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. Steve

    So-called "Obamacare" was originally the invention of moderate Republicans in the 1990's. The fact that the entire Republican Party has fought the same plan tooth-and-nail since 2009 can only be attributed to the fact that it was being promoted by a black president. Is the core of the Republican Party racist? Oh, absolutely yes. It's as plain as a fact can be.

    April 30, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    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.
    --------------------------–
    Paul showed his true stripes with his remarks that he had to backtrack on. He claimed that he expressed himself poorly, but didn't deny the sentiment and meaning of his message. Going to a meeting with the CBC to tell them "my way or the highway" is not outreach. That's what totalitarians do.

    April 30, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. Denise

    Poor Dittoheads, they must go to bed at nite and wake up every day with Benghazi on their mind.....

    April 30, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. Sniffit

    "TO UNDERSCORE THAT THESE PROTESTS ARE ROOTED IN AN INTERNET VIDEO, AND NOT A BROADER FAILURE OF POLICY"

    That's not dishonest or nefarious in any way shape or form. Moreover, it's not in any way an admission that it WAS a "failure or policy" and that they needed to cover it up. Grow up, tom. Seriously. It's no different than someone saying "to underscore that the sky is blue." If it wasn't a failure of policy and they didn't believe it to be a failure of policy, then it's 100% legitimate to want to make sure that the message goes out that it wasn't. There's been NOTHING produced showing that it was, in fact, a "failure of policy." THAT is the core issue. Typing memos that bullet point the need to make sure people understand that is not "lying" or "covering up." Point to the evidence that shows it actually was a policy failure, that they knew it and were deliberately trying to message that it wasn't anyway. Go ahead. Point to it. Oh wait, you can't, because there is none.

    April 30, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    tom l posted:

    I like how they are burying the Benghazi email story and how this absolutely shows again how dishonest our administration was with Americans with regards to the attack. Here are the four bullet points from Obama's advisor Ben Rhodes and the administration's goals after the now obvious attack that had nothing to do with a video:
    ------------------------
    I've got some bad news for you. If the administration felt that it was in the better interests of national security to reveal to the public everything that they knew during the initial hours and days following the attack, then it is their DUTY to take the steps required to insure the nation's security ... ... even if it means telling a little white lie to disguise just how much they knew for the terrorists who carried out the attacks.

    Most Americans have moved on. Most Americans watched Mitt Romney on videotape asserting that he would turn an act of terror into a political wedge with the public. People are not as stupid as the Republicans seem to think.

    April 30, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  6. Silence DoGood

    @tom l
    I like how they are burying the Benghazi email story and how this absolutely shows again how dishonest our administration was with Americans with regards to the attack. Here are the four bullet points from Obama's advisor Ben Rhodes and the administration's goals after the now obvious attack that had nothing to do with a video:

    - to convey that the United States is doing everything we can to protect our people and facilities abroad
    - TO UNDERSCORE THAT THESE PROTESTS ARE ROOTED IN AN INTERNET VIDEO, AND NOT A BROADER FAILURE OF POLICY
    - to show that we will be resolute in bringing people who harm Americans, and standing steadfast through these protests
    - to reinforce the President and Administration's strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges

    Folks, we were blatantly lied to. There is just no way around this. It is so painfully obvious to anyone that we were lied to over and over. Why can't you just admit it?
    --------
    In the confusion after Benghazi, the administration got it wrong about the video then corrected the assessment in days. How is that a conspiracy? Bush got WMD clearly wrong and continued the lie for months – you OK with that?

    And the most important thing was that 4 Americans had died – how we would try to prevent this in the future, not the motivation of the attackers. As Ms.Clinton pointed out IN CONTEXT, "what difference did it make" as to the motivation? We need to be more concerned about the 4 deaths. Do you think bickering over motivation is more important than 4 deaths?

    And I won't waste time listing once again, the many embassy attacks and deaths under Bush because of his horrible international cowboy idiot image.

