POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 2/25

Boehner May Not Have Votes to Replace Sequester

Speaker John Boehner’s “decision to wait on the Senate before taking up a sequester replacement bill may be more tied to his own difficulties getting the votes for one than to a calculated political messaging strategy,” Roll Call reports.

Marc Ambinder: Three reasons Obama isn’t leading on the sequester.

How Much Will Sequester Hurt?

Washinton Post: “In the long partisan conflict over government spending, the sequester is where the rubber meets the road. Obama is betting Americans will be outraged by the abrupt and substantial cuts to a wide range of government services, from law enforcement to food safety to public schools. And he is hoping they will rise up to demand what he calls a ‘balanced approach’ to deficit reduction that replaces some cuts with higher taxes.”

“But if voters react with a shrug, congressional Republicans will have won a major victory in their campaign to shrink the size of government. Instead of cancelling the sequester, the GOP will likely push for more.”

Los Angeles Times: “Because the effects will unspool over time, this latest budget showdown may last longer than those of the past.”

Senators Near a Deal on Background Checks

A bipartisan group of senators is “on the verge of a deal that would expand background checks to all private firearms sales with limited exemptions, but significant disagreements remain on the issue of keeping records of private gun sales, according to aides familiar with the talks,” the Washington Post reports.

Governors Seek Discretion for Federal Money

“Governors of both parties said on Saturday that they knew federal budget cuts were coming, and they pleaded with President Obama and Congress to give them more discretion over the use of federal money so they could minimize the pain for their citizens,” the New York Times reports.

“The governors, arriving here for the winter meeting of the National Governors Association, said that the automatic across-the-board cuts in federal spending that are scheduled to begin at the end of the week, were creating havoc, threatening jobs and sapping economic growth in their states.”

Will Brewer Try to Run Again in Arizona?

“Contrary to the overwhelming weight of legal opinion and even the counsel of some of her own advisors,” Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) “has refused to publicly rule out a run for reelection in 2014, despite Arizona’s voter-passed term-limits law,” the Los Angeles Timesreports.

“As the next in line, then-Secretary of State Brewer became governor when Democrat Janet Napolitano left office in January 2009 to join Obama’s Cabinet. Brewer won reelection in 2010 and suggests she might be eligible to run again because her first term was less than four years.”

Obama Backers Seek Big Donors

President Obama’s political team “is fanning out across the country in pursuit of an ambitious goal: raising $50 million to convert his re-election campaign into a powerhouse national advocacy network, a sum that would rank the new group as one of Washington’s biggest lobbying operations,” the New York Times reports.

“But the rebooted campaign, known as Organizing for Action, has plunged the president and his aides into a campaign finance limbo with few clear rules, ample potential for influence-peddling, and no real precedent in national politics.”

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Convicted of Corruption

“A member of Pennsylvania’s highest court was convicted Thursday of corrupting the election process in her campaigns to win a seat on the bench, triggering renewed calls to change the system of electing state judges,” the AP reports.

Justice Joan Orie Melvin (R) “was just the second known Supreme Court justice to be convicted in nearly three centuries, and her conviction may soon set in motion political campaigns by would-be justices vying to replace her.”

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