Both parties in the debt ceiling negotiations are slowly acknowledging that a short term deal may be necessary to avoid an unprecedented default on Aug. 3. The White House and many on Capitol Hill seemed relieved by the Gang of Six proposal, but there may not be enough time to enact it before the deadline, leaving Democrats and Republicans facing the increasingly likely possibility they will have to agree to a short-term increase to the $14.3 trillion debt limit.
Washington’s all-consuming focus on the debt ceiling negotiations has hit K Street in the wallet. Forms filed yesterday reveal that several of the city’s major lobbying firms reported declines in their lobbying earnings for the first half of this year compared to 2010. The decline in revenue can be partly attributed to the fact that the debt fight has stalled several pieces of legislation that generate work for lobbyists.
Attempting to quash all concern about her migraines, candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) released a letter from Congress’s physician yesterday stating she was “overall in good general health.” Dr. Brian Monahan noted that her migraines “occur infrequently” and that her “brain scans and detailed lab work” appeared “normal.”
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) called on regulators to block the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile in a seven-page letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and FCC Chair Julius Genachowski yesterday. Kohl, chairman of the Senate’s antitrust subcommittee, argued the deal would cause “substantial harm to competition and consumers” and fly in the face of antitrust laws.
The Federal Aviation Administration might be forced to shut down some of its operations if Congress does not pass a funding extension by Friday. The House has passed a bill extending funding, but a Senate version has yet to pass, with some Democrats opposing provisions that make it more difficult to unionize.
Federal officials are investigating Minnesota’s largest school district after a civil rights complaint that included “peer-on-peer harassment based on not conforming to gender stereotypes.” The Justice Department and Department of Education’s office of civil rights are jointly investigating the suburban Minneapolis district.
And finally: When he’s not helping others “pray away the gay,” Dr. Marcus Bachmann contributes what he can to his wife’s career — which, apparently, is couture. According to a 2006 article about then-Congresswoman-elect Bachmann’s style, Dr. Bachmann “hit the stores” to buy her outfit for a meeting with Dick Cheney and came home with “a sleek, simple hourglass dress with a yoke collar in winter white” and “a matching coat and shoes.”