Before impeachment trial, Senate prepares vote on Trump's war powers
AP wire

Before impeachment trial, Senate prepares vote on Trump's war powers

  • 0
Subscribe today: $3/3 months

Here are the stories our panel of top political reporters have on their radar, in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast.

1. War Powers Act vote

Senators get back to President Donald Trump's impeachment trial on Tuesday afternoon -- but first they may vote to limit the President's ability to take military action against Iran.

"As early as next week, they may vote to rebuke President Trump for using military action in Iran without congressional authorization," New York Times congressional editor Julie Hirschfeld Davis said, referring to the US strike on Iranian military general Qasem Soleimani.

"Tim Kaine, the Virginia senator, has a resolution to essentially force the President to come back to Congress before going ahead with any further military action in Iran," Davis said. So it may be that they may vote to essentially rein in the President's war powers at the very same time they are weighing whether to remove him from office."

A similar measure already passed in the House. Davis said there appear to be enough votes for it to pass in the Senate too, although likely not enough to override a presidential veto.

2. Is Trump worried about Bloomberg?

It's not just impeachment on Trump's mind -- he's also keeping his eye on the Democratic primary race. And Wall Street Journal White House correspondent Michael Bender said a certain billionaire former mayor is at the front of his mind.

"The Trump campaign is looking at a lengthy list of things they view as big threats to his reelection," Bender said. "One of them is Mike Bloomberg and the billion dollars he has to spend on this race."

Bender said campaign officials don't necessarily see a path for Bloomberg to actually win the Democratic nomination. "But one thing he's very good at is getting under the President's skin. And the campaign knows that every Trump tweet (about Bloomberg) has the chance of lifting him into the central conversation. That's something the former New York mayor has not been able to do for himself."

3. The weather in Iowa

Nearly all Democrats left in the race have spent months positioning themselves for wins in the early states. But there's one thing they can't control: the weather.

"There was a big blizzard in Iowa this weekend that forced multiple candidates to cancel campaign events," Time Magazine national political reporter Molly Ball said. "It's always going to be something campaigns have to take into account."

And it's not just a matter of inconvenience -- it could actually change the results, Ball said.

"The more intense the support, the more advantage that you have in the event of extreme weather on caucus night," Ball said -- meaning a candidate with a bigger but less passionate base of support could lose out to one with fewer, but more engaged, supporters.

4. Eye on governors' races

Eleven states will hold gubernatorial elections this year -- with Democrats hoping to build on the gains they made in 2018. But the map makes that unlikely, CNN senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson said.

"The GOP comes in with something of an advantage -- they've got 26 governors' mansions, compared to 24 for Democrats," Henderson said. "And the GOP has really paid attention to state races in a way that Democrats haven't. We saw the Democrats make up some ground in 2018, but it's going to be much harder for them this go-around."

Six of the 11 races are in deep-red states, and only two are in purple states: New Hampshire and North Carolina.

"North Carolina is a big race that people are going to be watching," Henderson said. "Incumbent Democrat Roy Cooper is facing a tough Republican challenger."

And what makes that and other contests especially important? One word.

"Redistricting," Henderson said.

5. Supreme Court weighs Electoral College

And from CNN chief national correspondent John King:

The Supreme Court is destined to have something its justices insist they don't relish: a potentially very big role in the presidential campaign debate.

Already, Chief Justice John Roberts is presiding over the impeachment trial. Plus we are waiting to hear if the high court will fast track a federal challenge to the validity of Obamacare.

And we now know the court will weigh in this year -- before the election -- on constitutional questions about the Electoral College.

The key question is whether states have the power to mandate that electors follow their state's results when they cast their ballots, or whether they are free to vote as they please.

The issue of so-called rogue or faithless electors is not new, but the court's decision to take the case comes at a time of renewed debate about the merits of the Electoral College.

In 2016, Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton. But the state-by-state results suggested a split of 306 electoral votes for Trump and 232 for Clinton.

The final result, however, was 304 for Trump and 227 for Clinton because of faithless electors who cast ballots for others. That was not enough to change the results, but those advocating for the state mandate authority note that in a closer election -- 2000 was decided by five electoral votes -- a handful of rogue or faithless electors could overturn the will of the states.

Tags

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned Americans to brace for a “rough two-week period” ahead as the White House released new projections that there could be 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. from the coronavirus pandemic even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned Americans to brace for a “rough two-week period” ahead as the White House released new projections that there could be 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. from the coronavirus pandemic even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained.

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Blues News

Breaking News

Cardinals News

Daily 6

National Breaking News

Sports