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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Boehner Failing in "Fiscal Cliff" Negotiations - House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) inability to control his own conservative caucus, has led him to schedule a House vote tonight on extending the Bush administration tax cuts for all except for those earning more than $1 million.  The bill is receiving push back from conservatives, but is likely to barely pass the House tonight in a vote scheduled for 7:30 PM ET.  However, it is a non starter in the Senate and President Obama has promised a veto if it did pass the House.  You can read more here.


U.S. Economy Grows 3.1% Third Quarter - The Commerce Deparment report showed the economy grew at a higher rate than forecasted from July through September.

However, analysts are predicting growth to fall to 1.5% in the fourth quarter of this year due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy and the uncertainty surrounding the "fiscal cliff" negotiations.  You can read more here.


Booker To Announce Senate Run - coming as no surprise, reports indicate Newark mayor Cory Booker will announce via Twitter, his intention to run for U.S. Senate.  Instead of challenging popular Republican Governor Chris Christie, the Democrat will run for the seat currently held by Democrat Frank Lautenburg.  Lautenburg is 88 years old and is not expected to run for reelection in two years.  You can read more here.


Mikulski To Head Senate Appropriations Committee - Democratic Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski was the beneficiary of the fall of dominos after Senator Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) announced he will stay on as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Leahy was expected to become chair of the Appropriations Committee and Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calf.) was set to become chair of the Judiciary Committee.  You can read more here.

This also takes a future political option off the table for Maryland Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley.  If, Hillary Clinton chooses to run for president in 2016, O'Malley who is term limited will have no chance as securing the Democratic nomination.  His fall back was a run for U.S. Senate, assuming Mikulski would retire in 2016.  As chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee, Mikuski will not retire anytime soon. 


Brown, Leading in Poll To Replace Kerry, Backs Assault Weapons Ban - Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who was defeated by Democrat Elizabeth Warren, is the leading contender for the seat of Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) should he receive confirmation to Secretary of State.  Brown received 47% support of the voters in the  WBUR poll, with 39% supporting the generic Democratic challenger.  You can read more here. 


3 State Department Officials Resign Over Benghazi - the resignations coming after a critical independent report on the “serious, systemic problems” that led to inadequate security at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi before the fatal assault in September,  was released on Monday.  Two deputy secretaries of state; Thomas Nides and William Burns testified before Congress today after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was unable to attend after suffering a concussion after falling due to dehydration from a stomach virus.  Senator Kerry (D-Mass.) stated Clinton would tesify before Congress in January.  You can read more here.


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