Morning Briefing: July 1, 2011

Former President Bill Clinton says Democrats need to “stand up” to Republicans in their stand-off over raising the debt ceiling. Clinton, who successfully won a budget showdown with Republicans in 1995, said in an interview with Bloomberg News, “They think they got the president and the Democrats over a barrel because they say we just won’t raise the debt ceiling unless you do exactly what we want.”

Former GOP Sen. Pete Domenici has created a “truth squad” to warn Republicans about the “negative economic and social consequences” of breaching the debt ceiling. Domenici expressed frustration with how “wrong” and intransigent the GOP is on the debt ceiling, saying only if he “bring[s] God down, Christ” would they be convinced.

Michigan Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R) reportedly will announce that he is running for president Saturday after filing the necessary paperwork today. McCotter, who will be the third sitting House member to jump into the race, served as the House GOP’s policy chair from 2006-2010.

FreedomWorks “will take on a deeper and more sophisticated role in the 2012 elections than ever before,” shifting from leading protests to leading get out the vote efforts, especially in GOP primaries. The Tea Party organization aims to raise $10 million through a new super PAC to help choose Republican candidates.

A senior administration official indicated yesterday that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will likely leave this fall “if economic conditions are stronger and the debt ceiling debate is resolved.” Possible replacements for the top economic adviser position include former President Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, former deputy Treasury secretary Roger Altman, and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

The sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn is on the verge of collapse, law enforcement officials are telling the New York Times. Prosecutors reportedly doubt his accuser’s veracity, and are questioning her immigration status and ties to a drug dealing operation. The former IMF chief could be released on a significantly reduced bail requirement.

A U.S.-backed reform plan in Syria would leave President Bashar al-Assad in place despite transforming his regime, according to a report by the Guardian. The draft plan, which U.S. officials have denied backing, calls for Assad to lead “a secure and peaceful transition to civil democracy.” Opposition leaders claim 1,400 people have been killed by Assad’s forces since the uprisings began in March.

And finally: The libertarian father-son super-roommates are going their separate ways after Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) decided to move out of the apartment he shared with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). Citing a lack of allowance from his father and bad traffic, the younger Paul told ABC News yesterday that he’s moved to an apartment closer to the Capitol.

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