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Wake Up To Politics - January 6, 2015

To read today's edition of Wake Up To Politics in a PDF format, click here. Continue reading to find the text of the Wake Up in the body of the email!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015
673 Days Until Election Day 2016114th Congress is Sworn in: What to watch for, Obama meets with the President of Mexico, Rep. Chris Gibson to retire, Florida same-sex weddings begin as the state's former governor Jeb Bush weighs in, trivia, and more: It's Tuesday, January 6, 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!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com. To learn more about WUTP or subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or read my tweets and follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/Wakeup2Politics.
From the Editor's Desk

  • Hi! I got a few questions yesterday about the Event of the Year Magazine, which will come out within a week! Voting is over, so all you can do now is wait by your inbox for the suspense to end, the question running over again and again in your mind: What will be Event of the Year?
  • Not even I know. Oh wait, I do – because I’m writing the magazine. But soon, ALL WILL BE REVEALED!

Gabe Fleisher
Wake Up To Politics
Capitol Hill News

  • 114th Congress Opens A new Congress is in town – welcome to MLB Opening Day or Back-to-School Day for political junkies!
  • Agenda As Republicans take control of both houses of Congress today, they will be rolling out their agenda for the next two years, expected to be dominated by energy and health care. This week, the House GOP will start trying to pass legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline and prolong a workweek as defined in the Affordable Care Act, to 40 hours from 30 in the Obamacare legislation. Republican leaders hope to pass these measures through both the House and Senate, sending them to the President’s desk – which could result in his first second-term veto.
  • What to Watch For There are two things to watch for as the 114th Congress is sworn in and meets for the first time: 1) This is a day dictated by tradition, as all new members of the House and Senate are sworn in, and new leaders and chairmen are installed. Undoubtedly the best part of the day will be Vice President Joe Biden swearing in new senators, which, if history is any guide, hilarity will ensue. Because it’s senators and their families rotating, and Joe Biden will make small talk (and more than small talk) in a way only Joe Biden can. If you can, you should watch the Senate swearing-ins at 1 PM Eastern Time on C-SPAN.
  • 2) The new leaders can’t be installed until they are chosen. Only the Speaker of the House is left to be elected, in what is expected to be a contentious race. On the first day of Congress, the Clerk of the House will request nominations (historically two, one from each major party – although the trend in recent years has seen multiple Republican nominations) and then call the roll of Representatives-elect, who each must say their choice, who doesn’t have to have been nominated or even be a member of the House.
  • Democrats will vote for Nancy Pelosi, and most Republicans will vote for John Boehner, but 28 Republicans defecting would throw the Speaker election to a new ballot. This would require enough GOP insurgents (mostly tea partiers dissatisfied with Boehner’s leadership) to vote for one of the two candidates challenging Boehner: Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Ted Yoho (R-FL).
  • Since a majority is required, 28 Republican defects (assuming all Democrats  vote Pelosi) would throw the Speaker election to a second ballot, which has not happened since 1923. While it is unlikely Boehner will not receive a third term as Speaker today, it is possible the vote will go to a second ballot, a show of opposition from his own party that will be detrimental as Republicans try to advance their agenda as they take control of both house of Congress.
  • LINKS: About the new Congress One sentence on each new member of the House, from the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/12/02/there-are-lots-of-new-members-of-the-house-heres-the-one-sentence-you-need-to-read-about-each-of-them/?wpisrc=nl-fix&wpmm=1
  • Demographics on the 114th Congress, from the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/01/05/the-new-congress-is-80-percent-white-80-percent-male-and-92-percent-christian/

White House Watch

  • The President’s Schedule At 10 AM, President Obama receives the Presidential Daily Briefing.
  • At 11:05 AM, Obama will hold a working lunch with President Peña Nieto of Mexico. The two Presidents will discuss immigration, border security, the economy, trade, human rights, and the new U.S. policy on Cuba, among other issues.
  • At 2:40 PM, the President will have his 3rd annual meeting with the nine-person Executive Committee of the National Governors Association, which is currently chaired by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and vice chaired by Gov. Gary Herbert (R-UT). “[Obama and the governors] are likely to discuss legislative priorities that include new road and bridge spending,” according to Roll Call.
  • Finally, at 5 PM, President Obama will sit down with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Election Central

  • Gibson to Announce Retirement Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) will announce Tuesday his plans to retire at the end of next year, and not seek a fourth term in 2016. Gibson’s plans were first reported by Roll Call, and have since been reported by other news agencies.
  • Gibson’s retirement opens up a competitive seat, won twice by President Obama. Last year, however, Gibson coasted to a 30-point victory against venture capitalist Sean Eldridge, the Democratic nominee and husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. Democrats, who gave up hope in the district early in 2014, see this as a prime pick-up opportunity in 2016.
  • The New York Republican is the second House member to announce plans to retire in 2016; the first, Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, is also a Republican from a competitive district.
  • Same-Sex Weddings Begin in Florida, as Jeb Bush Evolves Miami-Dade on Monday became the first Florida county to allow weddings of gay couples, hours before the remaining 66 counties in the state legalized same-sex marriage at midnight.
  • Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage was lifted by Federal District Court Judge Robert Hinkle, who ruled the ban unconstitutional, in an August ruling which took effect at midnight Monday. Miami-Dade County began same-sex weddings Monday morning, after a separate case was decided by Sarah Zabel, a judge with jurisdiction over just Miami-Dade (Florida’s most-populated county). Hinkle’s decision, meanwhile, affected the entire state. The Sunshine State now becomes the 36th state to legalize gay marriage (in addition to the District of Columbia).
  • As gay couples in Miami began tying the knot Monday, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, weighed in on the decision: “We live in a democracy, and regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law,” a statement from Bush read Monday. “I hope that we can show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue – including couples making lifetime commitments to each other who are seeking greater legal protections and those of us who believe marriage is a sacrament and want to safeguard religious liberty.”
  • The statement shows on evolution by Bush on same-sex marriage…an evolution of one day. Just the day before releasing his statement advocating respect for gay couples, and “the rule of law” allowing them to marry in Florida, Bush seemed to think the will of the voters (who banned same-sex marriage in 2008) should not be reversed by a judge. “It ought be a local decision. I mean, a state decision,” Bush told the Miami Herald Sunday. “The state decided. The people of the state decided. But it’s been overturned by the courts, I guess.”
  • ---LINK: A long evolution – BuzzFeed News reports on a 1994 editorial with much different language on gay marriage from Jeb Bush: http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/jeb-bush-in-94-sodomy-shouldnt-be-given-same-protections-as#.ir3NqM3XEm

Question of the Day

  • Today’s Question Which constitutional amendment says that the new Congress should meet on January 3rd?
  • Email (wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com) or tweet (@WakeUp2Politics) me with your answer by tonight! If you answer correctly, your name will be in tomorrow’s Wake Up!