Washington Brief: Poll Shows Carrier Deal a Political Winner for Trump

Washington Brief

  • President-elect Donald Trump’s intervention to keep Carrier from taking jobs to Mexico was a political winner, according to a new survey. (Morning Consult) But, most voters say he spends too much time on Twitter. (Morning Consult)
  • House GOP leaders signaled that they would oppose Trump’s call for a 35 percent tariff on any company that ships jobs overseas, the first significant confrontation between the two camps over conservative economic principles since the election. (The New York Times)
  • Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who was elected to chair the House Freedom Caucus in the next Congress, said the group would fight GOP leaders’ tentative plans to delay repealing Obamacare for as long as three years. (Politico)
  • Top Senate Democrats, from incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) to Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), are urging senators such as Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota to stay in the caucus rather than take posts in the Trump administration. (CNN)

Today’s Chart Review

Mark Your Calendars (All Eastern Times)

Tuesday
Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S. defense threats 9:30 a.m.
House convenes 10 a.m.
Senate convenes 10 a.m.
House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on India 10 a.m.
Vice President Biden will address the House Democratic Caucus 10:30 a.m.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Iranian proxies 2:30 p.m.
House votes 4 p.m.
Wednesday
Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on AT&T-Time Warner transaction 10 a.m.
Thursday
House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on mixed martial arts 10 a.m.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on State Department and USAID under next administration 10 a.m.
Friday
No events scheduled

 

General

Mistrial declared in case of South Carolina officer who shot Walter Scott after traffic stop
Mark Berman, The Washington Post

It was the second time in a matter of weeks that a mistrial was declared in a case involving an officer charged with murder after being recorded shooting someone, following a similar outcome in Ohio last month. Prosecutors in South Carolina, echoing their counterparts in Ohio, vowed to seek another trial for Slager.

A New Wave of Popular Fury Could Hit Europe in 2017
Alissa J. Rubin, The New York Times

For Europe, 2016 has brought a series of political shocks: near-record numbers of immigrants arriving from the Middle East and Africa; a vote by Britain to leave the European Union and renewed threats by Russia to meddle on the continent. But 2017 could be even bumpier.

Trump’s GOP takeover begins
Alex Isenstadt, Politico

His staffers are lining up to run for offices up and down the ballot. Loyalists are looking to dislodge state party leaders who are perceived as insufficiently committed to the president-elect. And a top Trump aide has emerged as a leading contender to become the next chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Oil industry urges Trump to approve Dakota Access pipeline
James MacPherson, The Associated Press

Industry leaders are urging President-elect Donald Trump to make approval of the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline a priority when he takes office next month, but a spokesman for Trump isn’t offering many clues about how the incoming president might act. Meanwhile, the leader of the Standing Rock Sioux is calling on pipeline opponents to leave a camp in southern North Dakota where they’ve been protesting for months, as dangerous winter weather sets in.

Pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste
Craig Whitlock and Bob Woodward, The Washington Post

The Pentagon has buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget, according to interviews and confidential memos obtained by The Washington Post. Pentagon leaders had requested the study to help make their enormous back-office bureaucracy more efficient and reinvest any savings in combat power.

Incoming national security adviser’s son, who peddles conspiracies, has a government transition email 
Andrew Kaczynski, CNN Politics

The son of incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn, who Sunday night peddled a false conspiracy theory about a DC pizzeria, has an official government transition email address. Michael G. Flynn, the son of retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, has served as his father’s top aide and chief of staff.

Both Feeling Threatened, American Muslims and Jews Join Hands
Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times

Jolted into action by a wave of hate crimes that followed the election victory of Donald J. Trump, American Muslims and Jews are banding together in a surprising new alliance. They are putting aside for now their divisions over Israel to join forces to resist whatever may come next.

Presidential

Trump marginalizes D.C. transition staff
Nancy Cook and Andrew Restuccia, Politico

So far, Trump and his inner circle have largely ignored those plans as they focus on top appointments and lean on the advice of politicians, CEOs and donors, rather than on their transition staff, say sources close to the transition. The president-elect, meanwhile, has been more likely to set policy on Twitter than through consultation with his D.C. advisers.

Al Gore Meets With Donald And Ivanka Trump In Search For ‘Common Ground’
Don Gonyea, NPR News

In what may be the most unlikely meeting of the presidential transition process so far, former vice president, former Democratic presidential nominee, former senator and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore met with President-elect Donald Trump on Monday. Gore has spent decades warning about the dire consequences of unchecked, man-made climate change, while Trump regularly called climate change “a hoax” during the campaign.

