National Correspondent Neil McCabe Weighs in on the Mental State of the U.S. House and Senate in Washington

National Correspondent Neil McCabe Weighs in on the Mental State of the U.S. House and Senate in Washington


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 Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line to breakdown what he see’s going on in Washington as House and Senate members and leaders show signs of wear and tear.

Leahy: We are joined as we almost always are every Wednesday at 7:15 by our Washington correspondent, Neil McCabe, the best Washington correspondent in the country in my view. Neil, good morning.

McCabe: Yeah, almost always, Mike. (Leahy laughs) That’s pretty good.

Leahy: Well, Washington is crazy. (McCabe chuckles) And the House of Representatives and Senate, they’re crazy. When last we talked here last week, you said there’s a possibility that the very narrow margin by which the Democrats control the House of Representatives is perhaps fraying a bit. There are four special elections going on right now. One in Louisiana, one in New Mexico, one in Texas, one in Ohio. One of those seats was occupied by a Republican, three by a Democrat. Do you see any of those outcomes having an impact that could change the narrow majority Democrats have in the House?

McCabe: I don’t see much changing in those because the people who control the appointments for the Biden administration were very careful to pick people from very safe districts. And that’s one of the reasons why you didn’t see a lot of senators joining the Biden administration. But what I think you’re going to start seeing as you already saw with that the way that Pelosi was challenging the election in Iowa, you saw that there were House Democrats who are like, going, whoa, that’s a step too far.

We already know that after the 2020 election there was that conference call with the House Democrats where you had a number of House Democrats who barely won their seats saying that this socialism and defunding the police almost put me out of business. We’ve got to stop. And so the fissures are there. It’s just, can it be exploited? And the biggest thing that Nancy Pelosi has going for her is that Kevin McCarthy is being more reactive.

He’s waiting for Pelosi to do something and then he’s criticizing it. He’s not coming forward with his own sort of agenda. And remember, there was a rebellion with Liz Cheney and others voting to impeach President Trump, and Kevin McCarthy has done nothing to punish them. And you must feel it, Mike.

I’m sure people listening feel it. The Republican House leadership as a press conference and Liz Cheney is the one giving statements on behalf. Mccarthy still continues to put Liz Cheney out front as a spokeswoman for the party, and it just confuses people. So it’s really McCarthy’s game to lose and he could lose it. But having said that, five seats are very tight. And there’s a lot of people who don’t want to go down with the Pelosi ship.

Leahy: Shifting gears to the United States Senate for a moment, so the Corrupt Politicians Act, which would codify the ability of Democrats to cheat in elections and would attempt unconstitutionally, in my view, to nationalize elections, where does that stand? Is it likely to pass? What’s the status of that?

McCabe: Well, I think it’s interesting that Joe Manchin has said that it’s a problem for him. I think that you’re going to see a Sinema from Arizona, she’s a Democrat, but she’s kind of wavering a little bit. And I think you’re going to see Mark Kelly get a little crazy. Mark Kelly won his race was with barely 50 percent of the vote. And he was running against maybe the worst Senate candidate in American history.

Leahy: Martha McSally, a nice person, but a bad candidate.

McCabe: She’s so bad. I think she might be the only senator to lose two senate races in less than two years. (Leahy chuckles) She was appointed twice and lost twice, which is incredible in confidence.

Carmichael: Are there some good candidates in Arizona running for the opportunity to run against Mark Kelly in ’22?

McCabe: I haven’t seen anything really emerge yet. But I mean, that’s right for the picking, because this midterm the institutionalized cycle, is that this midterm is going to be bad for whoever the president’s party is. And so I think people are sort of licking their chops. I think Rick Scott as head of the National Senate Republican Committee was a very good choice. He’s a very, very solid guy.

He doesn’t get along with the DeSantis very well, but he raises money and he is tough. And people who thought that they could take him down in Florida learned very quickly in two tough governor races and a tough, tough Senate race. Rick Scott is tough. And he visited Trump and kissed the ring. And so I think that the Republicans are in good shape on the Senate side.

