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While President Joe Biden was joined by Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the White House on Wednesday to mark the one-year anniversary of a sweeping health care and climate bill designed to lower consumer prices, Nevada Rep. Susie Lee held a roundtable back home with local organizations focused on labor and climate.

During the roundtable, Lee said the law was the “most significant piece of legislation in history addressing climate change.”

“I don’t need to tell all of you that Nevada, one, stands at the very epicenter of climate change. We are dealing with the impact,” she said. “More importantly, we’re also at the apex of taking advantage of the transition to clean energy and the jobs that come with that.”

Lee, who is one of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s top targets in next year’s election, also touted the law’s health care components, including allowing Medicare to negotiate prices for some prescription drugs, but acknowledged Democrats want to do more to extend those benefits to people who are not on Medicare.

Republicans, meanwhile, argue the law has not had a meaningful impact on families’ wallets. Steven Law, president and CEO of the Senate Leadership Fund, a major GOP super PAC, wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Thursday that Republicans should “aggressively articulate” that the law is not doing enough to reduce costs for things like food and rent.

“Every Democrat in Congress supported the bill. It should doom them in 2024,” he wrote.

At the White House event, Biden acknowledged the law hasn’t been a cure-all. But he also said it was part of a broader plan to further improve the economy.

SLF’s affiliated nonprofit group launched a six-figure ad buy targeting West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III for his support of the law. Manchin has not yet announced whether he will seek reelection, but would face one of the country’s most challenging races if he does.

Starting gate

Going postal: As the Republican National Committee pushes a national effort to encourage people to vote early by mail — while the House GOP’s election overhaul bill would prohibit Washington, D.C., from mailing ballots to every registered voter — CQ Roll Call’s Justin Papp talks with the top election official and Republican lieutenant governor in Utah, a ruby red state where voting by mail has been routine for years.

Oh, you mean those stocks: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was in I-walked-the-walk mode when the former House member told CNBC he supported a ban on members of Congress owning and trading stocks in part because, “I sold all my stock before I went in.” Except he didn’t sell all his stock, as CQ Roll Call’s Jim Saksa learned when by checking DeSantis’ financial disclosure forms.

‘Bama battle: A three-judge panel of federal judges was asked this week to review the new district map Alabama’s legislature drew after the Supreme Court upheld a ruling throwing out the old one. CQ Roll Call’s Michael Macagnone reports that a brief filed by the Congressional Black Caucus, led by Alabama Democratic Rep. Terri Sewell, argued the new map “entrenches the historical exclusion of Black Alabamians.” But the state defended its position in court, with some of the judges voicing frustration, according to a report in The Alabama Reflector.

Obscenities and threats: Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas hurled obscenities at police and threatened to report them to the governor after he was brought to the ground by officers during an argument outside a rodeo last month, newly released police body camera video shows. The Republican congressman, a former White House physician, said he was trying to help a girl having seizures. But he became combative when troopers ordered him to move away and let emergency medical personnel handle the situation.

Pocket money: Nearly $2.3 million raised since the last election by 16 House and Senate members won’t be used for future campaigns because the lawmakers spent it on themselves to repay loans they made to their campaigns. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., paid down loans this year they made more than a decade ago, while Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Mich, has spent 64 cents of every dollar that has come in repaying herself for loans from the 2020 election. Even some losing candidates, like Pennsylvania Senate hopeful Dr. Mehmet Oz, are raising money and making repayments. Politics editor Herb Jackson has the full rundown.

Impersonation indictment: A former fundraiser for New York GOP Rep. George Santos is facing federal charges for allegedly impersonating a senior aide to Speaker Kevin McCarthy while seeking campaign contributions from donors. CQ Roll Call’s Chris Marquette has a full report on the indictment.


Speaking of loan repayments: CNN looks at how Sam Brown, the unsuccessful Nevada GOP Senate candidate in 2022 who is running again, used contributions he said he was raising to help other candidates.

