Obama to rally his troops on Capitol Hill… Meets with House Dems at 10:10 am ET and with Senate Dems at 11:25 am… White House’s offer yesterday to GOP lands with a thud… Weiner campaign spirals out of control… McCain’s day at the AFL-CIO… Union opposes DREAM Act legislation House GOP is crafting… McConnell has yet to weigh in on Obamacare funding debate… And an EIGHTH woman alleges harassment by Filner.
*** Obama to rally his troops on Capitol Hill: Days before Congress departs Washington for its month-long recess, President Obama heads to Capitol Hill to discuss strategy and his agenda with Democratic lawmakers. He meets with the House Democratic caucus at 10:10 am ET, and with Senate Democrats at 11:25 am. Per the White House, Obama is set to talk about the corporate-tax-cut deal he offered to Republicans yesterday (more on that below), his plan to continue speaking on the economy throughout August, immigration, and implementation of the health-care law. We’ve mentioned that Democrats appear to have a unified short-term strategy in preparation for the upcoming fight over the budget and debt limit (its gist: stay focused on the economy and middle class, appear to reach out to the other side), while Republicans right now are divided (over whether to defund Obamacare). But when you talk to Democrats, they also admit there isn’t a long-term plan or strategy to resolve the thorny issues about the sequester, funding the government, and the debt ceiling. So they’re unified on message, but less so on how everything ultimately plays out.
Carolyn Kaster / AP file photo
In this July 30, 2013, photo, President Barack Obama walks from Marine One, across the South Lawn of the White House to the Oval Office in Washington, as he returns from Chattanooga where he spoke about the middle class and the economy.
*** White House's offer lands with a thud: As for the news yesterday that President Obama was offering Republicans a deal to cut the corporate tax rate in exchange for spending on infrastructure and other jobs investments, that offer landed with a thud. Republicans immediately rejected it, making two arguments. First, they said they wanted a cut in individual tax rates in addition to the corporate rate. Second, and more importantly, they disagreed with the White House broadening the corporate tax rate to pay for additional spending. The Wall Street Journal editorial page called the deal Obama’s “grand bargain” with himself. “If Republicans bargain hard, will he also offer an expansion of ObamaCare as a sweetener?” it asked tongue in cheek. The most depressing realization about yesterday? Even if the deal was a good one for both sides -- and Business Insider's Josh Barro writes that it's not as good a deal for the GOP as the initial reports suggested -- there would be a reason to say “no.” We've reached the stage in American politics where the two parties couldn't agree on the most basic things, like the best way to drive from the White House to Capitol Hill. (Hint: There’s only one major road you need to take.)
*** Weiner campaign spirals out of control: For Anthony Weiner and his campaign team, the last 24 hours represent what happens when an apparently losing campaign spirals out of control. First, Weiner released a video maintaining that he’s staying in the race. "Quit isn't the way we roll in New York City,” he says to the camera. “We fight through tough things. We are a tough city." (Note: There are some exceptions, but when you’re vowing to stay in a race, the handwriting is usually on the wall.) Second, the campaign’s top spokeswoman was caught hurling obscenities at a former intern who had written a tell-all about working for the campaign. (As we can tell you firsthand, the profanity from campaigns typically increases when the going gets tough.) Yet as Team Weiner spirals out of control, this might be a good opportunity for political observers to turn their attention toward the other candidates -- especially Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former Comptroller Bill Thompson, one of whom now has an EXCELLENT shot at being New York’s next mayor, if the polling is correct.
*** McCain’s day at the AFL-CIO: Earlier this week, we previewed Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) appearance at the AFL-CIO -- of all places!!! -- to sell immigration reform. And here’s the dispatch from NBC’s Carrie Dann on yesterday’s event. “Appearing at the headquarters of a labor union typically aligned with Democrats, Republican Sen. John McCain on Tuesday once again urged his party’s House members to pass an immigration reform measure that contains a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants… ‘There are so many aspects of this that appeal to our Judeo-Christian principles that I think we have a good chance of convincing our fellow members of the House of Representatives,’ McCain said.” More from McCain: “‘I’ll give you a little straight talk,’ he said. ‘We don’t need 20,000 additional border patrol agents, but what we do need is the use of technology that has been developed so we can survey the border more effectively.’”
*** Union opposes DREAM Act legislation House GOP is crafting: NBC’s Dann also has this… The union that represents about 12,000 employees of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency was no fan of the Senate’s immigration bill, and now it is warning the House not to take up a measure that would offer a path to citizenship just to some undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children. In a letter to House leaders, National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council President president Kenneth Palinkas writes that the legislation, being worked on by Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, would create a magnet for new young undocumented immigrants. “In practice, it could establish a precedent that would expand birthright citizenship in the future to apply to any new arrivals (and, by extension, their relatives) who claim they came here at a certain age,” Palinkas writes. He also argues that – based on the Obama administration’s executive action to prevent deportations of young immigrants eligible for the DREAM Act – the White House can’t be trusted to enforce the law as written by the House
*** McConnell has yet to weigh in on GOP debate whether to defund Obamacare: Remember when we pointed out Senate Minority Leader’s Mitch McConnell’s difficult position regarding the GOP debate whether to defund Obamacare? Does he join Mike Lee/Ted Cruz/Marco Rubio, so primary opponent Matt Bevin doesn’t outflank him on this issue? Or does he side with Tom Coburn/Richard Burr in arguing that the effort would be a strategic mistake? Well, the Bevin campaign has seized on this article noting that McConnell hasn’t made up his mind yet. The Hill: “Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said Tuesday he has yet to decide whether to support a proposal to block government funding if it includes money for ObamaCare… McConnell told reporters he's in the midst of discussions about government funding, which will expire at the end of September, and the national debt limit, projected to run out at year's end. ‘We've had a lot of internal discussions about the way forward this fall in both the continuing resolution and, ultimately, the debt ceiling, and those discussions continue,’ McConnell said. ‘There's no particular announcement at this point.’”
*** An eighth woman alleges harassment by Filner: Finally, while the scandal focus is locked on Anthony Weiner, things just keep getting worse for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner -- as an EIGHTH woman has now come forward to say Filner had made unwanted advances. (As a reminder, Filner only became mayor last year and served in Congress from 1993 to 2012.) USA Today: “Lisa Curtin, director of government and military education at San Diego City College, became the eighth woman to go public with allegations about Filner when she told KPBS that he made unwanted advances to her during a meeting in 2011, when he was a Democratic member of Congress, the station reported.” And there’s also this: The San Diego Union-Tribune: “San Diego sued its own mayor on Tuesday and the City Council decisively rejected his request to have taxpayers cover his legal bills stemming from a sexual harassment lawsuit.”
Click here to sign up for First Read emails.
Text FIRST to 622639, to sign up for First Read alerts to your mobile phone.
Check us out on Facebook and also on Twitter. Follow us @chucktodd, @mmurraypolitics, @DomenicoNBC, @brookebrower
First published July 31 2013, 6:02 AM