China hawks rally to Trump
Michael Crowley, Politico

The harmony is not perfect: free trade Republicans are uncomfortable with Trump’s talk of imposing tariffs on Chinese goods. And several sources noted that Trump’s foreign policy remains unpredictable, particularly until he appoints a secretary of state.

Critics Worry Over How Ben Carson, Lacking Expertise in Public Housing, Will Lead It
Sheryl Gay Stolberg, The New York Times

Big-city mayors and housing experts are nervous about the idea of a billionaire real estate developer in the White House. Now President-elect Trump has picked Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon with no housing experience, as his nominee for secretary of Housing and Urban Development — and high anxiety has set in.

Joe Biden Says He’s Considering 2020 Presidential Run
Reid J. Epstein, The Wall Street Journal

Mr. Biden, after presiding over the Senate Monday night, told a small group of reporters at the Capitol that “I am going to run in 2020,” according to NBC News. Asked what he will run for, the vice president replied, “for president, and also, what the hell man, anyway.”

As Trump vows to stop flow of jobs overseas, U.S. plans to make fighter jets in India
Annie Gowen, The Washington Post

As a new American president bent on retaining American jobs prepares to take office, the Obama administration and the U.S. defense industry are working on a deal with the Indian government to build iconic U.S. combat aircraft in India. In recent months, Lockheed Martin and Boeing have made proposals to the Indian government to manufacture fighter jets — the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the F/A-18 Super Hornet — in India as the country seeks to modernize its rapidly aging fleet of largely Russian-built airplanes.

Senate

Top Dems urge Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp to turn down Trump
Manu Raju and Ted Barrett, CNN

Democrats are worried that if Trump adds two Democrats to his Cabinet — potentially North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin — the balance of power in the chamber could tilt further to the GOP. So they are making the case to their colleagues to stay put.

Republicans look to make it easier to install Mattis as defense secretary
Kelsey Snell et al., The Washington Post

Republican leaders in the House and Senate are considering adding a measure to the upcoming year-end spending bill that would make it easier for retired Gen. James Mattis to be confirmed next year as Donald Trump’s secretary of defense. Mattis needs an act of Congress to make him eligible to lead the Pentagon because under the law the defense secretary has to be a civilian for at least seven years before taking office.

Bernie Sanders: TPP and Standing Rock victories show path to beating Trump
David Weigel, The Washington Post

Bernie Sanders, who rallied against the Dakota Access Pipeline in front of the White House, is declaring victory after the Army Corps of Engineers denied the permit that would allow the project to be built on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s land. In a statement, he twinned the pipeline victory with the quiet death of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying that both victories proved that progressives can win if they organize.

Shelby, Brown Came Close, but Fell Short on Rare Bipartisan Bill
Ryan Rainey, Morning Consult

The Senate on Monday passed, and then quickly rescinded passage of an anti-money laundering, anti-terrorism financing bill championed by both Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and the panel’s ranking Democrat, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

House

House G.O.P. Signals Break With Trump Over Tariff Threat
Jennifer Steinhauer, The New York Times

House Republican leaders signaled on Monday that they would not support President-elect Donald J. Trump’s threat to impose a heavy tax on companies that move jobs overseas, the first significant confrontation over the conservative economic orthodoxy that Mr. Trump relishes trampling. “I don’t want to get into some kind of trade war,” Representative Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California and majority leader, told reporters in response to Mr. Trump’s threats over the weekend to seek a 35 percent import tariff on goods sold by United States companies that move jobs overseas and displace American workers.

Freedom Caucus opposes GOP’s Obamacare replacement plan
Rachael Bade, Politico

The Republican congressman who made his name as the instigator of John Boehner’s ouster last year was set to take the reins of the House Freedom Caucus on Monday night. And first up on Rep. Mark Meadows’ to-do list: Torpedoing GOP leadership’s tentative plans to take as long as three years to replace Obamacare.

States

Wife of Gov.-elect Greitens robbed at gunpoint in Central West End
Nassim Benchaabane, St. Louis Post-Dispatch  

The wife of Governor-elect Eric Greitens was robbed at gunpoint Monday night as she left a restaurant in the Central West End and police said three suspects are in custody. The governor-elect released a statement shortly before 10 p.m. that said his wife was safe but shaken after being robbed not far from the couple’s home.