    April 30, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. Tony

    Tom I, those people were engaging in PR efforts. It is similar to you trying to appear impartial even though you side with Republicans/conservatives all the time.

    April 30, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    CORRECTION:

    I've got some bad news for you. If the administration felt that it was in the better interests of national security to [NOT] reveal to the public everything that they knew during the initial hours and days following the attack,

    April 30, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. rs

    Meanwhile, the GOP faces another popularity crisis.

    We have a popular reform- increase the minimum wage which the GOP opposes with false logic. They claim that such an increase will cost jobs and work hours- at a time of the greatest rate of productivity and business profit. Fact: increasing the minimum wage has not ever reduced the number of jobs, nor raised prices, but does lead to more economic activity. The GOP is still trying to spoil the economic recovery.

    Immigration Reform- another popular reform which the GOP adamantly opposes using the canard of "no amnesty"- even though no one (and not the current Senate Bill awaiting House action) has actually proposed or is currently contained in any bill.

    The GOP goes South on these two items and they reinforce their anti- poor and anti-minority reputation. If they support them, they are shown as hypocrites or liars.

    Well, at least the GOP isn't having to defend Mr. Bundy's anti-American, racist agenda today, so clearly their prospects could be worse.

    April 30, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. tom l

    Shocking that the gang would come to the defense of one of the most obvious cover ups in our history. But I wouldn't expect anything else. Yeah, sure, it's an internet video. Yeaaaah, that's the ticket. The only thing missing was Jon Lovits saying it.

    April 30, 2014 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  11. tom l

    That's not dishonest or nefarious in any way shape or form. Moreover, it's not in any way an admission that it WAS a "failure or policy" and that they needed to cover it up. Grow up, tom. Seriously. It's no different than someone saying "to underscore that the sky is blue." If it wasn't a failure of policy and they didn't believe it to be a failure of policy, then it's 100% legitimate to want to make sure that the message goes out that it wasn't. There's been NOTHING produced showing that it was, in fact, a "failure of policy." THAT is the core issue. Typing memos that bullet point the need to make sure people understand that is not "lying" or "covering up." Point to the evidence that shows it actually was a policy failure, that they knew it and were deliberately trying to message that it wasn't anyway. Go ahead. Point to it. Oh wait, you can't, because there is none.
    ===

    An excellent job of deflection, Sniffit! Kudos! So I never once said it was a policy failure (even though, in my opinion it was because we never should have been there in the first place). It's not the policy that I have a problem with. It's the incredibly obvious cover up that the Administration lied to all Americans about in order to make themselves not look bad right before the election. Again, I will repeat, it has nothing to do with the policy that these emails demonstrate and everything to do with a lying administration trying to cover their own rear ends.

    But again, Sniffit, great great effort and missing the actual point in your never ending effort to support everything our corrupt administration does.

    April 30, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. tom l

    Tony

    Tom I, those people were engaging in PR efforts. It is similar to you trying to appear impartial even though you side with Republicans/conservatives all the time.

    =====

    Really Tony? Really? I must be the worst repub ever than since I am against our foreign follies (both Bush and Obama), I am pro gay marriage and think repubs are idiots for trying to deny this issue, I am for a woman's right to have an abortion (another inane repub issue stance) and I am against the Patriot Act that was started under Bush. Whatever you say about me is cool, but please recognize that you have zero criticisms of the president so how would that make you any better than what you purport about me?

    April 30, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  13. tom l

    I've got some bad news for you. If the administration felt that it was in the better interests of national security to reveal to the public everything that they knew during the initial hours and days following the attack, then it is their DUTY to take the steps required to insure the nation's security ... ... even if it means telling a little white lie to disguise just how much they knew for the terrorists who carried out the attacks.
    ======

    hahahahahaahahaahahahaha. the first member of the gang to admit that it was a lie. The first step, Rudy, is admitting you have a problem. ;)

    Justify it all you want but I'm pretty darn sure you wouldn't accept a "little white lie" – which this is actually A BIG FAT STINKER OF A LIE – from the Bush administration. Why are you ok now with our president outwardly lying to us in the name of "national security". NOW, all of the sudden, you have trust and faith in the president even though it is now proven that he told a "little white lie". I don't think your new narrative will fly, Rudy. But go for it.

