NBC’s Libby Leist reports that there was no decision as of last night from leadership on the Senate recess next week. President Obama chided Congress for taking too much time off -- while at the same time saying he isn’t engaged.
Roll Call takes a look today at the “Republican rookies:” “The conservative freshman Senators who rode into Washington as rock stars of the 2010 elections are beginning to find their comfort zone, sounding off this week after long silences on the budget, the president and even foreign policy.
Several of them held a press conference yesterday to complain that being a senator for six months just isn’t what they thought it would be. They want more debates solely about spending. They objected to the idea of a July 4th recess and wanted debates on spending. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said he was "shocked" at the "lack of urgency around here.” Mike Lee (R-UT) said there was a “lack of leadership” that bled from the White House to Congress and went hyper partisan, saying, “President Obama has succeeded in playing 76 rounds of golf,” but not in getting any votes to reduce the debt.
The news conference followed Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-WI) parliamentary maneuver, holding up business on the floor Tuesday. It was something Majority Leader Harry Reid squashed soon after using his own trick. He needed 51 votes to overcome it and even had the having the Sergeant-at-Arms summon senators to the floor. Highlighting just how far apart the Tea Party freshmen are from Democrats, Johnson said he agreed that "revenue has to be part of the solution.” But how: "By growing the economy."
You’ve heard of the “Louisiana Purchase” and the “Cornhusker Kickback” – both coined by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during the health-care debate. Well, in the heat of the debt-ceiling fight, here’s Democrats’ attempt to hit McConnell, the “Bluegrass Boondoggle.” “Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) plans to go to the Senate floor Thursday and call for eliminating the $126 million in tax breaks for the horse-racing industry that McConnell secured in the 2008 farm bill. Democrats are dubbing it the ‘Bluegrass Boondoggle’ and are spotlighting it as part of their broader offensive to pressure Republicans to agree to eliminate corporate tax breaks in any bipartisan debt deal,” Roll Call reports.
He’s not playing… “House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) sent a letter to supporters Wednesday fundraising off the president’s news conference earlier in the day,” The Hill writes. “With the subject line ‘I’m not playing,’ the letter includes a sharp retort to the president’s accusations that legislators holding up the deficit process are playing ‘politics.’”
“The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a bill to simplify a nominations process often exploited for political maneuvering,” Roll Call writes.
Good grief: Stephen Colbert “is scheduled to appear at an open meeting of the FEC to answer questions about his super PAC, a tongue-in-cheek political action committee dedicated to himself,” Roll Call writes.
“Anthony Weiner's wife is taking time off from her senior job with the State Department -- as well as time off from the randy former representative, The [New York] Post has learned.”