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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Obama sends Kerry to Russia, considers providing lethal arms to Syrian rebels - President Obama is preparing to send lethal weaponry to the Syrian opposition and has taken steps to assert more aggressive U.S. leadership among allies and partners seeking the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad, according to senior administration officials.
The officials said they are moving toward the shipment of arms but emphasized that they are still pursuing political negotiation. To that end, the administration has launched an effort to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin that the probable use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government — and the more direct outside intervention that could provoke — should lead him to reconsider his support of Assad.  The Washington Post has more here.


Obama to nominate Wheeler for FCC - President Barack Obama will nominate venture capitalist Tom Wheeler to head the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday, a White House official told POLITICO.
Pending confirmation, the agency’s soon-to-be senior Democrat, Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, will serve as its acting leader, the official added. 


No end in sight for Fed stimulus to end - At a two-day meeting that wraps up on Wednesday, the Fed is widely expected to maintain its monthly purchases of $85 billion in bonds to support an economic recovery that is nearly four years old but still too weak for the job market to truly heal.

With the central bank's favored inflation gauge slipping and employment growth faltering, Fed officials could again find themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to shift from talk of curbing stimulus to the possibility of doing more. has more here.


Markey to face Gomez in Massachusetts senate race - The race to fill John Kerry's Massachusetts Senate seat is now set with Republican businessman and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez and long-time Democratic Congressman Edward Markey coming out victorious in primaries on Tuesday.

Markey, who has served in the U.S. House since 1976, defeated fellow U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch after an early endorsement from Kerry who vacated the seat to serve as U.S. secretary of state.

Markey will probably enjoy frontrunner status in the traditionally blue state, but at his victory rally Tuesday night, he and Sen. Elizabeth Warren warned supporters not to take anything for granted.  NBC News has more here.


48% want one party to control White House, Congress - A national poll from Quinnipiac University released Wednesday suggested that Americans have had their fill of divided government.
In what might be a hopeful (albeit early) sign for a Democratic Party eager to win back control of the House of Representatives next year, the poll showed that 48 percent of voters nationwide would like one party to control both houses of Congress and the White House. Forty-three percent said they would prefer Congress and the president to be from two different parties.

A wide majority of Democrats — 64 percent — said they would prefer one-party control, while half of Republicans would rather see split-control.

The poll also found that Democrats claim a slight edge over Republicans heading into next year's Congressional races. Eighteen months out from the 2014 midterms, 41 percent of voters said they would vote for a Democrat for Congress compared with 37 percent who said they would vote for a Republican. has more here.


FDA approves "morning after pill' for women 15 and up - The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that the contraceptive known as Plan B should be available without a prescription for all women 15 and older.

The move is sure to stir controversy among social conservatives, some of whom view Plan B as a form of abortion. Unlike other forms of birth control, Plan B is intended for use after sex, rather than before. has more here.


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