McHenry to host blood drive for Scalise

Steve Scalise is pictured. | Getty

Rep. Steve Scalise, shot last week during a congressional baseball practice, has been upgraded to “serious” condition after the near-death encounter last Wednesday. | Getty

House Chief Deputy Majority Whip Patrick McHenry, Rep. Steve Scalise’s right-hand vote counter, will host a Capitol Hill blood drive for his wounded colleague and other victims of last week’s shooting, according to a “dear colleague” notice obtained by POLITICO.

The Louisiana Republican, shot last week during a congressional baseball practice, has been upgraded to “serious” condition after the near-death encounter last Wednesday.

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McHenry (R-N.C.) is close friends with Scalise, the House majority whip, and will host the blood drive in his honor as well as for U.S. Capitol Police special agent Crystal Griner, who was shot in the ankle while taking down the shooter, and lobbyist Matt Mika, who took several bullets to the chest.

The blood drive will take place on Tuesday and Thursday.

Megyn Kelly’s Alex Jones interview a ratings flop

Megyn Kelly’s controversial interview with Alex Jones on NBC ended up a distant third in the network ratings race during its first half hour on Sunday night.

According to Nielsen Media Research, “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly” brought in an average of 3.5 million viewers, marking the fewest viewers the show has drawn since debuting on June 4.

Kelly’s news magazine trailed both a repeat episode of CBS’s “60 Minutes,” which delivered 5.3 million viewers, and U.S. Open golf coverage on Fox, which was the highest-rated program in the 7:00 p.m. ET timeslot.

Among the key 18 to 49-year-old demographic that advertisers covet most, a re-run of ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos” beat Kelly and “60 Minutes” by almost 40 percent.

Kelly’s program has been declining week-over-week from a rating perspective since launching three weeks ago with an episode featuring Russian President Vladimir Putin that registered an average of 6.2 million viewers.


Kelly’s interview with Jones, a conspiracy theorist and radio host, was criticized in some circles, including by families of the Sandy Hook shooting massacre that left 20 young children and six adults dead, in the days leading up to the broadcast. Jones has described the shooting as a hoax.

Sponsors including J.P. Morgan Chase pulled their ads on the program as families in Newtown, Conn. implored Kelly to pull the interview.

–This report was updated at 1:24 p.m.

Democrats to halt Senate business over Obamacare repeal

Chuck Schumer is pictured. | Getty

“Republicans are drafting this bill in secret because they’re ashamed of it, plain and simple,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said. | Getty

Democrats will grind Senate business to a halt in a protest against Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare.

Beginning Monday night, Democrats will start objecting to all unanimous consent requests in the Senate, according to a Democratic aide. They plan to control the floor of the chamber Monday night and try to force the House-passed health care bill to committee in a bid to further delay it.

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Without the votes to block Obamacare repeal, Democrats are turning to procedural moves they believe will underscore their most powerful argument: Republicans are hiding their repeal plan from the public and using Senate procedures to keep it a secret.

“Republicans are drafting this bill in secret because they’re ashamed of it, plain and simple,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “These are merely the first steps we’re prepared to take in order to shine a light on this shameful Trumpcare bill and reveal to the public the GOP’s true intentions: to give the uber-wealthy a tax break while making middle class Americans pay more for less health care coverage. If Republicans won’t relent and debate their health care bill in the open for the American people to see, then they shouldn’t expect business as usual in the Senate.”

Holding the floor on Monday evening won’t change the timing of a health care vote. And Democrats are unlikely to be able to force the House bill to committee or delay it. But it will force Republicans to answer for what Democrats say is a rushed process and bad policy.

Democrats also plan to make a series of parliamentary inquiries to highlight the difference between the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the GOP bill.

Progressive groups have been pressuring Senate Democrats forcefully oppose the Republican repeal efforts. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to hold a floor vote by the end of next week, although it is unclear whether even enough of his Republicans support a plan to do so.

Democrats may still allow some honorary, bipartisan resolutions.