This Week in Washington…

Posted on January 30, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized |

TOP 5 STORIES THIS WEEK

WHITE HOUSE

CONGRESS

  • The House passed a compromise farm bill that ends direct payments to farmers, reduces the number of conservation programs operated by the Agriculture Department, and cuts about $8 billion in funding to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.
  • Republicans reiterated their demands that a debt-limit increase must be paired with policy changes, while the White House repeated its criticism of Republicans’ approach.
  • House Republicans are expected to release a statement of principles on immigration Thursday; the document is expected to address issues of border security and enforcement, as well as a path to legal status—but not citizenship—for undocumented immigrants.
  • In the official Republican response to the president’s State of the Union address, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., drew on her personal background to argue that “the president’s policies are making people’s lives harder.”
  • In the tea-party response, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, singled out the Affordable Care Act as an “inequality Godzilla” that has exacerbated the “inequality crisis” facing the country.
  • Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., outlined his view of the origins of and the administration’s response to the financial crisis, and revisited his December proposal of “economic freedom zones” that would reduce taxes in areas of high unemployment.

POLITICS

  • Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., announced Thursday that he will retire at the close of the 113th Congress, citing frustration with the body’s rising partisanship and diminished productivity.
  • Senate Democrats are pursuing a political approach to the fight to extend unemployment benefits, asking voters to back their effort, not just by sharing their stories, but also by offering their financial support.
  • Ready for Hillary, a super PAC supporting a possible 2016 presidential bid by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, assembled a diverse group of Democrats for a series of strategy sessions over the weekend.
  • Montana Lt. Gov. John Walsh, who is seeking the seat held by Sen. Max Baucus, said Monday that he has advised Gov. Steve Bullock of his interest in an interim appointment, which would boost his chances in November.
  • Clay Pell, grandson of the late Sen. Claiborne Pell, D-R.I., a former Coast Guard attorney and veteran of the Obama administration, launched his gubernatorial campaign with an emphasis on infrastructure, small business, and education.
  • Former Sen. John Warner, R-Va., endorsed the reelection bid of his successor, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., declining to support Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee.
  • Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., tendered his resignation, despite an earlier vow to continue his work in the House after pleading guilty to cocaine possession.

BUDGET & ECONOMY

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

HEALTH CARE

TECHNOLOGY

  • During his State of the Union address, President Obama announced a step forward in his proposal to improve Internet access in schools, via actions by the FCC and tech companies that will bring high-speed broadband Internet to more than 15,000 schools and 20 million students over the next two years.
  • The Obama administration announced Monday that it will permit Internet companies to disclose government data requests for consumer information.
  • The NSA has tapped Rebecca Richards, a senior official within the Homeland Security Department, to serve as its inaugural civil-liberties and privacy officer, NSA chief Keith Alexander announced Wednesday.
  • Two members of Norway’s Socialist Left Party nominated Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize, claiming the former contractor has helped to restore the balance between national security and individual freedoms.
  • Director of Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan, and FBI Director James Comey largely avoided giving details on the agencies’ spying activities during testimony Wednesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, instead promising to provide more information as soon as possible.
  • Uzbekistani refugee Jamshid Muhtorov filed a motion in Denver’s federal court to toss out any evidence gathered via Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, which authorizes much of the NSA’s foreign surveillance, on grounds it “fails to comply with the Fourth Amendment’s most basic requirements.”
  • Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that his department is investigating the massive data breach of customer credit and debit cards that struck Target late last year.

OTHER NEWS

QUOTES

  • “It’s time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a Mad Men episode.” — President Obama, on women’s workplace issues, in his State of the Union address (National Journal)
  • “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.” — Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., to a reporter who asked about an investigation into his campaign fundraising. (The New York Times)
  • “If he wants to move forward with this unilateral activity, he better be prepared for the lawsuit that the United States Congress will bring to him.” — Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., after Obama’s State of the Union speech (National Journal)
  • “Freeway [driving] is pretty easy to accomplish. Everybody’s going the same direction, there’s a little weaving, but you don’t have cars backing out of driveways, or kids and dogs running across the street.” — Audi spokesman Brad Stertz, on how close America is to having self-driving cars (National Journal)
  • “It’s not as if I’m bringing this up 20 years later. I was asked a direct question. However, if I’m asked a direct question, I’ll usually answer it. And I think that one of the things that have moved forward, one of the things that was rotten about the old patriarchal system we did have, was that bosses took advantage of young women in the workplace.” — Sen. Rand Paul on why he brought up the issue of Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky (Talking Points Memo)
  • “Further involving the telecom providers in the extended storage of this data for intelligence purposes would not only make that data subject to discovery in civil lawsuits, but it would also make it more vulnerable to theft by hackers or foreign intelligence organizations. Another powerful reason to be against private companies taking responsibility for an inherently governmental function.” — Sen. Jay Rockefeller on why he does not support the NSA allowing a third party to store data it has collected (Roll Call)

