With Donald Trump now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, there is talk about two crucial issues that could dog the remainder of this election year: Merrick Garland and Senate races.
A Politico story
cites several lawmakers — including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat — who say Republicans should confirm Garland to the Supreme Court or risk having the issue played over and over again during the presidential campaign.
"Here's where we are: If I were Trump or I were [Mitch] McConnell or I were Paul Ryan, the first thing I'd say is, 'Listen, let's take one issue off the table quickly: Let's have hearings on Garland. Let's have a vote and put him on the Court,'" Reid told Politico.
Reid also talked about Senate Republicans running for reelection, saying Trump's position as their party's presidential nominee — should he earn the distinction this summer — could come at a cost.
"Every Republican candidate will now have to answer for every racist and every anti-woman and every anti-immigrant statement," Reid said. "There are so many other issues [other] than Trump, but Trump is the No. 1 issue."
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has begun an effort targeting Republican senators up for reelection this fall, beginning with New Hampshire's Kelly Ayotte. First elected to the Senate in 2011, Ayotte pledged her support
of Trump Wednesday, the day after he won the Indiana primary.
"If Republicans proceed with their political gamesmanship, a man who argued for punishing women and banning Muslims will get to make a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land," DSCC
National Press Secretary Lauren Passalacqua said. "Granite Staters deserve to know why Kelly Ayotte refuses to do her job to instead let Donald Trump make the next Supreme Court appointment."
Republicans have refused to hold hearings for Garland, President Barack Obama's nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Another DCSS release
slammed Indiana Rep. Todd Young, a Republican who has represented the state's 9th district since 2011. He is now running for the Senate.
McConnell, the House Majority leader, is not backing down from his refusal to hold hearings for Garland.
"The leader's position has not changed on Garland," McConnell spokesman David Popp told Reuters
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