• Politics
    Bloomberg

    Big GOP Donors Come Off the Sidelines to Fight Trump Cash Crunch

    (Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump faces a cash deficit in his race against Democratic nominee Joe Biden, and big GOP donors are coming off the sidelines to help.Texas billionaire Kelcy Warren of Energy Transfer Partners LP donated $10 million in August to America First Action, Trump’s preferred super-PAC. Diane Hendricks, a Wisconsin billionaire, gave $2 million, according to the group’s latest filing with the Federal Election Commission.The donations, the first for both to America First Action, were part of a $23 million haul that allowed the group to outraise three pro-Biden super-PACs combined. Though the total is dwarfed by the record-setting $364.5 million Biden and the Democratic National Committee raised, the millions pouring into Republican super-PACs could keep Trump from being swamped by Biden on television.Biden’s deep pockets -- his combined war chest stood at $466 million at the end of August compared to $325 million for Trump -- have allowed his campaign to pour money into advertising. He booked $125.2 million of ads in September compared to $65.1 million for Trump, according to Advertising Analytics. But super-PACs backing Trump are helping him close the gap, spending $59.3 million compared to $18.4 million for groups backing Biden.Trump, who was opposed to super-PACs when he ran in the 2016 primaries but has welcomed their support since, boasted Monday he could close his financial gap with Biden by phoning some of his wealthy friends. “Give me one day and a telephone, I could get all these rich people that I know very much to all put up millions of dollars apiece,” Trump said in a phone interview with Fox News.GOP donors have already been writing big checks to outside groups that can accept unlimited contributions. The biggest spender is Preserve America PAC, a group that launched in late August and is the third-biggest spender on advertising after Trump and Biden in September, at $42.7 million. The group, which isn’t due to report to the FEC until Oct. 15, has yet to disclose its donors.Priorities USA Action, the biggest spender among Democratic super-PACs, has booked $12.9 million in ads. It raised $8.5 million in August. On Friday, the group said its total haul for the month, including donations to two affiliated nonprofit groups, was $15.7 million. Hedge-fund billionaire David Shaw gave the super-PAC $1 million.Even groups that once opposed Trump are now backing him.The Club for Growth, which favors free trade, lower taxes and other conservative economic positions, spent $9.8 million to keep Trump from winning the nomination in 2016, saying his positions on many issues were indistinguishable from those of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.But in August, the group spent $9.3 million to attack Biden, FEC records show. David McIntosh, the Club for Growth’s president, said Biden has moved to the left, adopting many of Sanders’ positions. “The choice for us is very clear,” he said.Club for Growth Action, the group’s super-PAC, raised $21.8 million in August, spent $13.7 million and ended the month with $19.6 million in the bank. Republican mega-donor Richard Uihlein gave $10 million, as did Jeff Yass, co-founder of quant fund Susquehanna International Group LLP.America First Action has nearly matched its August haul, raising $21.5 million through Thursday, according to Kelly Sadler, the group’s spokeswoman. A related nonprofit, America First Policies, has taken in $5.1 million in September and $35.2 million this year.That money will come in handy when another political battle is likely to begin, probably before the end of the week. That’s when Trump says he will announce his pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday.“We will be engaging in the Supreme Court fight,” Sadler said, adding that money from the nonprofit arm and not the PAC would be used to support Trump’s nominee.(Adds comment from Sadler in final paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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  • Politics
    The Independent

    Rush Limbaugh calls for GOP to skip hearings for Trump SCOTUS pick and go straight for floor vote

    The conservative radio host hopes to avoid confirmation hearings like Brett Kavanaugh’s or Clarence Thomas’s

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  • Politics
    The Fiscal Times

    The Shutdown Threat Just Got Real

    Last week’s tentative deal to prevent a shutdown of the federal government when the fiscal year ends at midnight on September 30 fell apart late Friday, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reportedly objecting to a White House demand for more money for a farmer bailout as part of the agreement. Republicans blamed Pelosi for backing out of the agreement, while Democrats claimed they had never really made a deal in the first place.In an attempt to move beyond the dispute, House Democrats unveiled a continuing resolution on Monday that would keep the government open through mid-December. The bill omits the issues that hung up negotiators last week – including $30 billion for a relief fund for farmers that Republicans wanted and roughly $2 billion for food aid for children that Democrats had sought – while extending current funding for most government agencies. The bill would also extend highway funding and the National Flood Insurance Program, and prevent a $50 per month increase in the cost of Medicare Part B.“The Continuing Resolution introduced today will avert a catastrophic shutdown in the middle of the ongoing pandemic, wildfires and hurricanes, and keep government open until Dec. 11, when we plan to have bipartisan legislation to fund the government for this fiscal year,” Pelosi said in a statement Monday.House leaders plan to vote on the bill Tuesday.Republicans are leery. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was quick to criticize the bill, though without stating clearly that he would oppose it. “House Democrats’ rough draft of a government funding bill shamefully leaves out key relief and support that American farmers need. This is no time to add insult to injury and defund help for farmers and rural America,” McConnell said in a tweet.The White House was a bit less critical, suggesting that the Trump administration could conceivably go along with the Democratic plan rather than risk a shutdown. “We do prefer additional farm aid in the CR [continuing resolution],” top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said. “Most of all we want a clean CR to keep the government open.”The Senate could block a House-passed bill or vote on an amended version and pass it back to the House. It could also ultimately approve the House version and move on to other matters.Progressives call for new tactics. The news of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg late Friday added a new potential wrinkle to the negotiations, with some progressives calling for Pelosi to use the continuing resolution – and the threat of a shutdown – to gain leverage in effort to stop or delay the nomination of a new member of the court.David Sirota, a former speechwriter for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), said Monday that Democrats should consider every possible option in their political battle over the high court, including blocking the “must-pass budget.”But Pelosi says she’s not interested. Asked by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Sunday if she had considered using the government funding bill as leverage in an attempt to slow the nomination of a new Supreme Court justice, Pelosi said “none of us has any interest in shutting down government. That -- that has such a harmful and painful impact on so many people in our country. So I would hope that we can just proceed with that. There is some enthusiasm among some exuberance on the left to say let's use that, but we're not going to be shutting down government.”Pelosi did say that she is considering other ways to fight the Supreme Court battle. “Well, we have our options,” she said in response to a question about the possibility of using an impeachment proceeding to slow the Senate’s effort to confirm a new judge. “We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now, but the fact is we have a big challenge in our country.  But the shutdown threat can’t be dismissed entirely. Although all parties involved have said they want to avoid a shutdown of the government, the lack of agreement so close to the deadline – just over a week away – does not bode well. “With McConnell's announcement that Senate R's oppose the CR House Dems filed today, we're suddenly in ‘government shutdown looms’ territory 9 days ahead of deadline,” The Washington Post’s Erica Werner said Monday.Like what you're reading? Sign up for our free newsletter.

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  • Entertainment
    Business Insider

    Microsoft just spent $7.5 billion to give gamers a major reason to buy a next-gen Xbox instead of a PlayStation 5

    In a surprise move on Monday morning, Microsoft announced the $7.5 billion acquisition of the game publisher behind "The Elder Scrolls" and "Fallout."

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  • U.S.
    The Independent

    Florida governor threatens 'unconstitutional' felony charges in sweeping proposal to curb protests

    Drivers who kill demonstrators while fleeing ‘mob’ not liable, Ron DeSantis says

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