Yesterday, President Obama called Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and reportedly told him that Senate Democrats are moving forward with an immigration overhaul in a month. Immigration advocates, who have been disgruntled by the slow pace of action, said “the Obama administration had been considering several approaches, including convening a summit meeting devoted to the issue and putting forward its own bill.”
“The Israeli security establishment is divided over whether it needs Washington’s blessing if Israel decides to attack Iran,” Israeli officials told the Wall Street Journal. There are “fears in Israel that if Washington’s sanctions effort fails, the Israeli and American positions on Iran could rapidly diverge — and Israel, if it chooses to attack Iran, would have no choice but to do so on its own.”
Key Republicans “began to back away from their sharp criticism of proposed new financial regulations” yesterday and “expressed optimism that a bipartisan deal” could be reached. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has led a misinformation campaign against the bill, said he was “heartened to hear that bipartisan talks have resumed in earnest.”
Goldman Sachs’ Political Action Committee spent almost $300,000 in the month of March alone, donating slightly more to Republicans than Democrats. Some members of Congress, like Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), are returning Goldman’s money following the SEC charging the company with fraud.
The FBI, the IRS and the local U.S. Attorney’s Office “have launched a criminal investigation into the use of American Express cards issued by the Republican Party of Florida to elected officials and staff” who could be “charged with making false statements on their tax returns and tax evasion.” The IRS is also looking at Senate candidate Marco Rubio’s tax records to determine whether he misused Party credit cards.
A White House official has said that Obama will nominate his pick for the Supreme Court by May 26. The official also said, however, that Obama’s nomination could come “well before then.”
D.C. voting rights legislation will not come up in this session of Congress, “in part because of opposition to an amendment that would have eliminated most of the District’s gun-control laws.” D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) said she and other Democrats were “shocked” by the “NRA-drafted” gun language. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) added that he was “extraordinarily disappointed.”
As of yesterday, 71 percent of households in the U.S. have mailed back their Census forms, a number that “could top the 2000 response rate — a major accomplishment in the face of growing suspicion of government, swelling population and increased diversity.” In 2000, 72 percent of U.S. households returned their forms and matching that rate would save the government $425 million.
President Obama’s nominee to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Donald Berwick, has a reputation for being a “visionary.” A common theme in Berwick’s work is “his ability to inspire doctors and hospital administrators to work together,” said Nancy Nielsen, a past president of the American Medical Association.
And finally: Crawford, TX adjusts to life without Bush.
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