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Tuesday, February 24, 2015
623 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Tuesday, February 24, 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
- McConnell Offers Solution to DHS Funding Impasse Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered a new bill Monday to disconnect the debate over President Obama’s immigration executive order from funding the Department of Homeland Security.
- McConnell’s new bill just blocks the executive order, a “way to get the Senate unstuck,” he said, hoping a vote on his new bill would create a path for a bill just funding the DHS to pass.
- His announcement came after a House-passed bill that funded DHS but also blocked the executive order was filibustered by Senate Democrats for the fourth time. Angered by the inclusion of the blocking the executive order, Democrats united when McConnell called the bill up for a fourth procedural vote, blocking the measure 47-46. 60 “yeas” were needed for the bill to advance.
- With funding for the massive Homeland Security Department (which includes Customs and Border Protection, the TSA, FEMA, and the Secret Service), set to run out at midnight Friday, senators are scrambling to find a way a solution.
- Senate Republicans are split, with many supporting a “clean” bill that would just fund the DHS, while others are willing to shut down the agency if the funding bill doesn’t also block Obama’s immigration actions. Others are proposing different solutions.
- Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), for example, believes the party should continue on its current path (both funding DHS and rolling back the executive order) and just lower the number of “yea” votes needed for legislation to advance. Basically, he is advocating to use the “nuclear option” to require just 51 “yeas” for cloture votes on legislation that currently require 60. This is what Democrats did for nominees in 2013, and Republicans railed against the action. Now, roles may be reversed.
- Rahm Emanuel Faces Re-Election Battle in Chicago Mayoral Race Incumbent Rahm Emanuel, a former congressman and Obama White House chief of staff, faces a crowded field of challengers today as the Chicago mayoral race is held.
- To defend his seat in City Hall, Emanuel must receive 50% of the vote, or the election goes to an April 7 runoff. Polls show him leading the pack by a wide margin, but still lagging behind the 50% threshold.
- Emanuel’s challengers include Chicago City Alderman Robert Fioretti, Cook County Commissioner Chuy García, and others. Fioretti, García, Emanuel are all Democrats, but Emanuel is more establishment while García has cemented himself as a populist. Indeed, this race has emerged as “the latest front in a simmering nationwide battle between the establishment governing wing of the Democratic Party and a more restive, populist wing that is demanding a more openly liberal agenda,” according to the Washington Post.
- Race to 45: Travel Watch Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) continues his trip to the early primary state of New Hampshire today.
- After a book signing in Manchester and a town hall-style event in Hollis Monday, today he heads back to Manchester.
- Rubio will speak at a “Politics & Eggs” event at St. Anselm College. Since 1996, almost every major candidate seeking their party’s presidential nomination has spoken at “Politics & Eggs,” and the events have become a traditional part of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary.
- For example, leading up to the 2012 New Hampshire primary, GOP presidential candidates Ron Paul, New Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum all spoke at a “Politics & Eggs” event.
- Even Matthew Santos, the President-elect in NBC’s hit show “The West Wing” spoke at a “Politics & Eggs” event, albeit a fictional portrayal of the event on the show. The event made a cameo when “The West Wing,” now off the air, but on in our hearts, portrayed a presidential primary campaign, and Santos – who would go on to win the Presidency (in the show, not in real life) – went to speak at an event the fictional universe too called “Politics & Eggs”.
White House Watch
- The President’s Schedule At 11:20 AM, President Obama meets with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, the Emir (ruling monarch) of Qatar.
- The President and the Emir will discuss “political, economic, and security issues of mutual concern,” the White House said, as well as, “shared interest in supporting stability and prosperity in the Middle East.”
- A topic expected to head up the agenda for their meeting is the rise of the Islamic State group.
- At 2:10 PM, the President will meet with law enforcement officials from across the country “to thank them for their service to our communities” and “discuss how communities and law enforcement can work together to build trust to ensure public safety and strengthen neighborhoods.”
- Finally, at 4:15 PM, Obama will sit down with members of Congress in the Cabinet Room to discuss reforms to the criminal justice system.