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"Lawmakers will return to the Capitol on Monday from a weeklong recess, facing a critical juncture on immigration legislation and controversies" at the IRS and DoJ "that will test Congress's ability to balance its twin responsibilities of legislating and investigating" (New York Times).
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) "predicted Sunday that a bipartisan immigration reform package will pass the full Senate with broad support by the Independence Day holiday" (Washington Post).
VP Biden "is set to headline a breakfast" fundraiser for the DNC in San Francisco on June 17 (San Jose Mercury News).
MA SEN Special: NRSC Chair Jerry Moran said Sunday the race between Rep. Edward Markey (D) and ex-Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez (R) is a three-to-six-point contest just three weeks before voters head to the polls (Hotline reporting).
NJ GOV '13: Gov. Chris Christie (R) "remains far ahead" of state Sen. Barbara Buono (D) in fundraising (Newark Star-Ledger).
AR SEN: "Speaking at a 'Sportsmen Town Hall' in downtown Little Rock" on Saturday, Sen. Mark Pryor (D) "defended his vote against expanded background checks for firearms purchases" before an audience "that included the father of a student killed in last year's" school shooting in Newtown, CT (AP).
IA SEN: Ex-U.S. Atty Matt Whitaker (R) "will officially announce his candidacy" at an event in Ankeny on Monday (Des Moines Register).
MI SEN: Ex-Sec/State Terri Lynn Land (R) announced Monday she is "putting together a campaign strategy and a policy team" and will file to run by July 1 (Facebook).
NE SEN: Ex-Treas. Shane Osborn (R) "has filed papers" with the FEC to establish a candidate cmte, "allowing him to begin raising funds" (Lincoln Journal Star).
CA-10: '12 nominee/ex-astronaut Jose Hernandez (D) "said he is still considering a second run," even though the DCCC "has already chosen another candidate" (Stockton Record).
FL-26: Rep. Joe Garcia (D) "on Saturday attempted to control the damage inflicted on his office a day earlier, when he dismissed" CoS Jeffrey Garcia (no relation) "for apparently orchestrating a scheme to submit hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests" during the '12 primary (Miami Herald).
MD-06: '12 SEN nominee/ex-Secret Service agent Dan Bongino (R) told a convo of Young GOPers on Saturday that "he will formally announce his bid" June 18. Though he doesn't live in the CD, Bongino said "he is considering 'a property acquisition' in the district he would like to represent" (Washington Post).
FL GOV: Ex-Gov. Charlie Crist (D) "has spoken in recent weeks" with "multiple" nat'l political consultants "about assembling a team to run ... accelerating his deliberations about a possible comeback bid" (Politico).
MD GOV: Rep. Elijah Cummings (D) will announce Monday "that he is endorsing" the ticket of LG Anthony Brown (D) and his running mate, also being unveiled Monday, Howard Co. Exec. Ken Ulman (D) (Baltimore Sun). AG Doug Gansler (D) "released a statement Saturday saying in no uncertain terms that while he intends to finish out his second term ... he will not seek a third" (Baltimore Sun). Harford Co. Exec. David Craig (R) will announce his candidacy Monday morning "in front of his home in Havre de Grace" (Washington Post).
NE GOV: Center for Rural Affairs exec. dir. Chuck Hassebrook (D) "will announce his candidacy" Tuesday "in his hometown of Lyons" (Lincoln Journal Star).
NM GOV: House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Min. Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) are scheduled to appear at a fundraiser for Gov. Susana Martinez (R) Tuesday evening in DC that "is expected to raise 'six figures'" (CNN).
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• The NRSC is in a tough spot: They can't openly back a candidate in a crowded primary, but they have to be seen doing something to avoid the Sharron Angle/Christine O'Donnell/Todd Akin/Richard Mourdock nightmare scenarios. Watch the committee's actions in GA and AK, the two states most likely to produce the next arch-conservative.
• NM Gov. Susana Martinez has been building her regional profile with a series of fundraisers and business events in other Western states over the past few months; now she's taking her show national with a big-name DC fundraiser this week. She doesn't generate anywhere near the buzz of other rising GOP stars, but Republicans outside her state are slowly and steadily getting the chance to learn more about her.
HAIR OF THE DOG
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
"Lack of collegiality. Refusal to compromise. An absolute reluctance to work together. And I think a total loss of the understanding of the traditions" -- Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), "who is poised to become the longest serving member of Congress this week," asked about "the biggest changes he has seen over his more than 57-year career in Congress" (ABC News).
At this week's Park City, UT, retreat hosted by ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney (R) for his WH '12 donors, attendees can experience an "early morning skeet-shooting excursion" with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), "a golf game" with Paul and a "chance to mingle over breakfast" with NJ Gov. Chris Christie (R) (Los Angeles Times).
Ex-MN Gov. Jesse Ventura (I) dangled "the possibility" of a WH '16 bid "at a State Capitol reception Friday," showing up "in a tie-dyed shirt and bluejeans, showing off his 'six-pack' abs to reporters," and suggesting "he would want shock-jock Howard Stern as his running mate" (Minneapolis Star Tribune).
L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) is "throwing an epic party" this Friday night in Grand Park, "billed as 'The Ultimate L.A. Block Party,'" that will "serve as a goodbye" to the outgoing mayor (Los Angeles Times).
Term-limited VA Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) "stretched out his legs onto a coffee table in his office" during an interview last Friday and said that for the 22 consecutive years he has held elective office, he's "thought about writing" books "on themes ranging from 'our great American republic' to the nation's threatened ability to compete globally" (AP).
Dems "close to Schumer describe him as anywhere from ambivalent to unhappy" about ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner's (D) NYC mayoral bid, despite the fact that Weiner "built his political career on the politics he learned as a staffer for Schumer" (New York Daily News).
"Nearly four years after sneaking away to a deserted island in the North Pacific," Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) "took a secret four-day trip" with two of his sons last month to Biggarenn, MH, "an unoccupied island that Flake estimated was just 55 to 70 acres in size" (Washington Post).
"I guess I wouldn't mind you knowing our efforts in Massachusetts, but if I told you, you would tell others, or others would hear this conversation, and we're not interested in letting the other side know the nature of our involvement in that campaign" -- Moran, hinting that there might be more GOP investment in the MA SEN special than has been disclosed so far (Hotline reporting).
Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) "is refusing to back a bill that would end the sequestration of 9/11 victims' compensation funds because he wasn't invited to a press conference, according to an organizer" (New York Post).
Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR) "is now mixing politics and motor-cross" (KTHV-TV).
Rapper Doug E. Fresh and Newark (NJ) Mayor Cory Booker (D) will "debut the exclusive world premiere of their new song and video they recorded together titled 'Everybody'" Monday on "The Dr. Oz Show;" the song "was created as a fun way to motivate kids to make healthier fitness and wellness choices" (BroadwayWorld.com).
"Why I secretly recorded Mitch McConnell" (Salon).
William Henry Harrison attended medical school, but he didn't finish because, he said, he didn't enjoy it.
The winner is Brian Bartlett, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Gomez is a former Navy SEAL and Naval Aviator. How many other Navy SEALs and/or Naval Aviators have ever served in Congress?" The 1st correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
"I bike, I hike, I kayak, I compost. I plant trees. In fact, I have a giant sequoia from California I'm trying to grow in Kentucky. I haven't had much luck yet but I'm still trying" -- Paul, "literally" patting "himself on the back" at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA, on Friday (Louisville Courier-Journal).
"Oh, I bet you snowed her under. The big handsome lumberman from America. I'll bet you told her all your trees were Sequoias" -- "Frances Stevens" ("To Catch a Thief").
Reid Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
Steven Shepard, Executive Editor