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Wake Up To Politics - December 2, 2015

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015
61 Days until the Iowa Caucuses
342 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.    Capitol Hill News

  • Senate: Today The U.S. Senate will continue consideration of H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015. The measure, already passed by the House, repeals much of the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) and ends federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
  • Although House Republicans have tried upwards of 50 times to pass Obamacare repeal, this is expected to become the first such bill to reach the President’s desk. H.R. 3762 is not a full repeal of President Obama’s signature health care law, but it does strike down many of Obamacare’s key provisions, including Medicaid expansion, and insurance exchanges and subsidies. This bill is a compromise between the factions in the Republican Party: hardline conservatives are upset that it does not fully repeal Obamacare, while moderates are upset about linking the measure with Planned Parenthood defunding.
  • Since this measure is a budget reconciliation bill, only 51 votes are needed for passage in the Senate. Even if the bill lands on President Obama’s desk, he will surely veto it.
  • House: Today The U.S. will consider two bills today: first, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), an overhaul of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001. ESSA would significantly scale back NCLB, repealing an unpopular provision of the latter bill that punishes schools if students are not reading at grade level. While NCLB (a bipartisan bill, which has been supported by both the Bush and Obama Administrations) gave much of the power over public education to the U.S. Secretary of Education, ESSA hands power back to the states. The Every Student Succeeds Act also has bipartisan support, shown by the National Governors Association endorsing the legislation: the first endorsement of piece of legislation by the group, which is made up of all 50 U.S. governors, in almost 20 years.
  • In addition, the House will consider the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015, which “would broaden the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to impose deadlines on other federal agencies reviewing environmental implications,” according to Reuters. The White House has threatened to veto the bill if it passes both chambers of Congress.

2016 Central

  • Polling Roundup: Rubio, Cruz Shoot Up; Clinton Maintains Lead in New Quinnipiac Poll A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday morning shows a rapidly changing presidential field.
  • On the Republican side, Donald Trump expands on his frontrunner status, with 27% of the vote – a 3-point improvement from his showing in the last Quinnipiac poll, conducted in late October/early November. Behind Trump, second place is no longer occupied by Ben Carson but by Marco Rubio’s 17%, while Carson falls to a tie with Ted Cruz for third place, each with 16%.
  • These changes represent 3-point bumps for both Rubio and Cruz, and a seven-point decrease for Carson: proving what many had guessed, that Carson’s downfall has begun, with his spot in the top tier of the GOP race increasingly being taken up by Rubio and Cruz.
  • No other candidate takes double-digits: the next-ranked contenders are Jeb Bush, with 5%; then Carly Fiorina, with 3%; a three-way tie between Chris Christie, John Kasich, and Rand Paul (2% each); and then Mike Huckabee’s 1%.
  • On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton expands on her lead, taking 60% of the vote to Bernie Sanders’ 30% and Martin O’Malley’s 2%. Clinton’s lock on the Democratic field increased by 7% from Quinnipiac’s October/November poll, while Sanders decreases 5%.

White House Watch

  • The President’s Schedule As President Obama returns from Paris, there’s just one thing on his schedule: a 12:30pm lunch with Vice President Joe Biden.
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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