DNC chair at Jackson Day: ‘Tea party extremists’ may boost TN Democrats
Sanders, Clinton Supporters Say Past Week Has Helped Them In Tennesseehave all turned up nothing, but that hasn't stopped House Speaker John Boehner from yetagain attempting to take down the nation's largest women's health care organization. On Friday, he announced that Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn will chair a select panel charged with investigating the group—and that she'll be joined by seven other anti-abortion Republicans, all of whom cosponsored a recent bill to defund Planned Parenthood.
"Recent videos exposing the abortion-for-baby parts business have shocked the nation, and demanded action. At my request, three House committees have been investigating the abortion business, but we still don't have the full truth," Boehnersaid in a statement on the new panel, which will report to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and which he hopes will have more success than the others in defunding the organization. "Chairman Blackburn and our members will have the resources and the subpoena power to get to the bottom of these horrific practices, and build on our work to protect the sanctity of all human life."
In the wake of the series of deceptively edited videos that showed Planned Parenthood staff discussing fetal tissue donation, Planned Parenthood's president, Cecile Richards, spent hours in September answering Congress' questions about her organization's use of taxpayer dollars. Described as a "partisan attack based on ideology" by committee member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the hearing turned up no evidence of wrongdoing. State investigations into local Planned Parenthood providers have similarly turned up no wrongdoing.
Blackburn, one of four women selected to serve on the panel, has a record of opposing abortion. Earlier this year she teamed up with Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) to push forward a measure that would ban nearly all abortions after 20 weeks. She's also an advocate for the argument that women wouldn't be hurt by Planned Parenthood's closure because there are community health centers that provide the same services, despite evidence to the contrary. Mother Jones
Bipartisan effort wants more Nashville teens votingOur elections don’t suffer from over-participation,” deadpanned state Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, last week when asked why he was partnering with U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, to encourage teenagers to register to vote.
While there should be no surprise that younger adults are the least likely to vote, the totals from the most recent Metro election were eye-opening.
Only 2 percent of the voters were under age 25, and less than 10 percent were under age 35. Almost 30 percent of the adults living in Nashville are between 18 and 34. People over 50 years old cast more than 70 percent of the votes in the election.
Dickerson and Cooper are working with the Davidson County Election Commission to raise awareness of a Tennessee program that allows high school students to register for the vote when they are 17 (they can’t vote until they are 18 years old, of course). State law requires local election commissions to conduct voter registration in every high school — public and private — in the county.
Last year, about 15 percent of eligible high school students registered to vote. In 2016, a presidential election year, Dickerson and Cooper hope to double the registrations.
The Davidson election commission has targeted Jan. 25-28, 2016, to register high school students, and is working with the Mayor's Youth Council, the Metro school board and the Metro Council to provide volunteers at the schools to man voter registration tables and collect voter registration forms. Tennessean
DNC chair at Jackson Day: ‘Tea party extremists’ may boost TN DemocratsPursuing Medicaid expansion in Tennessee was among the most popular ideas for reviving state Democrats’ prospects during the party’s annual fundraiser Friday night.
Organizers said more than 500 elected officials, supporters and contributors attended the party’s annual Jackson Day fundraiser in Nashville.
The event was headlined by Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. She said the failure of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal to extend health care to 280,000 low income people was an example of the failure of GOP politics in the state.
“Their party is so strangled by the tea party extremists, that even their Republican governor has not been able to get that done,” she said before the event.
During her speech she criticized Republican Tennessee Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black — whose mention was roundly booed by the crowd — for joining what she called the “farcical” House committee to investigate Planned Parenthood.
“It is a real disappointment for women’s health and our health rights in America,” she said.
The annual fundraiser was the first for state Democratic Party Chairwoman Mary Mancini, who was elected to the position in January.
Mancini told the crowd that Tennessee is “not as red as they want us to think it is,” and said Democrats must promote their ideas around the state to wrest political control back from Republicans.
“They sit next to you in your pews at church, they wait with you to pick up their kids at school, and they sit next to you in the stands at your college football games,” she said. “They know just like we do that Republicans are unfit to hold any elected office on any level.” Erik Schelzig/AP
Sanders, Clinton Supporters Say Past Week Has Helped Them In TennesseeIf you were looking for Democrats Friday night, the place to be was OZ Arts Nashville.
That's where the Tennessee Democratic Party held its annual Jackson Day dinner, and supporters of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were on the prowl for new volunteers.
One recent convert was Dave Schaufuss of Franklin.
"When the debate came out, I think that was the final kicker right there," he said. "I knew she was a quality candidate. But I was just kind of like, I want to see some more personality and what she has to bring to the table."
Tennessee backers of Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders have a little extra pep. They say the first, nationally televised Democratic debate; Vice President Joe Biden's decision not to run; and the marathon Congressional hearing on Benghazi have all served to strengthen their side. WPLN
Washington UpdateFollowing a week of show votes, Congress hopes for concrete action this week and to settle the leadership of the House.
Last week, the Senate failed to take up legislation to deny funding to local governments that refuse to enforce federal immigration laws. The House passed reconciliation legislation to repeal parts of health care reform and deny funding to Planned Parenthood. If Senate Republican opposition does not derail the legislation, President Barack Obama's veto will.
On Thursday, President Obama vetoed the Defense authorization bill because it exceeds military budget limits and restricts executive authority over Guantanamo Bay detainees. Democrats vow to uphold the veto.
The House will vote Monday to re-charter the Ex-Im Bank, rebuking House leaders for refusing a vote on the bill. On Thursday, the House is expected to elect Paul Ryan to be Speaker.
Ryan and congressional Republicans will probably have to depend on Democratic votes to avoid a debt default November 2 and a government shutdown December 11. Congress should easily extend the expiring highway bill to November 20 while House Republicans try to come with a way to pay for a six-year bill that emerged from committee last week.
Also next week, the House will take up a debt limit bill. Last week, Republican leaders floated the idea of linking a debt limit increase with $3.8 trillion in spending cuts and a vote on a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A whip count found insufficient support for the package. With the deadline looming, Republicans may seek a short-term increase, perhaps until December 11 - the deadline for a government shutdown. Democrats will oppose coupling the debt limit with a spending deal.
Congress' foray into presidential politics last week boosted Democrats' confidence in Hillary Clinton as she bested the House Benghazi Committee's effort to chastise her.
Crockett Policy Institute