    April 30, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. Tony

    Tom I, Democrats are trying to make themselves look as good as possible, Republicans are trying to make Democrats look as bad as possible. The converse is also true. The truth is somewhere in between.

    April 30, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  15. Gunderson

    Bad News?,
    No doubt Obama Administration in over head with Benghazi. Come to think of it the Obama Administration in over head with everything. Obama Web Site just one example. But double standard here. Democrats keep secrets ok. Republicans no such luck. They impeached Richard Nixon. He didn't totally screw up economy. On other hand Obama Administration totally screw up economy. for next 30 years, at least. Will he get impeached?

    April 30, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    tom l posted:

    "Really Tony? Really? I must be the worst repub ever than since I am against our foreign follies (both Bush and Obama), I am pro gay marriage and think repubs are idiots for trying to deny this issue, I am for a woman's right to have an abortion (another inane repub issue stance) and I am against the Patriot Act that was started under Bush. Whatever you say about me is cool, but please recognize that you have zero criticisms of the president so how would that make you any better than what you purport about me?"
    --------------------------–
    Can you name just one thing that you feel Pres. Obama got right?

    Still waiting for your explanation of how a conservative mind works. You're supposed to be educating us.

    April 30, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "An excellent job of deflection, Sniffit! Kudos! So I never once said it was a policy failure (even though, in my opinion it was because we never should have been there in the first place). It's not the policy that I have a problem with. It's the incredibly obvious cover up that the Administration lied to all Americans about in order to make themselves not look bad right before the election. Again, I will repeat, it has nothing to do with the policy that these emails demonstrate and everything to do with a lying administration trying to cover their own rear ends.

    But again, Sniffit, great great effort and missing the actual point in your never ending effort to support everything our corrupt administration does."
    ===
    What "point," tom? That you stat from the conclusion that it's a lie and a cover up and then read the sentences in that email as proving it? You're engaged in circular logic. There's no deflection in what I said. I addressed the substance of what is said in the memo. Because there is no evidence that it was a policy failure or that the administration believed it was, then a memo saying they need to make sure the public knows it wasn't is not evidence of a "cover up." You say "incredibly obvious," but it's not. It's only "obvious" if you ASSUME it as your starting point. The memo you are referring to does NOT provide evidence of a cover up. It simply shows what the administration believed the public should be told. We get it...despite the lack of any evidence to support your theory, you still believe that what they wanted to tell the public was untrue or a whitewash, but that can't turn something that is innocuous on its face into evidence to prove your assumptions. Logic fail.

    Moreover, if you're going to run around interpreting every talking points memo or any memo stating the administration's goals in terms of public relations and information dissemination as evidence of a grand conspiracy to misinform the public, then there's literally no memo any administration could ever write setting forth those goals that you wouldn't interpret as evidence of a nefarious scheme to misinform the public and "cover up" their mistakes. It's absurd.

    April 30, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    ""But don't pay for them"

    Hilarious. Yeah, sure. This is faux lite. Since when is not taking as much money referred to as a cost? "
    ===

    The tax cuts the GOP/Teatrolls are trying to make permanent without paying for them WOULD CREATE A DEFICIT EVEN IF WE ENACT THE BUDGET THEY THEMSELVES PASSED THROUGH THE HOUSE.

