President Obama will tour the aftermath of deadly Alabama tornadoes today, two days after an outbreak of southern storms killed at least 280 Americans. Obama declared a state of emergency Wednesday and dispatched FEMA head Craig Fugate to the region. “The federal government will do everything we can,” Obama said.
In a “landslide 77-13 vote” yesterday, the Oklahoma House passed a “birther” bill that compels presidential candidates to provide proof of citizenship. But the bill sponsor state Rep. Sue Tibbs (R) swears the bill “has nothing to do with Obama” and is just meant to reinforce the Constitution which already requires candidates to be natural born citizens.
A new USA Today/Gallup Poll found that 47 percent of Americans have unfavorable views of the tea party, compared with just 33 percent who said they have favorable views. Americans have soured on the tea party, as their views of the right-wing movement have grown increasingly negative over the past year.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will not hold a vote on legislation ending oil subsidies, despite expressing openness earlier this week to ending the tax breaks oil companies receive. His spokesman walked back his earlier comments, saying “raising taxes” was off the table. Oil companies receive roughly $4 billion in subsidies each year.
Several GOP-led states including Kansas, Indiana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Texas are racing to become the first to defund Planned Parenthood. The Guttamacher Institute noted that, while Texas’s budget cuts would have the biggest impact on family planning services, Indiana’s recent action will most likely make it the first to gut a “fundamental right in this country” to access health care.
“A growing number of Democrats are threatening to defy the White House over the national debt,” with numerous elected Democrats now promising to vote against raising the debt ceiling without major spending cuts. These Democrats include Sens. Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Joe Manchin (D-WV).
In its annual report on air quality, the American Lung Association (ALA) says half of all Americans are breathing polluted air. “We have proof that cleaning up pollution results in healthier air to breathe. That’s why we cannot stop now. Half of our nation is still breathing dangerously polluted air. Everyone must be protected from air pollution,” said the ALA president Charles Connor.
And finally: While cable news has been offering wall-to-wall coverage since 3 am of the Alexander McQueen gown Kate Middleton wore to the royal wedding, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) was a bit behind this morning, tweeting, “Just catching up here. So she wore a Steve McQeen dress? #TheOneHeWoreInBullitt” — a reference to the actor’s 1968 classic cop flick.