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Wake Up To Politics - December 14, 2015

  • *|SURVEY:March 2: Hillary Clinton private server revealed by The New York Times|*
  • *|SURVEY:April 19: Freddie Gray dies in Baltimore policy custody|*
  • *|SURVEY:June 16: Donald Trump announces presidential bid|*
  • *|SURVEY:June 17: Pastor, state senator, and seven others killed in Charleston|*
  • *|SURVEY:June 26: U.S. Supreme Court decides on same-sex marriage|*
  • *|SURVEY:July 14: Iran, the U.S., and five other nations sign nuclear deal|*
  • *|SURVEY:July 20: United States and Cuba restore diplomatic relations|*
  • *|SURVEY:September 24: Pope Francis addresses a joint session of Congress|*
  • *|SURVEY:September 25: John Boehner announces his resignation|*
  • *|SURVEY:December 2: Fourteen killed in San Bernardino|*
  • *|SURVEY:December 13: 196 nations seal historic climate accord|*

And now - to the news:

To read today's edition of Wake Up To Politics in a PDF format, click here. Continue reading to find the text of the Wake Up in the body of the email!

Monday, December 14, 2015
49 Days until the Iowa Caucuses
330 Days Until Election Day 2016 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!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com. To learn more about WUTP and subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or like me on Twitter and Facebook. More ways to engage with WUTP at the bottom.    White House Watch

  • The President’s Schedule At 10:40am, President Barack Obama will convene a National Security Council (NSC) meeting to receive an update on the “campaign to degrade and destroy” ISIS at the Defense Department headquarters, the Pentagon.
  • The NSC is a forum of the President’s national security advisors. Chaired by the President, Council meetings are also attended by the Vice President, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Advisor, the White House Chief of Staff, the Director of Central Intelligence, Homeland Security Advisor, and the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, among others.
  • At 12:35pm, the President will deliver a statement on the counter-ISIS campaign from the Pentagon Briefing Room.
  • The NSC briefing will mark President Obama’s first Pentagon meeting since July.
  • First Lady’s Schedule At 2pm, First Lady Michelle Obama will tour the Children National Health System, the “premier provider of pediatric services throughout the Washington, DC, metropolitan area,” to visit patients and the hospital’s staff. In the hospital’s atrium, the First Lady will read to the children and take their questions – a tradition performed by the First Lady every December since Bess Truman’s tenure.

Capitol Hill News

  • Senate: Today With the Senate scheduled to leave for Winter break Friday, the chamber is in a mad dash to confirm a number of Obama nominees.
  • Today, the chamber will hold a roll call vote to confirm Alissa Starzak to be General Counsel of the Army, the chief legal officer of the U.S. Department of the Army. Starzak, currently Defense Department deputy general counsel, was first nominated to the post in July 2014, but has been held up due to her involvement in the CIA torture report.
  • The Senate will also hold three voice vote:
  • One, to confirm John Conger as Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense. Presently, Conger concurrently serves as Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment and as Assistant Secretary of Defense of Energy, Installations and Environment. He was nominated to be Principal Deputy Under Secretary, chief deputy to the Defense Department CFO, in March 2015.
  • Another, to confirm Stephen Welby as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (the Defense Department CTO). Welby currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering; he was nominated for this promotion in March.
  • And finally, one to confirm Franklin Parker as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (making him responsible for recruiting all Navy and Marine Corps personnel). Parker, presently the Transportation Department Chief Counsel of the Maritime Administration, was nominated for the Navy Department post in March.
  • Coming Up: Shutdown Deadline – Wednesday With both houses of Congress planning to skip town at the end of this week, it is now crunch time to pass an omnibus spending bill. The continuing resolution (CR) passed last week extended the deadline for a spending measure to be passed to Wednesday – when the government will shut down if funding is not appropriated.
  • Congressional leaders had hoped to unveil a $1.1 trillion omnibus package today, but negotiations seem to be stuck over a number of policy riders either party wants included in the spending bill. Democrats want to lift the ban on CDC gun violence research, and an extension for 9/11 first responders health insurance; Republicans want to block a number of EPA regulations and lift the ban on exporting crude oil. Issues such as blocking Syrian refugees and reforming Visa Waiver Program to stop terrorists entering the U.S. are also on the table.
  • Lawmakers are also hoping to link the omnibus to a package extending expired tax breaks, although that has not been immune to debate as well.
  • If the omnibus is filed today, the House can pass the bill Tuesday and the Senate can vote Wednesday – but if no deal is reached today, there might not be enough time, forcing Congress to pass another stopgap CR.2016 Central
  • Today on the Trail Where are the 2016 presidential candidates today?
  • Arizona Rand Paul
  • California Carly Fiorina (fundraiser) and Rand Paul
  • Nevada Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum (summit), Donald Trump (rally)
  • Spotlight: the National Security Action Summit, hosted by the Center for Security Policy. Although a number of candidates were invited, only Rick Santorum is speaking (Carson, Cruz, and Fiorina sent in video messages). Why such low turnout? The Center for Security Policy is headed by Frank Gaffney, the anti-Muslim activist who Donald Trump cited last week in his statement calling for a ban on Muslim immigration.
  • New Hampshire Bernie Sanders (town hall)
  • New York Hillary Clinton (National Immigrant Integration Conference address)

Question of the Day

  • Today’s Question Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad becomes the longest-serving governor in American history today. Whose record is he beating?
  • Send me your answer for the current longest-serving American governor (until Branstad) by emailing me (wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com). Correct respondents will get their name in tomorrow’s Wake Up!
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation, the Political Junkie podcast, and St. Louis Public Radio; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki, and read about Gabe in Politico, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light