A few excerpts from this week’s Washington Report. To read the full write-up click here
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want to share with you a quick review of this past week’s political and legislative happenings. Both chambers will go out today for the Fourth of July recess. The Washington Report will be back on July 19th.
The Capstone National Partners Team (John Rogers, Alan MacLeod, Steve Moffitt, Diane Rogers, Erik Oksala, Kate Venne and Joyce Rubenstein)
@ZachWahls: Barney Frank: “We’re making progress. It’s now more socially acceptable to be gay than a Congressman
PLAN TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE AP writes, “President Obama [Tuesday] announced a wide-ranging plan to protect the nation from the effects of climate change and lead the international community on climate talks.
5 TAKE AWAYS From The Fix, “(1) He won’t duck the climate implications of Keystone XL, even though he may still end up approving it. (2) Electric utilities will face stricter carbon limits, but we won’t know for a year what they will look like. (3) The president is willing to demonize climate skeptics. (4) The Obama administration will apply the climate test broadly, to decisions ranging from flood insurance to federal road projects. (5) Obama hopes to secure a few international climate agreements by the end of his second term.”
WAR ON COAL Harvard geochemist Daniel Schrag, an adviser to Obama on climate change, told The New York Times that despite political reluctance, “a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., tweeted that this is “tantamount to declaring a ‘War on Jobs.'”
IMMIGRATION REFORM Washington Post writes, “Senators approved sweeping legislation Thursday to remake the nation’s immigration system for the first time in a generation. …Senators concluded a nearly month-long debate of the 1,200-page measure. To note the historic significance of the vote, Vice President Biden presided over the vote.” Politico writes, The Gang of Eight agreed to ‘militarize’ the Southern border, including spending $30 billion on 19,000 additional border control agents – even though the administration said for months that it didn’t need more manpower on a border that it already considered secure. The negotiators also bucked the White House by linking the legalization program to enforcement benchmarks, hiking the fines on undocumented immigrants, lengthening their wait for a green card, tightening their access to government benefits, and shifting to a point system for legal immigration.
FWD.us Backers of immigration reform outspent opponents by more than 2.5 to 1, with the Mark Zuckerberg-backed FWD.us providing the lion’s share of that money to two front groups (Hotline).
“At the end of the day, nobody got everything they wanted. Not Democrats. Not Republicans. Not me.”
NEXT FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM “Nothing less than a miracle will get major immigration legislation through Congress this year,” National Journalwrites. “It’s not the Senate’s fault, not this time. But the House is slogging along on a piece-by-piece approach that does nothing but stretch out the debate until all that’s left are wisps of ideas on work visas, local police enforcement, and electronic verification of workers. Indeed, the House might not kill the bill outright, but the GOP players are passing the ball around until the clock runs out.”
TIME RUNNING OUT Hotline writes, “Immigration reform proponents were once confident they would have a bill on President Obama’s desk by the August recess. Now, the time required to pass a bill is running out, and opponents are growing more confident in their chances of killing reform for the year.
WHAT WE KNOW The Senate passed a bill.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW How the House will act. There’s not even an agreement on whether to take a piecemeal or a comprehensive approach. And after the farm bill’s failure last week, there’s little chance of building a bill that’s either conservative enough to attract the whole GOP (without doing more harm to the party’s electoral prospects) or moderate enough to attract Dems without breaking the Hastert rule.”
WARY OF AUGUST RECESS “Backers are eyeing the August recess nervously. In 2009, Tea Party protests destroyed the last hope of a bipartisan health care bill. In 2013, it could destroy a bicameral immigration measure. Moderate House Republicans who want to get to yes are going to have a long, hot summer.”
WHAT MAJOR REPUBLICAN DONORS WANT The Fix writes, “The major donors of the party who serve as the bundlers of presidential campaigns and the funders of super PACs, those big check-writers have a very clear preference: They want a deal done.”
ARMY DETAILS 10 BRIGADES IT PLANS TO INACTIVATE Politicowrites, “Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno has identified the 10 brigades the Army plans to inactivate before 2017, in addition to the two brigades being stood down in Europe. The following bases will lose a brigade by 2017: Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Stewart, Ga.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Knox, Ky.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Bliss, Texas; and Fort Lewis, Wash. The Army waited to make a number of decisions about military construction projects until it finalized these force structure changes … now that it knows where it’s scaling back, the service plans to cancel $400 million in military construction contracts out of a total of $700 million in planned projects.
ARMY CUTS JUST THE BEGINNING warned HASC Chairman Buck McKeon. “As damaging as they are, these cuts don’t begin to reflect the crippling damage sequestration will do to our Armed Forces,” the California Republican said.
THE NOT-SO-VERY SPECIAL ELECTION OF 2013 The Fix writes, “The year of the upset this is not. So far, at least. Democratic Rep. Ed Markey’s Senate special election victory in Massachusetts on Tuesday was widely expected.
“This is Massachusetts. We only have three pastimes: sports, politics, and revenge.”
— Jim Spencer, on the race for Sen.-elect Edward Markey’s former seat (Roll Call)
A STAR IS BORN “Hotline writes, “Last week, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis (D) was an unknown politician struggling to save her seat from partisan gerrymandering. This week, she’s a rock star destined for bigger things. …Davis’s filibuster against an anti-abortion bill [in the Texas legislature] showed the power of social media in politics. After President Obama’s account tweeted a link to a livestream of the speech, she went from 1,200 Twitter followers to more than 100K.
TWEETSTORMING THEM OUT OF BUSINESS, Y’ALL The Fix
writes, “When Wendy Davis began her 13-hour filibuster … none of the major networks were watching. But thanks to a groundswell of support on social media, Davis [shot] into Twitter’s worldwide trends on Tuesday night earning more than half a million mentions on the site. This is how tweetstorming is done
A TRIBUTE On this day in 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in Bosnia, setting off a chain of events that would lead to World War I … and 40 million casualties.
FOR AIR HOCKEY FANS
It’s over. Man vs. Machine. On YouTube.
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