TPMDC Morning Roundup

Senate Democrats Likely To Take Lead On Bipartisan Initiatives
The Washington Post reports: “It is the narrowly divided Democratic-led Senate – not the Republican House – that is most likely to tackle the bipartisan initiatives Obama laid out Tuesday, including free-trade deals, border security and immigration reform, and an overhaul of the corporate tax code. Although many Senate Democrats say that liberal priorities such as climate-change legislation have fallen off Obama’s agenda, they also see an opportunity to begin a political recovery by pursuing more moderate legislative goals with Republicans’ help.”

Obama’s Day Ahead
President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:45 a.m. ET, and meet at 10:15 a.m. ET with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Obama will meet at 11 a.m. ET with his national security team for his monthly meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Obama and Biden will meet for lunch at 12:45 p.m. ET. Obama will hold a 2:30 p.m. ET interview on YouTube with Steve Grove.Biden’s Day Ahead
Vice President Biden will attend President Obama’s Daily briefing at 9:45 a.m. ET, and they will meet at 10:15 a.m. ET with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Biden will attend Obama’s 11 a.m. ET meeting with the national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Obama and Biden will meet for lunch at 12:45 p.m. ET. Biden will attend a reception for the Democratic National Committee at 5 p.m. ET.

Michele Bachmann Poses Challenge For GOP
Politico reports on how the House Republican leadership has had to deal with the wide media presence of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN): “Boehner and his allies have kept her out of the leadership and she remains a marginal legislative player. But Bachmann continues to be an oversize presence — she’s a headline grabber, and there’s nothing Republicans can do about it. The GOP strategy, in fact, seems to be to treat her like any other member of the House Republican Conference.”

Tea Party Caucus Launches As A Work In Progress
Roll Call reports: “The Senate Tea Party Caucus is scheduled to launch today. But its mission and potential for political and legislative influence in an independent-minded chamber governed by personal relationships remain open questions. Already, a handful of freshman Republicans who garnered the backing of tea party activists in 2010 have declined to join or claimed to have given the matter little thought.”

GOP Splits Over Plans To Cut Defense Budget
The New York Times reports: “To hear the Republican leadership tell it, the once-sacred Pentagon budget, protected by the party for generations, is suddenly on the table. But a closer look shows that even as Speaker John A. Boehner and Representative Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, insist on the need for military cuts, divisions have opened among Republicans about whether, and how much, to chop Pentagon spending that comes to more than a half trillion dollars a year.”