He’s still determining his political future, but he will not run for re-election. He’s fully focused on fulfilling his elected duties and serving his constituents to the best of his duties here in the House.David Wu’s spokesman, Erik Dorey • Revealing that the troubled congressman, a Democrat, won’t run for re-election. Fortunately for him, Wu is low-profile enough that he hasn’t faced intense scrutiny to the level of Anthony Weiner, which means that he might be able to weather the storm and keep his job for another year … if he’s careful. However, Wu faces much harsher charges than Weiner ever did — allegations of an unwanted sexual encounter with an 18-year-old woman. On top of that, he has some embarrassing photos that work well next to a story like this one. So who wants to take bets on how long it takes for him to resign? source (via • follow)
» The odds of this passing the Senate? Zero. The House has been known for their symbolic votes this term — ones which please the base but not won’t do much else. The bill cuts many Democratic investment priorities — but most notably, takes a long-term hatchet to Medicare. Not so much, kids. Not so much.
Mitch McConnell knows what he wants. That’s a very critical thing to remember when examining his new debt limit proposal, which would essentially transfer the power to raise the limit from the congress to President Obama. This may seem innocuous, but is a very political decision; forcing Obama to be the sole person taking an affirmative action to raise the limit, then giving congress a vote of “disapproval” that he’d likely have to veto feeds into the narrative of fiscal irresponsibility the GOP craves. The plan would also force Obama to re-up the limit three separate times before the 2012 election, which is theoretically a big political price to pay. Add in that the increase has to be paired with at least an equivalent amount of spending cuts, and what you see is less the grand compromise than what the GOP has wanted all along — spending cuts and no new revenues.
I think it’s clear that the Republicans are opposed to any tax hikes, particularly during a fragile economic recovery. Now, do we believe tax reform is necessary? I would say absolutely.Sen. John Cornyn • Opening the door for the possibility of raising revenue … very slightly. See, Cornyn is OK with changing the tax code so as to fix loopholes in it. But he won’t willingly offer to raise taxes, no ifs, ands or buts. Sen. John McCain is in the same boat, willing to consider “revenue raisers” — without offering details. Now, this all seems like “whatever,” until you realize that this is the closest any members of the GOP have gotten to the idea of raising taxes — or any revenue at all, that is. How pathetic is it that this as far as the GOP has been willing to compromise on this issue? Why should Democrats have to do all the compromising? This isn’t even a step forward. This is like kicking your foot forward a quarter-inch by accident. This redefines movement. source (via • follow)
All because of that pesky debt ceiling thing: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that the only fireworks members of the Senate would see next week would be strictly of the political kind — all in an effort to solve the pesky debt ceiling issue that’s been dogging Congress for a couple of months. If they can’t figure it out by August, it could have a dire effect on the overall economy, but Republicans want cuts to coincide with any sort of debt ceiling deal. Not every Senator is on board with this recess idea, by the way. We’re feeling less confident about their ability to fix this mess by the day. source
A lot of this fuss is politics… I said there would be no troops on the ground. I said we would not be carrying the lion’s share of the operation, but as members of NATO we would be supportive of it because it’s in our national security interest and it’s the right thing to do. We have done exactly what I said we would do.President Obama • Defending his military intervention in Libya, and dismissing complaints from Congress. In the process of doing so, Obama struck a more confrontational tone towards his critics than is common for his administration. There’s a definite argument that one can make for the warfare going on in Libya, on fairly simply moral grounds — nobody really doubts what would have happened in Benghazi had nobody moved to stop it. Making that sort of argument would, we think, go a lot further to appeal to American sensibilities than judicial wrangling over defining “hostilities” would. source (via • follow)
We’ve all said we would vote for the full faith and credit of the United States to be honored by voting for this increase in the debt ceiling. If they don’t want to do taxes, maybe they don’t want to do anything.House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi • Pointing her finger at Republicans — emphasizing that if nothing’s done about the debt ceiling situation (because they aren’t willing to raise taxes), it will greatly hurt them. The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait suggests that this is a power play on Pelosi’s part; if the Republicans can’t make a deal with Obama, it’s likely to damage the economy in such a way that a) it will hurt Republicans and b) it will hurt Obama. One group it won’t hurt, however, is House Democrats — meaning that they’d get some much-needed leverage in 2012 and Pelosi will no longer be an afterthought. This is what we call game theory. source (via • follow)
With regard to the war in Libya, we believe that the law was violated. We have asked the courts to move to protect the American people from the results of these illegal policies.Rep. Dennis Kucinich • Expressing anger over the current military presence in Libya. He and a bipartisan group of representatives have brought a lawsuit against President Obama for foregoing Congress on Libya and, in the process, violating the War Powers Resolution, a law meant to stop the President from sending troops overseas without Congressional approval. Kucinich has backing from unlikely allies such as John Boehner and Ron Paul on this matter. Meanwhile, the White House disputes the lawsuit: “The president has acted in a manner that is consistent with the War Powers Resolution,” said Press Secretary Jay Carney. Definitely one to watch. source (via • follow)