Way north of Richmond: “Rich Men North of Richmond,’’ a viral country song by singer Oliver Anthony with a blunt populist message, has been praised by conservatives such as defeated Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. But Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, thinks progressives should listen to the song as well. “Anthony sings about the soullessness of work, shit wages and the power of the elites. All problems the left has better solutions to than the right,’’ Murphy posted on X, formerly called Twitter.

Pelosi backs Salas in California rematch: Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed former Assemblyman Rudy Salas in his bid to unseat Republican Rep. David Valadao in California’s 22nd District. Another Democrat, state Sen. Melissa Hurtado, has filed papers to run, but Pelosi views Salas as the party’s best bet to defeat Valadao.

Endorsement watch: Maryland Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen endorsed Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin. The New Democrat Coalition Action Fund made endorsements this week in two races: Janelle Bynum in Oregon’s 5th district and Josh Riley in New York’s 19th district.

Florida redistricting: A legal challenge to Florida’s congressional map was narrowed to former Rep. Al Lawson’s district in the northern part of the state after an agreement between the state and groups challenging the map. Al Lawson told Florida Politics that he would consider running again for the House if a district like the one he represented returned.

Iced ambassador?: Some Republicans are pushing back on Jeffrey Gunter, who was ambassador to Iceland under Donald Trump, seeking a Senate seat in Nevada. Sources told Politico there are worries about his lack of a voting record in Nevada and performance as ambassador — including allegedly trying to work from his Los Angeles home rather than Reykjavík as COVID-19 began to spread.

Cohen for Congress?: Michael Cohen, formerly Donald Trump’s personal attorney and fixer, is considering running for Congress. Cohen, who has turned into one of Trump’s top critics, told Semafor he is being encouraged by “a multitude of folks” to mount a primary challenge against Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler in New York’s 12th District. It was redrawn in 2022, with Nadler defeating former Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney in a heated race. (And a h/t to our colleagues at Semafor for this clever headline: “The Fixer’s In?”)

They’re running: Former State Department official Jason Blazakis announced a challenge to GOP Rep. Thomas H. Kean Jr., in New Jersey’s 7th District. Pennsylvania state Rep. Rob Mercuri announced a run against Democratic Rep. Chris Deluzio in Pennsylvania’s 17th.

Mass GOP chaos: The former leader of the Massachusetts Republican Party is suing his replacement, reigniting a complex legal battle within a state party that has long been riven by political infighting. Republicans in Massachusetts don’t hold a single statewide office and there are no GOP members of the state’s congressional delegation.

What we’re reading

Progressive perspective: A local news organization with a liberal viewpoint launched in Nevada this week and plans to expand to New Hampshire and Texas in advance of the 2024 election, Axios reports. Unlike so-called “pink slime” sites, which try to conceal their partisan agenda, Courier Newsroom is transparent about its political leanings.

Reagan’s heir: Politico Magazine offers an in-depth portrait of Sen. Mitch McConnell in his lion-in-winter phase. The Kentucky Republican is on a quest to preserve the foreign policy legacy of Ronald Reagan in the face of Trumpist isolationism.

Notes on the gerontocracy: Teen Vogue is the latest outlet to look at the demographics of Congress. The magazine notes that age can determine what receives attention: “In a gerontocracy, issues like social security reform are more likely to be seen as top priorities. Urgent issues that will impact people in the coming decades, such as climate change, get pushed aside.”

Sweet home … Florida?: The Washington Post found a paper trail suggesting Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama no longer lives in the state he represents. Tuberville, a Republican, recently sold the last properties he owned in Alabama, according to real estate records cited by the newspaper, and actually resides in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.

Gold Coaster: Tuberville isn’t the only Republican facing questions about his residency: The Associated Press reviewed public records, real estate listings and footage from recent interviews indicating that David McCormick, who is running for Senate in Pennsylvania as a Republican, lives in Westport, Conn., a wealthy enclave on Long Island Sound. Last year, Republican Mehmet Oz lost the Pennsylvania Senate contest following revelations that he actually resided in New Jersey.

