TPMDC Morning Roundup

Obama To Allow Oil Drilling Off Virginia Coast
President Obama will announce today that he will allow oil drilling 50 miles off the Virginia shorelines, a reversal of a long-standing ban on offshore drilling. The change is being pitched as a way to reduce reliance on foreign oil and create jobs.

Obama’s Day Ahead
President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET. He will deliver remarks on energy security at 11:05 a.m. ET. He will meet at 2:40 p.m. ET with the family of Cesar Chavez, and sign a proclamation in honor of Cesar Chavez Day. At 4:30 p.m. ET, he will deliver remarks at a closing session of the Forum for Workplace Flexibility.Biden’s Day Ahead
Vice President Biden will travel to Peoria, Illinois. At 12:30 p.m. ET, he will deliver keynote remarks at the “Partners in Peace” event, hosted by The Center for Prevention of Abuse, at the Peoria Civic Center. He will be joined by Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL). Later, Biden, LaHood and Durbin will meet with local and small business owners and workers to discuss the Recovery Act. Biden will return to Washington in the evening.

Report: U.S. Wants Four-Month Settlement Freeze By Israel
The Obama administration reportedly wants a four-month settlement freeze by Israel, a move that Israel has refused to contemplate in the past. In exchange for a freeze, the United States would pressure the Palestinians to hold direct talks with Israel.

DeMint: ‘My Intent Is To Serve No More Than Two Terms’
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) said that if he is re-elected to a second term this year, he expects to not run for a third term in 2016. “I haven’t made any public promises about what I’m going to do in the Senate, but my intent is to serve no more than two terms,” said DeMint.

Van Hollen: Dems Who Voted Against Health Care Bill Will Still Receive Campaign Aid
In an interview with The Hill, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said that endangered House Democrats will be treated the same by the House Dems’ campaign committee, regardless of whether they voted for or against the health care bill. “These are members who may have voted no on this bill, but they have voted yes on other bills,” said Van Hollen. “We can have disagreements, we can weather the storm of these sorts of family battles and move on.”

Spratt Announces He Has Parkinson’s Disease
Rep. John Spratt (D-SC) has announced that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He has also affirmed that he will still run for re-election. “None of these symptoms affects me mentally or physically,” Spratt said in a statement, also adding: “I see my neurologist, Dr. Marc Stacy, once a year, and in December, I went to him for a prognosis. Dr. Stacy was pleased with the status and slow progression, and told me, ‘if you are looking for a reason not to run again, this is not it.'”