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At the Races: Is Iowa over yet?

By Bridget Bowman, Simone Pathé and Stephanie Akin 

Welcome to At the Races! Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call team that will keep you informed about the 2020 election. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here.

House Democrats shut down GOP attempt to admonish Pelosi over ripping SOTU
Party-line vote tables resolution disapproving of speaker's actions

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats on Thursday backed Speaker Nancy Pelosi in voting to kill a Republican resolution to disapprove of her ripping up President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech. 

Texas GOP Rep. Kay Granger, who’s facing a competitive primary this cycle, offered the resolution as a question of privilege, which forces the House to consider the measure. Rather than allow an up or down vote, Democratic leaders moved to table the resolution, which effectively kills it.

Pelosi has 'no plans right now' for fight over Bolton testimony
Schiff says he thinks former Trump national security adviser would be hostile to House subpoena

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she thought former national security adviser John Bolton would be hostile to any attempts by the House to get his testimony. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the House has “no plans right now” to engage in a court fight for former national security adviser John Bolton’s testimony.

Since Bolton had said he would testify in the Senate trial if subpoenaed, it was thought he would respond to a subpoena from the House Intelligence Committee.

Pelosi defends ripping Trump’s speech as message to American people about SOTU falsehoods
‘I don’t need any lessons from anybody, especially the president of the United States, about dignity,’ speaker says

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on Thursday, February 6, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday defended her decision to rip up President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech, saying she decided about a quarter or third of the way through the address that something had to be done to indicate to the American people that his words were not the truth.

“I tore up a manifesto of mistruths,” the California Democrat said at her weekly news conference, noting the falsehoods in Trump’s speech on Tuesday evening were “dangerous to the American people if they believe what he said.”

Donald Trump: How to win kitsch and influence people
Political Theater, Episode 111

First lady Melania Trump awards Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in the House chamber on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s State of the Union was a master class in deploying conservative rhetoric, entertainment kitsch and Americana tropes before a televised audience.

Critics of the president frequently fail to understand his appeal to his supporters, but many times that comes down to the somewhat elusive question of taste. It might just depend on whether you prefer “Game of Thrones” or “The Big Bang Theory.”

Unchecked power
CQ on Congress, Ep. 184

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, talks with reporters in the Senate subway before the continuation of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

‘Taking off the gloves’: Pelosi ripping SOTU draws parties into their corners
House Democrats give speaker standing ovation, as she describes being ‘liberated’ after tearing copy of Trump’s speech

Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds up the copy of President Donald Trump’s speech that she ripped up at the conclusion of his State of the Union address on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi “is taking off the gloves.” The California Democrat “did what she needed to do,” and “she knew exactly what she was doing.”

That’s how House Democrats reacted Wednesday to Pelosi’s decision the night before to tear up her copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech on national television. 

Obamacare: A big issue voters might be missing
Supreme Court delay in deciding on health care law challenge could hide the issue from voters

The Supreme Court deferred a decision on a case challenging the constitutionality of the 2010 health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Correction 2:20 p.m. | ANALYSIS — Democrats who say they are determined to keep voters focused on health care this year were hoping that the Supreme Court would hand them a ready-made campaign ad and a potential courtroom win.

Instead, the court recently punted on a major decision over whether to kill the 2010 health care law that expanded coverage to more than 20 million Americans. Now, Democrats hope that by shifting their attention to high prescription drug prices they might still mobilize voters and help the party maintain its edge on health care, the public’s top domestic concern, although Republicans also are focused on drug prices.

Impeachment news roundup: Feb. 5
Trump to get his verdict, Romney only senator to break with party

Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, considered the most vulnerable Senate incumbent up for reelection this year, announced Wednesday he would vote to convict Trump on both of the articles of impeachment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:38 p.m.

A day after President Donald Trump presented what amounted to a summary of how he’ll campaign for reelection, the Senate voted down both articles of impeachment against the president.

Trump’s speech rolled out Republicans’ blueprint for general election
Democrats must present contrast to Trump without looking out of touch on humming economy

President Donald Trump greets lawmakers as he walks into the House chamber on Tuesday to deliver his State of the Union address. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

For an hour and a half, President Donald Trump used his third State of the Union speech to remind Republicans why they supported him in the past and why they will stand with him in November.  

“From the instant I took office, I moved rapidly to revive the U.S. economy — slashing a record number of job killing-regulations, enacting historic and record-setting tax cuts, and fighting for fair and reciprocal trade agreements,” he boasted. “Our agenda is relentlessly pro-worker, pro-family, pro-growth, and, most of all, pro-American.”