Chuck Grassley

Some Republican Senators Begin Expressing Criticism Of Donald Trump

In the midst of the impeachment crisis, some Republican Senators are beginning to separate themselves from Donald Trump, after being silent for so long.

So we have Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Susan Collins of Maine, and Joni Ernst of Iowa expressing sharp criticism of Trump, with Romney the strongest in his statements, and Trump bitterly attacking him, and stupidly, calling for his impeachment, something that cannot be done against a member of Congress, but only the executive and judicial branches of government.

All of the above are facing reelection in 2020, except for Romney, who does not face voters again until 2024.

How much further Sasse, Collins, and Ernst will go against Trump will be interesting to watch, and one senses that others, including those not facing reelection in 2020, will start to turn against him, with long serving member Chuck Grassley of Iowa defending the “whistleblower” investigation on the Ukraine controversy.

So the impeachment drama, and how it will affect the Congressional and Presidential elections of 2020, continues to draw attention, as, with 13 months to go, the unpredictability of what will occur in November 2020 is clearly very concerning.

Would Any Republican Senators Vote For Conviction Of Donald Trump In Impeachment Trial? It Is Possible Up To 23 Would Do So, Three More Than Needed To Remove Trump From Oval Office!

As the likelihood of the impeachment of Donald Trump increases daily, the question arises whether any of the 53 Republican Senators would actually vote for his conviction and removal from the Presidency.

It has been reported that privately up to 30 Republican Senators would wish to do so, but are unwilling to risk their Senate seats to vote in public, where they need to be listed as to their vote on the matter.

Looking at the list of Republicans, it seems to this author and blogger that the following 23 might decide to convict Trump:

Richard Shelby of Alabama

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Marco Rubio of Florida

Johnny Isakson of Georgia

Chuck Grassley of Iowa

Joni Ernst of Iowa

Pat Roberts of Kansas

Rand Paul of Kentucky

John Kennedy of Louisiana

Susan Collins of Maine

Ben Sasse of Nebraska

Deb Fischer of Nebraska

Richard Burr of North Carolina

Rob Portman of Ohio

James Lankford of Oklahoma

Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

Tim Scott of South Carolina

John Thune of South Dakota

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee

Mike Lee of Utah

Mitt Romney of Utah

Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

Mike Enzi of Wyoming

All of these Senators, except four, do not face election until 2022, or 2024 in the case of Fischer and Romney, while Roberts, Enzi and Alexander are retiring in 2020, and Isakson is retiring early at the end of 2019 due to poor health . Only Collins, Ernst, Sasse and Capito face election in 2020, but possibly could be considered “yes” votes for conviction.

If all of these 23 GOP Senators voted to convict, added to 47 Democrats and Independents, it would mean the vote to convict would be 70-30, enough by three, allowing, in theory, three of the Senators facing election in 2020 to decide NOT to remove Trump.

Senators Who Reached Age 90 In Office, Other Possible Additions To The List in Future Years To 2026, And Democratic House Leadership Reaching 80 By 2020

Strom Thurmond, Democrat and then Republican, South Carolina 100

Theodore F. Green, Democrat, Rhode Island 93

Robert Byrd, Democrat, West Virginia 92

Carl Hayden, Democrat, Arizona 91

Additionally, the potential future shows the following:

Dianne Feinstein, Democrat, California, would reach age 90 in next term ending 2024 with her reaching that age in 2023, with her victory in November for another six year term assured.

Chuck Grassley, Republican, Iowa, would reach age 90 in 2023 if he won another term in 2022.

Richard Shelby, Democrat and then Republican, Alabama, would reach age 90 in 2024, if he won another term in 2022.

James Inhofe, Republican, Oklahoma, would reach age 90 in 2024, if he won another term in 2020.

Pat Roberts, Republican, Kansas, would reach age 90 in 2026, if he won another term in 2020.

The question is whether it is good for the nation to have five Octogenarians in the US Senate in 2019, and this after John McCain died and Orrin Hatch is retiring.

It is, however, a growing trend, and the present Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives (Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn), all will reach 80 soon, with Pelosi reaching 80 in March 2020, Hoyer reaching 80 in June 2019, and Clyburn reaching 80 in July 2020, so all age 80 during the 116th Congress.

The debate will grow over the aging of Congress, and particularly of leadership and influence over the future of American democracy.

Octogenarians In Congress: Time For Age Limit Of 80, So That Younger Generation, “Fresh Blood”, Comes Into Both Houses

Age discrimination laws have disappeared in recent decades, but at the same time, there is the issue of members of Congress staying on into their 80s in growing numbers, and one has to wonder if that is good for the nation at large, or whether it helps to promote the image of Congress being out of sync with the nation, and preventing a younger generation of “fresh blood” from having opportunity to serve in Congress.

Presently, there are eight Senators and eleven House members who are in their 80s, and there are others in both chambers nearing 80 over the next few years.

Seven Republicans and one Democrat in the Senate, and eight Democrats and three Republicans in the House of Representatives are now in their 80s, and there is no indication that the House members are planning to retire in 2018.

