The Tennessee Star Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe on Wrong Way Milley Story and the Changing Mood of Democratic Congressmen

The Tennessee Star Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe on Wrong Way Milley Story and the Changing Mood of Democratic Congressmen

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed The Tennessee Star Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmaker line to weigh in on Mark Milley’s DUI history and the current mood in the US Congress.

Leahy: We are joined now on our newsmaker line by the very best Washington correspondent in the country, the Washington correspondent for The Star News Network, and The Tennessee Star, Neil McCabe.

Neil, before we get into the craziness of Congress, I’d just like to get your comment on this story that we broke at The Tennessee Star on The Star News Network yesterday. Headline Wrong Way, Milley. Beat a 1982 DUI Charge, Paid $100. Fine.

The Star News Network confirmed that a person by the name of Mark A. Milley was the same Mark Milley as Joint Chief of Staff Mark Milley, who was charged with driving under the influence in Cumberland County, North Carolina, after a November 1982 traffic stop.

Turns out the drunk driving charge was dismissed. But Milley was found guilty of driving the wrong way on a one way street. He paid a $100 fine for going the wrong way, plus a $31 court fee. Neil, I don’t know. We went back 39 years to find that out.

McCabe: Well the people have a right to know Mike.

Leahy: (Laughs) They do. And isn’t it kind of emblematic of the kind of guy Milley is, right?

McCabe: There’s a lot of people who we accused of going taking things the wrong way. He was actually convicted of it. (Leahy laughs)

Leahy: He really was. What’s interesting is we tried multiple times to get the Joint Chiefs of Staff Public Information Office to comment. We tried them on September 15 and the 16th and on Monday, no comment, no comment, no comment.

It’s a minor embarrassment. Why not just say, yeah, that was him and on to the next. Why would they refuse to admit it? We got the goods on him? Why won’t they just say, yeah, 39 years ago he made a mistake.

McCabe: I think Peter Dulet gets a lot of credit for sort of grinding this thing down and actually getting Major Powers. The unnamed first-named Major Powers. Major Powers refuses to give his name.

And so I don’t know, I don’t know what the harm is. He talked to his supervisor, and I guess the supervisor said that Powers wouldn’t give a comment, but his boss would. And then that comment was not forthcoming.

It was an opportunity for General Milley to sort of talk about the importance of driving while sober. (Leahy chuckles) I think it was an opportunity missed as a teaching opportunity, certainly for his soldiers.

The crazy thing is, I give Peter probably the most credit is, why was Milley’s birthday listed? Like when you Google Milley’s birthday, it comes up the 18th. Forgive me if I got it screwed up. One was June 18 and one was June 20, right?

Leahy: If you go to Wikipedia, it now says, although a year and a half ago, it said something else. But it said June 18, 1958, was his birthday.

That’s what Wikipedia says. But Peter Debrosko, who wrote the article for us, contacted the clerk at Winchester, Massachusetts and found out that Mark A. Milley was born on June 20, 1958, which is the date of Mark A. Milley who was arrested for drunk driving and driving the wrong way back in 1982 in Fayetteville, North Carolina, which is where Fort Brag is. That area.

McCabe: Right. Milley was right out of Princeton. He was commissioned out of the Princeton ROTC program and served in the 82nd Airborne and later became a Green Beret.

And you look on paper, it’s a fantastic military resume. I’m not sure I want him in charge of the army, but he’s got great credentials.

Somebody did suggest to me that maybe the idea of putting out the wrong birthday was to sort of avoid people connecting the dots with this DUI. But who’s to know? I think it has symbolic value then will have impact on national policy.

Leahy: Yeah. I think you’re exactly right. You got wrong way Milley, who apparently now former President Trump says, advised him while he was president to leave all the equipment in Afghanistan because it would be cheaper.

That’s what Former President Trump. I mean, it’s just utterly idiotic. That’s what they ended up doing. They left the equipment there.

McCabe: Now the Taliban have more attack helicopters than England.

