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Wake Up To Politics - January 5, 2016

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Tuesday, January 5, 2015
27 Days until the Iowa Caucuses
308 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 11:40am, President Barack Obama will announce a series of “commonsense executive actions” that “the administration is taking to reduce gun violence and make our communities safer,” according to the White House. The remarks, taking place in the East Room, will be attended by dignitaries such as Vice President Joe Biden and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, as well as people whose “lives have been impacted” by gun violence.
  • The executive actions, detailed by the White House in advance of Obama’s remarks, are focused on four main goals:
  1. “Keep guns out of the wrong hands through background checks,” with an ATF directive that all anyone “engaged in the business” of selling firearms must be licensed and must conduct background checks, even if the transaction takes place at a gun show or over the Internet. This Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) directive, which could apply to vendors who only make one or two transactions of guns, attempts to close the “gun show loophole” used to avoid background checks. Other actions will be taken to require background checks on firearms purchased through trusts or corporations, another common loophole; to ensure States are sharing criminal history records with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS); and to increase the NICS workforce by 50% by hiring 230 additional examiners.
  2. “Make our communities safer from gun violence,” with a request for 200 new ATF agents in the President’s FY2017 budget to enforce gun laws, creation of an Internet Investigations Center by the ATF to track illegal online gun purchases, an ATF directive clarifying who is responsible for guns lost or stolen in transit (the dealer shipping the gun), and with renewed efforts by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices to combat domestic violence.
  3. “Increase mental health treatment and reporting to the background check system,” with a proposal for $500 million to increase mental health care, ensuring the Social Security Administration shares mental health records with NICS, and clarification by the Department of Health and Human Services that States should share all necessary mental health records.
  4. “Shape the future of gun technology,” with a Presidential Memorandum directing the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security to prepare a report on “smart gun safety technology” and to regularly research its availability.
  • The vast majority of these actions require no approval from Congress, which many congressional Republicans took issue with.
  • “While we don’t yet know the details of the plan, the president is at minimum subverting the legislative branch, and potentially overturning its will,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said in a statement. “His proposals to restrict gun rights were debated by the United States Senate, and they were rejected. No president should be able to reverse legislative failure by executive fiat, not even incrementally. The American people deserve a president who will respect their constitutional rights – all of them. This is a dangerous level of executive overreach, and the country will not stand for it.”
  • In addition, Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) – who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee with oversight of the Justice Department – penned a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Monday informing her that if her Department “attempted to create new restrictions on our Constitutional rights that I would use every tool at my disposal to immediately restrict their access to federal funding.”
  • At 3pm, President Obama meets with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

Capitol Hill News

  • Senate: Today The Senate is not in session.
  • House: Today The House will hold its first vote of 2016 today: a simple Quorum Call, to establish a quorum for the Second Session of the 114th Congress.

2016 Central

  • Jim McDermott, Longtime Washington Rep., to Retire Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) announced Monday that he will retire from Congress at the end of his current term. McDermott, 79, has served Washington’s 7th district since 1989.
  • “I love representing the people of the Seventh District because they inspire me to pursue and achieve public policy goals that improve the lives of all Americans,” McDermott said in a Seattle news conference announcing his retirement.
  • Prior to his House election, McDermott served in both house of the Washington state legislature, ran twice for governor, and later served in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a Foreign Service medical officer.
  • In his 14 House terms, McDermott has become known “for his work on issues affecting the poor and for his affective criticism of the Iraq war,” according to the New York Times, as well as for leaking an illegally recorded telephone call among then-Speaker Newt Gingrich, his lawyers, and other GOP lawmakers, which led to McDermott being successfully sued by then-Rep. John Boehner.
  • A former chairman of the House Ethics Committee, McDermott also currently holds a seat on the Ways and Means Committee, a coved spot that will be vacated once he retires. His likely successor is state Rep. Brady Walkinshaw (D-WA), who has already announced his plans to run for the seat. The seat is strongly Democratic: McDermott won with 80% of the vote in 2014, and Mitt Romney received just 18% in the 7th district in 2012.
  • “For more than 40 years, Jim McDermott has worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of Washington State,” President Barack Obama said in a statement Monday, continuing: “Across America, you'll find families that are better off because Jim McDermott was fighting for them.”
  • Today on the Trail Where are the 2016 presidential candidates today?
  • Iowa Caucus, February 1
  • Hillary Clinton will hold Organizing Events in Osage and Council Bluffs, and a “Fighting For Us” Town Hall in Sioux City, as part of a two-day Iowa swing to “discuss her plans to get results for children and families so they can get ahead and stay ahead.”
  • Ted Cruz will make Retail Stops in Cherokee and Onawa and hold a Town Hall in Sioux Center, as part of his weeklong “Cruzin’ to Caucus” Iowa swing.
  • Mike Huckabee will hold Town Halls on “manufacturing jobs for Iowa” in Sheffield and Garner, a Town Hall on “Iowa farmers fueling America” in Mason City, and Huckabee Huddles on honoring veterans in Charles City and on protecting Social security in Parkersburg as part of a “month-long final push” in Iowa.
  • Marco Rubio will continue his three-day “New Year, New American Century” Iowa swing with Town Halls in Cedar Rapids, Mason City, and Fort Dodge to “share his vision for A New American Century”.
  • New Hampshire Primary, February 9
  • Cattle Calls: New Hampshire Forum on Addiction and the Heroin Epidemic in Hooksett will be addressed by Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina; New Hampshire Primary Student Convention in Manchester will be addressed by Chris Christie, Rand Paul, John Kasich, Jim Gilmore, Carly Fiorina, and Martin O’Malley.
  • Jeb Bush will hold Town Halls in Dover and Petersborough.
  • Chris Christie will hold “Tell It Like It Is” Town Halls in Rochester
  • Carly Fiorina will hold a “Coffee with Carly” event in Manchester and a Town Hall in Hooksett, as part of a weeklong New Hampshire swing.
  • Jim Gilmore will meet with supporters in Center Harbor, as part of a three-day New Hampshire visit.
  • Rand Paul will hold a “Stand with Rand” Town Hall with senior citizens in Concord and a Town Hall in Exeter, in a two-day “grassroots swing” through New Hampshire.
  • Donald Trump will hold a Rally in Claremont.
  • New York Primary, April 19
  • Bernie Sanders will deliver a “major policy address on Wall Street reform and financial policy” in New York City.
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