The count: 39-24

That’s the Republican lead over Democrats in the number of “excess” House seats held by the party after the 2022 midterms, as calculated by the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. The analysis looked at states where the partisan ratio of seats exceeds what would be predicted by the state’s presidential vote in 2020. After the 2020 election, the calculation “found a rough parity” of 32 GOP seats and 28 Democratic seats. “After a round of aggressive redistricting following the 2020 census, the GOP has expanded that lead to 39-24,” the center’s Louis Jacobson writes this week.

Nathan’s notes

After two impeachments and three indictments, Trump was still the double-digit GOP frontrunner for 2024. A fourth indictment in Georgia won’t change that, Nathan writes.

Shop talk: Daniel Scarpinato

Scarpinato is president of Winged Victory: The Agency, a Phoenix-based communications and political strategy firm. He also served as press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee, chief of staff to former GOP Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and general consultant for Republican Rep. Juan Ciscomani’s campaign.

Starting out: Scarpinato began his career as a newspaper reporter covering the Arizona state House. “I kind of was in the right place at the right time because there were a lot of people who later turned out to be household names,” he said. He covered Gabby Giffords’ first run for Congress and John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, among other major contests. “I knew Kyrsten Sinema when she was a progressive state representative,” he said. “She loved hanging out in the press room and gossiping with reporters.”
Eventually, Scarpinato said he started to wonder about life on “the other side” and he made the jump from journalism to partisan politics.

Most unforgettable campaign moment: There were two. The first came at the 2016 Republican National Convention, which Scarpinato attended with Ducey. One night at dinner, Ducey and his team got a call that the Arizona governor was on the short-list of names to introduce Mike Pence, who had just been tapped as Donald Trump’s running mate. Scarpinato and a few other Ducey aides spent the night drafting remarks. Ultimately, then-Speaker Paul Ryan — not Ducey — was selected to introduce Pence. But to Scarpinato, it remains one of those unforgettable moments “where you just kind of pinch yourself and say, ‘I’m getting paid to do this.’”

A second career highlight occurred when Scarpinato was selected by Ducey as his chief of staff. “It was an incredible experience working for a great boss,” said Scarpinato, who spent three years in the post, helping Ducey navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 election as well as passing major policy initiatives, including tax cuts and an expansion of a school voucher program.

Biggest campaign regret: During the 2014 election cycle, the NRCC’s digital team bought domain names for Democratic candidates and built phony websites that looked authentic but were actually filled with attacks. Scarpinato, as the NRCC’s national spokesman, went on CNN for an interview but he wasn’t prepared. “It was like walking into a ‘60 Minutes’ interview with Mike Wallace. The lights came on and there were a bunch of curveballs that I hadn’t anticipated’’ about the websites, he said. He survived the experience “and kind of avoided a deer in the headlights moment for the most part” but it taught him the importance of preparation.

Unconventional wisdom: ”There are a lot of reasons to be cynical right now, and I think the electorate is cynical, and frankly, a lot of people in this business are, too,” Scarpinato said. His advice: find candidates you can believe in. He cited Ciscomano, who is running for reelection in 2024, and Christine Drazen, who ran for governor of Oregon last year and lost.

“As frustrating as politics can be these days, they are the kind of people who remind you why you get out of bed and do this,’’ Scarpinato said. “They gave me a lot of faith that things are going to be okay because we have good people in the arena.”

Do you know someone who works in campaigns whom we should feature for Shop Talk? Email us at

Coming up

GOP presidential candidates hold their first debate Wednesday night on Fox News. Will Trump show? If you want to make a road trip of it, there are watch parties in New York hosted by the Metropolitan Republican Club with hors d’oeuvres and an open bar, and in Austin, Texas, at a Dave & Buster’s. Closer to home, the vibe will probably be different at Network for Progress’ “Blue Drinks” event in Washington’s Navy Yard neighborhood.

Photo finish

Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., center, high fives Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., at a Wednesday event where President Joe Biden marked the anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act in the East Room of the White House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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