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Tuesday, April 28, 2015
560 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Tuesday, April 28, 2015, I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
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Capitol Hill News
- Senate: Status Update The Senate today will debate H.R. 1191, or the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act. If this sounds like a trivial matter, then you should know the bill is really the legislative vehicle for Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker’s Iran Congressional Review Act – focusing on the nuclear deal currently being negotiated with Iran.
- Corker, a Republican, and Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin have authored compromise language for the bill granting Congress a 30-day review period of a nuclear agreement after it is signed. During this time, lawmakers could reject any sanctions lifted in the deal, but cannot strike down the entire deal. After the review period has ended, if no rejection has been passed, President Barack Obama can lift sanctions set by Congress against Iran.
- This version of the bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (chaired by Corker; Cardin is ranking member) two weeks ago in a 19-0 vote, and was hailed as a bipartisan achievement. Now, however, that feat is being threatened by Republican amendments.
- These include “one that would require Iran to recognize Israel…[one]that would give any final nuclear deal the status of a treaty, which would require ratification by two-thirds of the Senate…[and one that] would require the release of American citizens detained in Iran as part of an agreement,” according to the New York Times. All of these proposals are opposed by Democrats, and if added to the bill, would put the legislation at risk of losing Democratic votes.
- Consideration of the bill, debate and amendments, will take place today and tomorrow; a final vote is possible as early as Thursday.
- The Question: Corker and Cardin stopped any amendments from being added to the bill on the committee level; can Cardin do the same now, and convince his GOP colleagues to pull back their amendments, and save his bipartisan bill.
- Bonus Question: In the end, does it matter? The U.S. has set a deadline of June 30 for nuclear negotiations with Iran, giving the world powers haggling over a deal two months to finalize an agreement.
- At a United Nations conference Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry met with the Iranian Foreign Minister, and announced the two parties were “closer than ever” to a comprehensive nuclear deal.
- Same-Sex Marriage Returns to the Supreme Court The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today in a four combined cases challenging same-sex marriage bans.
- The cases boil down to two questions: Is it required for states to license marriage between two people of the same sex, and must states recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when the marriage has already been lawfully incensed somewhere else?
- The cases come from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee, and could have high stakes for same-sex marriage across the country.
- If the Supreme Court rule in favor of same-sex couples (in their decision set to be handed down in June), all gay marriage bans in the United States could be struck down. However, the justices could also opt for a more limited ruling, and instead just rule in favor of the couples on the second question: meaning same-sex couples could get married where it was legal, and then receive recognition in their home state.
- Or “the Nine” could rule for the states, in which case, same-sex marriage bans (currently in 14 states) would remain.
- The Supreme Court will hold arguments for 2½ hours today.
- A look at the lawyers arguing today: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/four-lawyers-take-on-history-in-supreme-court-gay-marriage-case/2015/04/25/26915bc6-e84d-11e4-9a6a-c1ab95a0600b_story.html
White House Watch
- The President’s Schedule President Obama welcomes Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Mrs. Abe to the White House today.
- The President and the Prime Minister will meet in the Oval Office, hold a joint press conference in the Rose Garden, and then the Obamas will host the Abes for a State Dinner in the East Room.
- Race to 45: Travel Tracker New Hampshire Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett Packard CEO set to announce a presidential bid next week, is in the Granite State today, hosting a meet-and-greet in Northwood with voters residing in the all-important first-in-the-nation primary state.
- Puerto Rico Former Florida governor and likely presidential candidate Jeb Bush is in Puerto Rico today (yes, territories don’t get a vote in the general election, but do get a say in the primary process).
- According to McClatchy, “Bush will visit the Universidad Metropolitana de Cupey on Tuesday in San Juan, then hold a town hall-style meeting with the Republican Party of Puerto Rico. He’ll also attend a fundraiser with former Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño, a Republican.”
- Bush is in favor of Puerto Rican statehood, and ran his father George H.W. Bush’s Puerto Rico primary campaign in 1980.
- California Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican presidential candidate, is fundraising in the Golden State, and will hold a town hall in Los Angeles today.
- New York Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton fundraises in the Big Apple today. Similar to her campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire thus far, her fundraising events will be low-key – staying with small gatherings at private homes.
- Clinton’s schedule today includes three receptions: at the homes of Lisa Perry, a Clinton supporter and hedge fund executive; Milly and Arne Glimcher, big Obama backers; and Doug Teitelbaum, another longtime Clinton support and hedge fund manager.
- Tickets at the event cost $2,700 – the maximum donation to a primary campaign, with options to also raise $27,000 and $50,000. The latter two amounts qualify the donor to be a member of the Clinton campaign’s “Hillstarter” program: which includes access to an upcoming event with the candidate, and a weekly telephone briefing with senior campaign staffers.
- Link: Fact Checking the Clinton Foundation NPR looks into Bill Clinton’s claim that his foundation is “the most transparent of all the presidential foundations and more transparent than a lot of other major foundations in the country,” especially in light of recent charges that foreign donors peddled influence with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with donations to her family foundation.
- Even with these allegations dogging Clinton’s campaign, the candidate herself has still answered only seven questions since announcing, National Journal has found.
- Also in Hillaryland: Clinton’s State Department memoir Hard Choices comes out in paperback today, featuring a new and softer cover image (a smiling Clinton in color replaces a cold-looking, black-and-white photo) and a new epilogue (which can be read here, scooped by the Huffington Post).