“Let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11,” President Obama urged in his Sunday night announcement of bin Laden’s killing. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank writes, “Republicans answered Obama’s plea for bonhomie — with broadsides,” adding that the GOP’s reaction demonstrates some “lawmakers are too preoccupied with their opponents to celebrate the demise of their common enemy.”
According to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, public support for President Obama has risen significantly following his successful order to track and kill Osama bin Laden. 57 percent of Americans approve of the president’s job performance, up from 46 percent last month. The biggest boost in his ratings came from Republicans and independents.
The White House reaffirmed its partnership with Pakistan yesterday in a move to “contain tensions it fears will jeopardize billions of aid” and a relationship “seen as vital in the fight” against al Qaeda and the Taliban. U.S. lawmakers, however, will review and “potentially suspend” the $1.5 billion in aid to Pakistan “if its government can’t explain how” Osama bin Laden lived undetected for years near Pakistan’s capital.
The House Republican crusade to dismantle the Affordable Care Act advanced yesterday when the chamber voted to disrupt the flow of money to health insurance exchanges, an integral part of the law. The GOP bill would require the Health and Human Services Secretary to go through the annual budgeting process, instead of having funds automatically allocated.
U.S. regulators have “found multiple safety violations at a West Virginia mine owned by Massey Energy Co.,” reporting the conditions were “nothing short of outrageous.” “Despite the tragedy at Upper Big Branch last year…some still aren’t getting it,” said Joseph Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health at the Mine Safety & Health Administration.
The Senate’s Gang of Six is unlikely to reach an agreement before budget talks begin this week, as talks have stalled over several details in its plan. Senate Budget Chair and Gang of Six member Kent Conrad (D-ND) released his own plan, while the GOP has turned its focus to bipartisan meetings with Vice President Joe Biden.
The White House will soon kick off a major initiative to reform corporate taxes, aides say. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will propose lowering the top corporate tax rate from 35 percent to less than 30 percent, and call for an end to tax loopholes and exemptions to pay for the change.
A new report from the Department of Agriculture finds that one in seven Americans are now receiving food stamps. Mississippi and Oregon had the highest number of residents receiving food stamps with one in five people in both being beneficiaries.
The Obama administration is urging Congress to pass immigration reform but will refrain from crafting its own proposal. Administration officials said that, in lieu of a plan, they will launch “a very serious and very vigorous” campaign to spur lawmakers to action because “Congress is going to have to step up to the table and work with us to get done and get done on a bipartisan basis.”
And finally: Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli bizarrely tweeted today, “How much would I give to be one of the 72 Virginans Osama is ‘hanging out’ with since Sunday?”