April 30th, 2014
11:03 AM ET
3 months ago

Inside Politics Speed Read: Prospects for Immigration, minimum wage and Paul Ryan tackles race

Minimum wage vote - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled a procedural vote on legislation that would raise the minimum wage gradually from $7.25 to $10.10. No Republicans have said they’ll vote for it, and some Democrats haven’t said for sure. Even if, somehow, a minimum wage increase could pass the Senate, there’s little chance House Republicans would allow a vote.

So anyone interested in actually seeing a higher minimum wage should not hold their breath for this vote.

But that won’t stop President Obama from appearing Wednesday afternoon to complain that Republicans are standing in the way. Democrats clearly want to use the minimum wage as a wedge issue in 2014.

Why? It’s popular.

Recent surveys all indicate strong support for the proposal. A CBS poll from February shows 65% support; the idea got 60% support in an ABC News/Washington Post poll from January and 73% support in a Pew Research Center poll from January. According to a Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this month, half of registered voters surveyed nationwide said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports raising the minimum wage. A Bloomberg survey in March, like the previous polls, indicated a partisan divide: a majority of Democrats and independents but less than 50% of Republicans supporting raising the wage.

New emails fuel Benghazi inquiry - Read the whole story from CNN's Jake Tapper, who wrote: 

New documents obtained by conservative watchdog Judicial Watch reinforce that the White House strongly argued that an anti-Muslim video was the reason for the deadly 2012 terror attacks on U.S. compounds in Benghazi.

This was done even though intelligence and diplomatic sources on the ground were more convinced the attacks that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in eastern Libya were carried out by terrorists and not the spontaneous work of an angry mob.

The new documents can be seen here."

Related: New emails reinforce view White House was pushing video to blame for Benghazi attack

Immigration prospects – House Speaker John Boehner sort of apologized Tuesday for last week mocking his GOP colleagues’ unwillingness to vote on hard issues like immigration.

"Our members know me, all right? And, but you know, sometimes I can rip people just a little too much, sometimes,” he said. “This wouldn't be the first time.”

Boehner said there’s no secret conspiracy to pass a bill, but if Obama works with Congress on other issues, there is the potential for some sort of immigration accord.

Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York told the New York Daily News there would be an immigration bill on President Obama’s desk by June or July.

Schumer said it likely would not be the bipartisan comprehensive plan passed in 2013 by the Senate - but predicting any kind of a reform bill was bold.

It is hard to see how anybody can craft a bill in the next few months that would satisfy Democrats - who insist there should be a pathway to citizenship for otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants – as well as Republicans, who insist the opposite.

Supreme Court has canary in the mine for coal states – Did the Supreme Court give Obama the go-ahead to unilaterally regulate greenhouse gases? It upheld federal regulations on emissions that cross over state lines.

As CNN’s Bill Mears wrote: “A 6-2 majority of justices issued a decision upholding federal agency rules to control coal-fired power plant emissions from 28 states. It was a rare environmental victory in a conservative majority court that has in recent years generally sided against the federal government's nationwide clean air policies. The issue was complex - whether an ‘upwind’ state that is polluting a ‘downwind’ state is free of any obligations under the so-called Good Neighbor provision, unless and until federal regulators have quantified the upwind state's contribution to downwind state's air pollution problems.”

Related: Obama scores rare environmental win at Supreme Court

The EPA is expected to propose new emissions regulations for power plants by June. The president has broad power under the Clean Air Act to move unilaterally. Democrats passed a sweeping climate change bill through the House in 2009, but it foundered in the Senate, even though they enjoyed a broad majority at the time.

It was in part due to conservative backlash against the House climate change bill that Democrats lost control of the House in 2010. Unilateral movement by the White House in June could lead to similar political repercussions.

The administration has delayed action on another politically charged issue with an environmental angle: the Keystone XL pipeline.

Opinion: Keystone pipeline makes sense

Opinion: Keystone will worsen climate change

Paul Ryan takes on poverty and race with Congressional Black Caucus - Rep. Paul Ryan came under some scrutiny earlier this year when he talked about urban blight and jobless men and referenced “The Bell Curve” author Charles Murray.

Ryan referred to a “tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.”

He later apologized but defended his larger point “that government and families have to do more and rethink our approach to fighting poverty.”

Related: Ryan’s inner city comments spark backlash

On Wednesday, Ryan holds a closed-door poverty summit with the Congressional Black Caucus. They’re not going to solve all the world’s problems, but most CBC members want the government to do more to help in the inner cities and more to help the poor.

Ryan wants the government to do less. He wants to cut spending on social programs and instead give states and local governments more leeway to use the fewer federal dollars he’d allocate.

It’s hard to find the middle ground there, but Ryan deserves credit for trying to broaden outreach. He gave a major poverty speech as a candidate for vice president too.

Ryan’s summit with the Congressional Black Caucus comes at a time when the issue of race is very much in the headlines.

The comments of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the lifetime ban the NBA levied against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling have touched nerves.

