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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Obama To Unveil $3.77 Trillion Budget - President Obama plans Wednesday to unveil a $3.77 trillion spending plan that proposes modest new investments in infrastructure and education, major new taxes for the wealthy and significant reforms aimed at reducing the cost of Social Security and Medicare.
As Washington barrels toward another potential showdown over the federal debt limit later this summer, administration officials said the blueprint lays down the president’s bottom-line offer for getting federal borrowing under control.

“We don’t view this budget as a starting point in the negotiations. This is an offer where the president came more than halfway toward the Republicans,” a senior administration official told reporters Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity to detail the forthcoming document.  The Washington Post has more here.


Vote on Gun Legislation Set For Thursday - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters Tuesday that he will file for cloture on the motion to proceed to gun legislation in the evening with a vote expected Thursday.
"We're going to vote Thursday," he said. "I'm going to file cloture on the bill tonight."
Democrats appear to have the votes to break a filibuster to begin debate , but it's unclear if they'll have 60 votes to end debate and ultimately proceed to an up-or-down vote. has more here.


Senate Gang of 8 To Release Immigration Proposal - The Senate’s immigration Gang of Eight plans to announce a deal within a week but a committee markup is not expected until at least the week of May 6, providing a long period for debate and changes, Senate aides said Tuesday.

Aides said the legislative proposal could be released as soon as Thursday, but is more likely to be ready early next week. The schedule outlined by the aides is meant to satisfy Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who has said repeatedly that he wants a full debate and amendment process, to maximize the chances that the final vote is an overwhelming majority. has more here.


Weiner Considers Run For New York Mayor - Anthony Weiner, who resigned from the House of Representatives in 2011 after he was caught sending lewd photos and messages to several women on Twitter, is considering running for mayor in New York City this year. Weiner confirmed his mayoral ambitions in a lengthy interview with the "New York Times Magazine" in which he and his wife, Huma Abedin, discussed his scandal in depth.

There has been speculation around a potential Weiner mayoral bid for months now. He was known to be considering the race prior to the Twitter scandal and he still has over $4.8 million in a New York City campaign account, which is near the maximum of $6.426 million the major candidates, who all are participating in the city's public financing system, will be allowed to spend in the September primary.  You can read more here.


Kelly Wins Illinois Special Election - Democrat Robin Kelly has won her race to replace former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.).

Kelly coasted to victory in general election on Tuesday, winning approximately 80 percent of the vote in the heavily Democratic Chicago district. The Associated Press has called the race.

The former Cook County administrator's real victory was in the Democratic primary, where she attacked former Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.) over her opposition to gun control and received the backing of a number of national groups. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's (I) gun-control super-PAC spent more than $2 million on her behalf that race, which Kelly won by a wide margin.

Kelly's win gives Democrats 201 seats in the House, 17 short of a majority. has more here.


North Korea Prepares for Missile Test - U.S. and South Korean troops increased alert levels on Wednesday as South Korea’s foreign minister warned that North Korea could launch its medium-range Musudan missile “any time from now.”

Although North Korea has tested many of its short-range Scud and medium-range Rodong missiles, it has never flight-tested the longer-range Musudan, believed to have a range of around 2,175 miles. A successful test of the missile would demonstrate North Korea’s potential to hit not only South Korea but also all of Japan and targets as far away as the American military bases on the Pacific island of Guam.

The U.S. and South Korea troops raised their ‘'Watchcon” level of vigilance, stepping up monitoring and intelligence-gathering activities, officials at the South Korean Defense Ministry said. The NY Times has more here.


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