Leahy: It is kind of crazy. It’s a funny story. Just tell the truth, joint chief of staff, public information people, and then on to the next. But I think they won’t tell the truth about it. They won’t admit it. That’s I think indicative of the fact that they just are not transparent or competent. Speaking of competence and transparency, what kind of craziness is going on in Congress right now?

McCabe: Well, you know, I’ll say it again. The real chance that Biden had to push his agenda ended with the 4th of July and everybody sort of went home for the August recess. You come back after Labor Day after getting an ear full from your constituents, and you’re just in a different mood.

And Congressmen, especially Democratic congressmen, are in a much different mood today than they were six months ago. And there’s a lot of programs and taxes that they probably would have voted for six months ago, but now not so much.

And what you’re finding is this $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill, which is actually more like $5 trillion because they deceptively said that when they did the 10-year outlay projections, they deceptively said that some of these programs would end after three years.

As if they would end in three years. And you have the estate tax. You have some tampering with the deductibility of state and local taxes.

SALT, which is very important to these Democratically controlled, high taxes, allows rich people to deduct their state and local taxes in say New York or Connecticut, or Massachusetts from their income.

Leahy: And Neil what happens then is Tennesseeans end up subsidizing rich New Yorkers. Crom has a question for you, Neil.

Carmichael: Neil, I also saw where you’ve got a bunch of people in the House who are adding additional spending of up to $800. billion. So your $5 trillion is now closing in on $6 trillion.

And then I saw an article where if they change it so that wealthy people in blue States can deduct their state and local taxes, that is another $88 billion dollars a year.

In Washington, speak that’s close to a trillion dollars in tax cuts for the rich. And so all of a sudden, where do they make up the revenue for giving the richest people in America tax breaks?

McCabe: Right. This is definitely flipping the script. Since when were the Democrats demanding we cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans, which is exactly what expanding SALT would do.

What you’re finding is that people are sort of choking on this spending because the Social Security increases. Six percent, which is the highest in, like 20 years and inflation is a real problem.

And people in Washington understand that Biden is going to get blamed for the inflation that’s all around us. But it hasn’t really broken nationally as a full-blown story.

And if they’re attached to Biden and they’re attached to voting for this bill, they’re just really going to blow the bank. It’s also a hostage situation. The progressive Democrats understand that this is their one shot to get something done.

The moderates understand that this is a shot to get something done. Pelosi only has five or six seat majority, and so it’s very, very tight.

Leahy: Neil McCabe, the very best Washington Correspondent in the country. Thank you for that outstanding report. Come back next Wednesday.

Listen to the third hour here:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Neil W. McCabe” by Neil W. McCabe. Background Photo “Mark A. Milley” by U.S. Secretary of Defense CC BY 2.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Star News Network’s Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe on the Kamikaze Suicide Mission of Liz Cheney

The Star News Network’s Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe on the Kamikaze Suicide Mission of Liz Cheney

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed The Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmaker line to discuss the political futures of anti-Trumpers of Liz Cheney, Anthony Bouchard, and Adam Kinzinger.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line, the best Washington correspondent in the country. And the Washington correspondent for The Star News Network, and The Tennessee Star, Neil McCabe. Good morning, Neil.

What is going on with Liz Cheney? She sounds like she’s a Democrat these days and she’s on this select committee to look into the ‘January sixth riot’ at the capitol. What does she want to do?

McCabe: I think that Liz Cheney has now decided that she’s going to be on a suicide mission. She’s basically piloting a kamikaze plane for USS Trump. (Leahy laughs) And I just don’t think that she’s going to sink USS Trump.

Leahy: What is she thinking? Does she think she has a chance to win the Republican primary in Wyoming when she is making such outrageous, outrageous statements about the Republican minority leader, Kevin McCarthy who she’s defying by serving on this Kabuki theater Kangaroo court with Nancy Pelosi? What is she thinking?

McCabe: The feeling in Wyoming is that Liz Cheney is not going to run for her seat. She tried to run as sort of a non-Trump true conservative. And we’ve seen that in other states, people sort of presenting themselves in that light. And of course, as I wrote for The Tennessee Star, and The Star News Network, how Liz Cheney uses Paul Ryan’s fundraising operation.

