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Friday, May 17, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Obama in Baltimore today - President Barack Obama on Friday will give remarks in Baltimore as part of what the White House describes as his "Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour."
While in Baltimore, Obama will visit a local elementary school that "provides comprehensive early childhood services," according to the White House. The President will also visit Ellicott Dredges, a company that manufactures dredges and dredge equipment.

Obama's speech is scheduled to begin at 1:20 p.m. ET. has more here. 


Obama appoints Werfel as IRS commissioner - President Obama on Thursday appointed Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Controller Danny Werfel as acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.

Steven Miller, the acting IRS commissioner, stepped down on Wednesday amid a growing scandal after it was discovered that the IRS targeted conservative groups based on their politics.

Over the last year at OMB, Werfel, who also worked at OMB under President George W. Bush's administration, has been charged with planning out how the sequester would be implemented. has more here.


Obama appoints Giffords to Fulbright Scholarship Board - Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will be joining the State Department board charged with awarding Fulbright Scholarships to study abroad, the White House has announced.
Obama appointed Giffords, who studied as a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico from 1993 to 1994, to join the bipartisan 12-member board. Other board members include professors, university presidents and a former ambassador, as well as former Bush and Reagan administration official Anita McBride and former Hillary Clinton aide Lisa Caputo.

The prestigious program, named after longtime Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, awards more than 8,000 grants each year. has more here.


Immigration deal reached "in principle" by House group - A bipartisan House group says it has reached a deal in principle on its version of comprehensive immigration reform.
"The bipartisan group working on #immigration in House has made a deal in principle" Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart tweeted late Thursday after the eight members met.

That's good news for immigration advocates, who feared that the years-long work of the House group would break apart over disputes involving the parameters of a mandatory E-Verify system and other issues. While the Senate Gang of Eight bill remains the more high-profile template for final immigration legislation, a breakdown in House negotiations wouldn't have been a positive sign for the progress of compromise immigration measures in the House.

Things didn't look good earlier this week, with one Republican in the group saying he was likely to leave if a resolution wasn't reached.  FirstRead has more here.


Obama: U.S. and Russia should arrange peace conference on Syria - President Barack Obama said on Thursday he reserved the right to resort to both diplomatic and military options to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but insisted that U.S. action alone would not be enough to resolve the Syrian crisis.

Taking a cautious line at a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, Obama voiced hope that the United States and Russia would succeed in arranging an international peace conference on Syria, despite signs of growing obstacles. has more here.


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