Resistance to Obamacare blamed on racism – Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, argued on a Nation of Islam radio show posted by Buzzfeed that his state’s white Republican governor, Phil Bryant, refused to expand the state’s Medicaid program under Obamacare “just because a black man created it.”

Thompson put a more pointed riff on comments made recently by Attorney General Eric Holder that he and Obama have not been treated respectfully by Republicans on Capitol Hill.

“I’ve been in Washington. I saw three presidents now,” said Thompson. “I never saw George Bush treated like this. I never saw Bill Clinton treated like this, with such disrespect,” he said. “That Mitch McConnell would have the audacity to tell the President of the United States — not the chief executive, but the commanderinchief — that ‘I don’t care what you come up with, we’re going to be against it’ - now if that’s not a racist statement, I don’t know what is.”


Filed under: 2014 • EPA • Immigration • Supreme Court
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Gunderson

    Man Fire Extinguishers! First Quarter economy grow 0.1 Percent! Now we cooking with gas!

    April 30, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh dear. Full-monty howling at the Benghazi moon for the next two years?

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    April 30, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    -Gunderson
    Man Fire Extinguishers! First Quarter economy grow 0.1 Percent! Now we cooking with gas!

    *************************
    Guess you did not bother to look out the window Gundy, and see the weather this last quarter. Growth is projected overall to be at 3% or more. I'm sure a slow economy makes you happy.

    April 30, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. Adam Smith

    The sign in the accompanying photograph says"I CAN'T SURVIVE ON $7.25".
    If you are an able bodied person with no disabilities and you can only earn $7.25 per hour, the problem is you, not society.
    The dude with the sign was probably majored in Sociology or English Literature or some other other near worthless degree.

    April 30, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    @ smith, grabs attention with whom? The whack-jobs who made their minds up before the vents took place? Seriously, you need to ask yourself if its possible to make a mistake, admit it, and them move on to prevent a repeat of this tragedy. Obama and his people did that over a year ago. What would satisfy your morbid curiosity?

    April 30, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. ARMYCSM

    Tell it like it is Dominican mama 4 Obama. Right wingers are never wrong, it's just not in their character to admit being

    wrong even when the truth keeps them awake at night. Cases in point Right was wrong in 2008, 2012 and ...2014. Poor things

    feels the "message" was not conservative enough. C

    April 30, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Denise

    Tis a shame too because a minimum wage increase would benefit many living in poor, red states.....

    April 30, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. Denise

    Speaking of college degrees, there are those uneducated college droput clowns who have been 'fortunate' to make millions off of the stupidity of others, laughing all the way to the bank. Case in point, Boss Hogg, Hannity and Beck.....

    April 30, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    tom l

    Shocking that the gang would come to the defense of one of the most obvious cover ups in our history
    -----------------
    You're doing it again tom l, unfairly encompassing everyone in one of your blanket statements.
    "The Gang". That's the way that I first referenced us,but based on one of your posts yesterday or the day before,you are giving the term a whole different meaning.
    CNN has effectively been "moderating" my response to one of the most ridiculous posts that I've seen you type.
    When you stated yesterday that BOTH sides overreacted vis-a-vis Cliven Bundy and the feds, I thought I would choke.
    There comes a point tom where someone is wrong and someoneis right.
    You seem to have a very difficult time admitting that when the so-called "conservative" side is in the wrong as facts have proven. ... .... .... ...
    -------------------------–
    I couldn't agree more. Actually, I can. BTW, speaking of yesterday .. ... ...

    "I guess I'm a hater, very close minded and I'm delusional, as well. At least I'm in good company."

    That was tom quoting yolanda, in an attempt to be "I'm a victim, too." It was meant to be an insult, not an olive branch.

    April 30, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "Shocking that the gang would come to the defense of one of the most obvious cover ups in our history."

    List FACTS and EVIDENCE that make it "obvious." Go ahead. We're waiting with baited breath. And while you're at it, provide a rational explanation for why, if such FACTS and EVIDENCE make it so obvious, the GOP/Teatroll witchhunt brigade, led by Issa, hasn't been able to nail that coffin shut.

    Predicted response: "Well, duh....They can't find the evidence because it's a coverup. The lack of evidence is, in fact, evidence that it is a coverup."

    You keep hunting those sneaky elephants in that strawberry patch, champ. Me, I'll just make jam.

    April 30, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Great comments DM. I attempted to respond to you but I was zapped.

    April 30, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. Tampa Tim

    It appears that the right wing super sensitive poster has the intellectual curiosity of an amoeba.

