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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Boehner Defers to Senate on Obama SOTU Proposals - Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday challenged Senate Democrats to pass the agenda President Obama laid out in his State of the Union address, suggesting the president’s progressive proposals lack support even within his own party.

“The president likes to attack Congress, but if he is serious about enacting this agenda, it must start in the part of Congress controlled by his own political party,” Boehner said in prepared remarks for his weekly Capitol press conference. “What can he get passed in the United States Senate?  You can read more here.


House Bipartisan "Gang of 8" Readies Immigration Bill - The Senate and the White House have each had their turn. Now it’s up to the GOP-controlled House, the most volatile of the trio, to figure out an immigration plan.
Who are they? What are they working on? Members of both parties are keeping a tight lid on not just the substance of negotiations, but the group’s roster. While its makeup may change depending on how far to the left or right its final deal is, a few names have popped up reliably in talks with aides and media reports. And their history on immigration could offer hints of what’s to come. has more on the members here.  


60 Votes Needed for Hagel Confirmation - for the first time in the nation's history, a confirmation of a Defense Secretary will require 60 votes in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) filed a motion Wednesday to begin the confirmation debate of defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, setting up a vote by Friday that would require 60 votes to cut off a potential filibuster by Republicans.

The cloture vote will take place Friday and afterward, if 60 votes are obtained, the confirmation will go to a vote.  The Washington Post has more here.


Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and his Cayman Islands Tax Haven - President Obama won reelection in part by beating up on his opponent for receiving big corporate payouts in exchange for dubious work and for socking away money in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands.

So it’s a bit, well, rich that Obama chose as his new Treasury secretary a man who received a big corporate payout for dubious work and who socked away money in the Cayman Islands.

Lew, who was White House chief of staff while Obama’s campaign was pummeling Romney over his pay and taxes, received a $945,000 bonus in January 2009 after a brief tenure at Citigroup — just as the bank announced huge losses and took a taxpayer bailout. Lew also invested $56,000 in a Citigroup venture-capital fund registered in the Cayman Islands — registered in the very building, in fact, that Obama labeled “the largest tax scam in the world.”   Read Dana Milbank's full column here.


Feinstein To Delay Brennan Confirmation Vote - Senate Intelligence Committee chief Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has decided to postpone the panel's confirmation vote on White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan's nomination to become CIA chief.

The California Democrat ordered the delay after committee members requested the White House provide more information on its armed drone program and last September's terrorist attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. has more here.


General Allen Likely To Retire - After more than a decade at war and a scandal that almost ended his career, Marine Gen. John Allen is back home and considering retirement — rather than pursuing the job of running U.S. European Command.

The White House stuck by Allen’s nomination for the top European post after a Pentagon investigation cleared him of any misconduct involved with emails he sent in connection with the extramarital affair that forced former CIA Director David Petraeus out of office.

If the White House resubmits Allen’s nomination, he would face an already testy Senate during his confirmation hearing, and the Petraeus scandal is sure to be a sticking point. has more here.


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