Four of the House members are in the upper 80s right now—Democrats Sander Levin of Michigan who is 86; Democrat John Conyers of Michigan who is 88; Democrat Louise Slaughter who is 88; and Republican Sam Johnson of Texas who is 87.

Meanwhile, three of the eight Senators were just reelected to terms ending in 2022—Richard Shelby of Alabama who will be 88 then; John McCain of Arizona who will be 86 then; and Chuck Grassley of Iowa who will be 89 then.

Three others have terms ending in 2020—Pat Roberts of Kansas who will be 84 then; Thad Cochran of Mississippi who will be 83 then; and James Inhofe of Oklahoma who will be 86 then.

The other two Senators face election in 2018–Diane Feinstein of California who will be 85; and Orrin Hatch of Utah who will be 84.

The aging of Congress has been a growing trend, and it does not bode well for the future, as far as public support for Congress is concerned.

There is no realistic possibility of legislated age limits, but the growing number of octogenarians in Congress is not a good development.

“Coattails” Vs. “Split Ticket”: Which Will Occur In November?

Now with two weeks to the election, speculation is rising that Hillary Clinton may win a landslide victory over Donald Trump, and that she might have “coattails”, help to carry in a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and Senate.

The Senate part of this equation seems very likely, but to gain the House of Representatives majority will be very difficult, with the Republicans having a 30 seat majority right now, greater than at any point since 1928.

The last time a President coming into office had the effect of switching both houses of Congress was 1952, when Dwight D. Eisenhower brought in Republican majorities, which, however, were lost by 1954.

After that, the House of Representatives did not fall into Republican hands again for 40 years, until 1994!

The Senate, however, did fall into Republican hands with the victory of Ronald Reagan in 1980, only to be reversed in 1986.

So best bet is that the House majority will be knocked down a great amount, maybe 20 seats gain, but short of a majority for the Democrats.

On the other hand, the Senate seems likely to turn over, and Hillary Clinton could help to switch the states of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, as well as Indiana, and keeping Nevada, the only contested Democratic seat, meaning a eight state gain for the Democrats, from 46 seats to 54, and including the likely defeat of Marco Rubio and John McCain.

Missouri, a less likely state for Hillary Clinton, but within reach, could also see Jason Kander, the Democratic nominee, defeat Senator Roy Blunt, but not seen as such, unless Missouri reverts to being a bellwether state which it was for a century, but not so in 2012.

Iowa and Ohio seem more likely to keep Chuck Grassley and Rob Portman, even if Hillary Clinton wins their states.

So the idea of a “split ticket”, only 11 percent in recent election years, seems only likely in those two Midwestern states, and maybe in Missouri and Indiana, but Hillary likely to carry other states listed above and help to make the Senate Democratic majority.

Potential To Add Seven Democratic Women Senators In November Races

The potential exists to add seven Democratic women to the US Senate, and replace one Democratic woman with another Democratic woman this November.

Senator Barbara Boxer of California is retiring, and Kamala Harris is running to replace her, although her opponent, also a Democrat, is Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. So no matter what happens, a Democratic woman in the Senate from California is being replaced by a woman from the Democratic Party.

Maggie Hassan, Governor of New Hampshire, is trying to defeat another woman, Republican Kelly Ayotte, for her Senate seat, and has a good chance of winning

Also, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada is running to replace Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, but is in a tough race, that may be the only Democratic seat in danger, against Republican nominee Joe Heck.

Tammy Duckworth is running for the Illinois Senate seat held by Republican Mark Kirk, and is favored to win.

Katie McGinty is running in Pennsylvania against Republican Pat Toomey, a race seen as very close.

Deborah Ross is running in North Carolina against Republican Richard Burr, another close race.

Ann Kirkpatrick is in a very competitive race in Arizona against well known Republican Senator John McCain.

Finally, Patty Judge is running in Iowa to replace Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a tough fight.

There are 20 women in the US Senate now, 14 Democrats and 6 Republicans. One woman, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, will be replaced by a man, Chris Van Hollen. And Kelly Ayotte could be the one Republican woman who leaves the Senate if she loses to Maggie Hassan.

So the end result could be 5 Republican women and a grand total of 20 Democrats if all the women listed above were to win.

That is certainly unlikely to happen, but if it did, we would have the highest number of women Senators in any Congress in American history—25!

Age Limits In Congress Arise As Issue As John McCain Plans For Another Term In Senate In His 80s!

As Senator John McCain of Arizona announced that he will seek another six year term in the US Senate, which would bring him into his mid 80s in that chamber, the question arises of some type of age limits that needs, desperately, somehow, to be applied in the future.

The number of octogenarians who have served in the Senate is, by research, somewhere in the mid 30s, out of a total number of Senators since 1789 numbering, at this point, 1,973 in total!

So one might say that having about 1.6 percent of all US Senators lifetime in their 80s or 90s is not a big deal, but it actually is, as level of health and well being, while fine for some, realistically, is not overall good statistically for people in their 80s, with dementia a particular problem and early death a statistical likelihood. Really, when one has reached the ninth or tenth decade of life, no matter how good in performance one has been, and no matter how much one feels he or she can do and contribute, it is, simply, time to allow someone new and younger to serve a Congressional district or state!

