Republicans were in full attack mode on the Sunday shows: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Obama of a "culture of intimidation" on NBC’s Meet the Press. (That very same language was used by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown Friday.)
He said that it’s spread throughout government from the IRS to HHS to the FCC and the SEC. He claimed of Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius: “Secretary Sebelius sent out a directive to health insurance companies telling them they couldn’t inform their policyholders of what they thought the impact of Obamacare would be on them. Now she’s trying to shake them down for contributions in effect to a group to go out and try to convince the public that they should love Obamacare.”
And of the SEC: “The Obama appointees have been engaged in an effort to make it difficult for corporations to exercise their First Amendment, political rights.”
Chaser: “Recently, I had dinner -- it’s been well publicized -- I had dinner with a number of the Republican senators. And I’ll admit it wasn’t easy. I proposed a toast -- it died in committee. Of course, even after I've done all this, some folks still don’t think I spend enough time with Congress. ‘Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?’ they ask. Really? Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell? I'm sorry. I get frustrated sometimes.” – Obama at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
Rand Paul said there’s a “written policy” that was circulated by the IRS to target “people opposed to the president.”
Rob Portman called for a special prosecutor.
Overlooked… “Republicans on Thursday dropped their efforts to stall President Obama’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, and her chief antagonist in the Senate conditionally promised to help her avoid a filibuster as the confirmation battle heads to its final step,” the Boston Globe writes. “The nomination of Gina McCarthy was approved by the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works by a party-line vote of 10-8, with all Democrats favoring her and Republicans voting against her. The nomination now goes to the full Senate. McCarthy’s prospects for heading the agency may have received the biggest boost after Senator David Vitter, the Louisiana Republican who had been her chief antagonist, dropped his threat to block her nomination on the Senate floor. Last week, Republicans, led by Vitter, the committee’s ranking member, staged a walkout to deny her the presence of the minority party, which is required in most instances in order for a nominee to be approved by the committee.”
So much for that… Political Wire: “While promoting her new book, former Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) recounted a phone call with President Obama in which he told her she could be ‘a modern-day Joan of Arc’ by supporting his health care bill, the Portland Press Herald reports. When Snowe pointed out Joan of Arc had been burned at the stake, Obama reportedly replied: ‘Don't worry, I'll be there with a fire hose!’ She still voted against the bill on the Senate floor.”
Bye bye budget deal… with those shrinking deficit numbers, a budget deal is unlikely, Reuters writes.