TPM News

President Obama issued the following statement today regarding the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Here's the full text:

With its ruling today, the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics. It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans. This ruling gives the special interests and their lobbyists even more power in Washington--while undermining the influence of average Americans who make small contributions to support their preferred candidates. That's why I am instructing my Administration to get to work immediately with Congress on this issue. We are going to talk with bipartisan Congressional leaders to develop a forceful response to this decision. The public interest requires nothing less.

Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Senate leadership is still considering what to do about health care legislation in the wake of the Massachusetts Senate election. But he said that whatever plan is agreed on, Democrats want health care off the table by March.

"I don't think we want this to go on for three more months," he said. "You have to make a decision." Schumer said that Democrats are making sure to rush a plan on reform and said that "it will take a few days" for the caucus to come up with plan to pass health care reform without their supermajority.

Reconciliation is one of a few options under discussion, Schumer said. But he said that "concerns about the political climate" make that plan less than appealing to some Democrats. "It's one of the considerations," he said when asked if Democrats worry voters will react badly to a health care bill passed with through reconciliation.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) released the following statement today after his meeting with Senator-elect Scott Brown (R-MA):

"I had a pleasant meeting with Senator-elect Brown and I look forward to working with him. We have many issues to address over the coming year including helping our struggling economy, keeping families in their homes and creating jobs for out of work Americans. It is my hope that Senator-elect Brown will work with us to address these many issues as we move forward."

Trijicon, the company that produces the military rifle scopes with Biblical inscriptions, will end the decades-old practice and provide the military with modification kits to remove the markings, ABC is reporting.

General David Petraeus also addressed the scopes this morning, calling the matter "disturbing and a serious concern for me." That's a markedly different response from the Central Command spokesman who minimized the significance of the New Testament inscriptions this week, comparing them to "In God We Trust" on currency.

Read More →

A top Democratic pollster said today if Congress fails to pass health care it will be a "disaster" this fall.

Celinda Lake, who most recently served as the pollster for Attorney General Martha Coakley's losing campaign in Massachusetts, said there is deep frustration with Washington but moving away from health care would be the worst decision.

"We can't talk about it for a year and deliver nothing, that would be a disaster," Lake said. "We should pass it and then we have to go sell it. We have to tell people what is in it."

Read More →

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn today agreed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the House cannot pass the Senate bill as-is.

"No, we can't," Clyburn said on MSNBC. "I think the speaker is absolutely correct."

"Everybody keeps focusing on the Senate getting to 60 [votes], and they don't seem to remember that we have to get to 218 in the house. Even elementary, you can get to 60 quicker than you get to 218," he said. "We all know that."

He said the bill needs to be changed in order to get enough support in the House.

Read More →

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), issued the following statement in response to the United States Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission:

"I am pleased that the Supreme Court has acted to protect the Constitution's First Amendment rights of free speech and association. These are the bedrock principles that underpin our system of governance and strengthen our democracy.

"This is an encouraging step, and it is my hope that political parties will one day soon be able to speak as freely as other citizen organizations are now permitted."