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Monday, March 11, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

March 27 Budget Deadline Nears - the biggest story in Washington this week remains the budget debate -- over whether the Obama White House can still strike a “grand bargain” deal with Republicans.

On Tuesday, Obama heads to Capitol Hill to meet with Senate Democrats; on Wednesday, he visits House Republicans; and on Thursday, the meetings are with Senate Republicans and House Democrats. Also this week, House Republicans and Senate Democrats are expected to unveil their budgets.

One of the big reasons for Obama’s meetings with Democrats and Republicans is to keep the budget momentum going -- to see if Washington can reach some kind of larger budget agreement (to eliminate or soften the sequester cuts) without disrupting the other parts of Obama’s agenda (like on immigration and guns). The more positive momentum there appears to be for now, the less likely it is there’s a disruption before the fall on, say, government funding or debt ceiling. If there’s the sense of stalled momentum on budget, then the acrimony could bleed into other areas, like immigration, and stall everything. That’s what the White House is trying to avoid.

But let’s also realize the other motivation for the Obama outreach: The president wasn’t gaining points by being in standoff mode (if anything, he was losing them in the polls). The White House wants that high ground back. has more here.


Obama To Speak at Organizing for America Meeting - President Obama will speak Wednesday to the nonprofit organization that grew from his reelection campaign despite questions over the group's fundraising practices, an official for Organizing for Action (OFA) confirmed Monday.
The president will address the advocacy group's "founder's summit," a two-day event for donors and supporters at a Washington-area hotel.

According to The New York Times, donors will pay $50,000 to attend the event, and other speakers will include OFA Chairman and former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, as well as Jon Carson, the group’s executive director and the former director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

At the event, the president and other OFA officials are hoping to rally supporters for efforts on the president's gun control, immigration and budget initiatives. has more here.


Markey Captures Strong Endorsements in Massachusetts Senate Race - Democracy for America, the progressive group founded by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, announced its support for Ed Markey in the Massachusetts special Senate election Monday. After progressives worked hard to elect Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in 2012, the group is now making the case that Markey will be "a reliable Warren ally in the Senate."

Markey, a progressive congressman, is running the April 30 primary against conservative Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch. Polls show Markey ahead by a wide margin.
DFA plans to fundraise for Markey from its 1 million members nationwide and recruit on-the-ground volunteers from its 33,600 members in Massachusetts. The first fundraising email will go out Monday.

In addition, the pro-environment advocacy group League of Conservation Voters announced Monday that it intends to spend at least $650,000 toward a field campaign on behalf of Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA). 
LCV said it will knock on at least 219,000 doors by the April 30 primary. Markey, one of the more outspoken champions for pro-environment legislation in Congress, has won the backing of establishment national Democrats and other progressive organizations. The liberal advocacy group MoveOn endorsed Markey last week. has more here.


Senate Group Inches Closer on Pathway To Citizenship - A bipartisan group of senators working on immigration reform are closing in on a deal that would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.


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