Posts by Phil Pruitt, Yahoo! News
President Barack Obama will nominate Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Anthony Foxx to run the Transportation Department, the Associated Press reports.
Foxx will be the first black nominee among Obama's picks for second-term Cabinet spots.
Also worth noting on Monday:
• Obama will speak at the National Academy of Sciences annual meeting. • Republican former Gov. Mark Sanford and Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, sister of political satirist Stephen Colbert, face off in a debate leading up to a May 7 special election to fill South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District seat. • U.S. Senate chaplain Barry Black speaks at the Heritage Foundation on “Bridging the Religious and Secular Divide.”
And then there is this: Newt Gingrich will begin a three-day “Thank You South Carolina Tour.” It is the first time Gingrich has returned to the Palmetto State since winning the Republican presidential primary last year.
The House on Friday is expected to pass a measure approved late Thursday by the Senate that would end air traffic controller furloughs that were causing widespread airline flight delays. The furloughs were triggered by last month's automatic federal spending cuts.
The Senate unanimously passed the legislation, which gives the Department of Transportation flexibility to use unspent funds to cover the costs of air traffic controllers and other essential employees at the Federal Aviation Administration.
President Barack Obama on Friday meets with Jordan King Abdullah II at the White House, and topics are expected to include the crisis in Syria.
Obama will deliver remarks at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America National Conference on Friday. He canceled a planned keynote address at the organization's gala dinner Thursday in order to spend more time with the injured and the family and friends of the 14 people killed in an April 17 West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion.
The Senate Judiciary Committee continues work on the immigration reform bill Tuesday with testimony from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
It will be the committee’s third hearing on the legislation, which was unveiled last week.
Monday’s hearing was marked by a heated discussion over whether the deadly bombings in Boston, allegedly by two brothers who emigrated from Eastern Europe, should influence the immigration reform debate.
The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday on a proposal to expand gun sale background checks, and passage seems doubtful as opposition mounts.
Besides background checks, Senators could vote on eight other amendments to a broad gun control measure.
Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden will host a White House Google+ Hangout with Mayors Karen Freeman-Wilson (Gary, Ind.), Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (Baltimore), R.T. Rybak (Minneapolis) and Steve Scaffidi (Oak Creek, Wis.) to discuss steps to protect children and communities by reducing gun violence.
Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York filed a comprehensive immigration reform bill early Wednesday morning that already is getting criticism from the right and the left. A press event to roll out the bill has been delayed until later in the week.
The Senate’s agenda this week will be dominated by legislation that would require background checks for people buying guns at gun shows and online.
Background checks currently apply only to transactions handled by the country's 55,000 licensed gun dealers. Private transactions, such as a sale of a gun between family members, would still be exempt.
The proposal, crafted by Sens. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., picked up the support of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Sunday.
A vote on the measure could come as early as Wednesday, and it will be close.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday regarding the question of whether human genes can be patented.
The nine justices’ decision could reshape the fight against diseases such as breast and ovarian cancer and the multibillion dollar medical and biotechnology business, the Associated Press reports.
The Senate is expected Thursday to defeat efforts by some conservative members to block debate on legislation that would expand background checks to more gun buyers, toughen penalties against illicit sales and provide more money for school security.
The vote to proceed to debate comes a day after Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., unveiled a compromise to extend required federal background checks to gun shows and online transactions. Only noncommercial, personal transactions would be exempted.
Earlier in the day, Vice President Joe Biden will be on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to join a roundtable discussion on reducing gun violence.
It’s budget day in Washington—the day President Barack Obama releases his proposal for the fiscal year 2014 federal budget.
There will be briefings across town about what the blueprint would mean at various agencies and departments. Most Republicans, and some Democrats, meanwhile will find fault with the document on a number of fronts. But, as Yahoo News’ Olivier Knox points out, any president’s budget is mainly a political document, the president’s vision for the country and the economy, and is never actually passed in toto as the nation’s spending and revenue plan.
Obama’s budget is certain to come up Wednesday evening when he has dinner at the White House with 12 GOP senators. The occasion is part of a political outreach effort the president began last month.
Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder will deliver remarks Tuesday at the White House echoing President Barack Obama's call on Congress to pass measures they say would reduce gun violence. Biden and Holder will be joined by law enforcement officials from across the country.
Meanwhile, up on Capitol Hill, the Senate is expected to resume consideration of legislation that would require background checks for every firearm sale and the prohibition of anyone listed in the national instant criminal background check system from buying a gun.
Obama took the gun control campaign to Connecticut on Monday, and brought back 12 family members on Air Force One who were affected by the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December. The relatives want to meet with senators who have yet to back gun violence legislation to encourage their support.
President Barack Obama heads to Connecticut on Monday to continue his push for “common-sense measures to reduce gun violence.”
Obama will speak at the University of Hartford, and he’ll also meet with families affected by the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown last December.
The Senate could take up gun-control legislation this week, but it is unclear if Republicans will let it come to a vote. Sens. Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz have threatened to filibuster legislation that would “infringe on the American people's constitutional right to bear arms, or on their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance."
Also worth noting on Monday: Secretary of State John Kerry continues a three-day visit to Israel and the West Bank aimed at restarting peace talks; Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew begins a two-day visit to Europe for discussions on economic developments in the region; and the Senate returns after its Easter recess.
President Barack Obama arrives in Israel on Wednesday for his first visit to the country as president.
Obama will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on all three days, hold separate talks in the occupied West Bank with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and make a speech to students.
Obama will try to coax the Palestinians and Israelis back to peace talks, Reuters reports, and he will seek to reassure Netanyahu he is committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear bomb.
The Federal Reserve will release its latest policy statement, along with a new set of economic projections, on Wednesday. Despite signs that the U.S. economy is improving, the Fed is expected to continue its bond-buying stimulus program.