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Jul 12, 2013
First Take: Immigration was key in Napolitano's tenureBy Alan Gomez, USA Today
When trying to size up the four-year tenure of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, look no further than a February hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee.Read more
Senators Squabble Over Reid's Threat to Limit DebateSusan Davis, USA Today
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., set the U.S. Senate on a potentially chamber-altering course for next week, pledging to use his power to change Senate rules to push through President Obama's executive branch nominations despite furious opposition from Republicans.Read more
Abortion Politics: Winning the MiddleBy Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
In state legislatures across the country, the battle over abortion rights is raging once again.
But what neither side of the abortion debate seems to want to acknowledge is that there is a middle ground on the issue. The problem for both of them: The middle is where you can find the vast majority of Americans, who see the abortion issue not as a battle, but as a balance.Read more
In Congress All Politics Getting PersonalWith John Harwood, CNBC Watch more
Farm Bill Passes Narrowly in House, Without Food Stamp FundingBy Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post
If Congress fails to reach agreement on food stamps, funding will be worked out as part of the normal appropriations process and will probably remain at current levels.
The trimmed-down farm bill pleased rural Republicans, including Rep. Marlin A. Stutzman (Ind.), a fourth-generation farmer, who called the farm-only focus “a positive thing, to make sure that we have good government and good policy and that agriculture is going to be getting the attention it deserves rather than being leveraged by a welfare program.”Read more
What the Farm Bill Says About House GOPBy David Wessel, Wall Street Journal
The House passed a farm bill. The Senate passed an immigration bill. One might think this is a sign of a summertime thaw in the frozen gears of Congress.
Think again.Read more
Key GOP House Chairman Open to Citizenship PathBy Alan Gomez, USA Today
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., has long said that the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants should never get a "special" pathway to citizenship. Now, for the first time, he is saying they could get some path.Read more
Running to Stand StillBy Amy Walter, Cook Political Report
It is a hamster wheel-like existence we are living in D.C. these days. There’s a whole lot of activity, and yet, we’re not going anywhere at all.Read more
Jul 11, 2013
WH: Obama Alone Can't Sway House on ReformBy Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics
President Obama may have exhausted his capacity to nudge immigration reform toward enactment this year.
"They either are for immigration reform or they're not," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday, speaking of the House GOP majority. "That'll be a choice they make."Read more
Obama and Bush Promote Benefits of ImmigrationBy Peter Baker, The New York Times
President Obama and former President George W. Bush found themselves on the same side of a public policy debate on Wednesday as they promoted the virtues of immigration at a time when Congress is considering rewriting the rules to accept millions here illegally.Read more
Bush’s Call for GOP to Embrace Immigration Reform Seems to Have Little EffectBy David Nakamura and Ed O’Keefe, The Washington Post
Former president George W. Bush, who enjoyed healthy support among Latinos during his time in office, has broken a virtual five-year silence in national politics by calling on fellow Republicans to embrace immigration reform at a time when conservatives are rebelling against the idea.Read more
No Easy Road Ahead on Immigration in GOP HouseBy Alan Gomez and Susan Davis, USA Today
House Republicans dug in their opposition to the Senate-passed immigration overhaul at a closed-door meeting Wednesday where lawmakers began mapping out a slower, piecemeal approach to immigration and border security legislation.Read more
Four decades after Roe v. Wade, views of most Americans still complex, conditionalBy Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
The absolutist voices have always dominated the abortion debate. But as it flares again in Congress and in legislatures across the country, the fight this time is heading into complicated political terrain, stirring the ambivalence that most Americans feel about the issue.Read more
A Decade After McCain-Feingold, Election Spending SpikesBy Reid Wilson, National Journal's Hotline
A decade after Sens. John McCain and Russ Feingold spearheaded sweeping campaign finance reform legislation, a series of judicial and legislative setbacks have derailed any hopes its original sponsors had of curbing the influence and amount of money spent on politics.Read more
Jul 10, 2013
GOP Grapples with Border Security in Immigration BillBy Alan Gomez, USA Today
Republicans in the House of Representatives say any immigration bill they pass must ensure that the nation's Southwest border with Mexico is secured before any process can begin for undocumented immigrants to apply for citizenship.Read more
The Immigration ImpasseBy John Dickerson, Slate Magazine
On Tuesday, William Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard and Rich Lowry, the editor of the National Review, wrote a rare joint editorial denouncing the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform plan. They said it was full of loopholes and exceptions that would do nothing to end illegal immigration. Republican Senators had signed on to the bill fueled by a "panic" about attracting Hispanic voters. House Republicans, they argued, should not only refuse to vote on the Senate bill, they should refuse to join a conference committee where their version could be melded with the impure Senate’s product. Republicans should shelve immigration reform until after the 2014 election, they argued. What's the rush?Read more
GOP Redistricting Skills May Hurt Immigration PushBy Charles Babington, Associated Press
Republicans' knack for congressional redistricting helps them control the U.S. House, but it may be working against them on immigration changes that national GOP leaders see as critical to the next presidential election.Read more
Senate Poised to Fail -- Again -- on a Student Loan FixBy Susan Davis, USA Today
The Senate will vote Wednesday on a Democratic plan to scale back federally subsidized student loan rates, which doubled on July 1, but the proposal lacks enough support required to pass, leaving a divided Congress no closer to compromise.Read more
Live From the Oval Office: A Backdrop of History Fades From TVBy Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
At historic moments in the television age, past American presidents turned to the Oval Office as their stage.
Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy interrupted prime-time shows to tell Americans from the Oval Office why they had ordered troops to desegregate schools. Bill Clinton broke into programming from behind the presidential desk three times in a month to explain military actions in Haiti and Iraq. Ronald Reagan, the telegenic former actor, set the record for evening addresses from the Oval Office desk: 29 over two terms.Read more
New Players, Snowden Change U.S.-China DynamicsBy David Wessel, Wall Street Journal
More than a dozen U.S. officials meet with more than a dozen of Chinese counterparts Wednesday and Thursday in the fifth round of the Strategic & Economic Dialogue talks. So how is this round different from earlier ones? In at least three ways.Read more