President Obama: “I am proud to honor these inspiring American innovators. They represent the ingenuity and imagination that has long made this Nation great – and they remind us of the enormous impact a few good ideas can have when these creative qualities are unleashed in an entrepreneurial environment.”
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.”
Three years ago today: President Obama greets a young child after a town hall meeting at the Bob Martinez Sports Center at the University of Tampa in Tampa, Fla., Jan. 28, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
11:15: President Obama and VP Biden meet with police chiefs to discuss gun control
12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press
1:40: President Obama welcomes the NBA Champion Miami Heat to the White House
CNN: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will meet with police chiefs and sheriffs from major cities about gun violence on Monday, a White House official said.
The president is holding the private event one day before launching his push for immigration reform, demonstrating the administration’s plan to press multiple policy goals simultaneously.
After weeks of meetings with various stakeholders in the gun control debate, Obama and Biden announced multiple legislative proposals aimed at curbing gun violence and 23 executive actions on guns and related mental health issues the president can take without congressional approval.
Bob Woodward (Washington Post): In the first months of the Obama presidency in 2009, Chuck Hagel, who had just finished two terms as a U.S. senator, went to the White House to visit with the friend he had made during the four years they overlapped in the Senate.
So, President Obama asked, what do you think about foreign policy and defense issues?
According to an account that Hagel later gave he told Obama: “We are at a time where there is a new world order. We don’t control it. You must question everything ….. Afghanistan will be defining for your presidency in the first term, perhaps even for a second term.” The key was not to get “bogged down.”
AP: A bipartisan group of leading senators has reached agreement on the principles of sweeping legislation to rewrite the nation’s immigration laws. The deal, which was to be announced at a news conference Monday afternoon, covers border security, guest workers and employer verification, as well as a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country.
Although thorny details remain to be negotiated and success is far from certain, the development heralds the start of what could be the most significant effort in years toward overhauling the nation’s inefficient patchwork of immigration laws.
President Barack Obama also is committed to enacting comprehensive immigration legislation and will travel to Nevada on Tuesday to lay out his vision, which is expected to overlap in important ways with the Senate effort.
Greg Sargent: Today a bipartisan group of Senators will unveil the framework for a major new immigration reform bill. You can read the framework right here. The most important fact about the plan is that it articulates as a policy goal the need to provide a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. That was the bottom line for Senate Democrats and immigration reform advocates, and they got four Republican Senators to agree to it.
It’s the price Democrats paid for this concession that could be the problem. It’s a cliche to say at such moments that the “Devil is in the details,” but in this case, boy is the Devil ever in the details…..
Michael Tomasky: A Response to David Mamet on Gun Control – …. zero would have been the optimal word count for Mamet’s bizarre rant in Newsweek about how Barack Obama, acting on subliminal instruction from Karl Marx, wants to take away his guns and throw his family to the wolves. But he could at least have gotten it down to eight, or even better four. “Me really angry man” would have sufficed.
… I could go on, but I think I’ll follow the old Mamet’s sound advice and refrain from today’s Mamet’s unhousebroken prolixity. It’s basically kind of boring; another rich white man yelping about his taxes and so on. Makes one wish that some of the lurid things these people believe Obama wants to do to them were actually true.
Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Edward Kennedy participate in a campaign rally in the Bender Arena at American University January 28, 2008 in Washington, DC. Obama received the endorsement of Sen. Kennedy, Rep. Patrick Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the late President John. F. Kennedy, who announced her support for Obama in a New York Times opinion piece titled “A President Like My Father.”
Sunday: The President has no public events scheduled. (7.0 ET: The President and Hillary Clinton’s 60 Minutes interview)
Monday: The President will welcome the NBA Champions Miami Heat to the White House to honor the team and their 2012 victory
Tuesday: The President will travel to Las Vegas where he will deliver remarks. He will return to Washington, DC in the evening
Wednesday and Thursday: The President will attend meetings at the White House
Friday: The President will award 12 eminent researchers the National Medal of Science and eleven extraordinary inventors the National Medal of Technology and Innovation at the White House, the highest honors bestowed by the United States Government upon scientists, engineers, and inventors
NYT: A brand new conservative group calling itself Americans for a Strong Defense and financed by anonymous donors is running advertisements urging Democratic senators in five states to vote against Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee to be secretary of defense, saying he would make the United States “a weaker country.”
