By Tracy Bloom
DREAM Come True: Consider this the new kindler, gentler Republican Party. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Tuesday endorsed a path to citizenship for undocumented young people who were brought into the country as children, marking a shift in the GOP’s stance on immigration. Cantor was among the Republicans who blocked the 2010 DREAM Act, which would have given undocumented young people who wanted to go to college or enlist in the military a path to citizenship. “One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents,” Cantor said in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute. “It is time to provide an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children and who know no other home.” (Read more)
Deficit Disorder: The latest nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office economic report reveals that Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman was right—austerity is harming the U.S. economy. According to the CBO’s Budget and Economic Outlook for the coming decade, released Tuesday, Washington, D.C.’s obsession with the deficit has damaged the economic recovery. In Talking Points Memo’s view, the report shows that the “impact of that austerity is fewer people working and slower growth.” The CBO’s report also estimated the deficit in 2013 at $845 billion, which would be the first time in five years that that figure would be less than $1 trillion. (Read more)
Tactical Retreat: It appears the Republican threat to filibuster Chuck Hagel’s nomination as defense secretary was just talk by the GOP after all. According to Roll Call, Republicans in the Senate do not have the votes to enact a filibuster. Such an extreme measure to defeat a Cabinet nominee has never been used before, and it appears the GOP doesn’t want to set that precedent. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., said he expects a vote on Hagel as soon as Thursday. (Read more)
Gun Chamber: Nearly two months after the horrific gun massacre in Newtown, Conn., the House finally unveiled its first bipartisan effort to curb gun violence. The measure, introduced Tuesday, aims to make trafficking firearms a federal crime—something President Obama called for in the gun control package he proposed last month. The big question now is whether Republican House leaders will bring any bills regarding guns to the floor for a vote. Two GOP lawmakers involved with the legislation have said, however, that they were “encouraged” by their talks with fellow House Republicans, and that “generally, they’re very supportive” of the proposal. (Read more)
Rabble-Rouser: Ann Coulter is at it again. The conservative
attention-seeker commentator slammed President Obama, the media and pretty much anyone who favors progressive gun control efforts, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity that “It’s not just that [the media] are talking about it, it’s that they must demonize legal gun owners and [say], ‘Oh, Obama, look at him, he cares about the children.’ Screw you! You think we don’t care about the children? You’re the one who won’t do anything about the mentally ill.” She later clarified that her “Screw you!” remark—because, apparently it was unclear whom she was saying that to initially—was meant for the president and “anyone else who says that those of us who don’t support ridiculous gun laws ‘aren’t serious about saving children’ (or whatever Obama said to that effect).” That Ann Coulter—always keepin’ it classy (or not). (Read more)
Video of the Day: New Jersey’s Chris Christie may not be one of the country’s best governors, but few state leaders have as good a sense of humor as he does (for whatever that’s worth). Christie mocked his substantial girth on “The Late Show with David Letterman” on Monday. During an interview with Letterman, the governor took out a doughnut and began eating it. “I didn’t realize this was going to be this long,” Christie deadpanned.