CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for July 28, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
FINAL COUNTDOWN … WHAT WILL AND WON'T GET DONE: Congress faces several big issues before beginning its August recess at the end of the week. While it appears lawmakers might get to a few things on the to-do list, other matters are likely to be left until they return. Here's what’s happening:
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Border crisis: President Barack Obama wants $3.7 billion in emergency funds from Congress for the southern border crisis. Other proposals call for less. But partisan controversy over whether to change a 2008 law to make it easier to deport immigrant kids as part any new funding package is the sticking point. It’s unclear if anything can pass now. 2. A fix for veterans' health care: A deal on a $17 billion package by Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders and his House counterpart, Jeff Miller, is on the table. Lawmakers are under real pressure to do something on this now. 3. Highway fund running on empty: The highway trust fund is about to run out of money, threatening road projects and jobs. An $11 billion House bill would resolve things until next spring. The Senate could act on it quickly. 4. Boehner lawsuit: The House is expected this week to authorize the GOP lawsuit against Obama over claims he exceeded his executive authority on Obamacare. – Deirdre Walsh
NUNN CAMPAIGN DEFENDS BIG LEAK … Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn's campaign defended an early plan detailing challenges she might face courting voters. Republicans jumped on the leaked document, obtained by the National Review, casting it as an effort to exploit voters. Nunn's team said the document was a draft “written eight months ago" and was always subject to change. – Dana Davidsen and Paul Steinhauser
NRSC BLAST: ‘The entire Nunn plan is dirty, offensive, and emblematic of why voters are so disenchanted with politics."
VOTERS REMORSE? ROMNEY TOPS OBAMA IN DO-OVER, BUT LOSES TO CLINTON … If a rematch of the 2012 election were held today, Mitt Romney would top President Barack Obama in the popular vote, according to a national survey. But a CNN/ORC International poll also indicates that if Romney changes his mind and runs again, Hillary Clinton would best him by double digits in a hypothetical showdown, if she ran. – Paul Steinhauser
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS … DEMS RAISE $$$ OFF BOEHNER LAWSUIT: Since House Speaker John Boehner announced he was planning to sue President Obama in late June, the DCCC has raised nearly $7 million. "Grassroots Democrats across the country see Republican leaders in the House refusing to rule out impeaching the President even as they vote to use taxpayer funds to sue him,” DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said in a statement. – Deirdre Walsh
BUSY DAY FOR VIRGINIA JUSTICE … BOB MCDONNELL’S CORRUPTION TRIAL STARTS …Jury selection got under way in the federal corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who is charged along with his wife of improperly accepting gifts from a businessman while in office in exchange for promoting his company.- Ashley Killough
APPEALS COURT REJECTS VIRGINIA SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BAN … A federal appeals court struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage in the first ruling of its kind in a southern state and another legal victory for gay and lesbian couples seeking the right to legally wed. They can’t marry right away, however, due to ongoing legal questions. The issue overall is likely to wind up at the Supreme Court. – Bill Mears
THE BUZZ: PALIN LAUNCHING ONLINE NEWS CHANNEL … Sarah Palin is again going rogue - this time to the digital world with her own online news channel. She plans to offer viewers an alternative to the "politically correct filter" of mainstream media … The new Sarah Palin Channel will cost viewers $9.95 a month, or $99.95 for a year. Active military personnel can subscribe free of charge. – Deborah Bloom
MARKET WATCH: Stocks end mixed ahead of Fed meeting and July jobs report. Dow rises 21 points. NASDAQ down 5. S&P flat.
In which midterm elections did the President's party gain seats in both the House and the Senate?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: CNN EXCLUSIVE: Pentagon security clearance holders owe $730M in taxes
About 83,000 Defense Department employees and contractors with security clearances to protect the nation's secrets have delinquent federal tax debts totaling $730 million, a government audit shows. – Evan Perez
Leading CNNMoney: Zillow buys Trulia for $3.5 billion
The leading real estate website Zillow bought Trulia, the second biggest player in the field, in a stock deal valued at $3.5 billion. Zillow will continue to operate two separate websites, where consumers can search listings of homes for sale. – Les Christie
Leading HuffPo: Ted Strickland Tried To Live On The Minimum Wage For A Week, Ran Out Of Baloney
Ted Strickland tried to live on the minimum wage for a week, and it didn't go so well. "I didn’t make it," the former Democratic governor of Ohio wrote in Politico Magazine. -Arthur Delaney
Leading Drudge: ‘Obama Will Take Care Of Us’
In an exclusive interview with WND and Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, a 13-year Border Patrol veteran revealed many in the recent surge of illegal immigrants, including unaccompanied minors, are coming prepared to game the U.S. immigration system, even repeating the mantra, “Obama will take care of us.” – WND’s Jerome R. Corsi
Leading Politico: Amash heads into homestretch confident
His confidence is for good reason. Many GOP operatives had been outspoken about their hopes to kick out Rep. Justin Amash this cycle for being what they viewed as too extreme in his tea party positions. But while the establishment deployed a shock and awe strategy for Sen. Thad Cochran in Mississippi and Rep. Mike Simpson in Idaho this year when they feared losing primaries against tea party rivals, no intense effort has materialized against Amash. – Anna Palmer
Leading The Hill: US, EU to up Russian sanctions this week
The White House and Europe will implement new sanctions against Russia this week in the wake of its continued assistance to rebels in Eastern Ukraine, deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken said Monday. “We expect the European Union to take significant steps” this week to target Russia’s economy, Blinken said at the White House. The United States, he said, will also impose additional costs itself. – Rebecca Shabad
Leading New York Times Opinion: Repeal Prohibition, Again
The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana. We reached that conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times’ Editorial Board, inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws. – New York Times Editorial Board
Gut Check Flashback: Maureen Dowd writes about her experience trying edible marijuana on June 3rd: “I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me.”
