Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Making the case for a diplomatic breakthrough: “Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday sought to reassure nervous members of Congress about the interim agreement with Iran that’s designed to stop its progress toward building nuclear weapons. ‘Iran’s nuclear programs will not move forward,’ Kerry said in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”
* Volcker Rule: “Federal regulators voted on Tuesday to approve a rule that strikes at the heart of Wall Street risk-taking, a moment that punctuates three years of internal squabbling and bank lobbying over an effort to reshape the financial landscape.” The White House issued an interesting statement on this.
* We’re likely to hear something on the budget tonight: “House and Senate budget negotiators say a deal to turn off part of the sequester could be announced Tuesday. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) told reporters she plans a news conference later in the day after briefing the full Senate Democratic caucus on the emerging deal.”
* One year later: “As the one year anniversary of the Newtown school shooting approaches, Vice President Joe Biden announced $100 million towards improving access to mental health services and facilities. In a statement, the White House said the funds would be made available to increase access to services and improve mental health facilities. The funding comes both from the new health care law and from the Department of Agriculture.”
* In related news: “The Senate voted to extend for another decade the ban on undetectable firearms, just days before the one-year mark of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The House of Representatives last week voted to extend for another 10 years the ban that prohibits the manufacture, sale, or possession of guns that cannot be detected by X-ray machines or metal detectors.”
* Greg Sargent has a great scoop on Medicaid expansion in Iowa, where HHS is prepared to allow the state “to pursue much of what it has asked for in response to its request for HHS approval to expand Medicaid-funded coverage to low income Iowans on the state’s own terms.”
* GM: “General Motors has turned to one of its own veteran executives, Mary Barra, to become the automaker’s first female CEO as it remakes itself after a government bailout saved it from bankruptcy.”
* Hmm: “Last week, Brian Lewis and Fox News reached a settlement: For a ‘a sizable sum,’ the former Fox News executive would stay quiet about everything related to the conservative news organization and its operations, including founder Roger Ailes. The sizable sum? $8 million, according to Gawker’s J.K. Trotter, who cites ‘a Fox News executive with knowledge of the negotiations.’”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.