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Friday, April 26, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Boston Bombing Suspect Transferred to Federal Prison - The surviving Boston Marathon bombings suspect has been released from a civilian hospital and transferred to a federal medical detention center in central Massachusetts.
The U.S. Marshals Service said Friday that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev left Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center overnight and was taken to the Federal Medical Center Devens about 40 miles west of Boston.

The 19-year-old Tsarnaev is recovering from a gunshot wound to the throat and other injuries suffered during his attempted getaway.  The Washington Post has more here.


Senate Votes to Fix FAA Furloughs - The Senate moved quickly Thursday evening to help ease the Federal Aviation Administration's ability to handle automatic spending cuts set forth in the sequester.
Senators unanimously approved the "Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013" — a patch to fix the deep cuts that have furloughed air traffic controllers and delayed flights across the country.

The bill gives the FAA authority to spend up to $253 million of money already in the FAA's budget — but not allocated to pay for other things -- to keep employees on the job and make sure more flights a on time.

It was passed by unanimous consent, which means no senator objected.

The House could take the bill up tomorrow and pass it with 2/3 support of that chamber.

All of this was a last minute scramble to avert a crisis that was becoming more and more politically problematic by the day.  NBC News has more here.


Congress To Begin Immigration Reform Debate in May - The House will take a piecemeal approach toward immigration next month, just as the Senate begins the formal process of tweaking its carefully-crafted comprehensive reform proposal beginning May 9.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told reporters that his panel would begin working on a "step-by-step" process to move separate bills dealing with different elements of the nation's immigration system.

But that process is unlikely to include a measure giving undocumented immigrants a pathway to U.S. citizenship, a sticking point that has scuttled past efforts to overhaul immigration laws.

"I prefer not to see a special pathway to citizenship, but a status that we're to give them, some kind of legal status, that is certainly something that we should consider," Goodlatte told reporters. has more here. 


Rehberg To Face Schweitzer in Montana Senate Race? - Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) announced this week that he will not seek re-election in 2014, opening a race that was already being eyed by the GOP. Rehberg, who lost to Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) last year, said in a statement to the Associated Press that he's been encouraged to consider running in the race.

"As to what the future holds, ever since Max announced his retirement two days ago my phone has been ringing off the hook. The encouragement I've been getting from Montanans to take a serious look at this race has been overwhelming," Rehberg said in the statement. "I owe it to them, and to all the folks who I've served over the years, to keep listening and see how things develop. I'm not ruling anything out at this point."

Popular former Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) said earlier this week that he isn't ruling out a run in the race either. has more here.


House Democrats Plan For Gains in 2014 - Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel penned a Thursday memo to the caucus boasting about their edge in recruitment and fundraising for 2014.
According to a copy of the memo obtained by CQ Roll Call, the New York Democrat outlines section-by-section how, in his view, House Democrats are on track to make gains in 2014.
“We are ahead-of-schedule on recruitment, ahead-of-expectations on fundraising, and ahead-of-the-curve on defining the Republican Congress,” Israel wrote of his second cycle leading the DCCC.

In early April, a handful of Democratic challengers jumped into races across the country. March proved to be a historically successful fundraising month for the committee.

The DCCC’s financial advantage at this point in the cycle cannot be disputed. But National Republican Congressional Committee aides scoff at the Democrats’ strategy to tout recruits so early in the cycle. has more here.

South Korea Pulls Citizens From Joint Plant - Troubled relations between North and South Korea suffered a fresh blow Friday after Seoul decided to withdraw all its remaining citizens from the manufacturing zone jointly operated by the two.

The televised announcement by South Korean Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae followed North Korea's dismissal of a request for talks about the deteriorating situation at Kaesong Industrial Complex.

Pyongyang halted activity at the complex this month amid heightened tensions in the region.

The South Koreans' imminent departure bodes ill for the future of the zone, the last major symbol of cooperation between the two countries. It had continued to operate throughout previous inter-Korean tensions during the past eight years. has more here.


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