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Wake Up To Politics - November 17, 2015

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015
357 Days until Election Day 2016
76 Days until the Iowa Caucuses It's Tuesday, November 17, 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 and subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or like me on Twitter and Facebook. More ways to engage with WUTP at the bottom.    COMING SOON: A firsthand account from the Democratic debate in Des Moines

  • Due to homework and tests and things, I have not yet been able to complete my report from the Democratic debate in Des Moines, which I attended this weekend. But do not worry: it’s coming, and it will more than make up for the lost time by being generally amazing (I hope). Stay tuned!

Attacks in Paris

  • Governors to Refuse Muslim Refugees Nearly half of U.S. governors, at least 24 in total, announced Monday that they have asked the federal government not to resettle Syrian refugees inside their state boundaries.
  • The anti-refugee sentiments come in light of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, France – carried out by eight attackers, one of whom had a Syrian passport. Once that information was released Monday, many politicians denounced President Obama’s plan for the entrance of 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States.
  • According to NPR, the governors attempting to block migrant Syrians lead the states of: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.
  • Of these governors, just one is a Democrat: Maggie Hassan (NH), whose spokesman said Monday, “The Governor believes that the federal government should halt acceptance of refugees from Syria until intelligence and defense officials can assure that the process for vetting all refugees, including those from Syria, is as strong as possible.”
  • Many Republican presidential candidates joined their party’s governors in opposing resettling refugees in the United States. Frontrunner Donald Trump said Monday that Syrian refugee resettlement “would be one of the great Trojan horses,” while fellow outsider Ben Carson said that the U.S. “cannot, should not and must not accept any Syrian refugees.”
  • The three Republican candidates currently serving as state chief executives – Chris Christie (NJ), Bobby Jindal (LA), and John Kasich (OH) – were among those who requested not to have refugees in their states. Not to be left out, two Senate Republicans also running for President used their legislative platforms to introduce bills related to the topic.
  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Monday that he plans to roll out a bill to block Muslims fleeing from Syria, enforcing a religious test on those accepted by the United States.
  • Cruz’s Senate colleague and presidential rival, Rand Paul (R-KY), announced even wider-spread legislation, to “call for an immediate moratorium on visas for refugees,” Paul said Monday. “My bill will also stop all refugees, as well as others, from obtaining visas to immigrate, visit, or study in the U.S. from about 30 countries that have significant jihadists movements,” the Kentucky senator continued. “This bill will be paid for with a special tax on arms sale to any of these countries.”
  • Can Governors Even Block Refugees? No, but “they can make life difficult” for them, CNN reports: http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/16/politics/refugee-states-governors-syria/index.html
  • Remembering the Victims Via the Washington Post, a look at the 129 names and stories killed in the Paris attacks Friday: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/world/paris-attacks/victims/

2016 Central

  • Iowa’s Steve King Announces Cruz Endorsement Rep. Steve King (R-IA) endorsed Ted Cruz on Monday, handing the Texas senator inroads with Iowa conservatives.
  • King’s endorsement has been highly sought-after by many GOP presidential candidates this cycle, who believe his support could bring them a great deal closer to winning the Hawkeye State, which traditionally votes first in the presidential primary system. While he did not endorse in 2012, King backed Fred Thompson’s presidential bid in 2008.
  • “Ted Cruz has the positive conservative vision for the country that we need to correct the failures of the Obama Administration,” King said. “When I survey the challenges facing our country, and the slate of individuals who have stepped forward to offer to lead, one man stands out as the courageous conservative whom I believe can restore the soul of America. That man is Ted Cruz.”
  • “With Ted Cruz, conservatives no longer have to accept a Republican nominee who doesn’t truly share our values,” King continued.”
  • King’s support of Cruz has been expected for months: his son Jeff has worked as a consultant for a pro-Cruz super PAC, Keep the Promise I, since August, and the endorsement comes on the heels of Cruz’s rising poll numbers in Iowa, where he runs close behind Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

White House Watch

  • The President’s Schedule President Obama is the Philippines today, on Day 4 of his nine-day, three-nation Asia tour. *all times local – Philippine Time (PHT) – meaning while this is the November 17 schedule, it has all occurred already*
  • At 11:45am, the President touched down in Manila, the Filipino capital.
  • At 2:30pm, he toured the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, a Philippine Navy vessel originally known as the USCGC Hamilton: the ship was constructed and operated by the U.S. Coast Guard until its 2011 purchase by the Philippines.
  • At 2:45pm, President Obama spoke at Manila Harbor, with the Gregorio del Pilar behind him, announcing the hand-off of two more U.S. ships to the Philippines.
  • Finally, at 3:35pm, the President will meet with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Hotel Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Manila.
  • Obama is spending the night in the Philippines.

Capitol Hill News

  • Today in the House The U.S. House votes today on a number of bills and resolutions, including H. Res. 524 (“Condemning in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks in Paris, France, on November 13, 2015, that resulted in the loss of at least 129 lives”).
  • At the request of Speaker Paul Ryan, the full House will receive a classified briefing on the Paris attacks from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and FBI Director James Comey at 5:30pm today in the Capitol Visitor Center.
  • Today in the Senate The U.S. Senate will open its session with a moment of silence for the Paris victims. No votes will be held in the chamber today.

Question of the Day

  • Today’s Question President Obama in the Philippines today, a U.S. territory (later commonwealth) from 1899 to 1946. During that time, the Philippines was a represented by a Resident Commissioner in the United States Congress, as Puerto Rico is currently. American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands are currently represented by a Delegate in Congress. What is the difference between a Resident Commissioner and a Delegate?
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation, the Political Junkie podcast, and St. Louis Public Radio; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki, and read about Gabe in Politico, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light