Let Me Start: High noon

Updated
The Capitol dome is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012,
The Capitol dome is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012,
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Gun dealers: Senators Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey are on the verge of a deal to expand background checks that may help head off a filibuster. Manchin – a West Virginia Democrat – and Toomey – a Republican from Pennsylvania – will be making a joint statement today at 11am ET to announce a compromise that, if approved, would be the single biggest change to federal gun laws in two decades. Meanwhile, conservative Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma says the gun debate in this country has nothing to do with the families of the victims of the Newtown shooting.

President Obama has unveiled his budget, and it’s combination of entitlement cuts and tax increases are meant to draw Republicans to the table. And tonight, he literally does just that: A dozen Senate Republicans will join the president for dinner. Will the president’s courtship pay off? Or will Republicans continue to stand in lockstep against any additional increases on the revenue side?

The president is also setting a trap for Republicans over judicial nominees. The White House is pushing forward with its nomination of Sri Srinivasan to the DC Court of Appeals, the nation’s most prestigious appellate court. Srinivasan, a senior Justice Department official, is highly regarded by legal scholars on both sides of the ideological spectrum, including conservatives like Ken Starr. Yet Republicans have filibustered the president’s previous picks, and this battle could expose the Republicans once again as simple obstructionists.

The FBI is investigating whether Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office was wiretapped after the release of audiotapes of an opposition research session, where McConnell aides insulted potential Kentucky Senate rival Ashley Judd.

Antony Weiner’s eyeing a comeback after resigning Congress when he admitted he sent lewd texts.

Let Me Start: High noon

Updated