Morning Action: Senate to Vote on Motion to Proceed for Gun Bill

GUNS. The Senate will vote today at 11 AM on a motion to proceed for their gun bill:

But the first debate Thursday will be the threatened filibuster led by Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah. Lee said a filibuster would allow “three more days to assess how the bill would impact the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

“This debate is not just about magazine clips and pistol grips,” he said on the Senate floor. “It’s about the purpose of the Second Amendment.” Such far-reaching legislation should be subjected to a 60-vote majority to ensure bipartisan consensus, he said.

LOOKING AHEAD.  The status of our Second Amendment rights is up in the air as the Senate moves forward with its first debate on their version of a gun bill.  However, the House may prove to be a second line of defense.  Speaker Boehner (R-OH) and House leadership are considering the options:

GOP leadership is currently weighing four options for handling the gun bill, according to sources close to leadership.

The first is to send a Senate-passed bill to the House Judiciary Committee for a markup — the panel would very likely take its time and gut the bill. Second is to ask that committee to draft its own background checks bill, which would almost certainly create a product that hews closely to the NRA’s specifications. House leadership is likely to give the committee wide berth on whether gun control laws need to be bolstered.

Boehner could also completely ignore the Senate bill — an unlikely outcome, aides say. Or he could move it straight to the House floor — that would happen only if the situation gets too politically hot for House Republicans. So far, that is not likely to happen: Just a handful of Republicans, most prominently Rep. Peter King of New York, have been supportive of Toomey and Manchin’s compromise.

NLRB.  We are key voting in favor of the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act:

The NLRB is in legal limbo thanks to President Obama’s three so-called recess appointments in January 2012, which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has recently ruled unconstitutional. 

Many of the decisions made by the constitutionally dubious appointees at NLRB have been economically harmful, and this bill would help halt this negative trend. Importantly, the bill would not prevent the Board’s regional offices from protecting the right of workers to petition for union elections.

OBAMACARE.  How much is Obamacare going to cost when it goes into full gear next year?  President Obama’s budget certainly doesn’t answer that question:

 It turns out that the costs of the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare to its unyielding Republican foes- are sprinkled here and there through hundreds of pages of budget books. It’s partly due to the arcane ways of government budgeting. It may also be an effort to avoid giving foes more of a target.

“I’m sure somebody has a spreadsheet somewhere, but clearly they are not publishing it in this budget,” said Bill Hoagland, senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “There is a political aspect to this and there is literally a green-eyeshade part. Once you have adopted a policy it’s difficult to just pull it out.”

OBAMA DINNER DATE. President Obama and a group of 12 Senators had a “meaningful” conversation about the debt, deficit, fiscal policy, and entitlement reform over a three hour dinner last night:

On a day with gun control and the federal budget in the spotlight, President Barack Obama continued his congressional outreach at dinner with a dozen Senate Republicans in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House.

Wednesday’s event marked Obama’s second dinner meeting with Senate Republicans in a little more than a month, though the guest list was different from the last meet-up.

Aside from Isakson, the Republican senators attending dinner at the White House Wednesday were Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, John Boozman of Arkansas, Susan Collins of Maine, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Marco Rubio of Florida, John Thune of South Dakota, and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.

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