Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., decided to drop a controversial assault weapons ban in the gun-control package his party will bring to the Senate floor next month, despite majority support among Americans for reinstating the provision.
“I very much regret it,” said the ban’s sponsor, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, of Reid’s tactical decision. “I tried my best. But my best, I guess, wasn’t good enough.” Reid told reporters that “using the most optimistic numbers,” there were less than 40 votes for reinstating the assault weapons ban–far less than the 60 needed to move contested legislation in the chamber. A slew of recent polls found that most Americans are in favor of banning military-style assault rifles.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday called, “Building an Immigration System Worthy of American Values,” as signs point to broadening support for an overhaul of immigration laws. “Prudence, compassion and thrift all point us toward the same goal: bringing these workers out of the shadows and into becoming and being taxpaying members of society,” said Republican Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday in a speech before the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The remarks were a departure for the Kentucky lawmaker, who in 2010 called for an electric fence and helicopter stations to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. Politico examines why Paul may be a force to be reckoned with ahead of 2016. Could he really be a presidential contender?
Former Gov. Mark Sanford looks to be making something of a comeback after his very public affair, divorce, ethics charges, and Appalachian Trail lie netted him a good deal of national infamy. He scored enough votes on Tuesday to advance in a South Carolina House race, where Steven Colbert’s sister, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, handily captured the Democratic nomination.
President Obama touched down in Israel on Wednesday to kick off a highly symbolic visit–the first of his presidency–to the embattled nation, where he will tour the Iron Dome air-defense system, and hold extended talks with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, who has not always seen eye to eye with the president on matters related to security. Speaking briefly on the tarmac alongside Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Netanyahu, Obama called the U.S. Israel’s “strongest ally,” and reaffirmed what he described as an “unbreakable bond” between the two nations.