Wake Up To Politics - February 12, 2015
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Thursday, February 12, 2015
635 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Thursday, February 12, 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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White House Watch
- Obama Requests Authorization for War on ISIS President Obama on Wednesday formally requested Congress authorize a war on the Islamic State, sending a draft resolution to the legislature.
- The draft Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) marks the first such request Obama has made in his presidency. The proposed measure says the Islamic State group (also known as ISIS and ISIL) “poses a grave threat to the people and territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria, regional stability, and the national security interests of the United States and its allies and partners.”
- It goes on to list reasons why the United States should use military force against the group, including attacks against Muslims, other ethnic groups and religions, women, and U.S. citizens.
- The AUMF will only be effective for three years, and does “not authorize long‑term, large-scale ground combat operations like those…conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan,” President Obama wrote in a letter to Congress. “Local forces, rather than U.S. military forces, should be deployed to conduct such operations”
- The White House draft, he continued, “would provide the flexibility to conduct ground combat operations in other, more limited circumstances, such as rescue operations involving U.S. or coalition personnel or the use of special operations forces to take military action against ISIL leadership. It would also authorize the use of U.S. forces in situations where ground combat operations are not expected or intended, such as intelligence collection and sharing, missions to enable kinetic strikes, or the provision of operational planning and other forms of advice and assistance to partner forces.”
- The Administration’s draft is, however, facing wide opposition in Congress, where both chambers most approve it. Republicans criticize restrictions in the draft they believe will make the war more difficult to be won, while Democrats have questioned “vague” language with not enough limits on ground combat.
- After recess next week, Congress will begin consideration of the proposal, and is expected to make large changes to the text.
- The President’s Schedule At 2:05 PM, President Obama will sign the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act in the East Room. The veterans suicide bill is the second piece of legislation from the 114th Congress to be signed into law.
- At 2:55 PM, he departs the White House for San Francisco, where he arrives at 5:40 PM Pacific Time. While in California, Obama will attend the White House Cybersecurity Summit, fundraise for the DNC (of course), and spend the weekend.Capitol Hill News
- Keystone Bill Passed by House, Goes to President’s Desk The U.S. House passed a bill Wednesday to approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, sending the measure to President Obama, who has promised to veto it.
- The bill passed 270-152, by a mostly party-line vote; the exceptions were 29 Democrats who voted in favor of the bill, and Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, the lone Republican to vote against it.
- Since the Keystone bill has already been passed by the Senate, it now heads to Obama’s desk. President Obama has indicated he will veto the measure; opposition to the bill from the White House has not come from Obama’s stance on the pipeline itself (which so far has been nonexistent) but rather because it takes authority away from the President to make a decision on the pipeline.
- Once the expected veto is stamped, two-thirds approval from both houses of Congress is required to override. The bill, however, was not passed with two-thirds approval in either chamber; that would require four more “yea” votes from Senate Democrats, and 20 more from House Democrats.
- President Obama has ten days to either sign or veto the measure (if he does neither, it becomes law), and he may wait until Congress is in recess to veto, to avoid override votes (although they would be expected to fail). The Senate, however, must “present” the bill to Obama before he can sign or veto it, and the chamber may wait until its return to do so.
- Senate: Status Update The Senate will vote today on Ash Carter’s nomination to be U.S. Secretary of Defense.
- Carter, a former Pentagon official, sailed through the confirmation process: his confirmation hearing was eight days ago, and his nomination was reported out of committee just two days ago. This is in contrast with President Obama’s other Cabinet nominee currently pending before the Senate, Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch, whose hearings were two weeks ago, but still hasn’t been voted on in committee.
- House: Status Update The House will vote today on passage of the Fighting Hunger Incentive Act of 2015, which “would permanently renew tax credits for charitable giving, including contributions of food inventory and allowing tax-free distributions from individual retirement accounts for charitable purposes,” according to The Hill.
- 2016 Travel Watch: Biden in IA Vice President Joe Biden is in Iowa today, and while it is an official White House trip, the visit to the key primary state does raise some 2016 questions.
- Biden will visit Drake University to speak on the Administration’s economic agenda, as outlined in the State of the Union by President Obama last month. He will also participate in a roundtable at Des Moines Area Community College’s Ankeny Campus, which will focus on “the importance of helping more Americans go to college and the critical role that partnerships between community colleges and employers can play in helping Americans obtain the skills they need to succeed in the workforce,” according to the White House.
- ---LINK: Will he run? As he visits Iowa, the Associated Press reviews the “Draft Joe” movement: it doesn’t exist. Biden is fading from 2016 talk, no longer seen as a main candidate: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/3b3a0c7216054a499fd41bd150aabba7/despite-iowa-visit-biden-fading-2016-campaign-chatter
A story that caught my eye today
- As an amateur coin collector, I must share the results of the 2015 Coin Experts Survey by International Professional Metals. Some of the interesting stats:
- 56% of experts say the penny will be phased out by the year 2026
- When asked which President deserved a denomination, 41% said Ronald Reagan. Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Bill Clinton are also among the top mentioned. Most surprising: a combined 10% answered either Andrew Johnson or Herbert Hoover, two of the worst presidents ever.
- Will there ever be a new denomination? “No,” 70% of the experts said. Of the 30% who said “yes,” 15% said it would be a $200 bill and 15% said it would a $5 coin.
- On which coin/bill would be brought back into circulation, the top answer was “none”. Other responses included the $2 bill, Susan B. Anthony dollar, Sacagawea dollar, and Kennedy half-dollar.
- If you found those answers interesting like I did…which you probably didn’t…read the rest of the survey results here: http://www.preciousmetals.com/blog/2015/01/coin-experts-survey/
Question of the Day
- Today’s Questions Which president vetoed the most bills (not including FDR, who had the advantage of serving for four terms)?
- Also today – it’s Abraham Lincoln’s 206th birthday (or it would be if he was…well…still alive), so in Old Abe’s honor…Lincoln was the only President to receive a patent. What was the patent for?
- If you know the answer to either or both of these questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet the answers to @WakeUp2Politics before midnight!
- Clearing Up Hi everyone! I just wanted to clear something up from Tuesday – I accidentally include Friday’s question on what union Ronald Reagan served as president of.
- I had already answered it, and didn’t mean to include it…but WUTP subscribers are always eager to answer trivia questions! So, I must give credit where credit is due and congratulate Tobias Gibson, Rose-Lynn Sokol, Laurie Sperling, and Lyle Hendricks, who answered yesterday (at the wrong time but with the correct union…the Screen Actors Guild!) Great job everyone!