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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Two-Thirds Disapprove of Way Republicans in Congress are Handling Federal Spending - For the past several years, congressional Republicans have focused relentlessly on a single message: Washington — led by President Obama — is spending too much money, and it needs to stop.
But according to new Washington Post-ABC News polling, that laser-like focus isn’t helping Republicans win the argument over federal spending — with 67 percent of those tested disapproving of the “way Republicans in Congress are handling federal spending.” has more here.


Obama To Meet With Congressional Leaders on Friday - After weeks of argument over the sequester, bipartisan congressional leaders will meet with the president at the White House on Friday -- the same day that automatic federal spending cuts are scheduled to go into effect.

President Barack Obama will meet with House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to discuss the across-the-board budget reductions to federal agencies, aides told NBC News. has more here.


Senators McCain, Graham Optimistic on Immigration Bill After Meeting with Obama -President Obama understands Republican concerns about the need to link improved border security to changes in immigration law, two key Republicans involved in the effort said Tuesday after a White House meeting with Obama.

Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and (S.C.) said they covered a variety of topics in the unusual meeting with Obama, including a robust discussion of how to reshape the nation’s immigration laws.

The GOP duo — members of a bipartisan group of eight senators working to write an immigration bill for introduction in March — emerged with strong praise for Obama’s leadership and optimism for the fate of the effort.

“It was one of the best meetings I’ve ever had with the president,” Graham said. “I think the president’s very sincere in wanting a bill and wanted to know what he could do to help.”  The Washington Post has more here.


Hagel Sworn In as Defense Secretary - Chuck Hagel was sworn in as Defense secretary on Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after he was confirmed by the Senate.

The Pentagon's Director of Administration and Management Michael Rhodes administered the oath for Hagel in a private ceremony.

Hagel addressed DOD employees and service members later this morning from the Pentagon, after meeting with senior staff and military leaders. has more here.


Kelly Win in Illinois Special Election a Boost for Gun Control Advocates - A multimillion-dollar ad blitz by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to stop an NRA-backed House candidate in Illinois paid off Tuesday night, as local official Robin Kelly crushed more than a dozen Democratic candidates vying to replace disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Bloomberg and gun control proponents seized on the results as evidence of momentum in their push to enact President Barack Obama’s gun control package. The mayor will take that message to Washington Wednesday in meetings with Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), according to Bloomberg’s public schedule. has more here.


lran and Six Nations Agree To Continue Nuclear Talks - Two days of talks between six world powers and Iran over its nuclear program ended on Wednesday with specific agreement for further meetings in March and April over a proposal that would sharply constrain Iran’s stockpile of the most dangerous enriched uranium in return for a modest lifting of some sanctions.

But senior Western diplomats were less enthusiastic, saying that Iran had not in fact responded to the proposal of the six and that real bargaining had not yet begun. A senior American official described the meeting as “useful” — refusing to call it positive — and emphasized that it was “concrete results” that counted, not atmospherics. The NY Times has more here.


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