So she’s completely tied up in the Paul Ryan sort of rebel alliance against Trump. And so maybe she thought that was going to work for her. But the way she’s polling right now, she is not going to win that primary. She could run as a Democrat or an Independent, but that’s just not going to fly in Wyoming.

That might fly someplace else. The feeling is that she’s setting herself up for either a Democrat or an Independent or Republican run for President in the United States. She’s just getting her ducks in a row. She’s checking all her boxes so that the left-wing media can present her as the heroine.

Carmichael: Are you talking about 2024?

McCabe: Yes.

Carmichael: I think her aspirations aren’t that high. I just think she wants to be another Nicole Wallace. And so she’s applying for a gig at CNN or MSNBC.

McCabe: I’ll tell you one job she’s not applying for and that’s Congresswoman from Wyoming. (Leahy laughs) She has basically shredded that resume and will never revisit it. You look at what Donald Trump is trying to do now.

He’s meeting with some of the other candidates who are running for that seat. He pointedly did not invite Anthony Bouchard. And Bouchard’s that state Senator and the first guy out of the box to say that he would oppose Liz Cheney. Bouchard has raised close to three-quarters of a million dollars.

He’ll have more than a million dollars raised by the end of this year. Right now he has thousands of individual donors from inside the state of Wyoming. This is a primary that usually get 60,000 votes.

So you compare percentage-wise that you have a thousand people who have already donated to that campaign that usually gets 60,000 participants, and you compare that percentage-wise to other states. It’s really remarkable the magnitude of his support statewide. Bouchard was not invited to meet with Trump.

Carmichael: Why?

McCabe: The feeling inside the Bouchard camp is that Trump is trying to avoid a primary, and he wants to sort of gauge who these other guys are before eventually backing Bouchard. Bouchard is being trashed actively by the Wyoming Republican leadership.

And obviously, Cheney has dropped some opposition research on Bouchard. Almost like a kill-shot type story because of what happened in his first marriage. It didn’t have any effect. And it’s my understanding that the polling for Bouchard actually got better after that negative story dropped.

The Bouchard camp is going to run for Congress, whether Liz Cheney is in the race or not, and whether Trump endorses them or not. No one else in the campaign has raised anywhere near the money that Bouchard has raised.

There is another candidate that’s raised $200,000. of his own money, and he’s raised another, say, $90,000. from other people. But no one else has anywhere close to what the machine that Bouchard has built.

Because remember, he’s the founder of Wyoming gun owners, and he’s been working the gun rights advocacy in that state for 10 years. Plus he’s a state Senator. He’s not somebody who just dropped in and decided to run for Congress. It will be very interesting to see how it plays out.

Carmichael: Two questions, Neil. Would he be a Trump-type conservative or is he a Trump-type conservative?

McCabe: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Carmichael: Okay, let me move to another race. And that is what’s the name of the guy? The fellow who cried all over himself?

Leahy: Oh, Adam Kinzinger. The fashion model who represents a district in Illinois. That guy.

Carmichael: Is he going to have primary opposition?

McCabe: He does have a primary opponent. Her name is help me, Michael. It’s Lauf.  Remember the young Lady she ran last time and she’s running again. She is sort of a 20 something conservative Republican. Her name escapes me right now.

Leahy: It doesn’t sound like a real problem to be a real serious challenger though.

McCabe: The reason why Kinzinger is not returning to Congress is that Illinois is losing a seat, and the Democrats and the Republicans and the state capital are going to take care of him. And it’s always an awkward thing.

Leahy: They are redistricting there.

McCabe: And so basically, the Democrats can redistrict him out of business. Republicans aren’t going to wait for him.

Leahy: Catalina Lauf is the one that would challenge him. That’s the name of the woman who would challenge him if he has the same district.

Carmichael: So he, too, is applying for a gig on CNN or MSNBC with his antics on the committee.

McCabe: Yeah. And they’ve raised some anti-Trump money, but there just isn’t a future for him in the Republican Party. And he’s still touting himself as a Republican. But it’s just not going anywhere for him. And we’re finding over and over and over again, and we saw this with the great Bob Corker, not to speak ill of the dead. (Leahy laughs)

Leahy: Now that’s funny.

