Political Headlines January 4, 2013: President Barack Obama Poised to Name New Defense, Treasury Secretaries

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Poised to Name New Defense, Treasury Chiefs

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-4-13

Alex Wong/Getty Images

With the “fiscal cliff” crisis behind him, President Obama is poised to name two new key players to his cabinet, with at least one announcement expected early next week….

Former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel is a leading candidate to head the Department of Defense, while current chief of staff Jack Lew is the likely nominee for the top role at Treasury….READ MORE

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Political Headlines January 4, 2013: House, Senate Approve $9.7 Billion for Sandy Flood Victims

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

House, Senate Approve $9.7 Billion for Sandy Flood Victims

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-4-13

Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

More than two months after superstorm Sandy struck the Northeast, Congress on Friday approved $9.7 billion for FEMA flood insurance programs to be distributed to businesses and residents inundated by the storm.

The House of Representatives vote passed 354 to 67, with all opposition coming from Republicans.  The Senate approved the bill by unanimous consent. The bill grants the National Flood Insurance Program additional borrowing authority to process 115,000 pending insurance claims.

The Senate passed a $60.4 billion bill which would provide aid for victims of Sandy last year. That bill, which matched the White House’s emergency supplemental request, expired after the House refused to consider the legislation before the 112th session of Congress ended this week….READ MORE

Political Headlines January 4, 2013: PHOTO: President Barack Obama Hears of Sandy Hook Shooting

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

PHOTO: Obama Hears of Sandy Hook Shooting

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-6-13

Pete Souza/White House

A new collection of White House photos includes an image of the moment on Dec. 14 when President Obama heard about details of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

A grim-looking Obama leans on a couch as his Homeland Security adviser tells him of the shooting.

“The President reacts as John Brennan briefs him on the details of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.,” according to the caption provided by White House photographer Pete Souza.  “The President later said during a TV interview that this was the worst day of his Presidency.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines January 4, 2013: GOP Senators Mull Partial Government Shutdown in Debt-Ceiling Fight

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

GOP Senators Mull Partial Gov’t Shutdown in Debt-Ceiling Fight

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-4-13

As Washington, D.C., braces for a battle over raising the debt ceiling and sequestration, a number of Republican senators have suggested a partial government shutdown should be considered as a serious option if they are not able to receive certain spending concessions from the president.

“The coming deadlines will be the next flashpoints in our ongoing fight to bring fiscal sanity to Washington,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, wrote in an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle Friday morning. “It may be necessary to partially shut down the government in order to secure the long-term fiscal well being of our country, rather than plod along the path of Greece, Italy and Spain.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told the Dallas Morning News that he would be open to a partial government shutdown, pointing to the 1995 shutdown as “the greatest degree of fiscal responsibility we have seen from Congress in modern times.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines January 4, 2013: Barney Frank Seeks Massachusetts Senate Appointment

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Barney Frank Seeks Senate Appointment

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-4-13

United States Senate

It’s only his second day of his retirement, and already Barney Frank wants back in the game.  The former Massachusetts congressman confirmed on Friday morning that he’s interested in the interim appointment to fill John Kerry’s Senate seat.

“A month ago, a few weeks ago in fact I said I wasn’t interested,” Frank said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Friday.  “But that deal now means that February, March and April are going to be among the most important months in American financial economy.”

Frank was referring to the agreement passed in the House and Senate this week that puts America past the so-called “fiscal cliff,” but left the automatic spending cuts associated with the sequester slated to take shape on March 1.  Another Congressional head-to-head is expected in the coming months over those cuts, and Frank said he wants to be part of that fight….READ MORE

Political Headlines January 4, 2013: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to Swear in Vice President Joe Biden at Inauguration

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Justice Sotomayor to Swear in Biden at Inauguration

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-4-13
Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will swear in Vice President Joe Biden, becoming the first Hispanic person to administer an inaugural oath of office.

The news was announced Friday by the Presidential Inaugural Committee and is significant, given that only three other women have administered an inaugural oath.  The most recent was Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who swore in Vice President Al Gore in 1997.  Sotomayor is also the first Hispanic person to serve on the Supreme Court.

“It’s an incredible honor to have Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor swear me in,” Biden said in a statement.  “I believed strongly that she would make a great Justice, and it was one of the greatest pleasures of my career to be involved in her selection to the Court.  From the first time I met her, I was impressed by Justice Sotomayor’s commitment to justice and opportunity for all Americans, and she continues to exemplify those values today.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines January 4, 2013: Senate to Make President Barack Obama’s Re-election Official

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Senate to Make Obama’s Re-election Official

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-4-13

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Americans thought they elected a president on Nov. 6, 2012, but those results were not official — until Friday.

The votes cast in November’s general election went to pick electors from each state — members of the Electoral College — who cast their ballots based on the preferences of their constituency for one candidate or another.  On Friday, Vice President Joe Biden will announce the results.

The Electoral College met and cast its ballots on Dec. 17.  Now, it’s time to officially count them….READ MORE

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