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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Bachmann won't seek re-election - Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), a leading figure within the tea party movement and a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, announced in a video message released Wednesday on her website that she will not seek re-election next year.
Bachmann, who was set for another re-match against Democratic hotel magnate Jim Graves in 2014, insisted that the decision had nothing to do with her electoral prospects. She narrowly defeated Graves last year and, facing a number of campaign finance investigations into her presidential bid, was considered potentially vulnerable. Bachmann also denied that the campaign finance probes played any role in her decision. has more here.


Republicans object to Obama nomination of 3 Judges - President Obama is seeking to retake the political offensive by launching a new battle that seeks to highlight Republican “obstructionism.”

Republicans view the president’s decision to nominate three more judges to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the second most powerful court in the nation, as deliberately provocative after they unanimously approved one of his nominees to the court last week.

GOP senators made it clear in the lead-up to last week’s 97-0 vote on Sri Srinivasan that they will balk at confirming additional judges to the court because of what they characterized its light caseload.

The new nominees, who have yet to be named, could decide the fate of Obama’s two biggest legislative accomplishments — the 2010 Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act — which fall under the D.C. Circuit’s jurisdiction. The court is also expected to handle Obama’s anticipated attempt to combat climate change through regulations, which will attract a slew of legal challenges. has more here.


Obama endorses Markey in close Massachusetts senate race - President Barack Obama on Tuesday endorsed Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., with just four weeks left in the increasingly competitive special election for Senate.
The decision to back a member of his own party is no surprise. Obama remains a popular figure in the Bay State after winning it last year with 61 percent of the vote. Markey hopes to build a similar coalition of voters in his race against Republican Gabriel Gomez.

“Ed Markey is a passionate and effective champion for middle class and working families, and we need him in the Senate to keep moving our country forward,” Obama said in a statement.

Obama praised Markey’s record of helping businesses create jobs, his work on fuel economy standards and the longtime congressman’s position on gun control. In the race to fill the remaining 18 months of former Sen. John Kerry’s term, Obama said, “Markey will continue that great tradition” of Massachusetts senators.

The special election will take place June 25. has more here.


Obama in Chicago for DCCC fundraisers - President Barack Obama on Wednesday will travel to Chicago where he will headline a pair of fundraisers for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the White House announced. He is expected to arrive in the Windy City at 5:00 p.m. CST.
Obama has participated in Democratic fundraisers in San Francisco and New York City already this year.

59% Support funds for disasters without spending cuts to other areas - Nearly six in 10 Americans believe that the federal government should provide funds to states affected by natural disasters without having to cut spending in other areas to do so, according to a new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll.
Fifty-nine percent of all respondents say federal emergency aid need not be offset by cuts in other parts of the budget — a number that includes a majority (52 percent) of self-identified Republicans as well as nearly seven in 10 Democrats.  The Washington Post has more here.


Issa issues subpoena for Benghazi documents - House Republicans accused the Obama administration of withholding information about its initial response to last year's terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, and issued a subpoena on Tuesday seeking additional information.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wrote Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday to notify him of the subpoena, which seeks "all documents and communications" among a handful of State Department officials regarding the crafting of the department's public explanation for the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi.

The subpoena is another step in Republicans' long journey to unearth more details about the Benghazi response, which they have used to politically ding President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Obama has dismissed much of the Benghazi uproar as a politically-motivated fishing expedition, though his administration did disclose 100 pages worth of copies of emails earlier this month documenting how talking points regarding Benghazi were developed in the immediate aftermath of the attack.  NBC News has the letter here.


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