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Jim Banks' new gig—Holcomb's State of the State—Pence on the sidelines
What's happening—and what's next—at the intersection of Indiana politics and business?
Days to Mayoral Election: 295
Days to 2020 Election: 659
MAJOR MOVES: The Republican Study Committee named Rep. Jim Banks the incoming Chairman of the Budget & Spending Task Force. The RSC is the largest conservative caucus in Congress. Banks is seen as a figure who could one day chair the committee. Vice President Mike Pence chaired the committee, as has former Rep. Dan Burton. “Chairing the RSC Budget and Spending Task Force is a tremendous opportunity to bring the fiscal responsibility used by Hoosiers in their everyday life to the federal budget,” Banks said. “Our government spends too much, and improperly prioritizes how people’s hard-earned money should be allocated.”
Good Monday morning, and welcome to Importantville. The Indiana House and Senate go into session at 1:30 p.m. today. In D.C., the House of Representatives has votes scheduled at 6:30 p.m. It’s Day 24 of the shutdown. Here are five ways it might end.
WHERE’S VEEP? He’s in D.C., where he has no scheduled events.
WHAT THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR NEWSROOM IS READING: “Hedge-Fund-Backed Media Group Makes Bid for Gannett,” by Cara Lombardo in The Wall Street Journal—“A hedge-fund-backed media group known for buying up struggling local papers and cutting costs has made an offer for USA Today publisher Gannett Co.”
The company owns newspapers in Evansville, Indianapolis, Lafayette, Muncie and Richmond.
HAPPENING TOMORROW: Gov. Eric Holcomb delivers his State of the State Address at 7 p.m. It’s expected to be less than 30 minutes. How much time will Holcomb use to support a hate crimes bill, and will he renew his call on it to protect specific classes of Hoosiers, similar to the state’s 2005 employment handbook?
“This has now become a moral issue for many Democrats. They are sort of opposed categorically to any border funding,” Sen. Todd Young told Fox 59's Dan Spehler on FOX 59’s IN Focus.
Pete Buttigieg huddled with his national comms strategist, Lis Smith, in South Bend this weekend.
Rep. Greg Pence nabbed his official account on Twitter.
Jill Colvin, Lisa Mascaro and Laurie Kellman, AP: “Pence’s pickle: How to bargain when no one speaks for Trump”
Progress made, said one.
Not so, said the other.
We’ll meet again, said one.
Waste of time, said the other.
Such has been the life lately of Mike Pence, the loyal soldier dispatched by President Donald Trump to lead negotiations over the partial government shutdown .
The vice president has been one of the administration’s most visible emissaries during the shutdown fight, meeting with lawmakers, sitting for interviews and leading staff-level talks. But he’s been repeatedly — and very publicly — undermined and contradicted by his boss, who’s demanding billions from Congress to build a wall along the southern border.
Lawmakers and aides in both parties say it’s become increasingly clear that, in this White House, no one speaks for the president but himself, leaving Pence in an all-but-impossible position as he tries to negotiate on Trump’s behalf.
“He doesn’t really have the authority to make a deal,” said Republican Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho, who worked alongside Pence back when Pence was a member of Congress. He said legislators respect the vice president even if he is just “the messenger.” But he adds: “Trump is the one who’s going to say ‘yes’ or ‘no.'”
Even before the shutdown began, Pence was in an awkward spot in the wall debate — quite literally. When Trump hosted then-incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer at a heated Oval Office meeting in December that ended with the president saying he’d be “proud” to own a government shutdown, a stone-faced Pence sat by, speechless in his chair, drawing quips on social media comparing him to a statue or the “Elf on the Shelf.”
Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Maggie Haberman, The New York Times: “Mercurial Trump Has Made Path Out of Shutdown Much Harder to Find”
The president has now repeatedly undercut Vice President Mike Pence, to whom he has delegated the task of negotiating an end to a seemingly intractable stalemate.
Mr. Pence denied on Thursday that he had ever told lawmakers that Mr. Trump would sign the bill, pressed personally by the majority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, to keep the government open without funding for the wall.
“I said the president hasn’t made up his mind,” Mr. Pence said.
But that is not how Republicans remembered it. “He got off to a bad start; he kind of pulled the rug out from under McConnell’s feet there with that one,” said Representative Francis Rooney, Republican of Florida.
Barbara Brosher, WFYI: The History Of A Hoosier Favorite: Pork Tenderloin
Bloomington resident Melissa Bower wanted to know more about Indiana food, so she met us at Come 'N Git It in Martinsville.
“My question was what foods are Indiana originals?” Bower says. "And, the reason why I asked that question is because I'm originally from Maine, and when I moved here I noticed all the foods that I was used to were created a little bit differently out here."
She’d heard of Indiana favorites like sugar cream pie and persimmon pudding. But, somehow, the sandwich many Hoosiers consider synonymous with the state never came up.
“People are so used to tenderloins that they just don't realize that this food is part of Indiana history," she says.
We set out to find out how pork tenderloin became so popular in Indiana. And, everyone kept pointing us to the same place: Nick's Kitchen Known As Home Of Indiana Tenderloin.
Thanks for reading. That’s all for today. As always, send scoops to email@example.com. Have a good week.
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