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Monday, May 18, 2015
540 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Monday, May 18, 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 participate in an Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony, an event where the President receives the credentials of Ambassadors sent by foreign countries. When the president signs off on their credentials, the ambassador may begin officially serving in Washington as a diplomat from their nation.
- In today’s ceremony, Obama will be receiving credentials from the Ambassadors of India, Malawi, Albania, Ecuador, Brazil, Tunisia, and Nepal.
- Obama will depart the White House for Philadelphia at 11:50 AM, arriving in his destination at 12:50 PM.
- The President will then head to Camden, New Jersey, where he will tour the Real-Time Tactical Operational Intelligence Center at 1:20 PM.
- At 2:05 PM at a Camden community center, President Obama will meet with youth and law enforcement, before speaking there as well.
- Obama is speaking in Camden because the city has been designated by his Administration as a “Promise Zone,” a status “which leverages federal grants to increase economic opportunity, reduce crime and improve public health, among other priorities identified by the community,” according to the White House.
- The President’s remarks will focus on “the efforts of the Camden County Police Department to build trust between their Department and the community they serve” and “how these kinds of partnerships and community investments [similar to the “Promise Zone” designation] are a crucial part of creating ladders of opportunity for all Americans,” according to the White House.
- The Camden visit was timed with today’s release of recommendations from the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, formed following the police shooting and protests in Ferguson. The White House will announce today that, as the task force report recommends, local police will be banned from military-style gear, such as bayonets, weaponized vehicles, and grenade launchers. More equipment, such as tactical vehicles, explosives, and riot gear, will be made available to local police departments only if “provide additional certification [is granted to the department] and assurances that the gear will be used responsibly [are made],” according to the Washington Post.
- At 4:40 PM, Obama departs Philadelphia, arriving at the White House at 5:40 PM.
Capitol Hill News
- Senate: Schedule The Senate continues consideration of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill today, voting on two amendments to the measure.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that he was confident in the bill’s chances of being passed by the Senate this week.
- House: Schedule The House will vote on a number of bills today, including the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. This measure returns to the lower chamber after being passed by the Senate last month after weeks of debate; during the Senate consideration, a provision relating to abortion funding was changed.
- Now, the House must pass the new version of the bill, and Speaker John Boehner is expected to disallow amendments that would put the provision back in, and threaten final passage by both chambers.
- The bill, authored by Texas Sen. John Cornyn, “increases fines on sex traffickers, creates a fund to help trafficking victims and provides new funding to train healthcare workers, child welfare officials and law enforcement officers who confront the issue... [and] expands investigators' powers to look into a suspects' communications and hikes penalties on those who solicit commercial sex, holding them and traffickers equally accountable,” according to The Hill.
- Graham to Make 2016 Update Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) will appear on CBS’ “This Morning” at 8 AM Eastern Time, when he will make an announcement about 2016, he told supporters.
- Graham emailed his supporters Sunday, saying: “Tomorrow morning I will be giving a very important update on my 2016 plans and I want to make sure you are able to hear it.”
- The South Carolinian said earlier this month that a Graham for President bid was 98.6% likely, and told the South Carolina House Republicans on Wednesday he was 99.9% sure he was running.
- MSNBC, which first reported Graham’s announcement, reports that Graham will not be launching his campaign today; Politico reported earlier this month that Graham was looking at June 1 to formally announce his campaign.
- Video of the Day As “Saturday Night Live” leaves for the summer, during its season finale Saturday, “Hillary Clinton” (AKA Kate McKinnon) gave a preview of her fun summer plans AKA campaigning ruthlessly and building White House sand castles in this hilarious clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1B4bA1U5taA
- Race to 45: Travel Tracker A look at travel by presidential candidates, potential and announced, today:
- Iowa Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes her second trip to Iowa today since announcing a presidential campaign last month. Clinton’s two-day Iowa trip will kick off today with a meeting at a Mason City private home with organizers working for her campaign.
- Former Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), a 2012 presidential candidate exploring a second White House bid, will hold four events in the Hawkeye State today, hitting the cities of Rock Rapids, Sioux Center, Le Mars, and Holstein.
- Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR), a 2016 presidential candidate, is in Iowa today for his “Hope to Higher Ground” tour through the state. Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), a potential presidential candidate, is also in Iowa, holding three events in Webster City, Mason City, and Waverly.
- Huckabee and Santorum will also appear together today; both are participating in the FAMiLY Leader Northeast Iowa Presidential Lecture Series. The FAMiLY Leader has been described as “an influential evangelical group in Iowa” by Politico, and the group is led by President/CEO Bob Vander Plaats, a conservative activist and three-time gubernatorial candidate with ties to both Huckabee and Sanoturm (he chaired the former’s 2008 Iowa campaign, and endorsed the latter in 2012).
- The event, held at Cedar Falls High School in Cedar Falls, is the second of FAMiLY Leader’s four Regional Summits.
- New Hampshire As part of his “Tell It Like It Is” tour through New Hampshire, Christie will deliver a speech in Portsmouth today on “America's Role in the World”, and later hold a town hall meeting in Hudson.
- Florida Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his wife Columba will hold a “hometown reception” fundraising event in Miami, Florida tonight. Also in attendance will be Reps. Mario Díaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and former Rep. Lincoln Díaz-Balart.
- The event will likely be outreach to Hispanic Americans: Columba is Mexican-born; Mario and Lincoln Díaz-Balart, who are brothers, are both Cuban-American; as is Ros-Lehtinen. The latter Díaz-Balart chairs the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute, while Ros-Lehtinen is the first Cuban-American and first Latina member of Congress. The event will be held at the Jorge Mas Canosa Youth Center, named for the late Cuban-American lobbyist.