Carmichael: I like Bob Corker personally.

McCabe: I’m sure he’s a swell guy. Just don’t make him a Senator. He thought it was a smart idea to go up against Trump, and it got him great play on CNN. But he returned to private life. Almost went to jail.

Leahy: But, Neil, what’s the impact, by the way of the last night’s victory in a Texas Republican primary by Jake Ellzey, who was not the candidate endorsed by Donald Trump? Donald Trump endorsed a widow of the former congressman right there.

And she lost, I think, like 53 to 47. The guy who won, Ellzey, though, embraced the Trump agenda full on. We got 60 seconds. Any impact on that or not?

McCabe: They’re always going to be local factors, and they’re always going to be some districts are going to want to have the widow take over. And there are some districts that say, you know what?

We want a new guy. It’s like a quarterback controversy. You have two great quarterbacks. It’s a good problem to have. You have two pro-Trump candidates and one of them won.

Leahy: So not really significant in a long term.

McCabe: There is no such thing as a post-Trump GOP.

Listen to the third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe and the Factors of Chuck Schumer’s Invisible Infrastructure Bill

Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe and the Factors of Chuck Schumer’s Invisible Infrastructure Bill

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed The Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmaker line to talk about Schumer’s rush to pass a blank infrastructure bill while coaxing Republicans to get on board.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line by the very best Washington correspondent in the country. He represents The Star News Network, covering Washington, Neil McCabe. Neil, good morning.

McCabe: Good morning, Michael. Very good to be with you.

Leahy: So I think you called it. Now, Chuck Schumer has a bill. He’s calling it the infrastructure bill. Apparently, it is a blank sheet of paper.

And it’s $3.5 trillion of spending, something like that. What are the chances of that moving through the United States Senate or the rest of Congress?

McCabe: Well, it’s a very interesting gambit. Schumer is forcing senators to be working in Washington when they don’t want to be in Washington during the summer.

Frankly, no one wants to be in Washington during the summer. It was practically designed by the founders who knew when they put Washington in a swamp, the point was to keep people away because nobody would want to be there.

Roy Blunt, who is one of the 10 most rebellious of the senators working with Democrats on this infrastructure bill from Missouri, basically said that he doubts that this thing is going to move forward because the bill hasn’t been written, as you said.

Schumer is trying to get these Republicans who are negotiating with Democrats on an infrastructure bill to be on the record, moving it forward as a way of showing their good faith.

So why should we negotiate with you if you won’t move the bill forward? So McConnell at the luncheon that the Republicans have every week urged his colleagues to vote against it. And we’re going to set to see, I doubt that the Republicans are going to go against McConnell on this.

There’s a lot of pressure – both Republicans and Democrats – to basically hold the party line. If it’s a procedural vote. When it comes down to issues of agenda or policy, there’s a little bit more play there.

But you’re really supposed to maintain party discipline on a procedural vote, and that’s what the filibuster is. And I would also say that President Donald J. Trump has been really negative about McConnell lately.

And I think that actually strengthens McConnell’s hand inside the Republican Senate conference because the Republicans are going to want to show some unity and sort of support McConnell. McConnell’s name might be trash outside of Capitol Hill, but among senators, they’re routing to him.

Leahy: That’s a very interesting point. Now, these 10 I don’t know. You call them the weak-kneed Republicans who are trying to, “negotiate with a blank piece of paper” that had been presented to them by Chuck Schumer.

I know Blunt is not up for reelection. He said he’s retiring. Are any of the others going to face primary challenges on the Republican side if they partner with the Democrats?

McCabe: Well, that’s going to be a problem. It will also hurt their turnout – will also hurt their fundraising. So even if they don’t get a primary challenge, it’s not going to be the same enthusiasm.

But a guy like Blunt retiring, Portman’s retiring, Toomey’s retiring. Bird is retiring from North Carolina. When these guys are retiring, that’s almost when they’re the most dangerous, because not only are they trying to set themselves up for retirement, but now they’ve got dozens of aides and a lot of their senior aides.

