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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Biden to Lead Effort To Stem Gun Violence - President Obama has named Vice President Joe Biden to head a commission to make recommendations on legislation aimed to stem gun violence. has more here.


Obama's Offer Narrows Gap on "Fiscal Cliff" - the latest offer from President Obama to reduce increased tax revenue from $1.6 trillion to $1.2 trillion, limit tax increases to those earning more than $400,000, $1 trillion in entitlement cuts and make adjustments on rate increases to social security moves the country closer to a deal.

However, House Speaker John Boehner this morning said, it is not enough and they are working on a plab "B" to avoid taxes going up for everyone as of January 1.  Republicans are likley to introduce legislation to allow all current tax rates for those earning up to $1 million to stay the same.

The Senate has alreday passed legislation to allow tax rates to stay the same for all except the upper 2% of wage earners making over $250,000.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calf.) has tried to get the same bill to the floor of the House for a vote. has an update here.


74% Approve of Tax Rate Increase on Those Earning More than $250,000 - the Wsahington Post/ABC News poll also shows Americans oppose slashing spending on Medicaid and the military, as well as raising the age for Medicare eligibility and slowing the increase of Social Security benefits.  The Washington Post has more here.


Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) Dies at Age 88 - The long-time senator had been hospitalized since early December because of respiratory problems. Inouye had served in the Senate since 1963 and represented Hawaii since 1954, serving as the Aloha State’s first congressman beginning in 1959. He served as the Senate pro tempore — the designation for the chamber’s longest-serving Senator — and the person third in line to the presidency. He also chaired the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee at the time of his death. You can read more here.

In a letter delivered just hours before his death, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii, wrote to Gov. Neil Abercrombie asking him to appoint Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to succeed him. has more here.

 Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was selected this morning to be president pro tempore of the Senate.  The position traditionally goes to the longest serving member of the Senate. Leahy is the body's most senior member, having served since 1975.


Independent Commission Submits Benghazi Report - the classified report will be delivered to Congress today.  The House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations committees will hear open testimony on the report on Thursday from William Burns and Thomas Nides, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's two main deputies.

An unclassified version of the report is expected to be released to the public after board chairman Thomas Pickering, a former ambassador, and Adm. Mike Mullen, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appear at Wednesday's hearings. 


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