“Fresh off his Middle East trip, President Obama returns to domestic issues this week, starting with immigration,” USA Today writes. “Obama is scheduled to speak Monday at a naturalization ceremony for active-duty servicemembers and civilians at the White House. The president, who returned to the White House on Saturday night from a journey to Israel and Jordan, is expected to again advocate what he calls ‘comprehensive immigration reform.’”
From a White House official: “The [naturalization] event underscores the contributions made to the United States by immigrants from all walks of life including the foreign born members of the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as our shared history as a nation of immigrants. While the President remains pleased that Congress continues to make progress towards commonsense immigration reform, he believes Congress needs to act quickly and he expects a bill to be introduced as soon as possible.”
The New York Times: “Organizing for Action, the political group that grew out of President Obama's successful re-election campaign machinery, will jump into the immigration debate this week with an aggressive online effort to highlight the personal stories of immigrants. The group has collected 7,000 stories from supporters, some of whom entered the country illegally or were brought as young children by their parents. Organizers say they will distribute the stories using Twitter, Facebook and blogs beginning this week.”
“The Supreme Court this week will dive into the biggest civil rights issue it has faced in a generation — whether same-sex couples have the right to marry,” The Hill writes. The court will hear oral arguments Tuesday and Wednesday in a pair of cases with enormous historical implications for the nation, the court and the legacy of Chief Justice John Roberts.”
Who would have thought that the stripping of funding to ObamaCare would come from the left, and, of all people, Elizabeth Warren?
The Senate overwhelmingly – 79-20 – voted to repeal the medical device tax in ObamaCare. The tax would raise approximately $30 billion for the law. Led by Warren, who used it to campaign against Scott Brown, 35 Democrats voted to repeal it. The vote came on an amendment to the budget and won’t likely become law because the budget won’t pass as is. But it shows how tricky the politics of Medicare and seniors continues to be. Remember, ObamaCare is supposed to bend the cost curve. But it only does that with taxes like this one.
Dave Weigel says the medical device lobby is behind the effort.
The repeal moves to the House and a version of it has 212 cosponsors and it’s factoring into the Massachusetts Senate race. Ed Markey has not signed on yet, because he’s asking how it will be paid for. But his statement shows you what the politics are like on this:
“I am concerned about the impact that the device tax could have on the medical device industry and job creation in Massachusetts,” Markey said, per the Boston Globe. “I opposed the inclusion of this tax in the House health care reform bill. I would support repealing the tax, as long as the revenue replacing it does not impact middle-class families or their health care benefits.”
“President Obama's most prominent judicial nominee withdrew her name from consideration Friday in the face of continuing Republican opposition,” USA Today writes. “Caitlin Halligan, a prominent New York prosecutor twice nominated by Obama to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, would have been a potential future Supreme Court nominee had she won Senate confirmation. Instead, after more than two years of effort, she and the president agreed Friday to call it quits. … Republicans steadfastly refused to vote on Halligan's nomination on grounds that her judicial views were outside the mainstream. She had argued as New York solicitor general that firearms manufacturers should be held civilly liable for crimes committed with guns. She also had endorsed a report questioning the indefinite detention of enemy combatants.”
Said Obama: "I am deeply disappointed that even after nearly two and a half years, a minority of senators continued to block a simple up-or-down vote on her nomination," Obama said. "This unjustified filibuster obstructed the majority of senators from expressing their support."
“The Internal Revenue Service says it regrets making two $60,000 training videos in 2010 that parodied the popular TV shows, ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Gilligan’s Island,’” The Hill writes. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reported on the videos on “TODAY” this morning.