CHARTS AND GRAPHS

  • Slate maps where public schools teach creationism.
  • The Wall Street Journal maps states’ minimum wages.
  • WBEZ charts the expansion of the city of Chicago from 1837 to the present.
  • Gallup maps which states prefer which party, and which Democrats are losing ground.
  • Pew graphs the waning interest, especially among Democrats, in reducing the federal budget.
  • Quartz graphs mayonnaise’s dominance of the American condiment market.
  • Cameron Beccario’s “Earth” visualizes the polar vortex.

Future events

  • Thursday, January 30 – President Obama will deliver remarks on expanding economic opportunity and strengthening the middle class at McGavock High School in Nashville, Tenn.
  • Friday, January 31 – The Washington International Trade Association will hold a discussion of the “Congressional Trade Agenda” at 8:30 a.m. at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
  • Tuesday, February 4 – The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing, “Examining Recommendations to Reform FISA Authorities,” at 10 a.m. in 2141 Rayburn.
  • Wednesday, February 5 – The Heritage Foundation will hold a discussion, “The Second Term Curse? A Look at the Final Three Years of the Obama Presidency,” at noon at 214 Massachusetts Avenue NE.
  • Thursday, January 30 – The Center for Economic Policy Research will hold a discussion, “Unfinished Business: Paid Family Leave in California and the Future of U.S. Work-Family Policy,” at 3 p.m. in 2253 Rayburn.
  • The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee’s National Security and International Trade and Finance Subcommittee will hold a hearing, “Safeguarding Consumers’ Financial Data,” at 3 p.m. in 538 Dirksen.
  • Thursday, January 30 – The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies will hold a discussion, “International Consequences of the U.S. Oil and Gas Boom,” at 4:30 p.m. at 1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW.
  • Tuesday, February 4 – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing, “Examination of the Safety and Security of Drinking Water Supplies Following the Central West Virginia Drinking Water Crisis,” at 10 a.m. in 406 Dirksen.
  • Tuesday, February 4 – The Brookings Institution’s Energy Security Initiative will hold a discussion, “The Future of Electric Utilities,” at 1 p.m. at 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW.
  • Friday, January 31 – The Middle East Institute will hold a conference, “Saving Syria’s Civilians: Urgent Priorities and Policies,” at 9 a.m. at 529 14th Street NW.
  • Friday, January 31 – The Hudson Institute will hold a discussion, “The United States, Iran, and the Post-Geneva Middle East: What’s Next after the Joint Plan of Action is Implemented?” at noon at 1015 15th Street NW.
  • Tuesday, February 4 – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a discussion, “On Leadership: Foreign Policy in Congress,” at 10 a.m. at 1225 I Street NW.
  • Friday, January 31 – The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will hold a discussion, “Where We Are Now? State of Exchanges and Enrollment,” at 9 a.m. at 529 14th Street NW.
  • Monday, February 3 to Tuesday, February 4 – Academy Health will hold its 2014 National Health Policy Conference at 1000 H Street NW.
  • Monday, February 3 – Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will hold a news conference to discuss the status of the James Webb Space Telescope at 9 a.m. at 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, Md.
  • Tuesday, February 4 – The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing, “Privacy in the Digital Age: Preventing Data Breaches and Combating Cybercrime,” at 10:15 a.m. in 226 Dirksen.
  • Thursday, February 6 – National Journal will host the “Dialing In on the IP Transition” policy summit, underwritten by Neustar, at 8 a.m. at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

One Response to “This Week in Washington…”

RSS Feed for The Turner Blog Comments RSS Feed

This president is fighting inequality? He is creating inequality. He is president of the fatcats, by the fatcats, and for the fatcats. Why else would they line up to contribute to his campaign?


Where's The Comment Form?

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: