Can Republicans Govern?
"Three interlocking fiscal disputes" raise prospect of shutdown or debt limit breach, reports NYT: "Perhaps easiest to resolve is the effort by some conservative Republicans to eliminate financing for the new health care law in return for keeping the government open beyond Sept. 30 ... The House Republican leader, Eric Cantor of Virginia, has already rejected the Republican strategy as doomed to fail ... A second challenge is determining the fate of the across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester if Congress avoids a shutdown ... some [Republicans] party leaders want to rearrange the burden of those cuts so they fall instead on entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. The White House and Congressional Democrats, however, rule out that trade, except as part of a larger long-term deal that also includes new tax increases ... The third challenge may be the most worrisome ... failure to raise the government’s debt limit could tip the economy back into recession."
Establishment Republicans say "the party is actually in a worse place than it was Nov. 7" according to Politico: "Republicans are in jeopardy of convincing voters they simply cannot govern. Their favorable ratings are terrible and getting worse. But there is broad concern it could go from worse to an unmitigated disaster this fall. Most urgently, according to a slew of key Republicans we interviewed, conservative GOP senators have got to give up their insistence that the party allow the government to shut down after Sept. 30 if they don’t get their way on defunding Obamacare."
Meanwhile, "Right says grassroots support building for ObamaCare shutdown" reports The Hill: "Conservatives who back the strategy said their spines have been stiffened by support at town hall meetings ... Republicans opposed to the effort believe President Obama and Senate Democrats will never agree to a bill that funds the government — but not the healthcare law ... But even some of these Republicans acknowledge their constituents are telling them to go all out in defunding ObamaCare. 'I’m getting quite a bit about having a shutdown over Obamacare. I disagree with that,' said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla), who described his town halls as 'challenging.'"
Conservatives Step Up Pressure On Immigration
Heritage leader presses GOP to refuse all immigration bills. The Hill: "...Heritage Action for America CEO Michael Needham said the House should avoid passing immigration legislation of any kind in order to avoid a conference with the Senate ... Needham declined to say if his group would 'key vote' House votes on immigration."
RNC chair tries to distance party from bigoted comments. Business Insider: "In condemning Rep. Steve King's incendiary comments on immigration, RNC chairman Reince Priebus swept in his party's presidential nominee, saying that talk of 'self-deportation' was 'horrific' and even 'racist.'"
NC Gov breaks with state GOP, vetoes immigration and welfare bills. News & Observer: "Gov. Pat McCrory vetoed his first two bills on Thursday ... dealing with immigration and the drug testing of welfare recipients [which] mark the widest fissure yet between McCrory and his GOP allies in the General Assembly. But it is a gap that lawmakers can ignore because they have the votes to easily override ... One would have allowed social service workers to test welfare applicants for illegal drug use if they had reason to suspect it. The other would have expanded the exemption of seasonal workers from the immigration status check program called E-Verify."