    Do you understand that? Yes or no. Answer the question. YES OR NO. They passed a budget and are now attempting to enact tax cuts that would decimate our ability to pay for THEIR OWN BUDGET. This is and has been all along their strategy: run up huge deficits and debt and then use demagoguery and misinformation about them and their causes in order to demand the summary execution of Medicare, Social Security, "welfare", food stamps and everything else they are ideologically opposed to...because their ideology is fundamentally plutocracy/oligarchy, plain and simple. It is a game of constantly moving the goal posts:

    1. Enact spending at a certain level.
    2. Cut taxes so we can't afford the spending just enacted.
    3. Point at the deficits and debt caused by #2 as justification for demanding that spending be reduced.
    4. Rinse and repeat.
    5. Profit?

    April 30, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. Silence DoGood

    @tom l
    Shocking that the gang would come to the defense of one of the most obvious cover ups in our history. But I wouldn't expect anything else. Yeah, sure, it's an internet video. Yeaaaah, that's the ticket. The only thing missing was Jon Lovits saying it.
    ------------
    That's OK – don't answer my questions or debate things point by point. Conspiracy Theories are nurtured and grow best in a void and lack of concrete debate and facts.

    Hopefully these conspiracies you promote now will have the same impact as the Birth Certificate one. I think that was the "most obvious cover up in our history" as well......

    April 30, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. tom l

    "Can you name just one thing that you feel Pres. Obama got right?"

    =======

    Very little, to be honest. But I could say the same thing about Bush – I can't think of a whole lot that he got right either. I guess he was correct to change his position on gay marriage so that was ok.

    I know, I know. It's tough to deal with the disappointment of someone you admire lying to you. I think the first stage is denial, then justification then at some point reality. At least you have moved on from stage one.

    April 30, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    Gundy, do yourself a favor and quit trying to engage in historical parallels, since its obvious your grasp of history is so one-sided in favor of what you would like it to be, rather than what it actually is. But go ahead, lies are your Nanny.

    April 30, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    Tony, don't ask Tom for an explanation of how the conservative mind works, since he's bent himself up into a pretzel trying to convince himself that he is somehow exempt from having to explain anything about himself. From his background to his education, to his residence to his personal life, he is exempt from anything, but free to attack us non-stop because he really does not believe in anything himself, except that he is right on any given topic, and we must listen to him and accept without question what he says.

    April 30, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. smith

    @Tom l-Well said wth regards to Benghazi. The liberals really just need to come out and admit to this fodder cover- up. The more they spin and dance around this subject the more attention it grabs. The usual suspects will try and justify the cover story but in the end it will hang around until they decide to come clean. Even Bush came out after awhile and said he was wrong about WMD`s in Iraq.

    April 30, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. Ashton B.

    Race as an issue is blown way out of proportion by both parties. There is a double standard with this issue that if anyone of color would to say any of the things we've heard said to a white man (excluding of course the recent statements made by that farmer), there would be no problem at all, but when a white man decides he doesn't like something, race is brought into account immediately. I am a strong liberal and I believe in equality all around, but in order for equality to be achieved, everyone must first learn to look past previous generations' intolerance and see that we just need to love one another for who we are, and not by the color of our skin

    April 30, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  25. 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.
    How can you in any way shape or form blame the feds, who acted with judicious prudence in backing off from performing their sworn duty in order to prevent a calamity of Waco proportions?
    Bundy, a scofflaw, thief, and a bigot to boot has had more than his days in court. He lost. He lost his appeals. He needs to have paid up YEARS ago. Yet when the government agents FINALLY show up to rightfully collect and they're met with armed "patriots" to keep them from doing their jobs.
    That's right tom l. These American men were doing their JOBS and Bundy felt compelled to try and stop them with snipers and firepower.
    Who the hell does that?
    More importantly who would justify someone who does that?
    I am regretting my words of encouragement to you tom l. You purport to want to learn and be open to dialogue YET when faced with incontrovertible facts the best that you can come up with is the old "both parties are at fault" triteness.
    You're letting ideology get in the way of the common sense the good Lord gave you tom l.
    Ugh.

    April 30, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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