CIVIL WAR: It’s been a tough fight since last year’s government shutdown for House Speaker John Boehner to appear in control of his caucus–and the latest reports out of the House GOP meetings aren’t making Boehner’s job any easier. According to the Washington Post, Republicans were “stunned” Tuesday after Boehner’s announcement about moving forward with a clean debt ceiling extension. And it’s not just fellow lawmakers stewing over Boehner’s call: several conservative groups have also responded with what they say is the only answer: “John Boehner must be replaced as Speaker of the House.”
As the civil war drum beats on, the focus on 2014 becomes more and more important if the GOP wants to retain control of the House, and potentially gain the majority in the Senate. But their strategy might be faulty if the party cannot find common ground to unite on. It appears that the gap between the “establishment” and the “fringe” is growing wider: “Those in the GOP leadership would be wise to bridge the gap of trust between their base before conservatives form a circular firing squad that kills their chances at victory in November,” wrote Ron Christie in the Daily Beast this week. He makes a good point that the GOP should pay attention to: if thebase’s focus in the 2014 races is not on their political opponents, but on incumbent Republicans, they only stand to lose.
STEPPING UP: President Obama will sign an executive order Wednesday that would raise the minimum wage for federal contractors next year. The new $10.10/hour rate was announced during the president’s State of the Union address last month and will apply to new contracts, as well as replace expiring contracts.
BENGHAZI: A new round of criticism is mounting against Hillary Clinton over her handling of the 2012 attacks in Benghazi that left four Americans dead. Reuters reported on Tuesday that House Republicans were leading a new round of questioning over how the White House and State Department dealt with the aftermath of the event, and have launched a new “Investigation on Benghazi” web page that focuses on their continuing investigation.
IN OTHER NEWS…
- QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’s hard to be the CEO of an organization and not know what the closest people to you are up to… I know when I was mayor and manager of this city and then governor of the state, certainly you know what your top aides are up to.” -Sarah Palin, weighing in on the Christie investigation
- CONFUSING COMMENT OF THE DAY: “They’re under assault. You say, ‘Heterosexuality may be 95, 98 percent of the population.’ They’re under assault by the 2 to 5 percent that are homosexual.” -Rush Limbaugh
- NUMBER OF THE DAY: 21–that’s how many points a new poll on 2016 shows Chris Christie is trailing Hillary Clinton by in a hypothetical match-up.
- CRUZ FILIBUSTER THREAT OF THE DAY: This time, in an attempt to raise the debt limit.