OnPolitics: Rep. Cheney's loss could propel her down presidential path

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks Aug. 16, 2022, at a primary Election Day gathering in Jackson, Wyoming. Cheney lost to Republican opponent Harriet Hageman in the primary.

Greetings, OnPolitics readers!

Former Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday he would consider testifying before the House Jan. 6 committee if asked, in some of his most direct and extensive remarks on the subject.

"If there was an invitation to participate, I would consider it," Pence said in remarks at a New Hampshire event, hosted by the New England Council and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics & Political Library at Saint Anselm College.

The former vice president expressed constitutional concerns about testifying before the committee, noting that it would be "unprecedented in history" for a vice president to be called to testify before Congress.

But itI wouldn't be the first time a president or vice president had testified before a congressional committee. At least six presidents and one vice president – Schuyler Colfax, vice president to President Ulysses S. Grant – have testified before congressional committees, according to the U.S. Senate's website.

It's Amy and Ella with today's top stories out of Washington.

What you may have missed in last night's Alaska, Wyoming primaries

Primary races in Wyoming and Alaska on Tuesday further revealed not only the strong grip former President Donald Trump has on the Republican Party but also the direction the country could take with the next Congress.

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney lost to Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman. Cheney lost by more than 30 percentage points.

Just hours after her stinging defeat in Wyoming, Cheney said a 2024 presidential campaign "is something I’m thinking about, and I’ll make a decision in the coming months." She did not mention party affiliation, and there has been speculation she could mount a campaign as an independent. Analysts reacted with significant skepticism to the news, saying Cheney is unlikely to beat Trump or even be a viable independent candidate.

With Cheney's loss, Trump's efforts to defeat the 10 House Republicans who voted for his impeachment in January 2021 reaped another reward. Here's how those 10 have fared so far.

In Alaska's primary, incumbent Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski advanced to the general election, along with challenger Kelly Tshibaka. In the House race, Sarah Palin moved to the November election, along with challengers Nick Begich III and Mary Peltola.

Alaska's unique election process: In 2020, Alaskans approved a ballot initiative that set up nonpartisan primaries, in which the top four vote-getters move on to general elections. Those general elections, in turn, would use ranked-choice voting, a system in which voters also can indicate their second, third and fourth picks should their preferred candidate not win.

Ranked choice voting got an early test after the death in March of Alaska GOP Rep. Don Young; the top four candidates from a special June primary proceeded to Tuesday's special election to serve the remainder of his term. At the same time, and on the same ballot, voters in Alaska also selected their top four candidates in the primary to take over Young’s seat for a full term come January.

Real quick: Stories you'll want to read

  • Inflation Reduction Act: A Democratic plan to combat climate change and lower prescription-drug costs is a scaled back version of the multitrillion dollar domestic-policy package President Joe Biden hoped to pass last year. But while smaller, it could still make notable changes on energy use, health-care costs, the federal deficit and taxes.

  • Cheney's conqueror: Given Wyoming's conservative tilt, Harriet Hageman is likely to become the state's next representative to the U.S. House after facing -- and beating -- incumbent Rep. Liz Cheney in Tuesday's Republican primary. Who is she?

  • CDC shake-up: The head of nation's top public health agency Wednesday announced a "reset" of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, intended to make the organization more nimble amid ongoing criticism of the agency's response to COVID-19, monkeypox and other public health threats.

  • Cheney's GOP rise and fall: Cheney at first supported former President Donald Trump and held a leadership role in the GOP. Then, she became the former president's loudest critic. Now, she's flirting with a 2024 presidential bid. How did we get here?

How Biden's deal with McConnell to pick an anti-abortion judge fell apart

The timing couldn't have been worse.

As America held its breath for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether it would strike down the constitutional right to an abortion, President Joe Biden was ready to make a deal — or what Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would later call “a personal friendship gesture."

Dragged down by dismal approval ratings and facing midterms elections that seemed destined to hand Republicans control of Congress, Biden agreed to nominate the senator's choice for federal district judge in Kentucky — a candidate the Republican leader had been trying to get on the bench since 2020.

His name was Stephen Chad Meredith — a conservative, Republican Federal Society member who had fought to strike down abortion access while serving as counsel for Republican Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky.

The Biden White House was set to unveil the nomination on June 24 ― until, that is, the U.S. Supreme Court chose that very same morning to issue its monumental ruling striking down Roe v. Wade.

Here's how it nearly came to be.

Charitable donations are reaching record highs but that money is increasingly coming from a smaller group of wealthy Americans. Read more about concerns that charities will become another wealthy indulgence. -- Ella & Amy

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney's primary loss could lead to presidential run