Thank you for visiting our website

Featuring breaking political news and commentary on local, state, and national issues.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Obama Nominates Sylvia Matthews Burwell for OMB Director, Gina McCarthy for EPA and Ernest Moniz for Energy Secretary - Sylvia Mathews Burwell, head of the Wal-Mart Foundation, has long been considered the leading choice for OMB director.

President Obama on Monday will nominate Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Ernest Moniz as the next Energy secretary, a White House official confirmed to The Hill.

McCarthy, currently the EPA’s assistant administrator for air and radiation, would be replacing former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who left the agency in February.

Moniz, Obama’s Energy pick, is a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he directs the MIT Energy Initiative. He has long been seen as the front-runner to replace outgoing Energy Secretary Steven Chu. has more here.


Government Shutdown Unlikely as Congress Works on Budget - Congress returns to work this week with no plan to reverse across-the-board spending cuts that took effect Friday, but with hope on both sides of the aisle of averting an end-of-the-month showdown that could result in a government shutdown.
The House plans to vote Thursday on a spending measure that would keep the government running after its current funding mechanism elapses March 27.

Assuming that the two sides agree soon on government spending for the latter half of the fiscal year, Washington’s next major fiscal battle will probably come over the summer, when the nation once again bumps up against the debt ceiling.  The Washington Post has more here. 


Obama Moves to Diversify Federal Courts - In Florida, President Obama has nominated the first openly gay black man to sit on a federal district court. In New York, he has nominated the first Asian American lesbian. And his pick for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit? The first South Asian. Reelected with strong support from women, ethnic minorities and gays, Obama is moving quickly to change the face of the federal judiciary by the end of his second term, setting the stage for another series of drawn-out confrontations with Republicans in Congress.  You can read more here. 


Kerry To Meet With Abbas Today - CNN reports U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet for unplanned talks on Monday afternoon, as part of their coinciding visits to Saudi Arabia. The lunch meeting, which was added to Kerry's schedule at the last-minute on Monday morning, will focus on efforts to resume the diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinians.


Kerry Criticizes Iran, Russia for Providing Arms to Syria - Making a case for providing increased support to the Syrian opposition, Secretary of State John Kerry criticized Russia and Iran on Monday for continuing to ship arms to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.

Mr. Kerry has sought to enlist Russia’s cooperation for a political solution to the war in Syria and met last week with Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov.

But Mr. Kerry said in Riyadh that Russia had continued to send weapons to forces loyal to Mr. Assad.   The NY Times has more here. 


Menendez Sponsored Bill That Would Have Aided Donor - Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) sponsored legislation that would have financially benefited his close friend and political donor Dr. Salomon Melgen, according to an Associated Press report released Monday.

The bill failed to make it out of the Senate, but Melgen reportedly spent $220,000 lobbying Menendez’s staff and other congressional officials to pass the legislation.

The allegation is the latest involving Menendez’s ties to Melgen, whom he has described as “a friend and political supporter.” Menendez has steadfastly maintained his innocence against charges that he has improperly helped Melgen.  You can read more here.


Your financial contributions to Air-it-Out with George Wenschhof are appreciated -Click here to donate. Thank You!

No comments: