TPM News

Obama: U.S., Allies, Discussing Sanctions Against Iran At a press conference in South Korea, President Obama said that the United States and allies could have a package of sanctions against Iran "within weeks." "We weren't going to duplicate what has happened with North Korea," said Obama, "in which talks just continue forever without any actual resolution to the issue."

Obama's Day In South Korea President Obama visited U.S. Embassy staff and their families in Seoul, South Korea, at 10:10 a.m. local time (8:10 p.m. ET last night). He participated in an arrival ceremony at the Blue House, at 11 a.m. He held a bilateral meeting with South Korean President Lee Myng-bak at 11:15 a.m., with an expanded bilateral meeting at 11:50 a.m., and a joint press conference at 12:30 p.m, and a working lunch at 1:10 p.m. Obama delivered remarks to service-members at at Osan Air Base at 3:20 p.m., and departed South Korea at 4:05 p.m. (2:05 a.m. ET). He will arrive in Anchorage, Alaska, at 9:40 a.m. ET, will depart form Anchorage at 11:40 a.m. ET, and arrive at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington at 6:05 p.m. ET.

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The Republican National Committee announced this morning they raised $8.79 million in October, an off-election year record.

The haul comes after the party captured two governorships and as they are attempting to make gains in 2010.

The RNC said they had $11.2 million cash on hand and no debt. Last month they reported $18.9 million cash on hand, so doing the math, they spent $7.9 million in October.

The party says they "averaged 2,543 new donors per day in October and had an average contribution of $32," with more than 1 million active donors by the end of the month.

"As of November 11th, the RNC has already broken its own record of new donors in an off year, with 305,000 new donors so far in 2009," the party said in a release.

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Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) says that the health care reform bill Democrats presented in the Senate last night has what it takes to turn the months-long legislative fight into a home run for reform advocates.

"To put it in baseball terms, we've rounded third base and we're heading to home," Harkin told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow last night. "No member of our caucus is going to want to be the one person that stops us from getting to home plate."

"I believe now that the team is together," he added. "And our team is going to hold together and we'll have those 60 votes to move ahead."

Harkin said that the Senate bill is a "reasonable compromise" for health care progressives like him and he called on Democrats to remain unified through the rest of the legislative process.

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It's a big day for health care and the reactions will be flooding the zone today.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid revealed his health care bill last night, with a $849 billion price tag. He's holding a big event at 12:15 at the Capitol Visitors Center (and the White House is reacting via a noon conference call).

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is holding her weekly press conference at 11 on Capitol Hill, Minority Leader John Boehner will talk about health care at 11:45.

Republican Sens. Judd Gregg and Lamar Alexander are briefing reporters this afternoon.

Volunteers from Organizing for America and pro-reform groups plan to attend Reid's event and show their health care spirit.

Sen. Chuck Schumer was on MSNBC this morning and predicted the bill will get the needed votes to pass.

He added, "When we get this done, poll numbers will go up."

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The National Right to Life Committee blasts the Senate health care bill for allowing people who receive federal premium assistance to purchase insurance that covers abortion.

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.) has rejected the bipartisan Stupak-Pitts Amendment and has substituted completely unacceptable language that would result in coverage of abortion on demand in two big new federal government programs," reads a statement from NRLC director Douglas Johnson. "Reid seeks to cover elective abortions in two big new federal health programs, but tries to conceal that unpopular reality with layers of contrived definitions and hollow bookkeeping requirements."

The key: "the bill creates new tax-supported subsidies to purchase private health plans that will cover abortion on demand."

The Stupak amendment to the House bill would prevent anybody who receives such subsidies from buying insurance that covers abortion, except in rare instances.

You can read the entire statement below the fold.

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The CBO has posted its first analysis of the Senate's health care bill, which you can access here.

As advertised, the bill reduces the deficit considerably in both the near- and long-term, while expanding coverage to 94 percent of Americans. By 2019, 25 million people would be buying insurance through a health insurance exchange.

However, it's not all roses. For instance, based on an assessment of the political popularity of the public option, the CBO has concluded that enough states will "opt out" to prevent a full third of consumers from purchasing government insurance.

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President Obama issued the statement regarding the Senate health care reform bill this evening. Here's the full text:

Today we passed another critical milestone in the health reform effort with the release of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. I was particularly pleased to see that the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the bill will reduce the deficit by $127 billion over the next ten years and as much as $650 billion in the decade following, saving hundreds of billions while extending coverage to 31 million more Americans.

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Gov. Bobby Jindal will give $10,000 in contributions that he received from accused fraud attorney Scott Rothstein (and from his law firm) to a victims' compensation fund once one is created, says Kyle Plotkin, the governor's press secretary.

The move comes just four hours after TPMmuckraker first reported the news of the donations from Rothstein. The money was given at a pre-game reception held in Jindal's honor before the UF-LSU game in Florida in October 2008. Rothstein was one of nine co-chairs for the event.

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