National Journal: “By going after one GOP ‘faction’ and appealing to the other, Obama is seeking leverage in a tactical dispute that has vexed Republicans all summer. … In seeking to further divide the camps, Obama is hoping to avert a government shutdown while also achieving some Democratic policy aims, such as rollbacks of the sequester-induced spending cuts that Obama on Monday said were hurting economic growth.”
The conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board has some tough words for Republicans who want to bring the government to the brink of a shutdown over Obamacare funding. "Some Republicans think they are sure to hold the House in 2014 no matter what happens because of gerrymandering, but even those levees won't hold if there's a wave of revulsion against the GOP. Marginal seats still matter for controlling Congress. The kamikazes could end up ensuring the return of all-Democratic rule."
Politico: “House GOP leadership’s decision last week to back away from a continuing resolution from the floor amid Republican opposition raises the possibility that Speaker John Boehner might ultimately have to call on Democrats to avoid a government shutdown. He has relied on the minority before, most notably during the fiscal cliff deal that raised taxes on top earners earlier this year. But Democrats aren’t willing to just go along. For one, they’re looking to use the budget showdown as another opportunity to paint the GOP as a party beholden to extremists.”
And: “They’re also looking to advance policy goals of their own. Some Democrats think that attaching the Senate’s immigration bill to the CR would effectively counter the GOP effort to use the CR as a mechanism to force the Democratic-controlled Senate to vote on defunding Obamacare.”
The Hill: “Democrats’ patience on immigration reform is wearing thin. President Obama, congressional Democrats and activists have given Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) some room to maneuver on the thorny issue, but they are now saying that the clock is ticking. … The soft-sell approach, however, has yielded few tangible results — and Schumer’s allies are growing restless. Some outside groups think Senate Democrats should become more aggressive if there continues to be little movement.”
When you see phrases like “the largest overhaul of federal sentencing guidelines” and tea party conservatives and liberal Democrats working together on something, it’s a story… “The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing this week on minimum sentences. The committee is considering two bills, each sponsored by a liberal Democrat and a tea party Republican, which would allow judges to waive mandatory minimum sentences in many circumstances, particularly for some drug crimes. Wednesday’s hearing is the first step in legislation that advocates and lawmakers in both parties say stands a chance of winning enactment by the end of the year,” AP writes. “Attorney General Eric Holder has shown interest in working with Congress to make permanent changes in sentencing laws. Holder last month instructed federal prosecutors to stop charging nonviolent drug offenders with crimes that carry mandatory minimum sentences.” AP says it would be “the largest overhaul of federal sentencing guidelines yet.”
First published September 17 2013, 6:06 AM