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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Obama to Regulate Emissions from Power Plants - President Obama is preparing regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, senior officials said Wednesday. The move would be the most consequential climate policy step he could take and one likely to provoke legal challenges from Republicans and some industries.

Electric power plants are the largest single source of global warming pollution in the country, responsible for nearly 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. With sweeping climate legislation effectively dead in Congress, the decision on existing power plants — which a 2007 Supreme Court decision gave to the executive branch — has been among the most closely watched of Mr. Obama’s second term. The NY Times has more here.


FBI Director Robert Mueller
FBI Uses Drones in U.S. - The United States uses drones for surveillance in some limited law enforcement situations, FBI Director Robert Mueller said on Wednesday, sparking additional debate about President Barack Obama's use of domestic surveillance.

The acknowledgement came in response to questions from U.S. senators who said they wanted to know more about the federal government's increasing use of unmanned aircraft.

"Does the FBI use drones for surveillance on U.S. soil?" Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa asked during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

"Yes," Mueller said, adding that the use was in "a very, very minimal way and very seldom." has more here.


$7 Billion in Equipment to Be Scrapped By Military in Afghanistan - Facing a tight withdrawal deadline and tough terrain, the U.S. military has destroyed more than 170 million pounds worth of vehicles and other military equipment as it rushes to wind down its role in the Afghanistan war by the end of 2014.
The massive disposal effort, which U.S. military officials call unprecedented, has unfolded largely out of sight amid an ongoing debate inside the Pentagon about what to do with the heaps of equipment that won’t be returning home. Military planners have determined that they will not ship back more than $7 billion worth of equipment — about 20 percent of what the U.S. military has in Afghanistan — because it is no longer needed or would be too costly to ship back home. The Washington Post has more here.


Democratic Campaign Committess Raise Millions in May - The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee vacuumed up $4.9 million in contributions last month, party officials said, bringing the committee’s total fundraising for the 2014 cycle to an imposing $22.2 million.

DSCC officials called that monthly fundraising figure the best ever for the May of an off-year, and said the committee had “nearly $10 million on hand” at the month’s end.

The DSCC has outperformed its GOP counterpart, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, so far in 2013. Senate Democrats raised just over $17.2 million during the first four months of the year, while the NRSC took in $10.4 million, according to Federal Election Commission filings. has more here.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raked in $6.1 million in the month of May, Roll Call reported Thursday.

Citing a committee aide, Roll Call noted that the latest haul helped the DCCC finish last month with $11 million in the bank and $2.1 million in debt. The May total was $700,000 more than the DCCC raised in April.

President Barack Obama headlined a number of fundraisers last month for both the DCCC and the Democratic National Committee.


Senators Near Agreement on Border Security - A bipartisan group of senators are expected to announce they have reached an agreement to strengthen border security in the Senate's immigration bill, a breakthrough that could pave the way for a significant number of GOP senators to support the comprehensive legislation.

Senate aides from both parties tell NBC News that the agreement would double the size of the border patrol and require 700 miles of border fencing. The group has also compromised on a serious of other issues, including the E-Verify program for businesses and benefits. has more here.


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