Ayotte accuses Obama of fighting ISIS to help Democrats, fears he will abandon war after election

Kelly Ayotte by Gage Skidmore, on Flickr

Image: Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0 

Sen. Kelly Ayotte has accused the president of declaring war on ISIS to help Democrats in the midterm election and said she fears he will abandon the effort after November.

In an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Ayotte said, “I’m very fearful as we look at the current military strategy that it is surrounding the November elections and that he won’t have the resolve to follow through with what needs to be done in a sustained effort to destroy ISIS.”

"Are you suggesting that after the November election and acting tough and talking tough, that he is going to pull back from confronting ISIS?" asked Wallace.

"I’m very concerned about that, Chris, and his resolve in this regard," she replied.

"The possibility that Ayotte might have been scaremongering to boost Republican candidates’ prospects a month from now was not raised,” Wonkette’s Doktor Zoom wrote, “because only a terrible cynic would accuse a great patriot like Kelly Ayotte of such base motives.”

Video: crooksandliars.com

Video: Gun safety group targets Kelly Ayotte with powerful domestic violence ad

Kelly Ayotte by Gage Skidmore, on Flickr

Image: Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0 

Everytown for Gun Safety, the group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is airing a dramatic new television ad in New Hampshire that calls on Sen. Kelly Ayotte to support legislation to close federal loopholes that allow many domestic abusers to purchase guns.

The spot will run next Tuesday, the day before the Senate begins hearings on a bill sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar. The proposed legislation would expand the federal law that prevents people who have been convicted of domestic abuse from buying or possessing a gun to include dating partners, individuals under a restraining order and convicted stalkers.

The National Rifle Association opposes the legislation claiming it “manipulates emotionally compelling issues such as ‘domestic violence’ and ‘stalking’ simply to cast as wide a net as possible for federal firearm prohibitions.” 

Last year, the NRA ran ads defending Ayotte when she faced angry constituents and plunging poll numbers for voting against a bill that would have expanded background checks for gun purchases.

Video: Everytown for Gun Safety

Scott Brown, Kelly Ayotte, Marilinda Garcia: Opponents of equal pay [VIDEO]

Immigration activists say Ayotte proposal will come back to haunt her if (when) she seeks higher office

If Sen. Kelly Ayotte seeks higher office, immigration activists warn her proposal to offset the extension of unemployment benefits by eliminating child tax credits for undocumented workers will come back to haunt her.

Lia Parada, legislative director for America’s Voice, told Roll Call that Ayotte’s proposal “will follow her everywhere and will be damaging” with Latino voters:

Parada said that Ayotte’s amendment is the latest in a record the GOP is building on the immigration issue and it is contrary to a Republican National Committee effort, following the 2012 election, to try to reach out to the Hispanic community.

The Ayotte amendment comes after the House passed an amendment offered by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, that would prohibit implementation of a White House 2012 order protecting from deportation young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children, provided they met certain requirements, akin to the Dream Act legislation long sought by the Obama administration.

“This [Ayotte] amendment is incredibly damaging to the Republican brand,” Parada said. “First in the House we saw the Steve King amendment come up for a vote to deport Dreamers … now we have the Ayotte amendment that attacks working families and immigrant children.

“The tally is adding up,” Parada said.

That whole ‘the GOP needs to outreach to people who aren’t rich, old, and white’ thing is for suckers

"Are you tired of reading/hearing/tweeting about #BRIDGEGHAZI yet?" wonders Wonkette. "Isn’t there some other outrageous news from petulant rightwing asshats that we can carp about for a while?" they ask.

Oh, how about a proposal from a certain U.S. senator to pay for extending unemployment benefits by raising taxes on the children of poor, undocumented immigrants?

