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Congress: Assault-weapons ban nixed from bill

Whither assault weapons ban: “Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said on Monday that a controversial assault weapons ban will not be part of a Democratic gun bill that was expected to reach the Senate floor next month,” Politico notes. “After a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday, a frustrated Feinstein said she learned that the bill she sponsored — which bans 157 different models of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines — wouldn’t be part of a Democratic gun bill to be offered on the Senate floor. Instead, it can be offered as an amendment. But its exclusion from the package makes what was already an uphill battle an almost certain defeat.”

Menendez watch: “Three women were paid to falsely claim in videotaped interviews that they had sex for money with U.S. Senator Robert Menendez in the Dominican Republic, a spokesman for the police said today,” AP reports. “The women, whose claims generated media attention in the United States, were hired by a Dominican attorney to make the videotaped statements, spokesman Maximo Baez told reporters. Two of the women received about $425 and the other was paid about $300, he said.”

National Journal: “Unlike some other scandal-wracked politicians like Anthony Weiner, Eric Massa, or Eliot Spitzer, DesJarlais hasn’t become an outcast at all. Republican leaders haven’t punished him. He still holds positions on the Agriculture and, yes, the Oversight and Government Reform committees. Even more glaring: He’s getting fundraising assistance on Tuesday from six influential colleagues, including three committee chairmen (GOP Reps. Darrell Issa of California, John Kline of Minnesota, and Frank Lucas of Oklahoma) and two potential Senate candidates (Kline and Rep. Tom Price of Georgia). Responding to calls asking why they would want to associate with a scandal-plagued congressman, several praised DesJarlais' conduct in office.”