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Wednesday, May 13, 2015
545 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Wednesday, May 13, 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
- Senate Blocks Trade Authority, Democrats Buck Obama The Senate voted Tuesday to block legislation granting President Barack Obama the ability to fast-track trade deals through Congress. The authority, known as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), will be very important when Obama submits the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal with 12 Pacific nations, to Congress in the near future. Tuesday’s vote was 52-45, and the legislation required 60 to advance.
- The vote was along party lines, but not the ones you may think, considering President Obama supported the TPA legislation. In a stunning rebuke of their party’s leader, just one Democratic senator (Delaware’s Tom Carper) voted with all present Republican senators against the bill.
- Over the past few days, the White House employed a high-strung lobbying effort, employing top staffers, Cabinet officials, and even the President himself to convince Democratic senators to support the bill – the vote was a very revealing test of that lobbying effort and the influence President Obama holds over Senate Democrats.
- The trade issue split the Democratic Party apart, and exposed a nasty fight between President Barack Obama and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, with Obama calling Warren “a politician like everybody else” and the two firing back at each other over the trade deal. This issue isn’t going away, however, with some Democrats already pushing a compromise plan.
- House: Schedule The House will vote on two bills today: the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy; and the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act, which ends the NSA’s program of collecting Americans’ phone records. Both bills are expected to pass. The latter is likely to be approved by a larger margin; it is supported by lawmakers from both parties, and the White House.
White House Watch
- The President’s Schedule At 11 AM, President Obama will hold a bilateral meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. They are the two heirs to Saudi Arabia’s throne, in town for the summit with Gulf leaders Obama is hosting today and tomorrow.
- Initially, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had been planned to attend the summit, but he announced four days ago he would be sending his heirs instead, in a move widely seen as a snub of President Obama.
- At 12:30 PM, the President will have lunch with Vice President Joe Biden.
- At 5:30 PM, Obama will hold a South Lawn welcoming ceremony for the Gulf Cooperation Council leaders and delegations, and then will hold a dinner for them.
- Six Gulf nations will be participating in the summit, but only two are sending rulers. Kuwait and Qatar are both sending their Amir, or king. Oman is sending their deputy prime minister, while Bahrain and Abu Dhabi are sending Crown Princes.
- The summit is “an opportunity to discuss ways to enhance our mutual partnership and deepen security cooperation,” according to the White House. “The United States values greatly our relationship with the GCC countries, and we look forward to an in-depth and substantive exchange on key issues at this meeting, as we have enjoyed throughout our long history of consultation and cooperation.”