USA Today: “The U.S. Senate is going nuclear. Barring a last-minute deal, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., made clear he will move forward Tuesday with a controversial maneuver — known as the "nuclear option" — to change the chamber's rules to make it easier to confirm President Obama's executive branch nominees.”
Roll Call notes that at the heart of the standoff is President Obama’s picks to the National Labor Relations Board.
We’d note that Richard Cordray’s nomination to head up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is as important to the Obama administration.
The Hill: “President Obama and the House GOP will fight over immigration, spending and debt this fall, but it will be a battle of the weak versus the weak. Obama’s post-election momentum is gone and the deeply divided Republican majority has struggled to pass any consequential legislation. In Washington, a place obsessed by who is up and who is down, today’s answer is that everyone is down. Both sides are searching desperately and in vain for leverage.”
National Journal notes that Marco Rubio has stayed away from talking about immigration reform after the Senate bill passed despite the hurdles it faces in the House: “Rubio is turning to the safer, more conservative-friendly issues he campaigned on in 2010 -- President Obama's healthcare law, federal spending, the deficit -- but with less support from Republicans than before, according to public polls. He's put off abortion opponents clamoring for him to spearhead a controversial ban after 20 weeks and staying put while potential rivals in 2016 jockey in the early-primary states.”
USA Today: “A top aide to Republican Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota has been arrested by the U.S. Capitol Police and charged with theft. Senior legislative aide Javier Sanchez, 37, of Virginia, was arrested July 11 after an investigation into a series of thefts in the Rayburn House Office Building, where Bachmann's Washington office is located.”
Roll Call: “The House campaign committee of Rep. Michele Bachmann reported [Monday] afternoon it paid $100,000 to Patton Boggs LLP on June 25 for legal services. This is in addition to the $55,000 paid to Patton Boggs LLP in the second quarter by the Bachmann for President Committee.”
Meanwhile, she was saying this… The Hill: “Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on Monday said she believes President Obama could ‘wave his magic wand’ to grant voting rights to immigrants presently in the country illegally ahead of the 2014 elections, and that Republicans in Congress need to ‘spank’ the president and “pinch his ears back” by blocking immigration reform in the House to prevent him from doing so.”
USA Today: “The inspector general who found that the Internal Revenue Service targeted Tea Party groups for added scrutiny will make another trip to Capitol Hill on Thursday — this time to explain why he didn't also reveal that progressive groups were on an IRS watch list, too. J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, will face questions from Democrats about why his May 14 report did not include evidence that might have tamped down allegations that the targeting was politically motivated.”
Politico: “Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have joined an upstart effort to remove the chain of command from military sexual assault cases. … The tea party favorites give the bill’s lead sponsor, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, critical conservative cover as she battles the Pentagon and hawks in both parties on her proposal to create a new prosecution system for major military crimes.” Gillibrand told Politico: “My goal is to physically approach everyone.” Her office says she’s within 10 votes of 51 votes.
Roll Call: “Florida Republican Vern Buchanan — a member of the House committee that writes the tax code — forgot to pay his 2012 property taxes, the Sarasota Herald Tribune reported. … The $16,037 property tax on the home was paid late, and, consequently, the Florida Republican paid $801.87 in penalties. Although he sits on the Ways and Means Committee, it is not the first time the congressman has been accused of tax problems.”