The game of chicken over the Senate's financial regulatory reform bill may end in a dramatic collision, with the moment of impact fast approaching and neither Republicans nor Democrats prepared to yield.
Democrats have promised to put the legislation--authored by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd--to a key test vote, whether or not Republicans are happy with the proposal itself, or feel they've had enough input in its construction. That puts Republicans in a tricky position: either they take a politically risky vote and block debate on a Wall Street reform bill, or they cede the upper hand to Democrats. But political risk or no, the GOP is gearing up for full bore opposition--and that would leave Democrats shy of the votes they need to put the bill on the floor.
Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) is strongly criticizing current Republican Gov. Charlie Crist's veto today of a GOP-backed education bill -- a bill that many have seen as a test of Crist's future in the GOP as he runs for the Senate.
"By taking this action, Governor Crist has jeopardized the ability of Florida to build on the progress of the last decade," Bush wrote, "which includes raising student achievement across the board, narrowing the achievement gap for poor and minority students, and improving graduation rates."
The legislation, which was passed through the Republican legislature in the face of massive protests from teachers, would have abolished tenure for new teachers and instituted strict merit pay guidelines. Bush has previously criticized Crist's backing of President Obama's 2009 stimulus bill -- perhaps the single biggest issue that has dragged Crist down in his primary against Marco Rubio -- as "unforgivable."
April 15 brought thousands of conservatives to Washington, D.C. just as it has in years past. But today's Tax Day protests were fueled by a unique fire in the belly amongst those present, who saw April 15 as not only their day to take a stand against taxation, but also as the starting line for an election cycle conservatives and Tea Partiers see as theirs for the taking.
The day of protests in D.C. began, not surprisingly, on a political note. The Tea Party Express presented its list of candidate targets for this year at a downtown press conference, and also rolled out their endorsement of the woman they say will defeat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Most tea partiers I saw picked up the theme, replacing their "Hands Of My Health Care" signs from the past with calls to oust specific Democrats up for reelection this year. Yet despite the focus on tea party politics, it supporters of President Obama who actually made the biggest splash at the first of today's two big rallies in the nation's capital.
After Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) told a town hall audience that they shouldn't believe everything they hear on Fox News, Bill O'Reilly had Coburn on his show to reprimand him for wrongly using Fox as a "whipping boy."
Coburn had said, specifically, that Fox tells viewers they may go to jail if they don't buy health insurance. O'Reilly claimed that "Nobody has ever said it." So Coburn backed off: "Maybe it wasn't fair," he said.
Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), who is challenging Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter in the Dem primary, raised only a fraction of Specter's haul in the first quarter. However, Sestak still has enough money on hand to potentially makes things competitive for the May 18 primary.
Specter was first elected to the Senate as a Republican in 1980, and served for 28 years as a moderate Republican. He was challenged from the right for the GOP nomination in 2004 by then-Rep. Pat Toomey, and won by only a 51%-49% margin. In 2009, Specter provided a crucial vote to pass President Obama's stimulus package, and he subsequently switched parties when polls showed he would lose a primary rematch against Toomey.
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) declared at an event hosted by Americans For Tax Reform that members of the Obama administration would fail the United States citizenship test, due to their lack of belief in a capitalist economy.
"Even though there would be some people in the White House that would fail this test, if you look at the naturalization flash cards, if you want to become a naturalized American citizen...[the flashcard] will ask, 'What is the economic system of the United States?' Flip that flash card around, it says free enterprise, capitalist," said King, CNSNews reports.
"I am not convinced that people in the White House understand it, let alone believe it, given some of the activities that we have seen," King said.