Floods devastate Nebraska, Beto joins the crowded 2020 field, and Donald Trump issues the veto of his presidency. This is the last week in review.
Platte River Flooding
In eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, the Platte and Missouri rivers have flooded over, destroying highways, towns, and lives. Rivers were measuring at 27 feet, with entire towns buried and a number of farms completely destroyed. Three lives have been lost. Entire counties have been abandoned. There’s little that can be done, of course. Much of the land affected is rural and flat, so residents have little choice but to wait out the floodwaters. The US Army Corps of Engineers says that 200 miles of levees have been compromised. I could go on, but instead, I’ll recommend this article from Weather.com and leave you with this photo:
Pretty surreal flying into Omaha. Highways fully submerged. pic.twitter.com/UPUY9fHyXN
— Christopher Heady (@heady_chris) March 16, 2019
Beto Kicks Off Campaign
Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke announced his campaign for the nation’s highest office on Thursday in a video announcement from his home. He has spent the last few days in Iowa campaigning. Beto was a US Representative from El Paso before running against Ted Cruz for the US Senate. While he did lose, many Democrats were encouraged by the size of his campaign, how close the race was, and the fact that he shattered the previous record for fundraising. O’Rourke started his campaign in Keokuk, Iowa, a poor union town in the very southeastern corner of the state. It’s a part of one of many counties in Iowa that reliably goes to Democrats, but swung to Trump’s populist message in 2016.
O’Rourke is polling around 5 points in recent polls, but none have been taken since he announced. He trails Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Cory Booker. A more recent poll from Emerson asked just Wisconsin voters, who chose Sanders first with 39 percent, Biden in a distant second at 24, Warren third at 14, and O’Rourke fourth at 6.
Kirsten Gillibrand also officially announced this week, though she had been campaigning with an exploratory committee since January. Wayne Messam, the mayor of Miramar, Florida, launched an exploratory committee this week, as well. He’s expected to announce March 30th, and former Tallahassee mayor and 2018 gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is expected to announce tomorrow.
Trump Vetos a Rebuke of Trump
The President used the first veto of his term just three months into the second half of his term (which has seen Democrats take control of the House). The resolution he vetoed would have blocked him from funding his border wall through executive order or national emergency declaration. 12 Republicans voted for the resolution, including Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, and Mike Lee. The Senate passed it 59-41, which is not veto-proof. Unless 8 more Republicans flip, the veto will hold. Republicans who flipped are facing a lot of criticism from their own party, but nearly two years out from an election, it’s unlikely it will affect their re-election chances. Most cited constitutionality and precedent as their reasoning.
You can read more from Andrew Bartholomew on Think Liberty here.