POLITICO Playbook: Inside the House Dem leadership talks

HOUSE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP MET in the Capitol for the first time in a while Monday evening, and they began to confront what many of them see as an only-in-a-TRUMP-presidency question: If DONALD TRUMP loses, will he lash out and do something dramatic, like shut down the government?

THE SCENARIO was raised in the closed-door, no-staff meeting by Connecticut Democratic Rep. ROSA DELAURO, and it’s more than a passing political hypothetical. It’s a real-life governing challenge that Democrats believe they are being forced to confront in the coming days.

SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI is working with Treasury Secretary STEVEN MNUCHIN and Senate Majority Leader MITCH MCCONNELL on how long to fund the government for after Sept. 30.

THERE ARE TWO GENERAL OPTIONS: 1) Extend government funding to sometime in December. This would make the most sense. THE UPSIDE: A mid-December expiration would give a tad bit of post-election breathing room for lawmakers. It would also give Congress a chance to try for some more Covid relief this calendar year with a cudgel to force action. THE DOWNSIDE: If the election is undecided, lawmakers may be hesitant to engage in big-ticket legislating. And with TRUMP as unpredictable as we’ve seen, could he shut down the government if things aren’t going his way, they asked?

2) CONGRESS could extend funding until February. But that’s a really long time to wait for another deadline to force through Covid relief. (Of course, Covid relief can move without a funding deadline, but let’s not give Congress too much credit.)

OF COURSE, Congress could just do its job and pass a full year of government funding, and more Covid relief for a nation reeling from the deadly virus. But … 2020.

A MASSIVE DAY FOR MIDDLE EAST POLITICS … ISRAEL, BAHRAIN and THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES will sign the Abraham Accords today at the White House. Here’s what to expect: ISRAEL and the UAE will sign a document, as will ISRAEL and BAHRAIN. Then all three parties will sign one together. THE UAE document will be longer because they had a longer negotiation. BAHRAIN just committed last week. “A FEW HUNDRED” people will be at the event, on the South Lawn, including some senior Democrats. …

… THE TEXT that the three countries will sign will not be made public until after the event, so we won’t really know what they are signing quite yet.

NOTABLE QUOTABLE, from a senior administration official on a background call with reporters: “Hi, everybody. This is [senior administration official], but I guess it’s on background. I don’t know why we can’t say who I am, but OK. Here we are.”

— NYT’S MICHAEL CROWLEY and DAVID KIRKPATRICK: “A White House Ceremony Will Celebrate a Diplomatic Win and Campaign Gift”: “[A]s proclaimed in new Trump campaign advertisements, they make up the heart of the president’s message on foreign policy as the 2020 campaign

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Oregon Republican Lawmakers React to Arrest of Dem House Speaker’s Aide in Portland Riots

Republicans in the Oregon legislature are accusing Democrats of sanctioning “lawlessness” after the arrest of a top aide to the Democratic Oregon House speaker this month during protests that devolved into riots in downtown Portland.

A photojournalist reacts as riot police fire tear gas in Portland, Ore., September 5, 2020.

© Carlos Barria/Reuters
A photojournalist reacts as riot police fire tear gas in Portland, Ore., September 5, 2020.

Kristina Narayan, who serves as legislative director for Oregon House Speaker Representative Tina Kotek, was arrested late at night on Saturday, September 5 and charged with interfering with a police officer after Portland Police declared a riot.

“Kristina Narayan was arrested for Interfering with a Police Officer after the event became a riot and the crowd was given multiple orders to disperse, which she did not do,” a Portland police department spokesperson said.

Narayan, 29, has worked for Kotek since September, 2016 and has served as the House speaker’s legislative director since May, 2018, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Republican state lawmakers in Oregon criticized their colleagues across the aisle for declining to denounce the ongoing nightly violence wracking Portland, and accused Democratic lawmakers of protecting their staffers and supporters who participate in the riots.

“The Democrat supermajority in Oregon have had instances where their publicly-employed staff have been involved in the violent riots and looting in downtown Portland,” said GOP state Senator Dennis Linthicum, who represents the southeast city of Klamath Falls.

“Knowing this, it becomes obvious why Democrats in Oregon and across the nation have not stood up for law enforcement and condemned the lawlessness in the streets because within these Democrat-controlled cities — they would be alienating their own staff members who are participating in the riots,” Linthicum said.

Republican Oregon Senator Alan Olsen agreed, adding that Democratic lawmakers in the state “despise” the very police protecting them.

“Oregon Democrats are the party of lawlessness because instead of denouncing the violence, they largely have remained silent. The top Democrat leaders are protected by the police but despise and have absolute animosity towards them,” said Olsen, who represents Canby, a city just south of Portland.

“It’s obvious that Oregon Democrats are protecting their own extremist staffers and supporters over innocent Oregonians who are the collateral damage of over 100 days of violence,” Olsen added.

Narayan’s arrest came a week after pro-Trump demonstrator Aaron Danielson was fatally shot in the chest during clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and a caravan of pro-Trump demonstrators who drove through the streets of downtown Portland. Two days later, Portland Police declared a riot after about 200 demonstrators marched to Mayor Ted Wheeler’s residence to demand that he resign as violent demonstrations continue to rock the city.

Kotek’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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