SPY381.72-1.91 -0.50%
DIA318.25+3.01 0.95%
IXIC12,609.16-310.99 -2.41%

DJ Primary Challenges Proliferate Against Republicans Who Voted to Impeach

· 02/05/2021 05:30
By Gabriel T. Rubin

REPUBLICANS WHO VOTED TO IMPEACH President Donald Trump start to attract primary challengers for 2022. Diante Johnson, an organizer with Black Voices for Trump last year and a field organizer with Trump's 2016 campaign, has told associates he may launch a challenge to Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.), depending on how the district looks after Democratic-led redistricting in the state this year.

According to a person familiar with his thinking, Johnson is leaning toward launching a bid, motivated by Kinzinger's vote to impeach Trump and his overall opposition to the former Republican president. Kinzinger has said he is at peace with the possibility that he could lose re-election over his Trump stance and launched a political-action committee to support fellow anti-Trump Republicans.

In Michigan, an Afghanistan War veteran has threatened to challenge first-term Rep. Peter Meijer, who succeeded another member, former Rep. Justin Amash, who was run out of the Republican Party for supporting Trump's first impeachment. In South Carolina, a state representative plans to primary Rep. Tom Rice, a conservative stalwart who surprised many with his vote to impeach.

Rep. Liz Cheney, the highest-ranking Republican to vote for impeachment, has attracted the most attention for her vote, and has split the party between those who want her stripped of her position and primaried, and those who remain supportive of her continued leadership. She won the first battle in that fight Wednesday by keeping her GOP conference post.

PROTECTING CONGRESS after the Jan. 6 riot is a shared goal among congressional leadership and security officials, but the particulars have led to disagreements among stakeholders. A bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote last week to House leaders requesting more flexibility in how members use security funds, especially when they are away from Capitol Hill in their home districts. They also asked for more protections related to their personal information, including their home addresses.

How to protect the Capitol itself is a subject of debate. Congress is expected to vote soon on a supplemental appropriations package for Capitol security, and many lawmakers, open-government advocates and Washington community groups are pushing back on a proposal from U.S. Capitol Police to have permanent fencing limit access to the Hill. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser opposes the proposal, and a Capitol Hill neighborhood group calling itself Don't Fence the Capitol has sprung up in opposition, too. On Wednesday, it hit its goal of 7,500 signatures on a petition, and raised the goal to 10,000.

A GROUP OF BUSINESS LEADERS along with lawmakers of both parties unveiled on Wednesday a series of policy proposals aimed at creating better jobs, building up low-wage workers through training, and sharing companies' wealth with employees and their communities. The Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism -- which includes businesswoman Lynn Forester de Rothschild, corporate board director Ursula Burns and TIAA Chief Executive Roger Ferguson -- was joined by Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia and Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman to lay out 21 recommendations focused on paying people a living wage, ensuring the health and safety of employees, and diversity and inclusion measures.

It's the latest in a series of corporate-backed plans to broaden companies' goals to include stakeholders beyond just shareholders. A much-discussed 2019 update to the "purpose of a corporation" by the Business Roundtable drew criticism from investor groups like the Council of Institutional Investors, who said that "to achieve long-term shareholder value, it is critical to respect stakeholders, but also to have clear accountability to company owners."

BIDEN'S FIRST SPEECH to a joint session of Congress hasn't been scheduled, and the White House is making it clear they want a coronavirus relief package signed into law before Biden previews the rest of his policy agenda in a formal way. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that the goal of that speech would be to lay out Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda, so it has to wait until "we are at a point where that can be the next priority." The first address by a president to a joint session of Congress isn't technically a State of the Union address, but functionally it serves the same purpose and is seen as the policy counterpart to the inaugural address.

FACEBOOK RESEARCHERS find that face-mask promotion ad campaigns on its platform have a small but quantifiable impact on the audience's approval of mask-wearing. A campaign with celebrity influencers saw an eight percentage point bump in its audience approving of mask-wearing. Another campaign, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ad Council and aimed at the Black community, saw a three point increase in respondents who said they wear masks in public frequently. This data will help inform the Ad Council and public health-authorities' campaigns for coronavirus vaccination, which are expected to cost around $50 million over the next several months.

MINOR MEMOS: Sen. Bernie Sanders wins unanimous consent to allow the use of electronics, including calculators, on the Senate floor during the budget reconciliation process...Passing each other in the hallway, Sen. Brian Schatz greets his in-demand centrist colleague Sen. Joe Manchin as "Your Highness"...Former and likely future Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack jokes about having his confirmation hearing on Groundhog Day: "I realize that I'm back again."

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 05, 2021 05:30 ET (10:30 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.