And they got to set these guys up with lobbying gigs and whatnot. So there are different provisions hitting in these bills that their staffers are the experts on lobbying on.

And so that’s why the lame-duck session is so dangerous. So these guys are on their way out the door and they’re plotting their retirement and the retirement of their aides. So that’s their incentive.

Carmichael: Neil, let me ask you a question, though. In order for Schumer to be successful in the vote, he needs to get to 60 total, which means that 10 Republicans would have to side with the Democrats against the wishes of McConnell. And I think the likelihood of that is one in a billion.

McCabe: Well, the other problem is that everyone understands that this is both. After the filibuster, Schumer doesn’t need the Republicans anymore, because then the bill just needs a simple majority.

And then, of course, it goes to reconciliation. The Republicans will only have leverage before the filibuster. And that’s why Schumer is trying to get it out of the way.

And Schumer is racing against time. It’s like the legislative season is over, and he’s trying to get something done when everybody wants to be back home and time is running out. As time goes on, the Democrats are losing their grip on Capitol Hill because everyone knows the midterm is coming, and they know that Biden isn’t going to be able to bail them out.

I mean, you see what’s going on with inflation? There’s going to possibly be a six percent increase in Social Security. Forget the budget ramifications of that.

But that is confirmation that there is serious inflation out there. That’s the highest increase, I think, since like, 1975 or something. It’s crazy.

And people are talking about lumber and gas prices. But when you see a Social Security hike of six percent, that gets people’s attention, and people are going to start saying, wow, what’s going on with this Biden administration?

Certainly, he’s losing on crime. He’s losing on the border. And he’s kind of bouncing around. People are trying to say, well, what’s going on with this guy?

Carmichael: What time frame do we look at here? In other words, you’re going to have this vote or you’re not going to have this vote. What’s the drop-dead date for Schumer?

McCabe: Schumer votes today.

Carmichael: The vote is today?

McCabe: Schumer votes today.

Carmichael: If Schumer doesn’t get to 60 today, then it’s dead the water. Is that right?

McCabe: No. What the 60 votes means, he ends the debate. And that means they can have a vote on the floor for a simple majority.

So if they don’t end the debate now, they can end the debate tomorrow. You can keep trying to break the filibuster forever. And so Schumer is just trying to do it now because he wants to get people on the record.

And he’s trying to goose the process and basically say to the Republicans who are negotiating, there are a lot of Republicans that want high-speed rail.

They want 5G. They want bridges. They want highways. They want ports dredged. So there’s a lot of Republicans who want some of these goodies.

But if they want it, they got to go ahead with the filibuster. That’s what Schumer is trying to say. Why should we negotiate with you?

Because if you don’t want to negotiate with us, we’ll just go through the reconciliation process and we don’t need you. It’ll be a smaller bill, but you won’t get anything.

Carmichael: But if they vote to do away with the filibuster without knowing what’s in the bill, then they’ve lost their leverage anyway. Is that correct?

McCabe: If they end the filibuster, they have lost all of their leverage.

Leahy: So it just makes common sense not to cooperate with Schumer if you’re one of these retiring RHINO Republicans who, as you say, are very dangerous at that time.

Of course, sometimes common sense and some Republican senators are two things that don’t always go together.

McCabe: Schumer is not in a position of strength. The reason why he’s pushing it now is that he knows that there’s atrophy to his ability to get things done. And he needs action on things.

Pelosi doesn’t have a care in the world. She’s going up against Kevin McCarthy, and she just runs circles around him. But Schumer and McConnell is a “Clash of the Titans.”

Leahy: A clash of the Senate Titans. And on that note, Neil McCabe, thanks so much for joining us.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star News Networks Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe Talks Biden Agenda Stall, Democrat Senate Seats, and McCarthy’s Dangerous Game

Star News Networks Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe Talks Biden Agenda Stall, Democrat Senate Seats, and McCarthy’s Dangerous Game

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed The Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line  to the newsmakers line to discuss the potential stand still of Joe Biden’s agenda, jeopardized Democratic Senate seats, and Kevin McCarthy’s uncertain strategy.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line now by the very best Washington correspondent in the country, representing Star News Network and The Tennessee Star, Neil McCabe. Good morning, Neil.

