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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Obama To Meet Today with Sens. McCain and Schumer on Immigration Reform - President Barack Obama on Thursday will welcome Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to the Oval Office to discuss immigration reform, the White House said. The meeting will be held at 10:15 a.m. ET.
As two members of the so-called Gang of Eight, McCain and Schumer have taken a leading role in the effort to overhaul the nation's immigration system, and the meeting may be a sign that Obama will indeed ramp up his own efforts to build support for reform.

On Wednesday, Obama discussed immigration reform with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. According to those who attended the meeting, the President said he is considering taking a more public role in the debate over immigration reform. has more here.


D.C. Council Approves "Living Wage" Bill - D.C. lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to a bill requiring some large retailers to pay their employees a 50 percent premium over the city’s minimum wage, a day after Wal-Mart warned that the law would jeopardize its plans in the city.

The retail giant had linked the future of at least three planned stores in the District to the proposal. But its ultimatum did not change any legislators’ minds. The 8 to 5 roll call matched the outcome of an earlier vote on the matter, taken before Wal-Mart’s warning.

“The question here is a living wage; it’s not whether Wal-Mart comes or stays,” said council member Vincent B. Orange (D-At Large), a lead backer of the legislation, who added that the city did not need to kowtow to threats. “We’re at a point where we don’t need retailers. Retailers need us.”  The Washington Post has more here.


House Republicans Force Vote on Split Farm Bill - The House will vote Thursday on a split farm bill containing updated subsidies for farmers but lacking a reauthorization of the food stamp program.

The effort to split the bill emerged after a united farm bill failed on the House floor last month on a 195 to 234 vote when liberals balked at the $20.5 billion in food stamp cuts in the bill and conservatives voted “no” because they wanted more.

Despite the Lucas efforts, it appears that the GOP will have little, if any, support from Democrats in passing the split farm bill. The White House late Wednesday threatened to veto the measure. has more here.


CBC To Launch Obamacare Tour - Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius won’t be alone when she’s on the road pitching Obamacare this summer.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are planning an eight-city tour of their own to “ensure communities are equipped with the information they need” to access health insurance exchanges and understand the impact of the health law. It’s not about the politics but about getting community members the facts they need, they say.

The Making Good Health My Reality tour, sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, kicks off on July 20 in the Virgin Islands district of Del. Donna Christensen. Other stops on the tour include Chicago; Oakland; Miami; Dallas; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Las Vegas; and Baltimore. At each one, local lawmakers and members of the caucus intend to discuss new health coverage options available under the health law with constituents. Each stop is in a predominantly minority district — and it’s minority communities that disproportionately lack health insurance. has more here.


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