“John Boehner is pulling back,” AP writes. “After two stressful years as Washington’s most powerful Republican and a pair of failed, high-profile rounds of budget talks with President Barack Obama — and disappointment over Obama’s re-election — the battle-scarred House speaker has adopted a you-first approach to the Democrat in the White House, his allies who control the Senate and anyone else who wants to work with them. Upcoming across-the-board spending cuts set to slam the economy in two weeks? Boehner says a solution is up to Obama and Senate Democrats. New ideas to prevent gun violence? Let’s see what the Senate can pass, Boehner says, then we'll take a look. Immigration reform? Boehner says it’s best left to bipartisan working groups in both the House and Senate. And the litany of new initiatives unveiled by Obama in Tuesday’s State of the Union address?
“ ‘If he’s got such good ideas, his party in the Senate could pass it,’ Boehner told The Associated Press in an interview in his Capitol office. ‘Then we'd be happy to take a look at it.’”
Quote of the day: “Frankly, every time I've gotten into one of these high-profile negotiations, you know, it’s my rear end that got burnt,” Boehner says.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is pro-hemp production? NBC’s Kasie Hunt reports, McConnell said, “I am proud to introduce legislation with my friend Rand Paul that will allow Kentucky farmers to harness the economic potential that industrial hemp can provide. During these tough economic times, this legislation has the potential to create jobs and provide a boost to Kentucky’s economy and to our farmers and their families." More: “The debate over legalization of hemp is contentious in Kentucky. The Chamber of Commerce supports legalization, but some law enforcement groups say it is a step that could lead to the legalization of marijuana.”
“After campaigning last year as an outspoken consumer advocate and Wall Street critic, Senator Elizabeth Warren was surprisingly quiet during her first month on Capitol Hill. But that changed on Thursday at the Massachusetts senior senator’s first hearing, when she rebuked federal regulators for settling civil cases with big banks instead of taking them to trial,” The Boston Globe notes, adding, “ ‘The question I really want to ask is about how tough you are — about how much leverage you really have,’ Warren said. ‘Tell me a little bit about the last few times you’ve taken the biggest financial institutions on Wall Street all the way to trial.’ A handful of supporters in the packed hearing room applauded. But none of the witnesses — representing the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and others — offered a response. ‘Anybody?’ Warren asked, pursing her lips and raising her eyebrows above her glasses.”
Ouch. Politico’s Manu Raju: “Sen. Ted Cruz lost his voice a couple days ago. Some senators probably wish it wouldn’t come back — at least for a little while.” More: “Just this week, Cruz was rebuked by senior senators like Republican John McCain and Democrat Bill Nelson for what they considered an unfair line of questioning allegedly impugning Hagel’s patriotism. He previously ignored requests from Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) to refrain from using video clips to question Hagel during his confirmation proceedings. Many were stunned when Cruz was one of just three senators to vote against John Kerry’s nomination as secretary of state.”
Writing for NBCLatino, the Rothenberg Political Report's Nathan Gonazles points out that "Hispanic candidates are significantly underperforming in heavily Hispanic districts, particularly compared to other minority groups." He adds, "Nationwide, just 41 percent of congressional districts (24 of 58) with a Hispanic voting age population (VAP) of at least 30 percent are represented by a Hispanic member of Congress. In comparison, 72 percent of districts (32 of 44) with a black VAP of at least 30 percent are represented by a black member."