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Ear to the Ground

Senate Passes VAWA, O’Reilly Visits Letterman, and More

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Posted on Feb 12, 2013

Budget Talk: The White House has released excerpts of President Obama’s State of the Union address. Here’s a snippet: “Tonight, I’ll lay out additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget framework both parties agreed to just 18 months ago. Let me repeat—nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.” (Read more)

Headed to the House: The Senate overwhelmingly passed a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act by a vote of 78-22. All of the “nay” votes belonged to Republicans. Among those who voted against the bill that aims to expand protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse: Sens. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, who will both deliver rebuttals to President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night. The bill now goes to the House where it had previously stalled. (Read more)

Hagel Hinge: By a vote along party lines, the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday approved Chuck Hagel’s nomination to become the next secretary of defense. As a result, the Democratic-controlled Senate will soon vote on whether the controversial nominee will replace Leon Panetta. However, Democrats still need to get five Republicans to back Hagel. That might not be as easy as it sounds: Despite the fact that Hagel is a former Republican senator who represented Nebraska, more than a dozen of his former colleagues have already said they oppose his nomination. (Read more)

Tricks of the Trade: Democrats are reportedly mulling whether they want to swap sequester cuts with the “Buffett Rule” in order to raise revenue and thereby avoid the pending federal budget reductions that are set to be enacted beginning next month. The Buffett Rule, named for billionaire businessman Warren Buffett, would require millionaires to pay a guaranteed minimum tax rate. According to the Los Angeles Times, the revenue raised alone from putting the Buffett Rule in place would cover 10 months of the package put forth by Democrats to deal with the government’s budget problems. (Read more)

Video of the Day: Fox News host Bill O’Reilly visited with David Letterman on “The Late Show” on Monday night, where the two discussed topics including gun control, drones and the recently published Esquire article about the member of Navy SEAL Team 6 who shot and killed Osama bin Laden. Take a look:

 

 

 

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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