UPDATE: Rep. Martha McSally on Wednesday morning announced she has canceled a telephone town hall later today that was set to give constituents a chance to talk to her directly about health-care legislation. Rep. Martha McSally cancels today’s phone-in town hall due to emergency trip:
In a brief statement, McSally’s office said the congresswoman was traveling to Tucson because a man described as a father figure is gravely ill.
“The man who has been a father figure in Rep. McSally’s life for the last twenty (years) took a turn for the worse this morning in his battle against cancer and his health is rapidly deteriorating,” read the statement from her spokeswoman, Kelly Schibi.
“Rep. McSally has to urgently fly back to Tucson this afternoon. She regretfully will have to reschedule the health care telephone town hall for the next available date. Due to this emergency, the Congresswoman will also miss votes on Wednesday and Thursday. Rep. McSally has already informed the Speaker of this unfortunate circumstance. She appreciates her constituents’ understanding during this difficult time.”
The Arizona Daily Star reports, McSally to hold phone-in town hall Wednesday evening:
U.S. Rep. Martha McSally announced she will hold a telephone town hall at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, giving constituents a chance to talk to her directly about health-care legislation.
To participate in the call, dial 877-229-8493 and enter the code 114341.
Our “cowardly lion“ congresswoman Martha McSally is too afraid to meet her constituents face-to-face to explain her votes in a public forum.
The tele-town hall comes nearly three weeks after McSally rallied the GOP troops to “Let’s get this fucking thing done!” in voting in favor of the “Zombie Trumpcare” American Health Care Act, which narrowly passed on a party-line vote.
According to FiveThirtyEight’s Congressional Tracker (last updated May 18), Rep. McSally stands by her man Donald Trump 100% of the time.
This is why McSally’s GOP-leaning district is drifting leftward:
U.S. Rep. Martha McSally’s hold on southern Arizona’s competitive congressional district may have loosened in recent weeks, three national political analysts say.
Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of Inside Elections, a nonpartisan website that tracks political races, moved McSally’s seat Friday from “Likely Republican” to “Lean Republican.”
It was one of 19 such races nationally that Gonzales sees drifting leftward.
Earlier this month, David Wasserman, House editor at the Cook Political Report, and Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, reached similar conclusions for that race.
McSally’s support for the deeply unpopular GOP health-care bill that passed the House earlier this month is expected to be an issue in the 2018 elections.
A poll conducted earlier this month by a Democratically aligned firm found 53 percent disapprove of McSally’s job performance. Meanwhile, 40 percent approved of how she is doing, according to the poll by Public Policy Polling.
* * *
Kondik wrote that the McSally race remains one to watch next year.
“Her district is competitive enough that she’ll have a hard time ever being completely secure, and if the health care bill does become a big issue next year, Democrats will assuredly be referring back to an anecdote about her role in its passage,” he said.
* * *
McSally’s district is among the nation’s most evenly divided between registered Democrats and registered Republicans. She won her first term by just 167 votes. She’s been one of the most prolific fundraisers among House members not holding a leadership role, while cultivating a reputation as a conscientious and moderate lawmaker.
So far, however, McSally has solidly supported the Trump agenda in roll-call votes in the House, according to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight.
The poll by Public Policy Polling found that 56 percent of respondents said they were less likely to vote for McSally when they were told she voted for the GOP health-care bill, which the firm characterized as throwing 24 million off their health coverage.
That is drawn from an estimate of the effects of an earlier version of the bill by the Congressional Budget Office. An updated analysis of the bill is expected next week.
Democrats are eager to make McSally answer for the health-care vote.
“In the aftermath of Congresswoman McSally’s disastrous Repeal & Ripoff vote, avoidance of regular meetings with her constituents, and refusal to support an independent commission to investigate Russia’s meddling in our election, McSally is increasingly unlikely to win re-election,” said Tyler Law, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
If you are free at 5:30 p.m., give McSally a piece of your mind.
UPDATE: The American Action Network, an outside GOP group aligned with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled a $2 million TV ad blitz on Tuesday defending the legislation to replace ObamaCare ahead of the highly anticipated Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of its effects. Ryan-allied group launches $2M ad campaign ahead of healthcare CBO score:
American Action Network’s ad will run in 21 House districts and nationally on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to tout the GOP’s bill, known as the American Health Care Act.
Most of the 21 Republicans who will see the ad in their districts are considered vulnerable heading into the 2018 midterm elections, such as Reps. Darrell Issa (Calif.), Martha McSally (Ariz.), Jeff Denham (Calif.), David Valadao (Calif.), Steve Knight (Calif.) and Carlos Curbelo (Fla.).
House GOP leaders rushed to bring the legislation to a vote nearly three weeks ago once it had the minimum required amount of support. It passed by a narrow 217-213 margin, with 20 Republicans voting against it.
The Washington Post’s fact checker breaks down Paul Ryan’s American Action Network’s bullshit ad. Fact-checking a rosy portrait of the American Health Care Act. Know your facts before calling in to Rep. McSally’s tele-town hall today.
NB: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score for the AHCA come out today. I will post about it when it is released.