McCabe: Michael, a pleasure to be with you.

Leahy: What’s been going on in Washington this past week? What kind of trouble are they cooking up for the American citizens there in Congress?

McCabe: Like I said last week, the opportunity to really move the Biden that agenda ended July third at midnight. And so now, basically, we’re sort of like in sports.

You’d call it garbage time between now and when people come home after Labor Day. And then they have to deal with the federal budget, which has also been put off.

I see nothing concrete moving on the Biden agenda, and pretty much it’s dead unless you consider some kind of push after his State of the Union address in 2022.

The problem is that Republicans are targeting 60 House Democrats. And those House Democrats are going home, and they’re finding out just how dangerous their reelection is.

And it’s going to be very, very scary for the Democrats because when these people come back to D.C. after Labor Day, they’re going to realize that Biden can’t save them, and they’re going to have to sort of figure out how do I keep my job?

It’s very scary for the Democrats. I’ll put it this way, if McCarthy flipped five seats today, he would be the Speaker of the House today.

And so he doesn’t act like somebody who’s five seats down. But when you’ve got a five-seat margin as Nancy Pelosi has, that means that she can only give five people a pass when there’s a tough vote.

When she had a 20 seat majority in the last session, that meant she could rotate around 20 people. Maybe they don’t want to take a tough gun vote.

Maybe they don’t want to take a tough tax or life vote. Now she can only rotate five people around. The Republicans should be pressing them every day.

They’re not because McCarthy just wants to run out the clock. But I don’t see anything really crazy or any of the sort of radical stuff that people were imagining would pass in January getting through any time soon.

Carmichael: When you say any time soon when they get ready to do the budget for the year, are you saying there won’t be some big package that’s passed without on the 50 vote in the Senate, deal?

What do you call that? Reconciliation? Are you saying that there will not be a big reconciliation bill, that it’ll be a continuing resolution?

McCabe: Reconciliation only matters in the Senate because you need a simple majority to pass that because it’s exempt from the filibuster rule.

And you only get one bite at the apple every fiscal year. But time is running out. The closer we get to 2022, the fewer Senate Democrats are going to want to be associated with the Biden administration program and certainly the leftists who have taken over what’s going on in the House.

So they should. And so you look at the infrastructure bill. They might not even get their own infrastructure bill through reconciliation the way things are going.

Carmichael: Well, let me ask you this. If they were to pass a tax increase that was not necessarily as big as what Biden has asked, but still big and they did it through reconciliation without a single Republican vote.

How many Democrats in the Senate who are up for re-election in 2022 would that then put at risk?

McCabe: There are three who are on the bubble right now. There are about 20 something that are actually up for reelection.

I will challenge you and say that there is almost no way Biden is raising taxes this session.

Carmichael: Okay. Now, who are the three?

McCabe: You got Hassan in New Hampshire. You have Mark Kelly in Arizona. And then you have _____ in Georgia.

Carmichael: Who would be the next two Democrats in the Senate who would put themselves at risk if they voted for a big tax increase?

McCabe: There’s a raft of them. I think that focusing on those three because remember, there are only 12 Senate Democrats who are up. And so most everyone else is sort of in a safe seat.

The problem you run into is that when you have 60 House Democrats who are under attack, there’s a lot of fundraising money that now has to be spread out on the House side. Remember, in 2018, when Paul Ryan left 40 seats unchallenged?

There were 40 different races that the Democrats didn’t have to spend a dime on. Or you take Elizabeth Warren when she ran for reelection, the Republicans didn’t give Jeff Deal a dime to run against her.

So she didn’t have to play defense one day in Massachusetts. In 2018 she was able to campaign for over 150 different Democrats 2018 because she didn’t have to play defense.

Now, the Democrats are on serious defense in 60 races and three very serious Senate races. Those three Senate races could get very expensive.

