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Capitol Hill Buzz: Democratic women wearing white for Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic women in the House are planning to wear white in honor of women’s suffrage when they attend President Donald Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress.

The heads of the Democratic Women’s Working Group wrote a letter to their colleagues Monday reminding them to wear white to honor the suffrage movement and also to “stand in solidarity with the women of our nation.”

The color white was associated with the women’s suffrage movement and Democrat Hillary Clinton wore all-white pantsuits during big moments in her presidential campaign, including her speech at the Democratic National Convention. There was also an Election Day hashtag #wearwhitetovote.

The letter was sent by Florida Rep. Lois Frankel, chairwoman of the group, and other female House members. There are 66 Democratic women in the House, including delegates.

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New Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez will attend Trump’s address on Tuesday — as a guest of his former opponent Keith Ellison.

Rep. Ellison, D-Minn., said in a statement that Perez “has always been on the side of working people” and he is honored to bring him.

In a statement released by Ellison’s office, Perez praised Ellison and said he looks forward to joining him “in the days and months ahead to show the American people that we stand with them against Donald Trump and his billionaire boys club that couldn’t care less about the plight of working people.”

Perez defeated Ellison at a DNC meeting Saturday after a divisive campaign that pitted two wings of the party against each other. The new chairman must rebuild a party that in the last decade has lost about 1,000 elected posts from the White House to Congress to the 50 statehouses, a power deficit Democrats have not seen nationally in 90 years.

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New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall has an optimistic — if not familiar — plan for how Trump should fill the Supreme Court that he thinks could make both conservatives and liberals happy.

After meeting with Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, the Democratic senator suggested to reporters Monday that Trump should try and convince one of the older sitting justices to retire. The retirement, Udall said, would be contingent on the nomination of former President Barack Obama’s failed nominee, Merrick Garland, along with Gorsuch. Then the two could be confirmed together.

Udall said he suggested the idea to White House staffers who accompanied Gorsuch on the visit to his office.

“That’s to me presidential leadership,” he said. “That’s taking an issue has become so partisan and has so divided the country and saying ‘I’m going to be a real leader, I’m going to move this aside.'”

It’s not the first time someone has floated that scenario. It’s similar to the plot of a 2004 episode of the television show “The West Wing,” when fictional president Jed Bartlet nominates a liberal and a conservative to the Supreme Court after the death of a justice.

Garland was nominated for the court by Obama after Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016. Within hours of his death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate wouldn’t consider whomever Obama nominated, saying the next president should make the pick. The eventual nominee, Garland, never got a hearing or a vote and Trump nominated Gorsuch.

Udall spokeswoman Jennifer Talhelm says the senator got the idea from a constituent and wasn’t an avid watcher of the television show.

“It’s such a persistent controversy, it’s not surprising it would be covered in “The West Wing,” but he didn’t really watch the show,” she said.

A conservative group said Udall’s proposition is also fiction.

“It would be presumptuous to discuss any potential nominees when all other seats are currently being occupied by justices. This is nothing more than a gimmick to distract from Judge Gorsuch’s tremendous qualifications that would make him a great Supreme Court Justice,” said Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network.

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