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Monday, March 2, 2015
617 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Monday, March 2, 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
- The President’s Schedule At 11 AM, President Obama will meet with the members of his Task Force on 21st Century Policing in the Roosevelt Room about their recommendations on how to strengthen trust in community policing.
- The Task Force was established in December after the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of police officers, and their deadline for a report to the President is today.
- At 3:30 PM, Obama sits down with members of the Technology CEO Council in the Roosevelt Room to discuss cybersecurity, immigration, tax reform, and other issues.
- The Council is made up of chairmen and CEOs of IT companies, and works to develop public policy on issues related to technology and trade.
Today on Tap
- AIPAC The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual policy conference opens in Washington, D.C. today.
- Over the next three days, the 16,000+ activists assembled (the most in the group’s history) will hear from Obama Administration officials (President Obama's national security adviser Susan Rice and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power), Israeli politicians (such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhau, ahead of his address to a Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday), members of Congress (including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Bob Menendez of New Jersey, and top Israel defender Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina), and dozens of other experts, political strategists, as well as diplomats and lawmakers (sitting and former) from both Israel and the United States.
- According to AIPAC, at some point in the conference, more than half of Senate members and 2/3 of House members will attend the conference. Tomorrow, thousands of AIPAC delegates will flock to Capitol Hill for over 500 lobbying meets with members of the House and Senate.
Capitol Hill News
- Senate Schedule On Friday, Congress passed a 7-day CR to fund the Department of Homeland Security until midnight on Friday, March 6. Faced with a deadline for last Friday, basically they just kicked the can down for a week.
- Now, the Senate considers a bill today to move to conference (a group that would include members of both chambers and parties and would work to eliminate differences on DHS funding before the deadline).
- After two hours of debate, a cloture vote will be held (with 60 votes needed), and if that is successful, a vote on the motion to go to conference. The motion will authorize he committee of conferees, and authorize the appointment of conferees.
- However, Senate Democrats are expected to block the motion to go to conference, playing all eyes on House Speaker John Boehner to see his next move.
- Democrats believe Boehner will fold, and hold a vote on a “clean” bill to fund the DHS through the fiscal year. Although many in his party would like the bill to block President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, Democrats think Boehner will not want to be pegged with a shutdown of the agency, and will allow a “clean” bill to pass.
- ---LINK: How we got here (HINT: McConnell and Boehner aren’t friends): http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/boehner-and-mcconnell-arent-friends-and-it-shows/2015/02/26/d7595184-bddc-11e4-8668-4e7ba8439ca6_story.html
- Supreme Court Hears Redistricting Case The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission today, examining the constitutionality of a state using an independent committee for redistricting.
- The case has its roots in Arizona, where a proposition was passed by voters in 2000 to establish a bipartisan committee with control over redistricting. Redistricting, the constitutionally-prescribed act of altering the congressional district maps in a state every ten years after the census, has become very partisan is recent years. Often, whichever party in power of the legislature can gerrymander the maps, or change them so their party has an edge in the congressional districts, and will have an easier time electing congressmen from their party.
- Naturally, the Republican-controlled state legislature was not too happy about losing control of the process, and is suing to return the power to them. The way the Court decides to rule will have effects on redistricting across the nation.
- The legislature’s challenge to the commission lies in Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution, which reads “the Times, Places and Manner of holding elections for . . . Representatives [in the House] shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof, but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations.”
- Basically, what Arizona’s legislature is saying is, this commission is not the Legislature and cannot control the “Manner of holding elections for…Representative [in the House]”
- ---LINK: Read more on the case from the Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/09/can-the-voters-take-politics-out-of-redistricting/380150/
Question of the Day
- Thursday’s Answer The question: if the House and Senate fail to arrive at consensus, it will mean a shutdown at the Department of Homeland Security, the third-largest Cabinet agency. What are the top two?
- The answer: the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs are the two largest Cabinet agencies, with Homeland Security coming in at No. 3.
- GREAT JOB…Marilyn Schapiro, Tobias Gibson, Steve Gitnik, and Rick Isserman!!!
- Also, partial credit to Brad Chotiner and @jacobfhsmith, who got one of the two correct.
- Finally – belated credit to Sheryl Sharp, who got a question right last week, and I forgot to mention her. Sorry!