No one is indispensable, and that should include Supreme Court Justices as well, as the likelihood of excellence at such an advanced age is highly unlikely, but often, it is just stubbornness and ego that keeps these government leaders in their positions.

Harry Reid of Nevada and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Barbara Boxer of California realized this, and on the other hand, Diane Feinstein of California did not, Chuck Grassley of Iowa did not, Orrin Hatch of Utah did not, Richard Shelby of Alabama did not, James Inhofe did not,and now John McCain has not. Additionally, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee will reach 80 in the next few years, and yet, it is really time to go, gentlemen!

Do we really want Senators possibly reaching their 90s in office, as Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, Theodore Green of Rhode Island, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and Carl Hayden of Arizona did, reaching the ages of 100, 93, 92, and 91 in office?

Enough is enough, and age 80 should be the limit with no exceptions, and therefore, one would not be permitted to run for office past age 74 at the time of the election, so that they leave during the year they reach age 80!

in other words, we need a “youth movement” in the United States Senate, as well as in the House of Representatives, so it is time for such luminaries as Michigan Congressman John Conyers and New York Congressman Charles Rangel to stay goodbye at the end of their present term of Congress!

Ted Cruz Of Texas: The Bully Of The US Senate, Terrifying His Own GOP Colleagues!

42 year old Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is rapidly developing as a true bully, reminding many of the arrogance and “in your face” personality of Joseph McCarthy 60 years ago, who utilized incendiary rhetoric to silence his own senior Republican colleagues, and used rhetoric to demonize the opposition Democrats.

Senior Republicans are being ignored, mistreated, and insulted by Cruz, and they seem paralyzed to challenge Cruz on immigration, gun regulation and his reckless attacks on anyone who does not share his extreme right wing lunacy on every issue imaginable!

He has insulted Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Dan Coats of Indiana, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco Rubio (his Cuban conservative Presidential rival) of Florida, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

He also has challenged and put on edge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and fellow Texas Senator John Cornyn, both of whom face reelection threats from the Tea Party Movement, of which Cruz is a member. Cruz has no problem in insulting, and showing lack of respect for any Republican member of the Senate, and is rapidly becoming the most unpopular Senator in the entire body of 100 Senators.

And he does not care, since he is a true demagogue, who will stop at nothing in his quest to dominate events, and to run for President, although a case can and will be made that since he was born and lived in Canada to age four, that he is ineligible to run.

One has to wonder how Fox News Channel and the right wing talk show hosts will deal with that issue, considering their constant assertions that Barack Obama was not born in the United States, when he was! Well, Cruz was NOT born in the United States, so there!

Republicans, Women, And Domestic Violence: Beyond Belief!

In 1994, the Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed into law the Violence Against Women Act, a measure designed to combat domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking of women. It was a totally bipartisan effort, widely hailed as an important step in protection of women.

In 2000 and in 2005, the law was renewed with bipartisan support again. It was not a political issue based on party.

But now in 2012, not a single Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to reauthorize the legislation, an absolutely unbelievable development.

Those Republicans on the Judiciary Committee include: Chick Grassley of Iowa, the ranking member; Orrin Hatch of Utah; Jon Kyl of Arizona; Jeff Sessions of Alabama; Lindsey Graham of South Carolina; John Cornyn of Texas; Mike Lee of Utah; and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.

How in the world can any of these senators justify this refusal to support a renewal? What is wrong with these people that they do not think women need continued protection from abusive fathers, brothers, boyfriends, and husbands, as well as stalkers? Why is it that whenever women are the issue, Republicans, both men and women as well, do not think women should be protected by federal law?

Apparently, the Republicans disagree on the provisions to protect gay and transgender people, and also to protect undocumented immigrant women who are victims of violence. It is part of their anti gay and anti immigrant agenda, but really, this is simply an issue of human rights, and in the 21st century, to have such a narrow minded and intolerant view of women’s rights, because some might be from certain groups rejected by some, is unconscionable!

Apparently, there are no limits to the refusal of Republicans to promote any bipartisanship on anything! How any self respecting woman can support the Republican Party after this insult, as well as others recently on birth control, contraception, and other issues of women’s health, is beyond understanding.

Speaker John Boehner Under Attack From Senate Republicans And The Wall Street Journal

Speaker of the House John Boehner is rapidly losing respect and support, as many Senate Republicans have condemned him and the Tea Party radicals for holding up the payroll tax cut, continuation of unemployment compensation, and delay in Medicare payment cuts to doctors.

Along with Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Dean Heller of Nevada, and Olympia Snowe of Maine, we have now seen Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi also condemning the House Republican leadership.

And imagine, the Wall Street Journal, a loyal conservative and Republican newspaper, has also called for immediate action on the legislation, so that taxes do not go up on January 1, as that would be a winning proposition for Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress!

Indications are that Boehner might lose his Speakership sooner rather than later, and that Eric Cantor is salivating at the thought of becoming Speaker sooner rather than later.

In any case, it seems less likely now that the GOP will hold on to the House, and that Mitch McConnell will NOT be as likely to become Senate Majority Leader in 2013!