Another freshly minted and anonymously backed organization, Use Your Mandate, which presents itself as a liberal gay rights group but purchases its television time through a prominent Republican firm, is attacking Mr. Hagel as “anti-Gay,” “anti-woman” and “anti-Israel” in ads and mailers…..
AP: Thousands of people, many holding signs with names of gun violence victims and messages such as “Ban Assault Weapons Now,” joined a rally for gun control on Saturday, marching from the Capitol to the Washington Monument.
Leading the crowd were marchers with “We Are Sandy Hook” signs, paying tribute to victims of the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Washington Mayor Vincent Gray and other city officials marched alongside them. The crowd stretched for at least two blocks along Constitution Avenue.
Participants held signs reading “Gun Control Now,” “Stop NRA” and “What Would Jesus Pack?” among other messages. Other signs were simple and white, with the names of victims of gun violence.
About 100 residents from Newtown, where a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six teachers, traveled to Washington together….
President Barack Obama’s statement on Sen. Tom Harkin’s announcement that he would not seek re-election:
“By the time Senator Harkin finishes his fifth term, he will have represented the people of Iowa in the United States Congress for an incredible 40 years. He has served in the U.S. Senate longer than any Democrat in Iowa’s history. During his tenure, he has fought passionately to improve quality of life for Americans with disabilities and their families, to reform our education system and ensure that every American has access to affordable health care. Senator Harkin will be missed, and Michelle and I join Iowans in thanking him for his long-standing service and wish him and his wife, Ruth, all the best in the future.”
Charles Pierce: The next time I hear some lefty mooing about the president’s having let down the side on something or another, it better be about something of substance, like the Keystone XL pipeline, or I’m going to boot said lefty’s hindquarters in the general direction of the federal appeals court of the District Of Columbia, which today laid down the most singular piece of partisan hackery to come out of a court since Antonin Scalia picked the previous president.
…. This, children, is what you get when you operate politically under the theory that They’re All The Same. You get 20 or 30 years of primarily Republican judges acting primarily as Republicans, drawn from the legal chop-shops in the conservative movement bubble, and doing their partisan duty like performing seals.
David Sentelle would be the one in the center ring with the ball on his nose …. This is a guy who thinks the NLRB itself is constitutionally illegitimate….
…. Three decades of this, and what you get are decisions like the one that was handed down today. Tell me again how it never mattered.
President Obama talks with PM Tusk of Poland in the private residence of the White House, Sept. 17, 2009. NSC Chief of Staff Denis McDonough is in the background (Photo by Pete Souza)
Washington Post: President Obama will name deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough, a longtime trusted aide, as his new White House chief of staff Friday, officials said.
McDonough, 43, has spent the past two years as the No. 2 official in the National Security Council, helping guide some of the administration’s most high-profile decisions, including the military drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan, the response to earthquakes in Haiti and Japan and the aftermath of the terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya last fall.
Obama considers McDonough one of his “closest and most trusted advisors for nearly a decade,” a White House official said.
11:0: V.P. Biden Speaks on the Administration’s Efforts to Reduce Gun Violence (Richmond, Virginia) – White House live (audio only), CNN
12:10: President Obama makes a personnel announcement
GOPolitico: The White House will also announce several other promotions Friday, including moving communications director Dan Pfeiffer to the job of senior adviser, and shifting deputy communications director Jennifer Palmieri into Pfeiffer’s old job. Pfeiffer’s move comes as David Plouffe, a longtime Obama political adviser, plans to leave the White House this month.
Other senior-level moves include:
Rob Nabors – Assistant to the President and Deputy White House Chief of Staff for Policy
Tony Blinken – Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor
Danielle Gray – Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary
Katy Kale – Assistant to the President for Management and Administration
Lisa Monaco – Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (upon confirmation of John Brennan as DCIA)
Miguel Rodriguez –Assistant to the President and Director of Legislative Affairs
David Simas – Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Advisor for Communications and Strategy
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will give a joint interview at the White House on Friday afternoon to CBS News’ Steve Kroft, for broadcast Sunday on “60 Minutes.”
