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Congress: Coburn wants tornado relief to be offset

Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, wants the tornado relief funding to be offset with balancing spending cuts.

AP: “The Senate Judiciary Committee hopes to nail down an elusive compromise on high-tech visas and may punt a controversy over gay marriage to the full Senate as it makes final drafting decisions on immigration legislation that grants a shot at citizenship to millions living in the country illegally.”

“The inquiry led by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee into the slaying of four Americans at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last year has been attention-grabbing, but some senior GOP aides are worried that the partisan overtones are diverting Congress from identifying and addressing the real lessons learned from the attack,” Roll Call writes. “In particular, these aides say key staffers have been overly consumed with chasing down or addressing inaccurate or unfounded accusations emerging from the inquiry.”

Said a Republican aide: “We have got to get past that and figure out what are we going to do going forward. Some of the accusations, I mean you wouldn’t believe some of this stuff. It’s just — I mean, you’ve got to be on Mars to come up with some of this stuff.”

Another IRS hearing tomorrow… Douglas “Shulman, appointed by President George W. Bush to a five-year term that expired last year, will testify Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Joining him will be Neil S. Wolin, the deputy secretary of the Treasury Department, and Lois Lerner, the director of the IRS Exempt Organizations division, who may bring more knowledge of what the IRS did than the other officials the committees have chosen to interview publicly,” Roll Call writes.

Amb. Thomas Pickering, who wrote the review of the State Department’s handling of Benghazi, will be deposed Thursday by the House Oversight Committee.

AP: “People who falsely claim they have received a military medal in order to obtain money or government benefits could face up to a year in jail under legislation that easily passed the House Monday.”

Roll Call: “House Republican leadership will soon have to decide how hard to push a controversial ban on late-term abortions sought by the party’s base in the wake of Pennsylvania abortion provider Kermit Gosnell’s three murder convictions. So far, GOP leaders have only made strongly worded statements regarding Gosnell, and it’s not yet clear whether GOP leaders will bring a national ban on late-term abortions, authored by conservative Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., to the floor.”