Nearly six in ten Americans say a federal government shutdown would be bad for the country, according to a new CNN poll. That figure jumps to 73 percent if a shutdown were to last “a few weeks.” However, a majority of Tea Party supporters approve of a shutdown, even if it were to last several weeks.
Yesterday, the House passed a stop-gap bill to fund the government until April 8 by a 271-148 vote. While six Republicans voted against the first stop-gap, 54 voted to oppose the measure yesterday, and a similar GOP defection is shaping up in the Senate with Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) set to oppose the bill.
Facing its “biggest crisis in 25 years,” the nuclear industry is wielding hefty clout by spending “tens of millions” on lobbying and campaign contributions. One company has spent $3.76 million to lobby, while contributing to 134 House and 30 Senate campaigns. The Center for Responsive Politics notes that companies “bring a lot of resources and a heck of a lot of cash to bear if this fight goes forward.”
Col. Moammar Gadhafi called for opposition forces to surrender yesterday, in an interview with an Italian newspaper. “They have no hope. The cause for them is lost by now. There are only two possibilities: to surrender or to escape,” he said.
Saudi Arabian troops entered Bahrain yesterday on behalf of the country’s rulers, having been called in to crush the pro-democracy movement. Hundreds were injured in clashes between protesters and security forces, and several people were killed. “We can’t start dialogue with violence everywhere in the country,” said opposition leader Abdul Khalil.
Top U.S. commander in Afghanistan Gen. David Petraeus said yesterday on Capitol Hill that he will soon recommend a plan to begin withdrawing troops but also reinforces President Obama’s goal of maintaining a long-term military partnership with Afghanistan. Petraeus said that most of the Taliban’s battlefield momentum has been halted, setting the stage for partial withdrawal this summer.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and other liberal senators who oppose Social Security cuts are trying to outflank centrists by introducing a bill that would require a two-thirds vote on any change to the program. According to The Hill, the group “fear[s] that Obama might strike a deficit-reduction deal with GOP leaders that could raise the Social Security retirement age or shrink cost-of-living adjustments.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said he will “allow a floor vote on a Republican amendment to nullify the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases.” The vote is expected as early as today and is expected to very close.
And finally: Vice President Biden will now be able ride his beloved Amtrak between Washington’s Union Satiation and Delaware’s Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Railroad Station. NBC10 in Philadelphia reports that as part of renovations, the station in Biden’s hometown of Wilmington, DE will be renamed after the country’s best known passenger rail advocate at a ceremony today.