And as I said before, there are five of those Senate Democrats who won with less than 52 percent of the vote. I think that there’s a very good chance that Governor Chris Sununu the governor of New Hampshire, he runs. And that’s a pickup that nobody was really counting on. And again, the Senate Democrats are going to get a little squeamish. Remember that the Biden administration opted for what’s called in marketing a soft opening.

The grand opening of your administration is your first address to Congress. The guy never launched his first address to Congress. There’s a ton of cabinet positions whereas four years ago, Trump had problems getting people confirmed. He hasn’t even nominated a lot of people. We still don’t have branch secretaries. We still haven’t nominated one director. I said, like three weeks ago, the wheels were falling off.

Leahy: Neil McCabe, look into your Neil McCabe Crystal ball and tell us in the next 30 days, what is the likelihood the Senate, which is 50/50 right now with Kamala Harris, VP, the tiebreaker, what is the likelihood they jam through in some form this Corrupt Politicians Act that would codify the cheating that Democrats do and nationalize elections unconstitutionally?

McCabe: I think they chicken out. They’re going to be cowards, and they’re not going to do it.

Carmichael: Neil, and what about the infrastructure and the pro bill?

McCabe: Oh, that goes through. That goes through. And remember, everybody was looking at the filibuster. They don’t need the filibuster, because the Parliamentarian is going to give them they’re going to be able to do reconciliation forever instead of one budget bill a year that basically the Parliamentarian said they could do budget bills whenever they want. So the filibuster is no longer even an issue anymore for spending bill.

Leahy: On spending bills. Neil, That’s a very good point. I saw that decision by the Parliamentarian, and I said, uh oh, they’re going to jam all this stuff through using the reconciliation process, which is an obscure process in the United States Senate. Neil McCabe, thank you so much for joining us today, and you’ll come back next Wednesday with more.

McCabe: Be good guys. Take care.

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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





National Correspondent Neil McCabe Weighs in on the Mental State of the U.S. House and Senate in Washington

Washington Correspondent for Star News Network Neil W. McCabe Makes His Predictions on Senate Filibuster


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 Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe to the newsmakers line to give his predictions on what will happen with the filibuster in the U.S. Senate and a red wave in 2022.

Leahy: We are joined now by our good friend, great colleague, the best Washington reporter in the country Neil McCabe, Washington Correspondent for the Star News Network. Good morning, Neil.

McCabe: Michael, quick question. Michael Patrick, Leahy, is that an ethnic name?

Leahy: (Laughs) Well, Neil McCabe, I will tell you, Michael Patrick Leahy, Neil McCabe, born of Irish, through and through on St. Patrick’s Day.

McCabe: One of the holiest days of the year Michael.

Leahy: There are, I think, a few pub crawls going on in Boston where you’re from, and New York City. And even here in Nashville. What about Washington, D.C.? Who is pub crawling? What are they doing up there with the crazy Democrats now trying to get rid of the filibuster?

McCabe: The pub scene isn’t what it used to be in Washington. But it is interesting about the filibuster because part of the deal that Mitch McConnell struck with Schumer was that they were going to protect the filibuster. And when they found out that Joe Manchin the senator from West Virginia was going to be a stick in the mud. Now all of a sudden they realized how important the filibuster is to stopping their agenda and they’re going to try it.

I mean, basically, what the Democrats have to do now is smash and grab because they’ve lost control of the calendar. We talked about it last week the fact that Biden hasn’t even scheduled a date for a State of the Union. And so there’s going to be no do sort of buy what they call skinny budget, where the incoming president gets a chance to make adjustments to the ongoing fiscal year. There’s no Biden agenda going in Magisterium if you will.

There’s talk about gun control. But there’s no real push on anything. The people expected him to make a big announcement or propose some legislation on immigration. But that’s all jammed up now. One of the problems, of course, is that you don’t have a confirmed director of the Office of Management and Budget, where everything that goes past all the regulations and laws and legislation proposed by the president passes through that office.

