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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Budget Battles Begin Anew - Yesterday, President Obama asked Congress to extend the date of the scheduled sequester cuts to the end of the fiscal year.

Today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told reporters that it's time for lawmakers in Washington to act on spending cuts.
"At some point Washington has to deal with its spending problem," Boehner said. "I've watched them take this can down the road for 20 years since I've been here. I've had enough of it. It's time to act."


Members of Congress Question Obama's Drone Policy - Lawmakers squared off with the Obama administration Tuesday after the inadvertent leak of a sensitive Justice Department memorandum defending the White House's right to order armed drone strikes potentially against U.S. citizens.

"[The] analysis is now public and the American people can review and judge the legality of these operations ... [but] the committee continues to seek the actual legal opinions by the Department of Justice that provide details not outlined in this particular white paper," Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) said in a statement Tuesday.

A bipartisan group of 11 senators, including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), sent a letter to the White House also requesting more information on targeted drone operations overseas, according to recent reports. has more here. 


55% Support Pathway to Citizenship - The Washington Post/ABC News poll shows increasing support for the push for comprehensive immigration reform put forth by President Obama.  You can read more details of the poll here.


Obama Nominates Sally Jewell for Secretary of Interior - President Obama on Wednesday will nominate Recreational Equipment (REI) chief executive Sally Jewell to head the Interior Department.

Jewell, who is being nominated to succeed Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, would take over at a time when many conservationists are pressing Obama to take bolder action on land conservation.

Obama had received some criticism for the lack of women in his cabinet.  The Washington Post has more here.


Obama To Visit Israel - President Obama will visit Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan this spring, the White House announced Tuesday.It will be his first trip to Israel as president. Republicans have been hotly critical of Obama for not having visited before now.
The planned trip came after a Jan. 28 talk with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House said.

"The start of the president's second term and the formation of a new Israeli government offer the opportunity to reaffirm the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel and to discuss the way forward on a broad range of issues of mutual concern, including Iran and Syria," National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement.  NBC News has more here. 


Postal Service To End Saturday Mail Delivery - The U.S. Postal Service will stop delivering mail on Saturdays in an effort to cut costs for the financially struggling government agency, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

USPS will save $2 billion annually and will begin the cut in August. Package delivery will continue. has more here.


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