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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Obama Statement on Senate Action on Stalled Nominees - I’m pleased that the Senate took action today to move forward on the nominees who have waited far too long for a vote. Over the last two years, I’ve nominated leaders to fill important positions required to do the work of the American people, only to have those positions remain unfilled – not because the nominees were somehow unqualified, but for purely political reasons. I want to thank the Senators from both parties – including Leader Reid, Leader McConnell and Senator McCain – who have worked together to find a path forward and give these nominees the votes they deserve. In the weeks ahead, I hope the Congress will build on this spirit of cooperation to advance other urgent middle-class priorities, including the need to take action to pass commonsense immigration reform and keep interest rates on student loans low for families trying to afford a higher education.


Senate Reaches Deal, Avoids Filibuster Reform Vote - Senate leaders on Tuesday averted the “nuclear option” and threats of a Republican shutdown of the upper chamber by striking a major deal on executive branch nominees at the eleventh hour.
The agreement gives Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) a major political victory. As a result, Democrats will gain a Senate-confirmed director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and a fully functioning National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), two agencies despised by many Republicans.

As part of the agreement, Obama will withdraw two nominees to the NLRB, Sharon Block and Richard Griffin Jr., whom he put on the agency with recess appointments in January of last year. But Republicans have agreed to hold votes on two replacement nominees before the August recess. has more here.


Liz Cheney To Run for U.S. Senate in Wyoming - Republican Liz Cheney, the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, will challenge Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) in 2014, she announced Tuesday, a move that appeared to irk the senator, who announced on the same day that he is running for reelection.
“I am running because I believe it is necessary for a new generation of leaders to step up to the plate,” Cheney said in a nearly six-minute Web video announcing her candidacy. In the video, Cheney sharply criticized the Obama administration, arguing that the ”federal government has grown far beyond anything the pioneers of our great state ever could have imagined or would have tolerated.”

Obama, she said, “has launched a war on our Second Amendment rights, he’s launched a war on our religious freedom, he’s used the IRS to launch a war on our freedom of speech, and he’s used the EPA to launch a war on Wyoming’s ranchers, our farmers and our energy industry.” The Washington Post has more here.


Markets Brace for Bernanke - Stock markets were set for a cautious start Wednesday as investors wait for further comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke.

Bernanke is back in the spotlight Wednesday as he prepares to deliver his semi-annual testimony on monetary policy before the House Financial Services Committee at 10 a.m. ET.
Many are expecting Bernanke to repeat recent remarks, gently explaining that the central bank might begin pulling back on its massive bond-buying program later this year if the U.S. economy continues to improve. has more here. 


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