And so, Schumer and Nancy Pelosi the speaker, they realize, and if they’re going to get any of their priorities done they need to basically stop waiting for the president, they’ve got to get rid of the filibuster. And they just might do it. If Democrats are serious about taking control of this country they really have no choice. The question is, will Nancy go along with it?

And also look at Mark Kelly, who’s the Democratic senator from Arizona who’s up for work reelection because he was finishing the old term of McSally. (Inaudible talk) Mark Kelly is up in Arizona. And then you also have Rapahel Warnock in Georgia who is up. So these are two Democrat incumbents who are in conservative states that were stolen from the president in the 2020 presidential election because of all the bogus rules that they put in in the different states.

And, of course, the Democrats are well aware Mike that there is going to be a red wave in 2022. Not just structurally or institutionally, because the first midterm of a president’s term is always going to go against the president in the White House, but in particular, there’s going to be a fervor against the establishment.

And I fully expect President Donald Trump to be on the campaign trail, beating the drum, beating the pots and pans to drive up turnout. The Republicans are going to have a big year in 2022. And so the Democrats are looking over the horizon and things aren’t good. If they want to get anything done, you’re going to have to get rid of that filibuster. It’s just do they have the guts to pull it off?

Leahy: So my question for you, Neil McCabe, the Washington correspondent for the Star News Network, The Tennessee Star, and all our pantheon of six state-based conservative news sites.

McCabe: Constellation.

Leahy: Thank you! That’s right. It’s not a pantheon of news sites. It’s a constellation of Star News sites around the country. An ever-growing constellation by the way. You have a way with words Neil McCabe.

McCabe: (Inaudible talk)

Leahy: Will the Democrats, yes or no, attempt to get rid of the filibuster?

McCabe: No.

Leahy: No?

McCabe: They won’t have the guts.

Leahy: They won’t have the guts.

McCabe: (Inaudible talk)

Leahy: Ah, that is a very interesting prediction. Crom and I were talking a little bit about this. Crom, why don’t you tell Neil a little bit about this little quorum element here that Mitch McConnell threatened to exercise. Describe it to Neil and Neil I’d like to get your reaction to whether or not McConnell might do this.

Carmichael: Neil, what McConnell said on the Senate floor yesterday was that if the Democrats actually do go through with using the 50 plus one to break the filibuster then what he will do is he will use the quorum rule and no Senator will show up in the Senate Chamber. And they won’t have a quorum of 51.

And the vice president cannot count in terms of the quorum. So without 51 senators, the Senate can conduct no business at all, including apparently committee hearings. They can’t do anything. And so McConnell says, if you’re going to blow up the filibuster, we simply will not show up, and nothing will happen in the Senate. Nothing.

McCabe: First of all, the report to that was the same device that they can use to get rid of the filibuster Federal rules are supposed to be changed with the two-thirds. But what Harry Reid did when he first started getting rid of the filibuster, is he used the device at 50. With a simple majority, you can overrule the ruling of a chair. So you get the chair to rule something, and then you override them.

And then that becomes a new rule. And so that’s how he was able to hotwire the two-thirds requirement to change any Senate rules. And so, frankly, if McConnell wanted to do that Schumer could just as easily and get rid of the filibuster. (Inaudible talk)  The Senate has the right to change whatever its rules are. Whether it’s the Supreme Court, House, or President. Nobody can rechange how they run their chamber. However, no one is better at defense than Mitch McConnell.

I would never count on Mitch McConnell to advance the conservative agenda. And there’s no evidence he has done anything and his entire career in the Senate to advance the conservative agenda, right? We want to ban abortion. We want gun rights, right? We want to deregulate. None of that stuff is being advanced by McConnell. But nobody is better at defense. And we saw the way he handled Kavanaugh. And we’ve seen it with Merrick Garland.

Leahy: Merrick Garland the now attorney general of the United States.

McCabe: And Schumer is afraid of McConnell. That’s for sure.

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