Tim Scott rules out run for governor
Bob Montgomery, The Spartanburg Herald-Journal

Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott on Monday said he has ruled out a bid for South Carolina governor in 2018. “The more I pray, the more I am comfortable that where I am is where I want to be right now,” Scott said during a visit to Gaffney.

Gov. Pat McCrory concedes defeat to Roy Cooper as Durham recount wraps up
Colin Campbell, The News & Observer

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory announced Monday that he’s conceded the election to Democrat Roy Cooper, the state’s attorney general, and will support transition efforts. McCrory made the concession in a video message posted around noon Monday as a recount he requested in Durham County entered its final hours.

Advocacy

Conservative Groups Bash Trump’s Proposed Tariff
Jon Reid, Morning Consult

Two fiscally conservative groups on Monday warned that President-elect Donald Trump’s call for a 35 percent tariff on companies that move jobs abroad would hurt the U.S. economy. FreedomWorks, in a statement to Morning Consult, said the tariff would “negatively impact consumers and… everyday Americans.”

Business community responds cautiously to Trump’s tweets about tariffs
Steven Mufson, The Washington Post

While the business community expressed misgivings during the campaign about Donald Trump’s anti-trade rhetoric, executives are now stepping more cautiously as the president-elect couples his promises to lower taxes and cut regulations with threats to impose a 35 percent tariff for companies that move abroad. At another time, talk of a steep, punitive tariff would have provoked outrage from U.S. corporations. But faced with an impulsive tweeter-in-chief, corporate America’s response has been muted.

A Message from Stop The HIT Coalition:

The Health Insurance Tax (HIT) drives up health care costs for small businesses, seniors, state Medicaid programs and middle-income Americans. And since the cost and consequences of the HIT increase over time, America’s small businesses and hardworking families are facing a bigger HIT every year. We need to repeal the HIT before it causes even more damage. Congress, please stop the HIT. Once and for all.

Opinions, Editorials & Perspectives

Why I Will Not Cast My Electoral Vote for Donald Trump
Christopher Suprun, The New York Times

I am a Republican presidential elector, one of the 538 people asked to choose officially the president of the United States. Since the election, people have asked me to change my vote based on policy disagreements with Donald J. Trump.

A Utah Republican Is Challenging Trump More Effectively Than 99 Percent of Democrats
Ben Mathis-Lilley, Slate

Evan McMullin is the Utah Republican operative who ran for president as a self-described conservative independent. He received 21.5 percent of the vote in Utah but only totaled about 600,000 votes nationwide. In other words, he is 1) not especially well-known and 2) not a Democrat. And yet in the last day alone he has done more than almost any Democratic figure to organize opposition to Donald Trump’s kleptocratic and Constitution-hostile tendencies.

Why Does Donald Trump Lie About Voter Fraud?
The Editorial Board, The New York Times

There is not a scintilla of evidence for this claim, and Mr. Trump’s own lawyers have admitted as much, stating in a court filing opposing a recount in Michigan that “all available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake.” Yet one after the next, leading Republicans are spreading this slander of American democracy, smoothing the way to restrict voting rights across the country.

A Message from Stop The HIT Coalition:

The Health Insurance Tax (HIT) drives up health care costs for small businesses, seniors, state Medicaid programs and middle-income Americans. And since the cost and consequences of the HIT increase over time, America’s small businesses and hardworking families are facing a bigger HIT every year. We need to repeal the HIT before it causes even more damage. Congress, please stop the HIT. Once and for all.

Research Reports, Issue Briefs & Case Studies

Carrier Deal a Political Winner for Trump, Poll Shows
Jon Reid, Morning Consult

Voters across the political spectrum view President-elect Donald Trump more favorably as a result of the Carrier deal. In a new Morning Consult/POLITICO national poll, 6 out of 10 voters surveyed said Trump’s intervention to keep the manufacturer from shipping hundreds of jobs to Mexico made them view the president elect in a more positive light.

Donald Trump Tweets Too Much, Most Voters Say
Cameron Easley, Morning Consult

Twitter has been a vital tool for President-elect Donald Trump, who’s used it for years to connect with supporters, spar with foes and often times dominate news cycles. But a new Morning Consult/POLITICO survey found most voters agree that he spends too much time on the social media platform.

Most Responsible to Recognize Fake News? Poll Says Readers Themselves
Laura Nichols, Morning Consult

When it comes to fake news, a majority of people think internet service providers, social media platforms, search engines and the government all share responsibility for removing the misleading content. But when asked who is most responsible, U.S. adults point to the reader, according to a recent Morning Consult poll.

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