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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

House To Vote on Syria Strike the Week of Sept. 9 - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued a joint statement with other Republican leaders Saturday announcing that the House would vote on a measure approving military intervention in Syria once it returns from recess during the week of Sept. 9.
“Under the Constitution, the responsibility to declare war lies with Congress," the leaders said in a statement. "We are glad the president is seeking authorization for any military action in Syria in response to serious, substantive questions being raised. In consultation with the president, we expect the House to consider a measure the week of September 9th. This provides the president time to make his case to Congress and the American people.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is considering recalling the upper chamber for a vote early, however. has more here.

Kerry Says Sarin Gas Used in Syrian Attack - Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Sunday that fresh laboratory tests show that Sarin nerve gas was used in an Aug. 21 attack in Syria that killed more than 1,400 people, the first time that U.S. officials have pinpointed what kind of chemical weapon was used.

In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Kerry said blood and hair samples from emergency workers in east Damascus had tested positive for Sarin, a highly toxic nerve agent. He said that U.S. officials learned of the lab results in the past 24 hours, citing the evidence as yet another reason for Congress to pass President Obama’s request to authorize the use of military force against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Washington Post has more here.


Affordable Care Act Insurance Marketplaces to Open Oct. 1 - The law’s new insurance marketplaces are scheduled to open for enrollment on Oct. 1, and supporters are ramping up a major education and outreach campaign as the date draws nearer.

The success or failure of the healthcare law doesn’t hinge entirely on Oct. 1, which falls on a Tuesday when Congress will be in session. But it’s nevertheless a critical date in the implementation effort, and will mark the public's first real look at the centerpiece of a law that has dominated domestic politics for years.

The White House has two big tasks over the next month: Make sure the new marketplaces are ready for prime time; and get people interested in signing up for coverage.

The public-relations push will get a big jolt this week from former President Clinton, who is scheduled to give a speech Wednesday making the case for the new law. has more here.

Mandela Released From Hospital - Nelson Mandela has been discharged from the Pretoria hospital where he had been receiving treatment since June, the South African president's office said Sunday.

He will continue his recovery at home.
"Madiba's condition remains critical and is at times unstable," President Jacob Zuma's office said, referring to the revered leader's clan name. "Nevertheless, his team of doctors are convinced that he will receive the same level of intensive care at his Houghton home that he received in Pretoria." has more here.
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