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Politics Today

A Treasury Department Fail, ‘SNL’ Takes on Biden, and More

Tracy Bloom
Assistant Editor
Tracy Bloom left broadcast news to study at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. There she eventually became deputy editor of Neon Tommy, the most-trafficked online-only college website in…
Tracy Bloom

Coming to America:

A bipartisan group of eight U.S. senators has agreed on a set of principles for a revamping of the country’s immigration laws. The blueprint fuses the Democrats’ demand for a path to citizenship for the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. with Republicans’ desire for stronger border security and increased interior enforcement, proving that the two parties can still occasionally work together and compromise on important issues. The plan was unveiled Monday, a day before President Obama is scheduled to give a speech in Las Vegas outlining his immigration proposals. (Read more)

The Road to 2016: President Obama’s only about a week into his second term, but that’s not stopping CBS News from asking if he’s ready to endorse Hillary Clinton for president in 2016. During the love fest that was the “60 Minutes” interview of Obama and Clinton that aired Sunday night, the pair sidestepped questions about the 2016 presidential race. When Steve Kroft asked Obama whether or not his endorsement came with an “expiration date,” the president responded, “You know, Steve, I got to tell you … you guys in the press are incorrigible. I was literally inaugurated four days ago. And you’re talking about elections four years from now.” For her part, Clinton added, “As you know, Steve, I am still secretary of state. So I’m out of politics. And I’m forbidden from even hearing these questions.” To recap: Hillary Clinton may or may not be running for president and Obama may or may not be backing her. (Read more)

Goodbye Gift: A team of President Obama’s supporters gave outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quite the parting present—they paid off the remainder of the debt from her 2008 presidential run. At one point, Clinton’s debt was roughly $20 million, but it had dwindled to about $250,000 by last year. The Obama supporters raised the money to pay her remaining bills to thank her for her loyal service to the administration. (Read more)

VAWA, Take 2: After the House let the Violence Against Women Act expire at the end of last year, the Senate is taking steps to reauthorize it. Like the one Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., introduced in Congress last year, this one adds new protections for those in the LGBT community and Native Americans. The Senate is expected to pass the legislation when it comes up for a vote next week. (Read more)

Raising Objections: Apparently, the Treasury Department can’t be bothered to follow its own decrees, according to a new report that shows it allowed excessive pay and salary increases at companies that received taxpayer-funded bailouts. Christy Romero, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, criticized the department Monday for approving raises for executives at American International Group, General Motors and Ally Financial. Rules from the 2008 bailout specifically limited pay. “We … expect Treasury to look out for taxpayers who funded the bailout of these companies by holding the line on excessive pay,” said Romero. “Treasury cannot look out for taxpayers’ interests if it continues to rely to a great extent on the pay proposed by companies that have historically pushed back on pay limits.” (Read more)

Video of the Day: Admit it: If Joe Biden really threw an inauguration party at the Dover Motor Speedway in Delaware that featured him doing kung fu and covering Jimi Hendrix’s version of “The Star-Spangled Banner”—not to mention an amateur pet show, a bouncy castle and lots of cotton stands, you’d be there in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, the vice president’s “Biden Bash” exists only on “Saturday Night Live”—at least for now.

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