The political bites of the day
– Democratic candidate turns out the lights on White House –
DEM SENATE CANDIDATE IN W.V. NATALIE TENNANT IN A NEW AD: "Where do they think their electricity comes from? (Picture of the White House appears on screen) You and I know it’s our hard-working West Virginia coal miners that power America ... I’ve fought to protect our coal jobs right alongside Joe Manchin, and I’ll stand up to leaders of both parties who threaten our way of life ... I’ll make sure President Obama gets the message.” (Turns off Power switch that powers off White House)
– Border crisis front and center in Shaheen/Brown battle –
SCOTT BROWN IN NEW AD: “Americans go through security before they get on a plane, enter a government building, or attend a ball game. But folks who come here illegally, they just walk across the border. That's wrong. Thanks to the pro-amnesty policies of President Obama and Sen. Shaheen, we have an immigration crisis on our hands. We respond with compassion, but it's time for us to secure the border once and for all.”
– FLOTUS steps up political push –
MICHELLE OBAMA IN A VIDEO TO DEMOCRATIC DONORS: “When it comes to the midterm elections this November, we need you to be as passionate and as hungry as you were in 2008 and 2012. In fact, you need to be even more passionate and more hungry to get Democrats elected to Congress because these elections will be even hard and even closer than those presidential elections.”
– U.N. chief on questions about damage in Israel/Hamas fighting –
U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL AT A NEWS CONFERENCE: “The casualty and damage figures also raise serious questions about proportionality. Today, more than 173,000 Gazans are seeking protection (at U.N.) facilities. That means about 10% of the entire population is sheltering under the U.N. flag. I repeat yet again my call on Israel and all parties to do vastly more to ensure the safety of these U.N. sites and the security of the people who have sought sanctuary there.”
– Brownback: Democrats running in Kansas to prove split in GOP –
KANSAS GOV. SAM BROWNBACK TO THE L.A. TIMES: "You've got a lot more Republicans than Democrats, so any Democrat that runs, they'll work at doing that to show there's a split in the Republican Party.”
– Clawson apologizes for mistaking U.S. officials of Indian descent for Indian officials –
FLORIDA GOP REP. CURT CLAWSON IN A STATEMENT: “I made a mistake in speaking before being fully briefed and I apologize. I’m a quick study, but in this case I shot an air ball.”
– McCain: Targeted by ISIL is ‘true badge of honor’—
JOHN MCCAIN, IN A STATEMENT: “I was proud to be sanctioned by Vladimir Putin earlier this year, but to be targeted by (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) as the ‘enemy’ and ‘crusader’ is a true badge of honor.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
William Daroff (@Daroff)
#Israel @AmbDermer: We will continue to destroy tunnels regardless of whether there is a cease fire + we hope the Obama Admin understands.
The Jerusalem Post (@Jerusalem_Post)
Hamas spokesman: Israel has reached only a fraction of the tunnels http://bit.ly/1xo6Vkn
Meredith Shiner (@meredithshiner)
Group designed to fight DC gridlock outlines "opportunity" for itself in more DC gridlock. http://yhoo.it/1nSMjPV #ThisTown #NoLabels
Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs)
Asked about Dems criticizing her as "extreme" on Soc Sec, Joni Ernst: "Oh for heavens sake, I am not extreme I will tell you that." #iasen
Kasie Hunt (@kasie)
"It surprises me that Harry likes anybody," @GrahamBlog says of the Reid-Rand Bromance – http://bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-2 …
Corey Frayer (@csfrayer)
Tony Cardenas has gone all Monty Python and made a great argument for installing an above ground pool in the hearing room
Tony Cárdenas (@RepCardenas)
If you're confused, Here is my press release about the pool to make @DarrellIssa's witch hunts more efficient: http://cardenas.house.gov/media-center/a
jon gabriel (@exjon)
New name is "Not Malaysian Airlines" MT @LisaDaftari After 2 tragedies in 6 mos, Malaysia Airlines 'to change its name & restructure routes'
Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman)
10 years ago today: DNC nominates John Kerry for president http://c-span.org/video/?182719- … pic.twitter.com/RV6ym3dHSN
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
Twice. In 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt’s Democrats picked up nine seats in both the House and Senate. And in 2002, Republicans picked up eight seats in the House and two in the Senate during President George W. Bush’s first term.
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Congrats to Stephen Morgan (@strmrgn) and Jessica Niestzche (@jneetch) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
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