Rebranding Kevin McCarthy

Here are the stories our top political reporters are talking about in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast...

Posted: Oct 15, 2018 8:39 AM
Updated: Oct 15, 2018 8:39 AM

Here are the stories our top political reporters are talking about in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get a glimpse of tomorrow's headlines today.

1. Rebranding Kevin McCarthy

Hurricane Michael

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

US federal government

White House

Politics

Political platforms and issues

Immigration politics

Political Figures - US

Kevin McCarthy

Don McGahn

Government organizations - US

US federal court system

US Supreme Court

Donald Trump

Immigration

Immigration, citizenship and displacement

International relations and national security

John King

Misc people

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US Senate

Kevin McCarthy has spent years as the No. 2 House Republican -- and he wants to move up a notch when Paul Ryan retires. But first he has to convince his GOP colleagues that he's the right person for the job.

"He's really trying to lock down conservatives," Politico's Rachael Bade said. "He is out there introducing bills that would fund the president's wall, $25 billion worth of wall money. Resolutions that would block illegal immigrants from voting, which clearly is not a big problem but what he's doing right now is trying to woo the far right."

And Bade said it seems to be working. "We've seen Breitbart, of all publications, which has always been a pain in the side of Paul Ryan, actually sort of opening the door to him. And we're hearing that's because the president himself wants McCarthy to lead the conference, and he's leaning on these conservatives and saying, give him a chance.

2. A SCOTUS what-if

Now that Brett Kavanaugh is sitting on the Supreme Court, Washington is turning its focus to what happens if there's another vacancy in the next two years.

If Democrats take control of the Senate, few think they'd let President Trump fill the seat at all.

"I think there's a real question about whether there will ever be, in the next several years, a nominee of a president to get confirmed by a Senate held by the opposite party," said The Weekly Standard's Michael Warren, who discussed that with former Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen -- a moderate Democrat trying to win a tough Senate race in a very red state.

"I asked if Democrats were to take over control of the Senate, and Chuck Schumer were to deny President Trump a SCOTUS nominee vote on the floor, what would he do about it? He didn't have an answer. But he did say he believed all Supreme Court nominees who go through the process should get a vote on the floor," Warren said. "It's an interesting question to start asking and probing these Senate candidates on down the line."

3. Another immigration crackdown

The Trump administration has a new plan to make it tougher for legal immigrants to use public benefits like food stamps or public housing. The proposed new rule would allow the US to reject immigrants seeking legal resident status if they have used or are considered likely to use public assistance.

"This is not only a policy approach, but it's also political," New York Times reporter Michael Shear said. "What they're trying to do is put Democrats in the position of defending not only immigrants, but also defending people who take public benefits. Democrats are put in an awkward position, because they want to come to the defense of immigrants and people who take public benefits and oppose the rule. But by doing so, they fear that makes their possibility of re-election a little harder."

4. Trump heads to storm-ravaged Florida, Georgia

Hurricane Michael hit Florida and Georgia just weeks before two hard-fought gubernatorial contests in those states. With President Trump planning to visit the region this week, the state and federal response could have a big impact on the results.

Both races feature liberal Democrats squaring off against close Trump allies. CNN's Abby Phillip said the White House just wants to stay out of their way.

"I can tell you that the White House is making sure that when they respond to this storm, that they are forward-looking on the situation so they don't become a negative factor in important races down in those states," she said.

5. Trump's new top lawyer

President Trump is expected to name veteran Washington lawyer Pat Cipollone as the new White House Counsel, two sources tell CNN.

And CNN's John King said the pick signals the White House knows it has some tough legal fights ahead.

"They know they face a challenging and potentially treacherous stretch on the legal front once the election passes," King said. "The White House expects new twists from the Mueller probe and in separate cases being handled by federal prosecutors in New York looking into, among other things, the president's business." And if Democrats take the House, that means a slew of new congressional investigations as well.

Cipollone has already been assisting the president's legal team, and a source familiar with their interactions said "the President enjoys working with him, the chemistry is good," King reports.

"Cippillone comes on board with an urgent goal -- not only getting himself in place, but to quickly hire a handful of deputies for a now quite depleted Counsel's office," he said.

The counsel's office has never been fully staffed. It is especially depleted now because filling vacancies became extremely difficult once it was made clear, via presidential tweet, that Don McGahn would soon be leaving the top job.

The source familiar with Team Trump's legal strategy acknowledged to King both a staffing and morale problem in the counsel's office, and said Cipollone's reputation in the DC legal community was another plus -- something White House officials believe will help as he moves urgently to fill roles.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319428

Reported Deaths: 7361
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22264265
Hinds20645421
Harrison18386317
Rankin13864282
Jackson13678248
Madison10237224
Lee10052176
Jones8458167
Forrest7822153
Lauderdale7257242
Lowndes6498149
Lamar633688
Lafayette6301120
Washington5419136
Bolivar4835133
Panola4664110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4599147
Marshall4572105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425073
Monroe4155135
Union415576
Neshoba4059179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386087
Leflore3515125
Tate342386
Sunflower339391
Pike3368111
Alcorn324172
Scott319574
Yazoo314171
Itawamba305078
Adams304985
Copiah299666
Coahoma298383
Simpson298189
Tippah291768
Prentiss283661
Leake271774
Marion271280
Covington267183
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George251951
Newton248663
Tishomingo231268
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Clay187754
Stone187433
Tallahatchie179941
Clarke178980
Calhoun174032
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee127934
Perry126638
Amite126142
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Tunica108027
Jefferson Davis107833
Claiborne103030
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman81916
Choctaw79018
Wilkinson69332
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548163

Reported Deaths: 11281
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809371565
Mobile42040826
Madison35654524
Tuscaloosa26161458
Shelby25588254
Montgomery25080611
Baldwin21833313
Lee16259175
Calhoun14714325
Morgan14621285
Etowah14166362
Marshall12447230
Houston10764288
Elmore10293212
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10158250
Cullman9935201
Lauderdale9592249
DeKalb8965189
Talladega8455184
Walker7334280
Autauga7230113
Blount6938139
Jackson6919113
Colbert6411140
Coffee5626127
Dale4929114
Russell454541
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4272122
Tallapoosa4133155
Escambia401780
Chambers3724123
Dallas3606156
Clarke352861
Marion3241106
Pike314078
Lawrence3125100
Winston283572
Bibb268264
Geneva257281
Marengo250665
Pickens236662
Barbour234659
Hale226778
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph186944
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155357
Cleburne153144
Lamar146237
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113330
Coosa111529
Perry108726
Sumter105732
Greene93434
Choctaw61725
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 84°
Columbus
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 82°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 75°
Starkville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 73°
The relative lack of humidity has been a welcome change from the summertime stuffiness we’ve had lately. That lack of humidity will once again ensure that temperatures get down into the mid 60s for early morning Thursday. While Friday morning will remain comfortable as well, rain chances ratchet up as a tropical system approaches this weekend.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather