President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with law enforcement officials to discuss policies the President put forward last month that would reduce gun violence in communities across America, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Jan. 28 (Photo by Pete Souza)
9:20: President Obama departs the White House
2:25: Arrives Las Vegas
2:55: Delivers remarks on immigration at Del Sol High School
5:00: Departs Las Vegas
9:20: Arrives at the White House
Washington Post: The Obama administration has developed its own proposals for immigration reform that are more liberal than a separate bipartisan effort in the Senate, including a quicker path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, people with knowledge of the proposals said.
President Obama is expected to provide some details of the White House plans during a Tuesday appearance in Las Vegas, where he will call for broad changes to the nation’s immigration laws. The speech will kick off a public push by the administration in support of the broadest overhaul of immigration law in nearly three decades.
Atlantic Wire: The gay community seemed to gasp in unison on Monday afternoon when the Senate revealed a much anticipated immigration plan that did not, in the end, include same-sex couples. But according to multiple reports Monday night, this is just the beginning: President Obama will include same-sex couples in the proposals of a major policy speech on immigration in Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon that will seek to build on “momentum” from Congress for broad reform.
Steve Benen: After a bipartisan group of eight senators unveiled their proposal for comprehensive immigration reform, most proponents of improving the status quo, including President Obama and his team, were delighted. All eyes, however, quickly turned to House Republicans, who’ve long opposed reform and are in a position to kill it in this Congress.
Liberal Librarian: So, the news of the day is that a bipartisan group of senators have a plan for comprehensive immigration reform. That’s all to the well and good. This country needs a sensible immigration policy that allows for the legalization of those undocumented immigrants already in the country, and for a rational method for immigrants to come in legally.
Now, don’t be mistaken: this Damascene conversion on the part of a few Republican senators is due more to the stranglehold that the Democratic Party has on immigrant voters, rather than to any true change of heart that maybe it would be a good idea to decriminalize 11 million US residents.
Washington Post: The nation’s housing market is surging again after years of historic declines, and the unique forces powering its return could last well into 2013.
The number of homes for sale is at its lowest level since before the recession, sparking competition among buyers that has led to 10 straight months of price increases. The volume of activity is the highest since 2007.
Builders broke ground in December on the most new housing developments in four years. And interest rates on mortgages are expected to remain near all-time lows through much of the year, galvanizing once-skeptical buyers.
President Obama hugs Donna Vanzant, the owner of North Point Marina, as he tours damage from Hurricane Sandy in Brigantine, N.J., Oct. 31, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Steve Benen: It’s taken far longer than it should have, but federal aid for areas affected by Hurricane Sandy is finally on the way.
…. it’s worth pausing to note the partisan split on Sandy relief – in the Senate, 36 Senate Republicans, including members representing coastal states like Florida, Texas, Alabama, and the Carolinas, voted against the federal aid. Or put another way, 80% of Senate Republicans opposed post-Sandy relief …. 78% of House Republicans voted against the emergency assistance.
….. it is now effectively the standard position of congressional Republicans to reject disaster relief unless the funding is offset by other spending cuts. So long, compassionate conservatism, we hardly knew you.
TPM: The Senate is fast-tracking its reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act to a floor vote expected by next week, two Democratic aides tell TPM.
But House Republican leaders remain silent on how they intend to proceed, which suggests that there has not been a breakthrough since last year, when the bill fell prey to the House GOP’s resistance to expand coverage to gays, illegal immigrants and Native Americans who have suffered domestic abuse.
Business Week: Last week campaign disclosure reports revealed that Hillary Clinton had finally retired the debt from her 2008 presidential campaign—with a little help from the guy who beat her, Barack Obama. Clinton’s debt once totaled more than $20 million, although it had dwindled to about $250,000 by last year. That’s when a team of top Obama donors decided to surprise Clinton, and thank her for her loyal service, by raising enough money to pay off her bills. As secretary of state, she was forbidden from political fundraising.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a Republican member of the Cabinet, feigns being a blocking back for President Barack Obama as he arrives backstage to meet with GOP House leaders before speaking to their issues conference at the Renaissance Baltimore Harbor Place Hotel in Baltimore, Md., Jan. 29, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
AP: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the only Republican still left in President Barack Obama’s first-term Cabinet, says he plans to leave the Obama administration.
