2020 Election

Capitol Ink | Special Cocktail

McConnell bristles at ‘hyperventilating hacks’ criticizing his blocking of election security legislation
Senate majority leader calls critiques ‘modern-day McCarthyism’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., fought back Monday against criticism of his handling of election security legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did something Monday he rarely does — he got riled up and responded directly to criticism as he defended his decision to block election security bills last week that Democrats attempted to bring to the floor by unanimous consent.

He took particular aim at a recent Washington Post opinion item by Dana Milbank titled “Mitch McConnell is a Russian asset,” calling it a “smear.”

Health care law supporters launch August tour
Route will include states where Republican senators face competitive reelection races

Advocacy group hopes to draw a contrast between Democrats, whose health care plans focus on increasing affordability and coverage, with the Trump administration and Republicans, who oppose the 2010 health law (File photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

 An advocacy group that supports the 2010 health law will launch a national tour next month with the hope of carrying its success from last year’s campaigns into the 2020 election cycle.

Protect Our Care, a group formed to defend the law, plans at least 22 events in August across the country, according to information first shared exclusively with CQ Roll Call.

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Trump delivers unifying July 4 message, but few see it helping reelection
GOP strategist: Military-heavy event likely ‘gauche and unnecessary’ to key voting bloc

Supporters of President Donald Trump try to stay dry at the 'Salute to America' featuring military flyovers he staged to mark Independence Day on the National Mall. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump was more a measured statesman than political streetfighter Thursday during his much-anticipated Independence Day address. But expectations are low that his patriotic — even, at times, unifying — message will boost his reelection odds.

Impressed early in his term as the guest of honor at France’s 2017 Bastille Day celebration, which featured an elaborate military parade, the U.S. commander in chief on Thursday deployed Air Force One, jets from the Air Force and Navy, helicopters from the Army and Marines — and even a Stealth Bomber — to the National Mall. And, in a speech that connected Thomas Jefferson with the Apollo crew that landed on the moon nearly 50 years ago, Trump struck a rare unifying tone.

House passes election security measure requiring cybersecurity safeguards, paper ballots
Republicans, in split with Democrats, call it federal overreach and are pushing their own proposals

Speaker Nancy Pelosi at an event with House and Senate Democrats on Thursday before a House vote on the Securing America’s Federal Elections Act. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House passed an election security measure Thursday that would require voting systems to use backup paper ballots in federal contests, while also mandating improvements to the higher-tech side of the polls.

The full chamber voted 225-184 to send the bill to the Senate where it faces stiff opposition from Republicans. House Democrats fast-tracked the bill to the floor after it cleared the Administration Committee by a party-line vote. 

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