DC Daily: Joe Biden says he's not running for president -- 'at this point'
Jermaine Ong, Scripps
9:02 AM, Oct 10, 2018
Here's what's making headlines in the political world on Wednesday, October 10, 2018:
Joe Biden says he isn't a candidate for the 2020 presidential election -- "at this point"
-- Former Vice President Joe Biden sidestepped a question Wednesday about his 2020 intentions, saying he is not running for president "at this point."
Speaking at an event in London, Biden was asked about whether he could provide the best alternative to President Donald Trump when it comes to foreign policy.
Instead, Biden argued every potential Democratic contender for the 2020 presidential campaign would adopt a "more enlightened foreign policy" than the current president.
"I think there are many people in the Democratic Party that can defeat Trump and not a single aspiring candidate that I can think of for the nomination -- and I am not one at this point -- does not have a better understanding and formulation of American foreign policy than President Trump," Biden told CNN during a question and answer session at an event at Chatham House.
"I'm not being rankly partisan here -- the President acknowledged at the outset he didn't know a lot about foreign policy. He said he watched the news, although I think he's getting more and more informed out of necessity," he added. "I think there are any number of potential candidates seeking the nomination from (California Democratic Sen.) Kamala Harris to a whole range of people in my party who would pursue a much more enlightened foreign policy than the President."
Democrats to force health care vote in Senate
-- Democrats plan to force a vote Wednesday morning on a bill related to health care coverage of pre-existing conditions and the size and scope of insurance plans, the latest action from the minority party's push to focus on the issue of health care going into the midterms.
Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin is using the Congressional Review Act to force a vote to overturn the Trump administration rule to expand short-term insurance plans. Forty-nine Democratic senators have said they will support the resolution and they would need two additional Republican votes to reach the fifty-one-vote threshold for the measure to pass, though the GOP-controlled House would likely not act on the legislation. That makes the series of events a largely symbolic vote aimed at forcing moderate Republicans to possibly take a politically difficult vote on the record.
Short-term health plans don't have to adhere to the Affordable Care Act's regulations that protect people with pre-existing conditions. These plans can deny coverage or charge higher premiums to Americans based on their medical histories. And they don't have to provide comprehensive coverage.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to introduce bill to fully fund Trump's border wall
-- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy plans to introduce legislation this week that will fully fund President Trump's proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border with a whopping $23.4 billion price tag, a spokesperson for the California Republican told CNN on Tuesday.
The bill is still in the drafting process but is expected to be released within the next few days in the pro-forma session this week. The House remains in recess until mid-November, after the midterm elections, so the body would not consider the legislation for another month or so. Even with a Republican-controlled Capitol Hill and White House, any proposal to fully fund Trump's signature campaign pledge of a border wall would have a difficult pathway to passing both chambers of Congress, given the threshold for such legislation and the narrow margin of control in the Senate.
The legislation comes as McCarthy is headed to the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday for a tour and briefing by the Department of Homeland Security and as the California congressman continues to push to succeed Speaker Paul Ryan when the Wisconsin Republican departs in January.
California fake ID salesman who helped Mueller investigate Russians to be sentenced
-- Richard Pinedo, a California computer whiz caught by the special counsel's office selling fake online identities to Russians, will be sentenced by a federal judge in Washington on Wednesday, making him the third defendant to learn his sentence in Robert Mueller's probe.
Pinedo is one of the more unusual and relatively unknown defendants caught in Mueller court actions so far.
In memos sent to a federal judge before his sentencing, Pinedo's defense team and prosecutors capture just how far-reaching the high-profile special counsel investigation into the 2016 election has been.
Pinedo ran a website that sold dummy bank accounts to eBay users having trouble with the online transaction service PayPal. His service allowed people online to breeze through PayPal's financial verification steps.
He pleaded guilty to one count of identity fraud during a confidential court hearing in D.C. federal court on February 12. His case was made public four days later, when the Justice Department announced its indictment of 13 Russians and three companies for running an online election propaganda effort.