Leahy: Let me shift gears, if you don’t mind, Neil. I have an interesting question for you. Liz Cheney has decided she does not need to be a respondent to what the Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy, wants.

She is actually responding to what Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker wants. The Democrat. She’s volunteered to join this January 6 select committee basically thumbing her nose at Kevin McCarthy.

My question to you is why don’t the Republicans just kick Liz Cheney out of the party so that she will not be able to participate in the GOP primary because she looks to be aligned with the Democrats, not the Republicans? What’s your thought on that?

McCabe: In British Parliament, they call that restoring the Whip when you take control of your party. Remember, Boris Johnson had his last election where he literally kicked 20 Conservative members of Parliament out of the party.

He withdrew them from the Conservative Party. And he ended up winning one of the largest parliamentary majority going back to say, Margaret Thatcher.

McCarthy was weak the first time Liz Cheney was challenged. He pretty much had no choice the second time. And now he said that he would withdraw people’s midi assignments if they agreed to participate in the January sixth Commission.

She called his bluff, and he backed down. Mccarthy’s playing a very dangerous game because he wants to ride out the clock. We are one quarter down.

He’s got three quarters to go, and he’s already in the pre-game defense. I would look at the guy named John Caico from upstate New York.

He also voted to impeach Trump. McCarthy put him in charge of negotiating a January sixth Commission. And he also put Caico in charge of the Republican responses on Russian hacking and interference in our political system.

Which, if anything, is a dog whistle to the Trump haters. And so McCarthy is playing a very dangerous game. And you pointed out with Liz Cheney, but I think it’s true with other people. He refuses to restore the Whip.

Carmichael: Who would be a better person to be leading the Republicans in the House than Kevin McCarthy?

McCabe: Jim Banks. I think you’re going to see Jim Banks as the next Speaker of the House. He’s the chairman of the Republican Study Committee.

And the Republican Study Committee is no longer sort of linked with the leadership. The Republican Study Committee is returning to its roots as the Conservative resistance to the Republican leadership.

And you could even see the Republican Study Committee and the Freedom Caucus sort of folding into each other. But I think that Banks would be someone who could do a great job.

Andy Biggs from Arizona would do a great job. There are plenty of people out there. But I don’t think he necessarily wants to.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Star News Network’s Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe on the Kamikaze Suicide Mission of Liz Cheney

Star News Network’s Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe Talks Infrastructure Bill and Whispering Joe

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed The Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line to weigh in on the probability of an infrastructure bill passing in the Senate and the cognitive decline of “Whispering Joe.”

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line right now by the very best Washington correspondent in the country. Our correspondent for the Star News Network, and The Tennessee Star, Neil McCabe. Good morning, Neil.

McCabe: Hey, good morning, Michael. Very good to be with you.

Leahy: Neil. Infrastructure gonna happen? Gonna not happen? Who’s up, who’s down? What’s going on in Washington? Because it looks like it’s kind of crazy there.

McCabe: The reconciliation law or rule says that once every fiscal year, a bill can get through the Senate that is privileged from the filibuster. So with a flat 51 simple majority, you can get one bill through a year.

That’s the only legislation that is privileged from the filibuster rule that requires 60 votes in order to force a voter and debate. And this is because that’s supposed to be used for the budget.

But reconciliation has been used in the past. It was used to pass the 2017 tax bill lifetimes in a fiscal year no budget gets passed because there aren’t even 51 votes to get a budget through.

And that’s when we have these continuing resolutions. And so what the Democrats are going to do is they were going to take their whole Christmas tree list, and they’re basically going to take the whole Green New Deal and infrastructure and minimum wage and everything and put it into the reconciliation bill, calling it the budget for the fiscal year 2022.

And the Senate parliamentarian said, actually, no, you can’t do all of that. You can’t put minimum wage in the budget. And so that’s why the Democrats were forced to cut a deal with the Republicans.

And that’s why it’s Senate Republicans who are doing it because it’s the Senate where the action is. You need 10 Republicans to join the 50 Democrats to override and get past the filibuster.

And so Democrats went to the Republicans and said, what can we agree on of the stuff that we can’t do by ourselves? Anything that the parliamentarian will allow to go to reconciliation the Democrats don’t need the Republicans.

