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Political Quick Hits: February 15th Edition

February 15, 2013 Front Page No Comments

Here’s your weekly quick look at few developing stories in the political arena:

    • President Obama gave his State of the Union address on Tuesday night. He said it was time to “reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth,a rising, thriving middle class.” President Obama called for an increase in the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $9 per hour. President Obama urged congress to act on immigration, climate change, budget issues, and most importantly gun control. During the speech President Obama gestured to victims of gun violence spread out throughout the crowd saying on gun control “They deserve a vote.” Watch the full State of the Union video here:

  • President Obama this week also warned Democrats that if they don’t act on an immigration bill soon, he will propose his own legislation on the issue. On Wednesday, he met with the four Democrats in the bipartisan group of eight senators who introduced a framework for immigration reform last month and urged Congress to act. Immigration reform is one of the White House’s main goals early in President Obama’s second term. (CNN)

  • The Senate failed to get enough votes on Thursday to stop a Republican filibuster against the nomination of former Republican Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel’s nomination as Defense Secretary. Democrats need 60 votes to stop this unprecedented filibuster, but only had 58. Filibusters of presidential cabinet nominees are extremely rare. Republicans are playing games with holding up the nomination due to the fact some are unhappy with Hagel as the choice and some are unhappy still with the White House’s response to the attack in Benghazi, Libya. Republicans signaled that they are willing to allow the nomination to proceed after the recess since the Senate is not in session next week. Hagel is set to become Defense Secretary once a vote is allowed. (CBS News)
  • Finally, on Thursday, Senate Democrats proposed a $110 billion measure that would put off the future mandatory across-the-board spending cuts. The measure includes a combination of increased tax revenue from millionaires, ending agriculture subsidies and reducing defense spending after the war in Afghanistan ends. Republicans asked for Democrats to come up with a plan to avoid the upcoming cuts but have said they oppose any future tax increases. If Congress doesn’t act, mandatory cuts will take effect March 1, 2013. Government officials have warned that the cuts will have a dire impact on government operations and military readiness. (CNN)

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