Author: Mike DeBonis

Joe Biden again says he hasn’t ruled out 2020 run, will decide by year’s end

Former vice president Joe Biden speaks to Harvard University students in 2017. (Steven Senne/AP) Former vice president Joe Biden said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he has not ruled out a presidential run in 2020 and that he expects to make a decision by the end of the year. Biden has previously left the door open to a 2020 presidential run but gave a newly expansive account of his thinking to the Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation.” “I’m really hoping that some other folks step up,” Biden said. “I think we have some really good people. … I got...

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Paul Ryan on James Comey: ‘I don’t know the guy’

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) answers questions during his weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 13, 2017. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, speaking in an interview broadcast Sunday, declined to wade into the nasty feud between President Trump and James B. Comey, the FBI director whom Trump fired last year and who is now promoting a book describing the experience. Ryan (R-Wis.), who announced his retirement on Wednesday, has previously defended Comey from Trump’s attacks. In May, shortly after Comey’s dismissal, he rejected Trump’s description of Comey as a “nut job” and said “I like Comey” — though he also defended Trump’s decision to fire him. But since then, the question of Comey’s credibility has become a more pressing matter in Washington as he has accused Trump of acting to obstruct the federal investigation into his campaign and business ties to Russia. Comey’s book, “A Higher Loyalty,” will be released Tuesday, and he is now amid a media blitz to promote it — including a Sunday prime-time interview on ABC. Trump renewed his attacks on Comey on Sunday morning, calling him a “Slimeball” and accusing him of “many lies.” “James Comey, a man of integrity?” Chuck Todd, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” asked Ryan during the interview taped Friday. “As far as I know,” Ryan replied. “I don’t know him very well.” Asked...

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Democrats rally around universal background checks ahead of White House meeting on guns

Ahead of a White House summit on guns Wednesday, Democrats called on President Trump to back expanded background checks — throwing their weight behind a measure that failed to advance through Congress after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Now, in the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting that left 17 dead at a high school in Parkland, Fla., Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other top Democrats believe that Trump could help muscle through a measure that has long been opposed by the National Rifle Association and many Republican lawmakers. Trump earlier this month tweeted...

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Government shuts down after Senate bill collapses, negotiations fail

By Mike DeBonis, Ed O’Keefe, Erica Werner and Elise Viebeck, The federal government shut down for the first time in more than four years Friday after senators rejected a temporary spending patch and bipartisan efforts to find an alternative fell short as a midnight deadline came and went. Republican and Democratic leaders both said they would continue to talk, raising the possibility of a solution over the weekend. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Friday that the conflict has a “really good chance” of being resolved before government offices open Monday, suggesting that a shutdown’s impacts...

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Talks to avoid shutdown hit roadblocks a day ahead of vote

By Mike DeBonis, Ed O’Keefe, Erica Werner and Elise Viebeck, Negotiations to avoid a government shutdown sputtered Wednesday, a day ahead of a planned vote in the House, with conservative Freedom Caucus members issuing new demands while defense hawks seethed at the prospect of yet another short-term spending bill. Prospects were equally dicey in the Senate, where several Democrats who had approved earlier short-term spending extensions announced they would be voting “no” this time around. They were under intense pressure from immigrant activists to hold firm on demands for a solution for young immigrants known as “dreamers” who face...

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Shutdown looms as Republicans seek short-term spending deal for government

By Mike DeBonis, Ed O’Keefe and Sean Sullivan, Chances of a government shutdown grew Monday as Republicans concluded that they would be unable to reach a long-term spending accord by the Friday deadline. GOP leaders are now turning to a short-term funding measure in hopes of keeping agencies open while talks continue, but Democratic leaders say they are unlikely to support any deal that does not protect young illegal immigrants. Aides to key negotiators from both parties planned to meet Tuesday in an effort to rekindle budget talks, setting up a Wednesday meeting of the leaders themselves. If they...

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Retirements of veteran Republicans fuel GOP fears of losing House majority

By Mike DeBonis, The number of House Republicans planning to forgo reelection bids this year is on track to outpace majority-party retirements in any recent election where control of the chamber flipped — an ominous sign fueling GOP fears of a political wave that could shift power to Democrats in November’s midterm elections. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Wednesday became the latest GOP veteran to announce that he would not seek reelection, two days after his fellow California Republican, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Edward R. Royce, said he would retire. Democrats had placed both men high on their...

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A division for Democrats pondering a government shutdown: 2018 versus 2020

By Mike DeBonis, Erica Werner and Ed O’Keefe, A year after losing the presidency, Democrats are facing an uncomfortable question: Are they willing to force a government shutdown to extract political victories — a hardball tactic for which they have long blasted Republicans? The dilemma comes as a Jan. 19 funding deadline approaches and bipartisan negotiations over immigration and other issues have so far failed to produce an agreement. The thorniest issue is the fate of “dreamers” — roughly 2 million young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, some of whom had gained legal status under a...

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