A selection of this week’s Washington Report. To read the full write-up click here
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We want to share with you a quick review of this past week’s political and legislative happenings. Also, a shout out to fathers everywhere this week.
The Capstone National Partners Team (John Rogers, Alan MacLeod, Steve Moffitt, Diane Rogers, Erik Oksala, Kate Venne and Joyce Rubenstein)
GOOD THING … OR BAD THING The Fix writes, “Of the 17 days between now and the July 4th holiday, President Obama will spend only six of them stateside. …the Washington landscape Obama left Sunday night could also look far different (and potentially worse for him) when all of the major players re-assemble back in Washington in the second week of July. (Worth noting: On July 8, the day Congress comes back, there will be just 28 days before they are scheduled to head out of town for their annual month-long August recess.)What we know: This foreign break will mark the end — or at least a pause in — an extremely tough run of headlines for the president. What else we know: In politics, nothing stands still; Washington on June 17 won’t look the same as Washington on July 8.What we don’t know: Is what will change in the political landscape a help or a hindrance to President Obama as he seeks to build a second term legacy?
SPEAKING OF A LEGACYNational Journal writes, “To Pres. Obama’s team, that legacy will depend on the long-term success of health care reform. But the White House is setting another precedent, one future presidents will find valuable. The early success of the health care program depends on signing up millions of currently uninsured younger Americans, in order to spread the risk and bend the cost curve downward. To convince those without insurance to step forward during open enrollment, Organizing for America and its allies will run a campaign-style operation that includes paid media (a 7-figure cable buy that starts today), social media outreach and even canvassers knocking on doors. While every White House uses their respective party committee to further their political goals, this White House, though, has built up a well-funded outside arm to do both, to a degree we haven’t seen before. The legacy Obama leaves will depend on the success of the precedent he sets with OFA. Perhaps it’s a reflection of the never-ending election cycle, and of the current climate in DC. Whatever the cause, the next president will have the cover he or she needs to create an outside arm of the White House to advance policy. Bill Clinton pioneered the permanent campaign. Barack Obama is taking it to another, self-perpetuating level.” — Reid Wilson (National Journal)
IMMIGRATION BILL WOULD DECREASE DEFICIT BY $197 BILLION OVER 10 YEARSFirst Read writes, “In a boost for proponents of comprehensive immigration reform, a new report from the CBO estimates that the immigration bill currently being debated in the Senate would increase the U.S. population by 10.4 million and would decrease federal budget deficits by $197 billion between 2014 and 2023. The much-anticipated report indicates that enacting the legislation would create new federal outlays of about $262 billion in the first decade but would increase revenues – largely from new income and payroll taxes – by $459 billion.” BY THE 4TH OF JULY Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he wants a final vote on the bill in the upper chamber by the July 4 recess. IN THE HOUSE Speaker John Boehner won’t “bring a comprehensive immigration-reform plan to the floor if a majority” of House GOPers “don’t support it, sources familiar with his plans said” (Washington Examiner).
IS SCOTT WALKER GOP’S SLEEPER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE? National Journalwrites, “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker polls near the bottom of would-be presidential contenders. Unlike potential rivals, you won’t find him on the cover of Time magazine or slow-jamming the news with comedian Jimmy Fallon. But he’s a conservative Republican who won election in a blue state, survived a brutal recall campaign, and now posts approval ratings over 50%. He’s a budget-slashing chief executive and son of a Baptist minister who straddles the fiscal and social conservative camps. He’s a proven fundraiser who has put his thumb in the eye of President Obama and Big Labor. He’s poised to be the sleeper Republican presidential candidate of 2016.”
MORE WISCONSIN – REPUBLICANS LIKE RYAN The Fix writes, “Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has the highest GOP favorability rating among five potential 2016 presidential contenders Gallup tested – 69% favorable to 12% unfavorable. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are the next most popular Republicans, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R). Among both Democrats and all adults, Christie leads the pack.
…AND WHERE IS RUSS FEINGOLD? Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) was announced as a special representative for the United States to the Great Lakes region of Africa by Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday. Feingold brings an expertise in the region to the job. He served as chairman of the Senate foreign relations Africa subcommittee.”
WHY CAN’T THEY STOP TALKING ABOUT RAPE? Politico writes, “ … As much of the GOP strains to implement a post-2012 course correction, the party has found itself stymied over and over by what leaders describe as a tiny rump of ham-fisted pols with a knack for stumbling onto cable news. No matter what the party leadership is up to in a given month, there’s almost invariably a back-bencher in the House of Representatives or a C-list player out in the states who’s only too eager to take the wind out of a conservative comeback with some incendiary comment that seizes national attention. … [Last week] Arizona Rep. Trent Franks suggested – in a mangled comment he rapidly walked back – that relatively few pregnancies result from rape. (Franks’s misfire prompted the GOP Senate candidate in Massachusetts, Gabriel Gomez, to quip, ‘These kinds of comments only come from a moron,’ and: ‘He proves that stupid has no specific affiliation.’) — “Looking over the big picture, it’s easy to see why a casual observer of politics might ask: What is the deal? And why can’t they stop talking about rape?”
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