TPMDC Morning Roundup

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Obama Makes Recess Appointment Of Medicare Official
President Obama is recess-appointing Dr. Donald Berwick to head up the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, after Republicans had threatened a tough confirmation process over Berwick’s past comments on health care rationing and his praise of the British National Health Service. “Many Republicans in Congress have made it clear in recent weeks that they were going to stall the nomination as long as they could, solely to score political points,” White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer wrote on the White House blog. “But with the agency facing new responsibilities to protect seniors’ care under the Affordable Care Act, there’s no time to waste with Washington game-playing.”

Obama’s Day Ahead
President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 10 a.m. ET. Obama will meet at 10:30 a.m. ET with senior advisers. At 11:25 a.m. ET, Obama will deliver remarks on the administration’s commitment to export promotion. Obama and Biden will receive a briefing at 12 p.m. ET on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Obama and Biden will have lunch at 12:30 p.m. ET. They will meet at 2 p.m. ET with Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner, and they will meet at 3:30 p.m. ET with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.Steele Foes Waiting To Defeat Him In January
Politico reports that some Republicans are reacting to RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s recent gaffe on the Afghanistan war by resolving not to try to remove him this year, but use it as further reason to defeat him for re-election in January. “Few want to speak on the record to discuss internal business or criticize somebody who controls purse strings, but leading Republicans say the plan moving forward is to work around Steele through this cycle, hope he keeps quiet and then pick a new chairman next year.”

Obama Faces Political Challenge On Arizona Case
The Washington Post reports that the Obama administration’s lawsuit against the Arizona illegal-immigration law presents both political pluses and minuses. “There is probably some short term pain politically given how popular the law is,” said an unnamed senior Democratic strategist. “But considering the demographic changes the country is undergoing, long term, there is a lot of upside in advocating for Latinos and comprehensive immigration reform.”

Republican Budget Hawks Boost Obama’s New Deficit Commission
The Hill reports: “A White House commission tasked with winding down trillion-dollar deficits has won a boost from Congress’s leading GOP budget hawks, who say it is off to a strong start.Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) and Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), the senior Republicans on the House and Senate Budget committees have praised a proposal by the fiscal panel’s Democratic co-chairman, Erskine Bowles, to limit government spending and revenue to 21 percent of gross domestic product. Both Ryan and Gregg have tried to focus on spending cuts rather than tax increases as a way to balance the budget.”

Darrell Issa: ‘You Can Call Me A Pain’
The New York Times profiles Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who has emerged as a top Republican advocate for ethics investigations against the Obama administration. “There is an expression here on Capitol Hill. ‘Don’t ever get between a member and a camera,'” said Issa. He also said: “You can call me a pain,” Mr. Issa said. “I’ll accept that as a compliment.”

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