    April 30, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC
    That was tom quoting yolanda, in an attempt to be "I'm a victim, too." It was meant to be an insult, not an olive branch
    -------------------------------------------------
    In my attempt to make us a "gentler kinder" nation (LOL!) I got sucked into the vortex Rudy.
    I am sorry if you lost your $10,000 Romney dollars to your girl, but this is exactly why I won't debate folks on this thread.
    They DON'T KNOW HOW TO DEBATE.
    Their premises are faulty or just plain untruthful and they take-off from there.
    You would have to be a political expert to unspin their spin most times; I defer to folks like you Sniffit, rs, Mallory and the Real Tom for such.
    I can hold my own in a discussion where FACTS are presented sans the spin but most times it has become increasingly apparent to me you would either have to be a political encyclopedia to completely out them or keep running to the Googlez.
    Frankly most times I don't have the inclination nor the time.
    As to being a "cheerleader" I most certainly am. I cheer for the success of this country, our President, and our people often and loudly. And unlike many on this thread I put in the work after hours to ensure that my hopes for our nation become a reality.

    April 30, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Oh dear. Full-monty howling at the Benghazi moon for the next two years?"

    Now now...those windmills aren't going to joust themselves.

    April 30, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Great comments DM. I attempted to respond to you but I was zapped
    -------------------------------------------------
    Thanks babe.
    They were moderating me into oblivion for a while there!

    April 30, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Now now...those windmills aren't going to joust themselves."

    Yes, well. If they're gonna blow hot air the least they could do is direct it northward. It'd help save on my monthly fuel bill.

    April 30, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    That's ok you got through!! But I must say you give the guy too much credit. He's the typical Obama hater pretending not to be one. He attacks people for sticking up for their basic civil rights while completely ignoring those that say the nastiest things. I peeped him out the 2nd day he started posting here. 😃😃

    April 30, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC
    That was tom quoting yolanda, in an attempt to be "I'm a victim, too." It was meant to be an insult, not an olive branch
    -----------------
    In my attempt to make us a "gentler kinder" nation (LOL!) I got sucked into the vortex Rudy.
    I am sorry if you lost your $10,000 Romney dollars to your girl, but this is exactly why I won't debate folks on this thread.
    They DON'T KNOW HOW TO DEBATE.
    =====================================================
    I never lose. They like to argue opinions. We like to argue facts. Little tom and friends are always accusing me of being hard on "people who disagree with you", meaning me. They have opinions confused with facts, and vice versa.

    April 30, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. Gunderson

    Now Why?
    Many with a college degree can't find job. So they end up doing waitress work, flipping hamburgers, cashiers at grocery store. Fist you get degree and then get education. Other old Chinese Proverb. Don't stick head in sand, expect things get better. Well maybe things get better. Pain now blaming weather for bad economy. Probably so. Lets all get drunk and be somebody!

    April 30, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. tom l

    Rudy said yesterday in response to yolanda: "Almost of all what you post is hate and delusional rants. The "facts" that either you or tom post are nothing more than stereotypical rhetoric, straight from playbook...."

    I responded to Yolanda with: "I guess I'm a hater, very close minded and I'm delusional, as well. At least I'm in good company."

    That was tom quoting yolanda, in an attempt to be "I'm a victim, too." It was meant to be an insult, not an olive branch

    =====

    So there you have it. Rudy who says he never calls anybody names yet can nuance it by throwing out insults. Way to go, Rudy. Rudy making things up to support his "story" and "facts". Firstly, Rudy says he never calls people names yet he refers to me as "little tom" and then calls me delusional and hate filled. I would say those are names, Rudy, so you should get off of your holier than thou high horse. And it's not possible to be a "victim" from someone like you Rudy because that would mean that you hold some sort of power over me, which you have none. So no victim card here, just me pointing out that Rudy is, once again, inaccurate in what he is saying.

    "I never lose" classic. So it is just a game to you Rudy where you think someone wins and someone loses. It's not a game and you are the most self righteous, sanctimonious person on here who has no tolerance for another person's opinion and then has the audacity to make the claim about me for the first time in my life that I am close minded.

    For the record, I am not defending Bundy and tried to post something that, of course, got lost in moderation. That same lost in moderation happened with what a conservative is. I noticed that there was no response when I posted what a liberal is so that's just the wonderful CNN Ticker at its best.

    April 30, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. tom l

    List FACTS and EVIDENCE that make it "obvious." Go ahead. We're waiting with baited breath. And while you're at it, provide a rational explanation for why, if such FACTS and EVIDENCE make it so obvious, the GOP/Teatroll witchhunt brigade, led by Issa, hasn't been able to nail that coffin shut.
    ====

    I just don't know what to say other than what is out there. You have evidence that it was never about a video and you have the administration pushing the storyline that it was a video for days on end after they knew it wasn't. That's pretty darn obvious to me. I don't know how much more plain it can be.

    April 30, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    tom l wrote:

    I just don't know what to say other than what is out there. You have evidence that it was never about a video and you have the administration pushing the storyline that it was a video for days on end after they knew it wasn't. That's pretty darn obvious to me. I don't know how much more plain it can be.
    -------------------------–
    So, what. If not immediately revealing all of the facts that they had on hand was in the best interests of national security, then they did their jobs well. But, please, keep screaming Benghazi until you have a Rovian Meltdown on Election Night.

    April 30, 2014 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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