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Tuesday, March 10, 2015
609 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Tuesday, March 10, 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
- GOP Senators Pen Letter to Iran A group of 47 Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Tom Cotton (AR), and including presidential hopefuls such as Marco Rubio (FL), Ted Cruz (TX), and Rand Paul (KY), wrote an open letter to the leaders of Iran telling them any nuclear deal with the United States will not be honored after Barack Obama leaves the White House.
- The letter was basically a primer on the balance of power between the three branches of government set up by the U.S Cnsitution. “We wanted to bring to our attention two features of our Constitution,” the senators wrote. “The power to make binding international agreements and the different character of federal offices”.
- “First, Under our Constitution, while the president negotiates international agreements, Congress plays the significant role of ratifying them….Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.”
- “Second, the offices of our Constitution have different characteristics…President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then – perhaps decades.”
- Just six Senate Republicans did not sign the letter: Lamar (TN), Dan Coats (IN), Thad Cochran (MS), Susan Collins (ME), Jeff Flake (AZ), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Bob Corker of (TN), the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
- The letter was a rare congressional interference into diplomatic negotiations, and White House Press Secretary called it a “rush to war, or at least the rush to the military option”.
- Vice President Joe Biden piled on, in a nine-paragraph statement denouncing the letter, saying it was “expressly designed to undercut a sitting President in the midst of sensitive international negotiations, [and] is beneath the dignity of an institution I revere” and served in for 36 years.
- Iranian foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif also released a statement, saying, “In our view, this letter has no legal value and is mostly a propaganda ploy. It is very interesting that while negotiations are still in progress and while no agreement has been reached, some political pressure groups are so afraid even of the prospect of an agreement that they resort to unconventional methods, unprecedented in diplomatic history.”
- The Senate was planning to hold a vote on the Iran sanction bill today, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell temporarily shelved it after Senate Democrats signaled plans to filibuster. Many Democrats say they will support the sanctions bill if no nuclear deal comes from the Obama Administration and Iran by March 24, two weeks away.
- The Washington Post asks, was the letter legal? See the answer here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/03/09/what-an-18th-century-non-war-with-france-has-to-do-with-the-senates-letter-to-iran/
- Hillary Clinton Releases “No Ceilings” Report Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ahead of an expected presidential launch next month, released the “No Ceilings” report on the progress that has occurred and is needed to achieve “full and equal participation” for women across the world. Clinton’s daughter Chelsea, and Melinda Gates, wife of Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, released the report with the former Secretary of State on Monday.
- Clinton will speak today at the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles meeting, which has been timed to coincide with the opening of a meeting of the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women. Both meetings mark the 20th anniversary of the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women, which Hillary Clinton led the U.S. delegation to in 1995.
- The report collects data from over 190 countries, and highlights the progress made for women since the 1995 Beijing conference, and work still required in the path to full gender equality.
White House Watch
- The President’s Schedule At 10:20 AM, President Obama will leave the White House for Atlanta, where he arrives at 12:15 PM.
- At 1:30 PM, Obama will speak on college aid at George Tech in Atlanta, where he will discuss ways to make college more affordable. The President will unveil a “Student Aid Bill of Rights,” which will require third-party lenders to inform borrowers about re-payment options, and will iniatie two news websites for students to see loan information and file complaints about loan providers. Obama will also direct the Education Department to do more to help Americans repay student loans and “make college more affordable and help all Americans invest in their educations,” according to the White House.
- At 4:30 PM, Obama will attend a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee, before departing Atlanta at 6:05 PM, and arriving at the White House at 7:50.