…. LaHood says he will not run for public office in his home state of Illinois, saying he believes “you should go out while they’re applauding.”
President Obama watches the Vice Presidential debate aboard Air Force One with staff, en route home from Florida, Oct. 11 (Pete Souza)
The full debate:
Vice President Biden: “You probably detected my frustration with their attitude about the American people. My friend [Paul Ryan] says that 30% of the American people are takers, Romney [says] 47% of the people won’t take responsibility. He’s talking about my mother and father. He’s talking about the places I grew up in, my neighbors in Scranton, he’s talking about the people who built this country.
“All they’re looking for … is an even shot. Whenever you give them the shot, they’ve done it. They’ve done it. Whenever you’ve leveled the playing field, they’ve been able to move. They want a little bit of a peace of mind, and the President and I are not going to rest until that playing field is leveled, they in fact have a clear shot, and they have peace of mind—until they can turn to their kid and say with a degree of confidence, ‘Honey, it’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay.’ That’s what this is all about.”
Charles Pierce: For the second time in as many presidential elections, Joseph Biden got to debate a young, attractive Republican candidate who was demonstrably less qualified to to be president than I am to be chairman of the World Bank…
There is a deeply held Beltway myth of Paul Ryan, Man of Big Ideas, and it dies hard. But, if there is a just god in the universe, on Thursday night, it died a bloody death….
…. the battering that Biden gave Ryan brought something into sharp relief …. for his entire political career up to that point, on critical economic issues, Paul Ryan was an extremist even by the standards of the modern Republican party, which are considerably high indeed.
…. the profound ignorance he displayed on Thursday night on a number of important questions …. was so positively terrifying that it calls into question Romney’s judgment for putting this unqualified greenhorn on the ticket at all. Joe Biden laughed at him? Of course, he did. The only other option was to hand him a participation ribbon and take him to Burger King for lunch.
You know what’s the difference between Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan?
NYT Editorial: Thursday night’s vice-presidential debate was one of the best and meatiest political conversations in many years …. Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. would not sit still for a parade of misleading and often blatantly untruthful descriptions of the state of the economy and the Republican prescriptions for it…
Mr. Ryan, as always, refused to acknowledge the improvement in the economy ….ignoring the steady reduction in the national jobless rate, which dipped to 7.8 percent last month.
…. Mr. Biden repeatedly pointed out that Mr. Romney had firmly opposed the federal bailout of the auto industry, which turned out to be the single biggest act of job creation in the last four years. Mr. Ryan responded weakly that Mr. Romney was a “car guy” …
…. he showed Mr. Ryan’s hypocrisy on the subject by pointing out that the congressman had asked for stimulus money for his state of Wisconsin, just as other Republicans did even as they vilified the program.
Mr. Ryan’s performance on foreign affairs and military issues was at best disingenuous and at worst bumbling….
Dana Milbank: In the hours before Thursday night’s vice presidential debate, word leaked that the Romney-Ryan campaign had instructed moderator Martha Raddatz to address Paul Ryan as “Mister” rather than “Congressman.”
To her credit, Raddatz ignored such instructions and referred to the Republican vice presidential nominee by his more relevant title. Not that it mattered anyway: Vice President Biden was not about to let people forget that Ryan, and by extension Mitt Romney, are inextricably bound to the unpopular House Republican leadership.
On issue after issue — Libya, Iran, taxes, debt, Medicare, Social Security — Biden kept turning the discussion toward actions Ryan and his colleagues took in Congress, at one point mocking Ryan for suggesting he could work across the aisle to forge a tax deal. “Seven percent rating? Come on,” Biden needled.
…. Raddatz turned to the challenger for a response. “Congressman Ryan?”
After Biden’s barrage, the honorific sounded like an epithet.