Morning Action: Remembering D-Day

D-DAY.  On June 6, 1944, the D-Day invasion of Europe took place during World War II as Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, France. Today we remember the bravery and valor of those who fought and died in what was the largest amphibious invasion in history.  As Heritage reminds us, “Within a year, the Allies succeeded in freeing Europe from Nazi domination.”

FARM BILL. This morning the Senate will have a farm bill cloture vote:

The Senate’s farm bill cloture vote Thursday morning poses a critical test for the Agriculture Committee leadership, which needs a strong showing to clear the way for passage Monday and begin to heal the breach sparked by revisions in the commodity title.

Center stage is Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, who finds herself cast as the older sister charged with getting her siblings to finish their chores. But beneath her calm — few are more adept at smiling and talking at the same time — the Michigan Democrat knows her time is running short.

Impatient to move onto immigration reform, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) needs to have the decks cleared by early next week, and any Senate stall on the farm bill will be felt across the Capitol.

But going forward, the most enduring challenge for Stabenow may be the regional and ideological divide, which cost her precious Southern votes last June and now, could mean the loss of well-placed allies from the Midwest.

Harry Reid is rushing the farm and food stamp bill only so that the Senate can move on to the Gang of Eight amnesty bill, and he is obstructing any conservative amendments to the farm and food stamp bill.  As we’ve explained, though, the farm bill and food stamps should be separated, and farm policy – including subsidies for wealthy farmers and taxpayer funded crop insurance –is in serious need of reform.

OBAMACARE.  Disapproval for President Obama’s healthcare law is at all time highs, according to a new poll:

The poll shows 49 percent of Americans say they believe the Affordable Care Act is a bad idea. That’s the highest number recorded on this question since the poll began measuring it in 2009. Just 37 percent say the plan is a good idea.

As the political battle over implementation of the law heats up in Washington, the numbers mark an increase in unpopularity since July 2012, right after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Obama’s overhaul. Back then, 44 percent of NBC/WSJ poll respondents called it a bad idea, vs. 40 percent who called it a good one.

GOP leaders have been unrelenting in their calls to reverse the law. “For the sake of my constituents in Kentucky and for the sake of Americans across the country, I urge my friends on the other side to join with Republicans and stop this ‘train wreck’ before things get even worse,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor in April.

IMMIGRATION.  As the Senate prepares to bring the Gang of Eight amnesty bill to the floor next week, the House, which has been working on its own bill, has apparently come to some agreement  (sub. req’d):

Bipartisan House negotiators announced a deal in principle Wednesday evening, shortly after Senate GOP backers of that chamber’s bill attempted to address House conservatives’ concerns about border security.

Though the House group lost one of its eight members — Raúl R. Labrador, R-Idaho, who complained the deal wasn’t tough enough on blocking health benefits for newly legalized immigrants — the agreement could be good news for supporters of an overhaul who have worried about the piecemeal approach advocated by House GOP leaders.

However, the loss of Labrador from the House group could hurt efforts to woo conservatives.

Indeed, the larger problem has been getting buy-in from the House GOP rank and file for an overhaul that includes a path to citizenship, as the Senate bill would. In order to achieve that goal, Senate Republicans said it’s clear their bill needs to have tougher border security provisions.

Comprehensive immigration reform is not the right approach.  With comprehensive reform, principles are compromised and real solutions are unattainable, as past experience has demonstrated.

NATIONAL SECURITY.  President Obama’s nomination of Susan Rice as National Security Adviser seriously calls into question his already evidently poor judgment and reinforces his pattern of doubling down on failed policies:

President Obama gets high marks for loyalty to his closest political friends and allies, but his nomination of Susan Rice as National Security Adviser shows that his concern for the realistic security issues threatening the United States remains questionable.

Rice was the frontrunner to replace Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State until her credibility was destroyed over mishandling the truth of the terrorist murders of four Americans in Benghazi. She simply became radioactive and clearly would never pass Senate confirmation. The President solved that now by putting her into a job that does not require a nod from Capitol Hill.

President Obama clearly has faith in Rice’s judgment, but virtually no one else in Washington shares his assessment. After the fiasco of the post-Benghazi messaging, few people have confidence in Rice’s trustworthiness…

Rice’s appointment is a classic example of the President doubling down on policies that have proven to be failures. Adding her to the already anemic national security policy team of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry just makes the group weaker. This will be the weakest national security team the nation has ever had.

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