TPMDC Morning Roundup


WaPo: Congress Gearing Up For Slow “Sausage-Making”
The Washington Post reports that after a whirlwind of activity involving the stimulus plan and the federal budget, Congress is set to move to a slower, more deliberative pace on President Obama’s other proposals such as health care and climate change. “What trumps urgency for us is getting it right,” said Chris Dodd. “You’re talking about building an entire architecture here.”

Obama’s Day Ahead
President Obama will be holding a 9:30 a.m. ET “Housing Refinance Roundtable,” featuring homeowners who have benefitted from being able to re-finance under the current low interest rates. At 11:45 a.m. ET, he will deliver remarks on improving veterans health care, along with Robert Gates and Eric Shinseki, to an audience that includes patients and health care providers from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the National Naval Medical Center and the DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center. At 6:30 p.m. ET, Obama will hold a Passover Seder at the White House.Biden’s Day Ahead
Vice President Biden will hold an Economic Recovery Implementation Cabinet meeting today, scheduled to begin at about 11:30 a.m. ET. Afterwards, he will have his weekly lunch with President Obama.

White House Seder Believed To Be A First
The White House says that it believes the Seder tonight at the White House, with President Obama hosting his family and both Jewish and non-Jewish aides, will be the first ever such presidential-hosted event at the White House. And as the Associated Press says, the event could also be “a signal that the new president intends to fulfill his promise that Jewish voters would have an ally.”

NYT: Obama To Push Ahead On Immigration Reform
The New York Times reports that President Obama plans to push ahead with an immigration reform plan that will include looking for a pathway for illegal immigrants to become legal. White House aide Cecilia Muñoz told the Times that the White House will frame the initiative as “policy reform that controls immigration and makes it an orderly system.”

Congressional Black Caucus Members Deny Castro’s Claim Of Calling America Racist
The Congressional Black Caucus delegation that travelled to Cuba is strongly denying Fidel Castro’s claim that the delegation said America continues to be racist. “I am not privy to anyone saying that in any meaning,” said caucus chair Barbara Lee (D-CA). “I don’t remember that.” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) is even more definitive: “That did not happen.”

Labor Group Ad Links Bailouts And Bonuses To Anti-Unionism
American Rights at Work, a labor advocacy group, has this new ad for national cable, promoting the proposed Employee Free Choice Act:

The ad likens business opposition to EFCA to the “Wall Street way of doing business,” and a culture of corporate greed and irresponsibility: “That’s why they think they deserve bailouts and bonuses for bringing our economy down, and then turn around and try to keep workers from joining unions to earn better wages and bonuses. Don’t let them get away with it.”