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Monday, July 22, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Obama To Speak at OFA Event Tonight - President Barack Obama on Monday night is schedulted to speak and answer questions at an event for "Organizing for Action," the nonprofit group born from his campaign organization. Obama is slated to begin at 8:10 p.m. ET. The event will be held at Mandarin Oriental Hotel-Oriental Ballroom in Washington, D.C. has more here.


City Retirees Fear Detroit Bankruptcy Filing - Soon after Detroit emergency manager Kevyn D. Orr and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) approved a bankruptcy filing Thursday, groups representing the 20,000 retirees reliant on city pensions successfully petitioned a county court to effectively freeze the bankruptcy process.

Now, city and state officials, who say the court ruling will not affect their plans, are asking a federal judge to hold hearings early this week to validate the bankruptcy and move forward with a strategy for Detroit to discharge much of its estimated $19 billion debt.

But the prospect of cuts has sent a deep wave of fear over Detroit’s retirees, who like many in the city are skeptical of Orr, a corporate lawyer who previously worked in the District, and Snyder, a Republican unpopular in this deeply Democratic city.

“It’s been a nightmare for all of us,” said Shirley Lightsey, president of the Detroit Retired City Employees Association. “We don’t have that many people with pensions big enough for anything to be taken away from them.”  The Washington Post has more here.


Obama To Begin Series of Economic Speeches - President Obama will deliver the first in a series of economic speeches Wednesday aimed at gaining the upper hand in this fall’s looming budget showdown with Congress.
Obama will speak at Knox College in Illinois, the same location where he first outlined his economic vision as a Senate candidate in 2005.

Senior Obama adviser Dan Pfeffier told reporters in an email Sunday that Obama wants to steer Congress away from “phony scandals” and to prioritize economic benefits for the middle class in the looming budget wars.

Congress is deeply divided over whether to leave $109 billion in annual automatic budget cuts in place and will have to find a way to resolve their differences to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1.

Lawmakers will also have to find a way to raise the $16.4 trillion debt limit by November at the latest. Obama wants a clean increase but Republicans are demanding more spending cuts in exchange for raising it. has more here.


Restart of Palestine-Israel Peace Talks Remains Hopeful - The Palestinians played down on Monday the significance of an imminent meeting in Washington of their top peace envoy with his Israeli counterpart, saying formal negotiation would not begin unless their opening terms were satisfied.

The Palestinian position seemed to run counter to U.S. hopes that bringing together Saeb Erekat and Israel's Tzipi Livni in the coming days would kick-start peacemaking stalled for almost three years over Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

In another setback to the negotiators' meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu planned first to seek cabinet-level approval for the prospective new talks, which were announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday. has more here.


Poll Shows Enzi Leading Cheney 55% to 21% - A new poll shows Sen. Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., with a considerable lead over his primary opponent, just days after Liz Cheney announced she would challenge him.

Enzi led Cheney, 55 percent to 21 percent, in a survey from Harper Polling, a Republican firm.
Earlier this week Cheney, who is daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, announced she would challenge the three-term Republican.

Enzi also had a high favorability rating of 74 percent in the poll. Cheney had a 45 percent favorability rating.

The poll surveyed 422 likely GOP primary voters via live operator calls on July 17 and 18, and has a margin of error of 4.77 points.

The Wyoming Senate seat is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. has more here.


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