Aug 20, 2019

Harry Reid: Medicare for All, border decriminalization won't win 2020

Harry Reid. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In an interview with VICE News, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he thinks Medicare for All and decriminalizing border crossings are the wrong issues to focus on for Democrats to win the White House in 2020.

Why it matters: Both topics have been dividers in the crowded field seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination. While more progressive candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders have long favored Medicare for All, moderates such as former Rep. John Delaney are pushing for a universal health care system, but not Medicare for All.

  • Decriminalizing border crossings has created similar rifts. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro has led the effort to remove the misdemeanor penalty. Meanwhile, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet plainly rejects the idea, per the Huffington Post.

What they're saying:

“I think that we should focus on improving Obamacare. We can do that — without bringing something that would be much harder to sell.”
— Harry Reid

On decriminalizing border crossings, Reid said, "There are so many more important things to do. Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list. It should be way, way down at the bottom of the list."

Between the lines: Earlier this month, Reid also came out in favor of killing the filibuster to enact climate change legislation.

Go deeper: Harry Reid calls Trump the "worst president we've ever had"

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Mitch McConnell defends the Senate filibuster

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged Democrats to stop considering abolishing the filibuster Thursday, arguing "America needs the Senate to be the Senate" in a New York Times op-ed.

The state of play: The Kentucky senator, responding to calls to from his predecessor Harry Reid and a number of 2020 contenders to end the filibuster to move forward Democratic proposals on gun control and climate change, said it was "their half-baked proposals and not the centuries-old wisdom that need retooling."

Go deeperArrowAug 22, 2019

The great Democratic gamble

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are increasingly taking far-left positions most would not have dreamed of — or dared — taking three short years ago.

Why it matters: A convergence of incentives — fundraising, cable coverage, liberal activism and social media — are inspiring Democrats to offer full-throated support of big government liberalism. The result would make Hillary Clinton and former President Obama sound like conservative Democrats in this field.

Go deeperArrowAug 28, 2019

Acting CBP head touts falling border numbers at rare press briefing

Mark Morgan. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

The number of border crossings last month fell again to 64,006 from a decade high of 144,266 in May, acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan announced from the White House on Monday.

Why it matters: Morgan, who got the job largely thanks to his defense of Trump's policies on Fox News, used the rare press briefing to defend Trump's border wall and praise the administration's restrictions on asylum-seekers. He also praised the Mexican government's cracking down on migrants traveling through the country toward the U.S., but added that it needed to do more.

Go deeperArrowSep 9, 2019