CNN's GUT CHECK | for April 10, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
WHAT'S IN OBAMA'S BUDGET: President Barack Obama on Wednesday proposed a $3.77 trillion budget for 2014 that would cut deficits by $1.8 trillion over the next decade. Obama's budget blueprint - which has already drawn criticism from the left and the right - offers changes to Medicare and Social Security. It also includes tax increases that would primarily hit high-income households and corporations. – Jeanne Sahadi
SURPLUS ON PRINTING: The budget is 2,460 pages, including the historical tables and the appendix, and weighs a whopping 5.55 pounds.
HIT FROM LEFT: “I made a promise to the people of Rhode Island that I would always oppose cuts to Social Security, and I’m going to keep that promise,” wrote Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse in a written statement. “I cannot support a proposal that would force seniors to pay for deficits Social Security had no part in creating.”
(CNN) – Calling the surreptitious recording of a strategy session "Gestapo kind of scare tactics," Sen. Mitch McConnell's campaign chief said Wednesday the FBI was continuing their investigation of the audio tapes at the Senate GOP leader's campaign offices.
"The FBI is taking this very seriously," McConnell's campaign manager Jesse Benton said on Mike Huckabee's radio show. "They were at our office for about an hour today. They tell us that they're running down some leads."
(CNN) – Returning to her hometown of Chicago Wednesday, Michelle Obama wove a deeply personal story of her upbringing in the city that also delved into the latest subject dividing Washington lawmakers – the battle over gun control.
In emotional remarks, the first lady recalled the shooting death of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old who was murdered a week after performing in Washington during President Barack Obama's inauguration. Saying Pendleton "was me, and I was her," Obama reflected on the opportunities that led her to the White House instead of a similar fate.
(CNN) – President Barack Obama praised the compromise reached in the Senate Wednesday over background checks, though he added there are some parts of the deal that he "might prefer to be stronger" and said there's more work to do in getting the bill passed.
Read his full statement after the jump.
Washington (CNN) – A majority of Americans generally favor stricter gun control laws, and there has been a big jump in the number of Americans who say that gun policy is extremely important, according to a new national poll.
But a CNN/ORC International survey released Wednesday also indicates that the increase is only good enough to move gun control to the middle of the pack when it comes to the issues that Americans think are most important to deal with over the next year.
(CNN) – Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who's considering a 2016 presidential bid, made a pitch for his party Wednesday at the historically black Howard University, arguing why the GOP and African Americans should fall in the same column.
"I came to Howard today not to preach and to prescribe to you some special formula, but to say I want a government that leaves you alone," the Kentucky senator said. "My hope is that you'll hear me out. You're going to see me for who I am and not a caricature that's sometimes presented by political opponents."
(CNN) – When a deal on expanding background checks was announced Wednesday, only two senators stood on stage – Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Absent was another lawmaker with a long history of advocating for gun control: Sen. Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat.
(CNN) – A Pennsylvania man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of making a bomb threat near the White House, according to the Secret Service and Washington's Metropolitan Police Department.
Krzysztof Wasik, 44, of Hazel Township, Pennsylvania, walked up to a White House gate Wednesday morning and told guards he had a bomb in his vehicle that was set to explode, police said.FULL STORY
(CNN) – Asa Hutchinson, the former Republican congressman who helmed the National Rifle Association's task force on school safety, said Wednesday he was formally jumping into the race for Arkansas governor.
I have completed my report on school safety as Dir, Nat School Shield Task Force, and formally declare my candidacy for Gov 2014...—
Asa Hutchinson (@AsaHutchinson) April 10, 2013
(CNN) – The National Rifle Association said Wednesday that expanding background checks at gun shows, as called for in a Senate compromise, "will not prevent the next shooting, will not solve violent crime and will not keep our kids safe in schools."
Read the full statement after the jump