CONGRESS: Return of the Maverick

The Arizona Republic on Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) “settling into an influential role as a Senate power broker and bipartisan coalition builder who has the ear of President Barack Obama.”

“The contentious immigration reform debate in Washington has produced a steady stream of familiar faces — Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) or President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) — making familiar arguments. But among a huge segment of Latinos who get their news from Spanish-language media, Gutierrez (D-Ill.) is the face, the voice and the political force behind immigration reform, and has been for years,” The Washington Post reports.

“Democratic U.S. Reps. Lois Frankel, Patrick Murphy and Joe Garcia of Florida are in Israel for the week along with more than 30 other Democratic House members — trips paid for by an arm of a powerful lobbying group. Next week, freshmen Republicans head off on the same trip, paid for by the American Israel Education Foundation, which Frankel in a news release described as an “independent, nonprofit charitable organization.” It is, in fact, an offshoot of the lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which gets around restrictions on privately paid travel by using the educational arm, an arrangement government watchdogs have criticized. One of the big AIEF boosters: billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who poured millions into campaigns to defeat President Barack Obama last year,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.