According to Bloomberg, President Barack Obama plans to name White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew tomorrow as his choice for Treasury secretary, replacing Timothy F. Geithner, a person familiar with the process said.
Lew, 57, who also has served as director of the Office of Management and Budget, has been offered the Treasury post by Obama, according to the person, who asked for anonymity to discuss personnel matters.
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THE WASHINGTON POST – THE FIX
The news that Vice President Joe Biden would huddle with executives from the National Rifle Association on Thursday came as unwelcome news to many gun control advocates who view the NRA as an organization to be ignored, not invited in.
But, the meeting is smart politics by Biden — and the White House more broadly. It’s a recognition that, to pass something on guns through Congress, they need the NRA either on board or not totally in opposition to the proposal.
Why? Like them or hate them — and there are lots of people who feel both ways — the NRA has proven to be among the best-funded and most effective groups when it comes to swaying the sentiments of members of Congress.
And while groups like Mayors Against illegal Guns and the newly-formed Americans for Responsible Solutions are being built to match (or at least approximate) the political power of the NRA, neither group is close to there yet — and likely won’t be for some time, if ever.
Biden, as he has shown both in cutting the debt ceiling deal of 2011 and the fiscal cliff compromise of 2012, understands how legislation makes and breaks in Congress, and he gets that, at least for now, the NRA is an unchallenged force on Capitol Hill when it comes to gun issues.
And remember that while the broad sentiment about what gun violence says about our society has shifted since the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., last month, public opinion on specific proposals has changed far less. FULL ARTICLE
By Lucy Madison
afghanistan (Photo credit: The U.S. Army)
President Obama will meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai this Friday to discuss ongoing negotiations over the U.S.’s post-2014 role in Afghanistan, but the White House says not to expect any final decision about how many U.S. troops — if any — will stay in Afghanistan after the war’s official drawdown at the end of next year.
In a conference call this afternoon, the Obama administration’s Ben Rhodes told reporters that “they’re not going to finalize that decision” in this discussion, but rather attempt to “reach a common understanding of how we can achieve” mutual objectives for the post-2014 relationship. Then, he says, negotiators in Washington “will be able to take that guidance and be able to finalize an agreement.”
Among the topics up for discussion include the impending transition for the 2014 drawdown, as well as the plan for U.S. support in Afghanistan beyond that date. According to the White House, any continued U.S. troop presence will be guided by a few key goals: Assuring the continued progress of ongoing counterterrorism efforts and training and equipping the national Afghan security forces, while also guaranteeing full Afghan sovereignty. FULL ARTICLE
By Jeff Spross
This morning on ABC’s This Week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reiterated what has become the go-to Republican talking point in the wake of the fiscal cliff deal: That the issue of taxes and new revenue is finished, and will not be re-opened. “Now the question is, what are we going to do about the biggest problem confronting our country and our future,” McConnell said.
But this time host George Stephanopoulos pushed back. He pointed out that since last year Congress has already cut $1.5 trillion in spending, without any counter-balancing hikes in tax revenue until the fiscal cliff deal… FULL ARTICLE