Steve Benen: We don’t yet know exactly why Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) gave up on ambitious reforms of filibuster rules. After months of voicing support for sweeping changes, it’s possible Reid just didn’t have the votes from his own caucus to pursue bold reforms through the “constitutional option.”
Whatever the reasoning, however, it’s important that folks understand that when Reid says protecting the filibuster is necessary to keep the Senate from being like the House, he’s wrong…..
Greg Sargent: Now that the smoke has cleared from the wreckage of yesterday’s filibuster reform debacle, what’s next for those who want to fix our broken Senate? There is no denying that yesterday’s outcome was a terrible disappoint for those who still hold out hope for functional government. At the same time, there are some silver linings…..
President Obama attends a Sandy Hook interfaith vigil at Newtown High School, Dec. 16, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)
NYT: The White House has decided to circumvent Capitol Hill as it concentrates its gun-control efforts on speeches and other public appearances by President Obama and Vice President Biden outside of Washington, according to officials with knowledge of the plans.
With Obama’s gun agenda dependent on centrist Democratic senators who are nervous about their reelection prospects, the administration has calculated that the president is better off helping to build a groundswell of popular support within the lawmakers’ states rather than negotiating directly with them, officials said.
NYT: The White House delivered a strong message to Wall Street on Thursday, taking the unusual step of choosing two former prosecutors as top financial regulators.
But translating that message into action will not be easy, given the complexities of the market and Wall Street’s aggressive nature.
At a short White House ceremony, President Obama named Mary Jo White, the first female United States attorney in Manhattan, to run the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Obama also renominated Richard Cordray as the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a position he has held for the last year under a temporary recess appointment without Senate approval.
With the appointments, the president showed a renewed resolve to hold Wall Street accountable for wrongdoing, extolling his candidates’ records as prosecutors.
President Obama greets a local resident on Main Street in Moneygall, Ireland, May 23, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Irish Examiner: The US President is to be immortalised in the birthplace of his ancestors with the Barack Obama Plaza in Moneygall, Co Offaly.
Around €6m is being invested in the plaza by Supermac’s founder Pat McDonagh, to commemorate the visit by the President and his wife Michelle in 2011.
It will also see the establishment of the Barack Obama Community Facility, where exhibitions of historic and current material marking the relationship between Moneygall and the United States will go on display.
This is the single biggest investment on the Offaly/Tipperary border region in decades and will bring 60 new jobs to the area, as well as 75 jobs during the construction phase.
Washington Post: President Obama on Monday plans to nominate former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense and to announce that counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan is his choice to direct the Central Intelligence Agency, administration officials said.
The successful nomination of Hagel, a Vietnam War veteran, would add a well-known Republican to the president’s second-term Cabinet at a time when he is looking to better bridge the partisan divide, particularly after a bitter election campaign.
But the expected nomination has drawn sharp criticism in recent weeks, particularly from Republicans, who have questioned Hagel’s commitment to Israel’s security.
ThinkProgress: The Obama administration is set to harness the mood of the country in the aftermath of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary to enact wide-ranging efforts to reduce gun violence, according to the Washington Post.
Vice-President Joe Biden was named by President Obama in the days after the massacre to head a task force charged with finding ways the government could act to prevent further shootings. What seems to be emerging following discussions between the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and Education is a much broader set of ideas that would seek to clamp down on gun violence throughout the country.
ThinkProgress: … on ABC’s This Week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated what has become the go-to Republican talking point in the wake of the fiscal cliff deal: That the issue of taxes and new revenue is finished, and will not be re-opened. “Now the question is, what are we going to do about the biggest problem confronting our country and our future,” McConnell said.
But this time host George Stephanopoulos pushed back. He pointed out that since last year Congress has already cut $1.5 trillion in spending, without any counter-balancing hikes in tax revenue until the fiscal cliff deal….
NYT: The State Department says Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will return to work Monday, a little over a week after she was hospitalized with a blood clot in her head.
The department on Sunday released a schedule which has Clinton meeting with assistant secretaries Monday morning. The most significant items on her agenda are meetings in Washington on Thursday and Friday with visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai.