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At the Races: Now show me yours

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Speaker Kevin McCarthy released the text of the House Republican draft proposal to raise the debt limit while rolling back a laundry list of President Joe Biden’s signature policy achievements at least a week before it is likely to reach the House floor.

That level of transparency (which is unusual with this sort of smorgasbord bill, and one of the changes McCarthy committed to during his lengthy battle to win the speaker’s gavel) will give his members plenty of time to digest it and rally to support — or find novel reasons to oppose it.

It also means Democrats and their ad makers have plenty of time to message against it before it even comes up for a vote.

“Every House Republican who votes for this bill is voting to cut education, veterans medical care, cancer research, meals on wheels, food safety, and law enforcement. To offshore American manufacturing and kill good-paying jobs. To take health care away from millions of Americans and threaten food assistance for hundreds of thousands of older people,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement released Thursday morning that provided a glimpse of what’s to come.

Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans need to stop threatening to default and raise costs for American families,” House Majority PAC Communications Director CJ Warnke told At the Races. “House Majority PAC will ensure that any Republican who stands with McCarthy’s extremist plan will be voted out in 2024.”

The bill’s House passage is far from a done deal, however, with members of the House Republican Conference having plenty of questions.

Republicans argue that McCarthy’s release of a proposal will make it clear that Biden is refusing to come to the table and negotiate.

“Speaker Kevin McCarthy put Biden’s absurd excuses to rest on the House floor today by outlining in detail the House Republican plan for the debt limit,” Tommy Pigott, the Republican National Committee’s rapid response director, said Wednesday.

Starting gate

All about the children: Dr. Annie Andrews, a South Carolina Democrat who made an unsuccessful run for Congress last year, launched a new political organization focused on policies affecting children. The group, “Their Future, Our Vote,” will advocate for measures that address climate change, gun violence, childhood poverty and voting rights, among other issues. An affiliated political action committee, “Their Future PAC,” aims to raise between $5 million and $10 million. 

Leaders of the PAC: A record number of Latinas won seats in the 118th Congress, but CHC BOLD PAC, the campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, aims to add to that total in 2024. The group, which is led by women, plans to highlight economic issues and access to abortion. 

Stutzman seeks comeback: Former Rep. Marlin Stutzman lost a Senate primary a few years back, but now the Indiana Republican wants to reclaim his old House seat, which Rep. Jim Banks is vacating in order to make his own Senate bid. He formally announced he was jumping into what could be a crowded primary on Tuesday.

Trump district progressive: Pennsylvania Rep. Matt Cartwright, who has won four elections in a district that backed Donald Trump over Joe Biden in 2016, shares with CQ Roll Call’s Jim Saksa how he operates and offers some advice for the other party to try to tame the “crazies.”

ICYMI

Early pulse check: Campaign finance filings from last week show Democratic Rep. Adam B. Schiff with $24.7 million in the bank for his California Senate run, Maryland Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin raising just $15,000 in the first quarter and, perhaps most notably, nearly all the battleground House Republicans off to a faster start raising and banking money than their Democratic counterparts, politics editor Herb Jackson reports.

Endorsed: CHC BOLD PAC backed Rhode Island Lt. Gov. Sabrina Matos in the 14-candidates-and-counting race for the seat that will open when Rep. David Cicilline resigns in June

Picking sides: Florida Rep. Laurel Lee said she’s backing her governor, Ron DeSantis, for president, but a host of other members of the state’s delegation lined up behind Trump this week, including Reps. Vern Buchanan, Brian Mast, John Rutherford, Greg Steube and Michael Waltz.

Tester staffs up: Tester’s reelection campaign and the Montana Democratic Party announced a number of senior campaign hires this week. The list includes seasoned operatives who worked in some less senior roles on Tester’s last campaign, as well as for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and key Senate races across the country. KULR reported on the announcements Wednesday. Tester got what looks like good news Wednesday when a legislative committee in Billings shelved a proposal to make next year’s Senate primary — and no other election — a top-two vote to prevent a Libertarian or other third-party candidate from siphoning enough anti-Tester votes from a Republican that he won.  

Moreno’s run: Businessman Bernie Moreno has officially launched his candidacy for Senate in Ohio, seeking to challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown, according to a report on Cleveland.com. Moreno ran last cycle as well, although he dropped out ahead of the primary, which was won by now-Sen. J.D. Vance. This time, Moreno may have Trump’s backing. “He would not be easy to beat, especially against Brown, one of the worst in the Senate!” Trump said on Truth Social, noting that Moreno’s son-in-law Max Miller, a former Trump aide, is now a member of Congress.

Past performance no indication: The Kansas City Star looks at how Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids won her Kansas district easily last year and suggests things might not be that easy in 2024.

#WISEN: Wisconsin Rep. Tom Tiffany purchased two website domain names signaling interest in a Senate run against Democrat Tammy Baldwin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Tiffany said he is weighing a run, but also told the outlet that fellow GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher would “be a good candidate” and should consider a run.

Been there: Just as he was before his 2018 reelection, Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez will be raising money for both his campaign next year and for a legal defense fund. The New Jersey Democrat’s spokesman said the legal fund was being created after Menendez’s campaign account disclosed spending more than $230,000 in the first quarter of this year for lawyers and consultants to deal with a reported investigation by federal prosecutors in New York. 

RIP: Former Pennsylvania Rep. Bud Shuster, a longtime chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee who once said he wanted his tombstone to say he “helped build America,” has died at age 91. 

What she’s doing now: Tiffany Smiley, the Washington Republican who lost a Senate race to Democrat Patty Murray last year, launched a nonprofit group “dedicated to developing, promoting, and effectively communicating solutions that will directly help American workers and their families,” according to a release. 

Energy issues: The NRCC targeted Democratic Reps. Mary Peltola of Alaska, Yadira Caraveo of Colorado and Gabe Vasquez of New Mexico in a memo this week for votes they took against a House GOP energy bill because the “impact of oil & gas production on their respective states’ budgets & local economies is outsized.”

What we’re reading

Stu says: South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott’s awkward answer about whether he supports a national abortion ban convinced political analyst Stu Rothenberg that Scott’s not a top-tier presidential contender.

Trump bump: The former president may have an insurmountable edge in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination, editor-at-large John T. Bennett wrote last week. And that was before Texas Rep. Lance Gooden left a “positive meeting” with DeSantis and endorsed Trump.

Marianne Williamson, TikTok star: Marianne Williamson might be a long shot for the Democratic presidential nomination, but she’s emerged as the undisputable winner of TikTok. The Intercept looks at the bestselling author’s social media presence and how it’s driving her appeal to voters under 30.

Family ties: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s presidential run isn’t getting much support from members of his storied political family. CNN reached out to Kennedy’s siblings and cousins, who said they were “frustrated, sad and completely opposed” to his long-shot bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Kennedy, the son of Robert F. Kennedy, is an outspoken opponent of vaccinations and has embraced other conspiracy theories.

What happened to Walker?: Herschel Walker was seemingly everywhere during his Senate run in Georgia last year. But after losing the race last year to Democrat Raphael Warnock, the football star turned GOP candidate has largely disappeared from the public eye, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports

Getting to know Goldman: Dan Goldman developed a national profile as the lead attorney of Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial. But when the New York Democrat ran for Congress last year, his critics accused him of not knowing much about the 10th Congressional District. The Gothamist chronicled Goldman’s recent travels across the diverse district he now represents, which includes parts of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The count: 33

That’s how many freshman House Republicans, out of 40 overall, are requesting appropriations earmarks in the next fiscal year, CQ Roll Call’s Aidan Quigley reports. In addition, 14 more senior GOP members — including House Freedom Caucus members Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Andy Harris of Maryland and Ben Cline of Virginia — have put in requests after not seeking any funds last year, when Democrats controlled the chamber.

Nathan’s notes

The Senate map is starting to take shape, but there are still several incumbents who have not said whether they’re running, and the one with the most potential to tip the balance of power is West Virginia’s Joe Manchin III, Nathan L. Gonzales writes.

Today’s key race

GOP Rep. George Santos officially announced a reelection bid for New York’s 3rd District this week, days after reporting a disappointing first quarter of fundraising during which he received just $5,333 and refunded more than $8,000 of contributions. He ended the quarter with $25,000 on hand.

But Santos, the freshman who fabricated parts of his résumé and other aspects about his personal history, faces headwinds as he gears up for a 2024 campaign. He stepped down from his committee assignments earlier this year and is the subject of a House Ethics Committee investigation, as well as other federal and state probes

He’s already drawn a primary challenger in Afghanistan war veteran Kellen Curry, who says he would “restore honesty and integrity to our congressional representation.” Democrat Josh Lafazan, a member of the Nassau County legislature, is also running and reported raising $345,000 between January and March. More candidates could also get in the race in the months ahead, such as former Rep. Tom Suozzi, who lost a gubernatorial primary last year and is reportedly considering a run. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the seat as a Toss-up. 

A January Siena College poll found that 83 percent of 3rd District constituents viewed Santos unfavorably, including 78 percent of Republicans. 

Republicans in the district have called on him to resign, and it’s not clear what kind of support his campaign might receive from the party. He wasn’t included in a new joint fundraising committee set up this week with other New York Republicans, Speaker Kevin McCarthy, his leadership PAC, the NRCC and the NY Republican Federal Campaign Committee.

Democrats have already signaled that the New York seats that flipped last year are among their top targets for next year’s elections, including the 3rd District, which Biden would have won by 8 points in 2020.

Coming up

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who is running for president, speaks about abortion in Arlington, Va., on Tuesday. Former Vice President Mike Pence, who may also be running for president, will speak the same day to the Federalist Society in Washington, after making two appearances in Iowa on Saturday.

Photo finish

In his first week back since receiving inpatient treatment for depression, Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. John Fetterman gives two thumbs up as he walks with Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer to the Senate luncheons on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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