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Wake Up To Politics - December 3, 2015

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Thursday, December 3, 2015
60 Days until the Iowa Caucuses
341 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 11am, President Obama will meet with members of Congress about criminal justice reform in the Cabinet Room.
  • At 5pm, the President will attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting – a Washington, D.C. tradition since 1923 – at The Ellipse, a park near the White House. Every President since FDR has spoken at the lighting, and the First Family traditionally flips the switch to light the tree. Actress Reese Witherspoon will act as host at this year’s National Christmas Tree Lighting; Bellamy Young, of “Scandal fame,” Miss Piggy, and others will also perform.

Capitol Hill News

  • Today in the Senate The U.S. Senate is voting on the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, which would repeal much of Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood.
  • While the House has voted to repeal Obamacare 50+ times, the Senate has never been able to pass any of those bills, making today a huge milestone for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Senate Republican Conference.
  • The House-passed measure is a budget reconciliation bill, meaning it cannot be filibustered, and passage will only require a simple majority, which the GOP has.
  • Although President Obama will likely veto the bill, which takes apart his signature health care law, that the measure is passing both house of Congress is a victory for Republican lawmakers.
  • This bill 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 (the bill also cuts off federal funding to Planned Parenthood).
  • Also today, the Senate will dedicate the latest addition to its Vice Presidential Bust Collection: a sculpting of Dick Cheney. Former President George W. Bush, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Rules and Administration Chairman Roy Blunt, and former Vice President Cheney will all speak at the dedication.
  • Cheney’s bust is the 45th in the collection, which is displayed all over the Senate side of the Capitol; Cheney’s sculptor, William Behrends, also made Spiro Agnew’s bust, and is currently sculpting Al Gore’s.
  • Today in the House The U.S. House will vote on passage of two bills today: the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act, which the White House has threatened to veto; and the conference report of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act (STRR), a five-year, $305 billion highway package.
  • STRR must be passed by both houses of Congress by Friday, when transportation spending dries out.

2016 Central

  • GOP Candidate Flock to RJC Forum to Kiss Adelson’s Ring All 14 Republican presidential candidates will head to Washington, D.C. today, where the Republican Jewish Coalition is hosting a candidate forum for the party’s presidential contenders.
  • Not many forums can attract the entirety of the Republican field. What’s the RJC’s secret weapon? Sheldon Adelson, the GOP megadonor who is very influential in the RJC and is a coveted endorsement for presidential candidates.
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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