immigrants] are and politely ask them to leave,” Levin initially wondered how politely asking someone to leave would work and what would happen if someone said “no.” He then remarked, “so, Jeb says we ought to be able to figure out where these people are and politely ask them to...

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House GOP pulls border bill, citing weather, but foes say support wasn’t there

House Republican leaders Monday pulled a controversial, party-sponsored border security bill from a vote scheduled later this week, citing poor weather conditions in the Northeast. However, Republican and Democratic opponents of the bill contend that the leadership pulled it for lack of support. House leaders postponed all Monday votes as blizzard conditions socked-in much of the Northeast. The cancellation further truncated a short congressional work week. The House is scheduled to adjourn Wednesday so the chamber’s Democrats can attend a retreat in Philadelphia the rest of the week. A House Republican leadership aide said ‘there are no scheduling announcements at...

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Greece’s new anti-austerity government set on collision course with Brussels

Greek radicals sought on Monday to redraw the political map of Europe, forming a coalition government of left and right, united only by their desire to defy the European financial establishment and shrug off the constraints of austerity. The coalition, led by 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, was expected to dispatch its new finance minister to Brussels in the next few days to seek a fundamental renegotiation of Greece’s economic bailout package, vowing that “the end of humiliation has come”. Tsipras and his Syriza party have promised to replace the austerity programmes imposed by Greece’s international creditors with policies aimed at helping...

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How Can You Fight When You Don't Believe?

It doesn’t take a genius to ascertain the political motivations behind the behavior of GOP leaders in Washington. When you believe in a specific issue or principle with all your heart, you harness every opportunity to advance the cause. Conversely, when you lack a core belief in the cause you are tasked to pursue, you will look for every excuse to avoid any significant achievement of that goal. The recent behavior of Republicans on a host of issues reveals what many of us have known for quite some time – the party leadership fundamentally does not share our values, principles,...

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House tea partyers face new resistance from GOP pragmatists

This should be a golden era for tea party conservatives, whose energies helped Republicans gain a historic House majority and take control of the Senate. But the House's die-hard conservatives face new frustrations and uncertainty, thanks to a higher number of establishment-friendly Republicans and a leadership push to "show we can govern" instead of throwing partisan brickbats. Some conservatives are fighting back, demanding that Senate Republicans stand firm against President Barack Obama. But their leverage is limited. And now, however reluctantly, some tea party-affiliated House members are acknowledging a political landscape in which the GOP-run Senate will dilute House legislation,...

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Deport 2 Manchuria’: Republican Delegates Boo McCain In HIS HOME State [VIDEO]

Sen. John McCain didn’t quite receive a warm welcome when he spoke before a Arizona Republican Party committee meeting Saturday, with several GOP delegates booing and turning their backs on him during his speech. According to the Arizona Daily Independent, the only members of the audience who showed any appreciation for McCain were a “mostly silver-haired faction” and outside supporters reportedly brought in to cheer him on. However, some attendees claimed to The Arizona Republic that only a few booed the senator and nearly everyone there seemed to love him. But video and images of the event show a sizable...

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Jeb Bush: We Need to Control Border By Politely Asking Illegals to Leave

This weekend in San Francisco while speaking to the National Automobile Dealers Association, former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) said, “First and foremost we need to control our border.” “The 40 percent of the people that have come here illegally came with a legal visa and overstayed their bounds,” he added. “We ought to be able to figure out where they are and politely ask them to leave.” State and local enforcement should partner with the federal government to encourage illegal aliens to return to their home countries in a “compassionate” way, Bush continued. The 9/11 hijackers, whose airliner suicide mission...

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