Feb 8, 2018

Democrats are going after 101 GOP House seats

DCCC chairman Rep. Ben Ray Lujan leads House and Senate Democrats. Photo: Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is targeting 101 House Republicans' seats in the 2018 midterms, NBC reports. That's the widest battleground in at least a decade.

Why it matters: This shows how Democrats are trying to ride the wave they've seen since Trump's election, in which they've taken 35 state legislature seats from Republicans.

They only need to win 24 seats to take back the House, which isn't guaranteed, so the DCCC hopes expanding into 101 districts — and focusing on everything from the diversity of their candidates to their messaging — will help Democrats' chances.

What they're saying:

  • NRCC National Press Secretary Jesse Hunt: "You can’t put a seat in play based on hopes and dreams. The DCCC has an uncanny ability to overpromise and under-deliver and this is more of the same."
  • DCCC noticed that the NRCC's recent survey pointed out that Republicans are "trailing by only four points" on the generic Congressional ballot, which they viewed as noting Democrats' +4 advantage.

The latest: The most recent additions to the list of targets include districts in the Republican strongholds of South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin. Cook Political's latest analysis says 21 districts that were up in the air are now leaning left.

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Federal court temporarily halts "Remain in Mexico" program

Migrant wearing a cap with U.S. flagin front of the border between Guatemala and Mexico. Photo: Jair Cabrera Torres/picture alliance via Getty Image

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's earlier injunction on Friday, temporarily stopping the Trump administration from enforcing the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) — known as the "Remain in Mexico" policy.

Why it matters: Tens of thousands of migrants seeking asylum have been forced to wait out their U.S. immigration court cases across the border in Mexico under the policy. The Trump administration has long credited this program for the decline in border crossings following record highs last summer.

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Coronavirus updates: WHO raises global threat level to "very high"

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The World Health Organization raised its global risk assessment for the novel coronavirus to "very high" Friday, its highest risk level as countries struggle to contain it. Meanwhile, National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow this morning tried to reassure the markets, which continued to correct amid growing fears of a U.S. recession.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected about 83,800 others in almost 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

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Bernie's plan to hike taxes on some startup employees

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sens. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced legislation that would tax nonqualified stock options at vesting, rather than at exercise, for employees making at least $130,000 per year.

The big picture: Select employees at private companies would be taxed on monies that they hadn't yet banked.