First Read Flash: Trouble on the Farm

Updated
This year Washington, DC, and the rest of the country celebrate 237 years of independence.
This year Washington, DC, and the rest of the country celebrate 237 years of independence.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Down on the farm. “The House’s stunning defeat of the farm bill Thursday dealt another blow to Speaker John A. Boehner’s leadership and set off a poisonous round of partisan finger-pointing that raised questions about the ability of the chamber to craft bipartisan deals on immigration, the budget and the debt later this year,” Roll Call reports. “As the dust settled after the resounding 195-234 vote, stakeholders traded blame over how the bill failed after days of debate on more than 100 amendments and were looking ahead to the fallout.” While Republicans blamed Democrats for not providing promised votes, “Democrats contended just the opposite — that Republicans had taken their votes for granted and jammed partisan amendments down their throats.”

On the border. “Senators formally announced a compromise amendment on border security provisions Thursday designed to woo GOP support for a comprehensive immigration reform bill, hours after lawmakers voted to set aside a more stringent border measure that Democrats had dubbed a ‘poison pill,’” NBC News reports. The New York Times notes that the move “rais[ed] hopes that the new agreement could build Republican support for the immigration legislation…If nearly all Senate Democrats vote for the bill, as aides now expect, the additional Republican support would not only ensure the bill’s passage through the Senate, but that it passes with nearly 70 votes and bipartisan momentum as it heads to the Republican-controlled House.” The Times also looks at how the White House staff has turned a suite of offices into an immigration war room on Capitol Hill, hoping to help shepherd passage of the immigration bill.

Secret meeting. President Obama “is holding his first meeting with a privacy and civil liberties board Friday as he seeks to make good on his pledge to have a public discussion about secretive government surveillance programs,” the AP reports. “Obama has said the little-known Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board will play a key role in that effort. The federal oversight board reviews terrorism programs enacted by the executive branch to ensure that privacy concerns are taken into account.”

What can Brown do for you? On the eve of Tuesday night’s special election, Scott Brown is hoping to recreate that same special election magic he generated in 2010 for Republican Gabriel Gomez. The former Republican senator will hold a rally with the GOP nominee on Monday, according a Gomez campaign aide. Brown, who lost his own re-election bid last fall, has been absent from the campaign trail for the former Navy SEAL, who finds himself as the underdog against Democratic Rep. Ed Markey in the June 25 special election to succeed now-Secretary of State John Kerry. The Boston Globe notes that “requests for absentee ballots in next Tuesday’s special US Senate election have slipped 22 percent from the January 2010 special election.”

First Read Flash: Trouble on the Farm

Updated