Former ambassador to the UN dismissed ‘nonsense’ about her replacing Vice President Pence
Former Ambassador to the United NationsNikki Haley said Tuesday she would be open to returning to the Trump administration if the president is reelected but said it’s “too soon to tell” if she’ll choose to run for the nation’s highest office in 2024.
Haley told FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria” she has not spoken with the president about taking another post in his administration.
“Right now, we want to see the president and Vice President Pence get over the finish line in November,” Haley said. “I think that’s what’s most important. But certainly any chance there is to serve our country, I want to do it.”
“All that nonsense about me and Pence, he’s a dear friend, he’s done a great job. He’s been loyal to the president, and the American people should be very proud,” she said, referring to a push from some pundits for President Trump to abandon Vice President Mike Pence as his running mate and choose Haley instead.
Chief of Staff Meadows signals Trump would sign bill with stimulus checks, liability protection for small businesses, PPP extension and post office funding
The White House is pushing for a congressional compromise on U.S. Postal Service funding and stimulus checks for individuals as House Democrats decry President Trump‘s threat to withhold funding for USPS and link it to the administration’s opposition to universal mail-in voting.
“If my Democrat friends are all upset about this, come back to Washington, D.C.,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Let’s go ahead and get a stimulus check out to Americans. Let’s make sure that small businesses are protected with an extended [Payroll Protection] Program and put the postal funding in there. We’ll pass it tomorrow. The president will sign it.”
CNN’s @jaketapper: “There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.”
The House of Representatives is in recess for the rest of August. However, a senior member of House Democratic leadership told Fox News that it’s a matter of “when not if” they come back this week or next to focus on USPS funding and, possibly, coronavirus relief funding.
Meadows insisted that possible voter fraud, not strain on USPS, is what should give Americans pause about choosing the route of universal mail-in voting this November. The Postal Service processes and delivers more than 181 million pieces of first-class mail every day.
“Even if every single voter voted by mail, we’re talking about a 1.5% difference,” Meadows said. “I was in the room when the Postmaster General said he’s willing to pay overtime to make sure that that happens.”
“What he opposes is universal mail-in ballots where you send millions of ballots out to registered voters across the country, even those that don’t request it,” he said. “Those rolls are not accurate. People move, people die. And yet when we are going to send out ballots all across the country, that’s not just asking for a disaster. It really is knowing that what you’re sending out is inaccurate.”
Such a “disaster” could mean months of not knowing the results of the 2020 presidential election, which could lead to the House, which is currently held by Democrats, deciding who becomes president if neither candidate wins a majority in the electoral college, Meadows said.
Fox News’ John Roberts on Friday asked Trump if he would be willing to offer the $25 billion for the ailing USPS, including $3.5 billion in election resources, should Democrats be willing to cave on some of the demands Trump has voiced.
“Sure, if they give us what we want,” the president said during a press conference. “And it’s not what I want, it’s what the American people want.”
Fox News’ Chad Pergram, Leland Vittert and Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.
Freshman Sens. Rick Scott of Florida and Mike Braun of Indiana are the cosponsors of the Banning Lobbying and Safeguarding Trust (BLAST) Act.
Scott and Braun want to put an end to lawmakers stepping into the so-called “revolving door of K Street” — using their connections to become well-heeled lobbyists once they are out of office.
“I think that here you’d attract better people if you didn’t have them make a career out of it,” Braun told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Republican Indiana Sen. Mike Braun, co-sponsor of a recently introduced bill banning ex-congressmen from lobbying Congress, said his bill would help get Congress out of a “rut” — but he’s not expecting the legislation to gain traction anytime soon.
“I think that here you’d attract better people if you didn’t have them make a career out of it,” Braun told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “But so many incentives are put in place with pensions, the ability after you’re done to become a lobbyist, so you do nestle in, and then you start maybe not making the right long-term decisions. You basically make a decision: what will be best for me to nestle in further, be around here longer.”
Although the lawmakers are “barking up the right tree,” their solution might not be realistic, a government transparency expert told TheDCNF.
“You generally do see more of a reform agenda from some of the newer members that come into the Senate or into the House. We’re hoping some of their policies actually gain traction and can be supported in a bipartisan way,” Scott Amey, general counsel at the Project on Government Oversight, said in a phone interview. “The public is tired of politics as usual.”
Scott and Braun want to put an end to lawmakers stepping into the so-called “revolving door of K Street.” Current law mandates ex-House members must wait a year to lobby their former colleagues, while ex-senators must wait two.
Few have voiced opposition to the BLAST Act, but Braun predicts “people from everywhere coming out against it” if it ever received a committee hearing.
“Part of it would have to be where you grandfather the people that are here so you can get people to vote for it,” Braun said. “To be honest, there’s not enough urgency among the average individual here … That’s what we’ve had running the place the last three, four decades and look at the results.”
Scott and Braun’s bill could have unintended consequences, Bruce Mehlman of lobbying firm Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas told TheDCNF.
“The bigger challenge is that registered lobbying represents only a small part of the total spent on influencing government policy, and this proposed law would merely encourage even more ex-Members to avoid disclosure while serving as ‘senior advisors,’ ‘strategists’ or ‘consultants at law and PR firms,’” Mehlman said in an email.
“Whenever you’ve got a system that is so ingrained like this one, I’m sure there will be resourceful ways to skirt,” Braun said in response. “If you craft good legislation from the get-go … you have a way to at least throw something out there as the first barricade.”
Braun also discussed President Donald Trump’s “Drain the Swamp” slogan, which the senator said he used some while campaigning.
“I think [Trump] just shook the system, like maybe on the Richter scale a seven earthquake, but not many buildings toppled,” Braun said.
Braun and Scott want to topple those buildings one at a time, although it’s slow-going. Both were in the small club of freshman senators who arrived on Capitol Hill for the start of the 116th Congress. They would always beat the other lawmakers to lunch by at least 15 minutes, and a friendship was born, Braun said.
“Scott said, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve always believed in being punctual,’ and I said, ‘Well, I just like to be the first one in the food line,’” Braun said with a laugh.
They’ve worked on numerous reform-minded pieces of legislation together, including a bill introduced during the partial government shutdown to cut off congressional salaries if Congress fails to pass a budget. It gathered more than 10 cosponsors.
“I think until Scott and I got here a lot of people spoke about it in their campaigns, but we’re in here actually dropping bills. That’s the difference,” Braun said.