New Hampshire Senator and Tea Party favorite Kelly Ayotte has set her sights on screwing immigrants across the country. No, not in a ‘Kelly Does Manchester’ sort of way, but in the economic sucker-punch sort of way. Because that whole ‘the GOP needs to outreach to people who aren’t rich, old, and white’ thing is for suckers. To help offset the costs for extending unemployment benefits for 1.3 million people, Ayotte wants to RAISE TAXES! But not on everyone – just on immigrant families “that earn an average of $21,000 a year.” […]

Those crafty undocumented immigrants, contributing to Social Security and Medicare and reducing the deficit! The NERVE they have, to think that working and paying taxes is the right thing to do!! Thank god Ayotte is here to show them that we don’t appreciate that kind of stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility! Personal responsibility is ONLY relevant as it relates to regulating women’s ladyparts. And as punishment for paying taxes, we shall RAISE your taxes, because the GOP only cares about keeping taxes low for the rich, who need it to donate to honorable politicians like New Hampshire’s Senator Kelly Ayotte.

Ayotte splits the baby: Will extend unemployment benefits if Congress punishes immigrants’ children

In his Boston Magazine profile of Sen. Kelly Ayotte, David Bernstein captured Ayotte’s struggle to placate a conservative base and a moderate electorate:

You can think of Kelly Ayotte as a kind of mutant political science experiment—a living test of whether the species Republicanus senatorialis can exist outside the confines of its natural habitats, namely the hard-core conservative states in the South and Midwest. Caught between New Hampshire’s craggy independents and its insurgent conservatives, Ayotte has spent the past year swerving between positions that curry the favor of left and right. She joined hard-right conservatives by opposing a popular gun control measure. She split with them by supporting immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship. In November she voted in favor of gay-rights legislation—the Employment Non-Discrimination Act—while at the same time helping to block highly qualified judicial appointments because of the nominees’ alleged pro-choice stance on abortion.

Ayotte’s latest strategy to split the ideological baby is to join Democrats in a vote to end debate only to then find a reason to oppose the underlying legislation.

She voted for cloture on legislation to expand gun background checks before ultimately opposing the bill. And this week, she voted to end debate on the bill to extend unemployment benefits — only to then throw a wrench in the works.

Ayotte joined Republicans in insisting on additional spending cuts to pay for the extension — and proposed an amendment to make the children of undocumented immigrants ineligible for a critical tax credit. “Many of these children do not even live in the United States or may not even exist,” claimed Ayotte. ThinkProgress corrects the record:

This talking point isn’t new; despite shaky evidence, Republicans have repeatedly used the Child Tax Credit fraud myth to try to shut down this lifeline to mixed-status families. In reality, about 4 million U.S.-born children depend on the Child Tax Credit. Because the credit is meant to keep children out of dire poverty, the immigration status of the parent is considered irrelevant under current law.

Of course, in order to claim this tax credit, undocumented immigrants must pay federal taxes in the first place. Though they cannot reap most of the benefits their tax dollars fund, undocumented families pay about $13 billion a year in payroll taxes, not to mention roughly $10.6 billion in state and local taxes. As undocumented parents are often stuck in the lowest-paid and most-exploited jobs, paying these taxes can be crippling without the refundable Child Tax Credit.

According to the National Council of La Raza, sealing off this credit from undocumented immigrants could endanger about $1,800 in a typical family’s annual income, a sum that could make all the difference to a community disproportionately plagued by poverty, hunger, and health issues.

One year after Newtown: Kelly Ayotte voted to block legislation ‘many Newtown families were pleading for’

A year after Newtown, little has changed,” writes Alec MacGillis. “[T]he massacre has not led to any broad national policy response to the problem of gun violence.”

Last April, Sen. Kelly Ayotte voted to block “sensible gun-law reforms that many Newtown families were pleading for,” the New Republic senior editor reminds us. Her vote was one that “stood out in particular:”

The first-term Republican from New Hampshire is a former prosecutor and state attorney general and thus well acquainted with the porousness of gun laws, which require background checks at licensed dealerships to screen for past felonies or dangerous mental illness, but not at the gun shows or private sales where an estimated 40 percent of transactions occur.

Voting for background checks would hardly hurt Ayotte’s general election chances in New Hampshire, a state Obama won by six points against a part-time New Hampshire resident, which has prompted speculation that her vote was cast to protect her prospects for a national GOP ticket.

Confronted after the vote by Erica Lafferty, the daughter of the slain Sandy Hook principal, Ayotte gave a dissembling explanation that sent Lafferty striding from the room.

