The cruelest campaign: Republicans in Hispanic districts
GOP House members in Latino-heavy House districts have an extra burden running with Trump as the nominee — whether they back him or not. By RACHAEL BADE

MIAMI — It was a rare feel-good moment in a vicious campaign: Flanked by House Speaker Paul Ryan in an elementary school this week, freshman GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo promoted a pet program to help children of immigrants in his Hispanic-heavy district learn English.

But across town at that very moment, Curbelo’s Democratic opponent was staging a protest timed to Ryan’s visit. The message from former Rep. Joe Garcia: A vote for Curbelo is worse than a vote for Donald Trump. No matter that the freshman Republican has opposed Trump all year long.

When it comes to House Democrats’ ongoing quest to hitch Trump’s offensive comments to vulnerable GOP incumbents, Republicans representing districts with large Latino populations are feeling the most heat. Their nominee has called illegal immigrants “rapists,“ “criminals” — and, at the last debate, “bad hombres.” Not to mention Trump’s calls for forced deportation and a towering border wall.

Democrats are sparing no effort or expense on the strategy. Their success, particularly in places like Florida’s 26th district, where three of every four residents are Latino, could go a long way in deciding whether Democrats can pull off a once-unthinkable takeover of the House.

“While Trump may say outrageous things, my opponent votes for them,” Garcia told POLITICO in an interview, summarizing his plea to oust Curbelo. “His record is worse than Donald Trump’s.”

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Yes, there’s a “rigged election”: The one that ensures a Republican House majority

It takes quite a Democratic wave to tilt this many states even powder blue. But most nonpartisan analysts suggest this will not be enough to tilt the House of Representatives. The GOP holds a 30-seat majority in the House. The University of Virginia’s respected Crystal Ball says that as of today, less that three weeks from the election, only 37 competitive districts remain. Of those, 17 are toss-ups, 10 favor the Democrats and 10 lean Republican.

We have not seen this in the past. That a budget is contingent on us eliminating a program that was voted on, passed by both chambers of Congress, ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court, is two weeks from being implemented, and helps 30 million get health-care coverage.
—  President Obama • Pushing back against a variety of House Republicans’ demands, after Speaker Boehner announced intentions to attach yet another attempt at defunding the Affordable Care Act to a bill seeking to avert a possible government shutdown on September 30. The President also said that he won’t “create a habit, a pattern, whereby the full faith and credit of the United States ends up being a bargaining chip to set policy.” source
Lord knows the Democratic Party is far from perfect. But House Democrats, when they were in the majority, at least understood that the government had to function, even if its policies were not those they preferred. When Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was speaker, for example, she made certain that bills funding the occupation of Iraq made it through the House, even though a majority of Democrats bitterly opposed the war.

Today’s Republican Party opposes the Affordable Care Act, so it refuses to work with the Obama administration in legislating technical fixes that would make the law work more smoothly. Is this in any sense patriotic? Having lost battles over the law in Congress and the Supreme Court, don’t Republicans have an obligation to make it serve their constituents as well as possible?

Both parties used to understand the need to invest in infrastructure for reasons of competitiveness and safety. Both parties used to understand that there could be no serious threat to send the Treasury into default. Both parties used to cheer the kind of good economic news we heard Thursday — 288,000 new jobs in June, unemployment down to 6.1 percent.

But now, one party — the GOP — cares more about ideology, reelection and opposing Obama’s every initiative than about the well-being of the nation. It is scant comfort, on Independence Day, to remember that the republic has survived worse.

Democrats mount gun control filibuster

‘I’m going to remain on this floor until we get some signal, some sign that we can come together,’ Sen. Chris Murphy says.


Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) launched a talking filibuster on the Senate floor — which was quickly joined by fellow Democrats — in an effort to pressure Republicans to accept legislation that would deny suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms and require universal background checks.

The Senate is debating a spending bill that Democrats hope to offer gun amendments to, but Murphy said that the Senate should “not proceed with debate on amendments to this bill until we have figured out a way to come together on, at the very least, two simple ideas.”

“I’m going to remain on this floor until we get some signal, some sign that we can come together on these two measures, that we can get a path forward on addressing this epidemic in a meaningful, bipartisan way,” Murphy continued on the Senate floor on Wednesday, after he first started his filibuster at about 11:20 a.m.

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The Third Basic Fact That Every Government Shutdown Story Should Include

James Fallows says there are two basic facts required for every government shutdown story. First, if House Speaker John Boehner proposed a "clean" budget bill that didn’t try to defund Obamacare, it would pass today by a wide margin in the House, as it has already passed in the Senate, because all Democrats and enough Republicans would vote for it. Second, Boehner won’t do it.

A reasonable follow-up question is: Why not?

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