What do you think? Leave a respectful comment.

What to know about the CIA interrogation report

The Morning Line

Today in the Morning Line:

  • Senate Intel report prep
  • Shutdown deadline closer, but hope pervades
  • Gruber, Kerry testify
  • Obama losing the message on immigration, budget

Intel report — Prep Sheet: For five-and-a-half years, nearly the entire Obama presidency, the U.S. has waited for a report on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques. Today, the Senate Intelligence Committee will release the (partially redacted) executive summary of that report. To help prepare, here’s what we can tell you before the release.

We expect the report out in the first half of the day, multiple Senate sources tell Morning Line. They caution that the final timing is up to Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. The executive summary which we’ll see today is about 500 pages long. The full report is several thousand pages long.

Two things to watch:
1. Aside from the description of CIA techniques, but pay attention to number of incidents and number of different CIA agents described. This could indicate how widespread any issues became.
2. Individual reactions. The White House and senators on the Intelligence Committee have had more than two years to prepare their responses, including what they will chose to highlight or defend. This is a case where very close analysis of press releases is warranted.

Shutdown brinksmanship: The government is just two days away from another potential government shutdown, and “plans to quickly approve a $1.1 trillion spending package to keep most of the federal government open through the end of the fiscal year fell apart late Monday, increasing the chance lawmakers will miss a Thursday deadline,” the Washington Post reports. House Republicans need Democratic votes and there are still sticking points that need to be worked out, including on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and banking, but most believe there will be a deal before the deadline. Or at least, there will be a VERY short-term measure to buy some more time. To watch: whether Majority Leader-to-be Mitch McConnell adds campaign finance changes (fewer restrictions for political parties) to the CR, as Roll Call is reporting he wants.

Kerry, Gruber testify: There’s lots more action on the Hill today with Secretary of State John Kerry testifying at 2 p.m. EST on the Islamic State militant group before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former Obama health care adviser Jonathan Gruber appearing before the House Oversight committee at 9:30 a.m. ET.

When you’ve lost the message…: President Obama talks immigration at 3:45 p.m. EST in Nashville, Tennessee. But a Bloomberg poll shows the president has lost the message war on immigration and the budget. Despite increased deportations from a decade ago, Bloomberg writes, “By 53 percent to 29 percent, Americans believe that Obama has sent fewer undocumented immigrants home…” And despite a reduction in the deficit under President Obama, “By 73 percent to 21 percent, the public says the federal budget deficit has gotten bigger during the Obama presidency.” As Al Hunt writes, “When it comes to informing Americans about the accomplishments of his own administration … he’s not exactly the persuader-in-chief.”

Daily Presidential Trivia: On this day in 1803, The U.S. Congress passed the 12th amendment, which directed that electors must vote for a ticket of candidates for president and vice president, rather than electing the top two vote getters regardless of party. Who was the last vice president to attain that office under the old system (pre-12th Amendment ratification)? We’ll have that answer and the answer to yesterday’s question, who was president when the Reconstruction period finally ended? tomorrow.



For more political coverage, visit our politics page.

Sign up here to receive the Morning Line in your inbox every morning.

Questions or comments? Email Domenico Montanaro at dmontanaro-at-newshour-dot-org or Rachel Wellford at rwellford-at-newshour-dot-org.

Follow the politics team on Twitter:

Support PBS NewsHour:

The Latest