Quote of the day: They were not happy

The president of the senate was so pissed off about our press conference that he called U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte who called the state committeeman who called the RNC to try to shut me down. They were not happy about this.

Aaron Day, Republican Liberty Caucus chair, on the response by Republican Party leaders to his threat to primary GOP senators supporting Medicaid expansion

ENDA analysis: Of all uncommitted senators, Ayotte’s constituents would be most supportive of ‘yes’ vote

As the Senate vote nears on legislation to ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identification, supporters remain one vote short of a filibuster-proof majority.

Writing in the Washington Post, political scientists Jeff Lax and Justin Phillips note the broad public support for the measure. Based on “a whopping 77 percent support” among Granite Staters, they identify Sen. Kelly Ayotte as the most effective target for the 60th vote:

If senators listened to their constituents, the bill would pass overwhelmingly. Nearly all recent opinion polls indicate that a large majority of the American public — more than 70 percent — supports efforts to make employment discrimination against gay men and and lesbians illegal. […]

Whom should the proponents of ENDA target for the 60th vote? Our opinion estimates suggest that the top target should be Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.). Estimated support for ENDA in New Hampshire is at a whopping 77 percent and strong opposition at only about 5 percent. Of all the Republican senators who are not already committed to supporting the bill, Ayotte’s constituents would be most supportive of a “yes” vote.

ENDA update: Vote Monday, Ayotte still undecided

Today, representatives from the Human Rights Campaign delivered over 2,000 postcards to Sen. Kelly Ayotte urging her to support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identification.

Sen. Harry Reid has scheduled the ENDA vote for Monday with supporters still publicly one vote short of a filibuster-proof majority. Ayotte, who is on the record opposing marriage equality and the repeal of DOMA, is one of four undecided Republicans who may “come out and try to get on the right side of history before it’s too late,” writes Greg Sargent:

Gay rights advocates and Dems — led by Jeff Merkley — are aggressively lobbying four more Republicans: Rob Portman, Kelly Ayotte, Dean Heller, and Pat Toomey.

Conversations are ongoing with all of them, though Portman seems to be the most engaged, a source familiar with discussions says. If Portman comes on board, it’s possible or even likely (though hardly certain) that the remaining three Republicans will come along too — and proponents are hoping to get well over 60 votes, possibly as high as 65. […]

It seems reasonable to expect that the final outcome could resemble the endgame in the battle over Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. After weeks of behind the scenes wrangling, repeal passed by a bipartisan margin, with half a dozen Republicans breaking in favor of ending legalized discrimination.

This is a similar vote: With the culture rapidly shifting on gay rights, you may see more Republicans come out and try to get on the right side of history before it’s too late.

Act of absurdity: Kelly Ayotte actually voted to raise the debt ceiling before she voted against it

Sen. Kelly Ayotte voted in favor of a resolution yesterday disapproving the debt ceiling hike that she voted for earlier this month. Charles P. Pierce describes this “act of absurdity:”

There was an act of absurdity in the U.S. Senate yesterday — and it was not called “convening for the day,” ya bastids. There were 27 Republican senators who voted “symbolically” to repudiate their own actual votes a couple of weeks ago to raise the debt ceiling. This is every single Republican who voted to raise the debt ceiling. It is important to know this because the ranks of the repudiators include notable “moderates” like Kelly Ayotte and our reasonable friend from South Carolina, Huckleberry J. Butchmeup. This is important to know because of the simple fact that, for pure, sweaty, bowel-whitening fear, there is no such thing as a Republican “moderate” any more. They are all terrified, at one level or another, of empowered and weaponized insanity.

Ayotte on fence over workplace discrimination vote

Supporters of federal legislation banning workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity are now within a single vote of securing a filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate.

Nation Journal’s Elahe Izadi reports Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who has been the target of a lobbying effort by advocates, is still undecided. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has the support of the New Hampshire party establishment but is opposed by many of the state’s social conservatives.

The legislation would be the most significant civil rights legislation passed by Congress since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2010. A Senate vote is expected as early as next week.

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