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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

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Obama To Visit Boston Thursday - President Barack Obama will travel to Boston on Thursday to speak at an interfaith service dedicated to those injured or killed in the terrorist attack against the one of the city's most beloved events.
His trip to Massachusetts comes as investigators continue to sort through evidence from the dual blasts near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. His schedule had previously called only for unspecified meetings at the White House. You can read more here.

Update on Boston Marathon Bombing - On Wednesday morning, a federal law enforcement source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation told CNN's Fran Townsend that a lid to a pressure cooker thought to have been used in the bombings had been found on a roof of a building at the scene.

While such clues move the investigation forward, even for seasoned investigators, the theories run the gamut on whether Monday's attack was an act of domestic or foreign terrorism. has more here.


Senate To Vote On Gun Background Checks Today - The Senate is set to vote on the Manchin-Toomey background check legislation Wednesday around 4 P.M., according to a Democratic leadership aide -- a moment of truth for the centerpiece of Congress's efforts to curb gun violence.
As of Tuesday it remained unclear whether the Manchin-Toomey measure had the necessary 60 votes to pass. Democrats have been considering new carve-outs in an effort to win over skeptical conservative senators.

As of roughly 6:00 P.M. Tuesday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) told TPM they were working hard to secure the votes but appeared less than certain the bill would pass.

It's the first of nine amendments that Democratic and Republican leaders agreed to hold votes on as part of the gun legislation filed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Other amendments include a Democratic bill to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, and a GOP measure to ensure that a concealed carry permit obtained in one state applies to all states. has more here.


Tea Party Fizzles After 4 Years - When the Tea Party movement made its official debut on April 15, 2009, it made quite a political splash with events across the country protesting President Obama's policies on that Tax Day.
Four years later, that splash looks more like pebble thrown into a pond.
Yesterday, Tea Party groups held events tied to this year’s Tax Day. The group FreedomWorks, for example, organized an "action day" at the U.S. Capitol (which took place before the Boston bombings).

But judged by its sparse attendance -- dozens, not thousands, attended the FreedomWorks rally -- the Tea Party is no longer a national force shaking American politics, although it has continued to influence today's Republican Party.  NBC News has more here.


Letter To Senator Wicker Contained Racin - Federal officials said a letter addressed to a U.S. senator was discovered to contain a potential poison. It was intercepted at an off-site facility in Landover where congressional mail has been examined before delivery since anthrax-laced letters were sent to Capitol Hill in 2001.

The letter was addressed to Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and initially tested positive for ricin, but officials familiar with the case said it was undergoing further testing late Tuesday. The officials gave no indication why the letter was sent to the second-term senator.  The Washington Post has more here.


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