So, in effect, what these 10 Republicans have done, is they’ve said, okay, everything that you can get through reconciliation, we’re going to give you. And then the final twist of this is that the Republicans were pretending that if we give them this, they won’t use reconciliation for everything else.

And of course, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and President Biden were saying, well, that’s ridiculous. We’re going to get it all. And then these Republicans were saying, I thought if we gave you all of these trees, you wouldn’t get the other trees.

And that’s why Lindsey Graham was saying, hey, I’m for bipartisanship, but I’m not for a suicide mission. But then you get guys like Portman from Ohio who’s saying, hey, let’s give it to them all anyway.

And guys like Romney who say, hey let’s give it to them anyway. And that’s basically where we’re at. If they get 10 Republicans, they can get it through the filibuster. If they get nine Republicans, then it fails.

Leahy: Are they going to get 10?

McCabe: No.

Carmichael: Nothing of any true substance will pass when we get around to the fall it’ll be a continuing resolution?

McCabe: They will pass the reconciliation bill and they will cram as much into it as the Senate parliamentarian will allow. But it won’t have all of the Christmas ornaments, like $15 minimum wage, statehood for Puerto Rico, Green New Deal, and stuff like that are just not going to be a part of it. And then Republicans just have to take their lumps.

Carmichael: What about a large tax? Will there be a large tax increase that 50 Democrats will sign on to?

McCabe: You can increase some taxes. But in the past, the parliamentarian has said that you can’t disguise a tax bill as reconciliation, which is what happened with the 2017 bill, which is why the 2017 bill was, relatively speaking, revenue-neutral.

President Trump proclaimed the largest tax cut in history, but that’s a function of inflation. It was somewhere around the eighth or 10th largest tax cut in history. It was really just reshuffling the lawn chairs.

Carmichael: So let me try to be more specific. Will raising the capital gains tax to ordinary income, will that pass?

McCabe: They can get something through.

Carmichael: I’m asking, well, 50 Democrats sign on to a large increase in the capital gains tax?

McCabe: Yes. But it all depends on how the Congressional Budget Office scores the actual proposal. And then the parliamentarian has to decide if that is too big. The parliamentarians in the past said you cannot make you cannot make extreme changes in the tax bill and disguise it or cloak it with the budget reconciliation process.

You can trim these rates. You could raise these rates, but will they change the deductibility of state and local taxes? No, that’s dead in the water. Will they change the estate tax or the death tax? Probably not.

That’s probably dead in the water. Capital gains? There’s not a big constituency for what capital gains should be higher or lower. I mean, there is Wall Street. But most Americans don’t really get upset. They don’t march in the streets over capital gains.

Carmichael: I was just trying to figure out whether or not all 50 Democrats I’m not even talking about reconciliation, I’m just talking about Republicans will not vote to increase the capital gains tax to 40 percent.

No Republican will do that. And I would be personally very surprised if all 50 Democrats would agree to do that, setting aside the question of reconciliation and just whether or not they could. Because that is a massive increase in the capital gains tax.

McCabe: There’s no problem there. There’s no anti-tax Senate Democrat that is not going join Schumer on this. Right now their slim majority is such that they’re exhibiting tremendous party discipline, and no one is going to cross Chuck Schumer.

Leahy: Last question for you. What is the buzz in Washington, D.C. about the declining cognitive skills of the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Joe Biden.

McCabe: Well, the commander chief was whispering again and that’s got people really scratching their heads because he’s acting like he’s starting to act like a weirdo. And and I think you should also consider the screw-ups going on in the New York Democratic Mayor primary with the 135 bogus ballots that were put through.

That is actually having a material effect on people thinking in Washington and across the country. It’s validating things that President Trump has been saying about the way the 2020 election was handled.

Leahy: Yeah, I think we’re going to have to come up with a new nickname for the current occupant. Whispering Joe. What do you think? (Laughter) Neil McCabe, the greatest Washington correspondent of any news network out there. Thanks so much for joining us today.

McCabe: Alright, be good guys.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.