Health care delay. “In a significant setback for President Obama’s signature domestic initiative, the administration on Tuesday abruptly announced a one-year delay, until 2015, in his health care law’s mandate that larger employers provide coverage for their workers or pay penalties. The decision postpones the effective date beyond next year’s midterm elections,” the New York Times reports. “Employer groups welcomed the news of the concession, which followed complaints from businesses and was posted late in the day on the White House and Treasury Web sites while the president was flying home from Africa. Republicans’ gleeful reactions made clear that they would not cease to make repeal of Obamacare a campaign issue for the third straight election cycle.”
Endangered Democrats up in 2014 also welcomed the news ahead of midterms, with Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska issuing a statement saying he was “pleased the administration is listening to me and the many businesses that are concerned about the complexity of the new requirements. Small business owners across this state keep telling me they need more information, time and simplicity to implement this law. I will keep asking the tough questions so the law is implemented as it was designed - to save families money and ensure that every American has access to good health care.”
Egypt clashes rage. “Egypt’s president and its top general both said they were ready to die Wednesday as the struggle for power in the country neared its climax amid fears of civil war,” NBC News reports. “The military gave President Mohammed Morsi until around 5 p.m. local time Wednesday (11 a.m. ET) to meet the demands of protesters calling for his ouster. Monday’s 48-hour ultimatum has been widely interpreted as a call for the Islamist to quit and some of Morsi’s supporters have denounced it as a ‘military coup.’”
Perry’s next move? “Texas Gov. Rick Perry will make an announcement about his political future on Monday, a source close to the Republican governor confirms to NBC News. In an email to ‘friends,’ Perry confidantes are invited to a Monday announcement in San Antonio concerning the governor’s ‘exciting future plans.’ Perry has long played the decision of whether he will run for another gubernatorial term close to the vest.”
Democratic State Sen. Wendy Davis, now famous for her filibuster on an abortion bill in the legislature, has been publicly mulling a bid for governor, but she’d face an uphill climb in the red state. Attorney General Greg Abbott has been banking cash for a run if Perry doesn’t run for a record fourth term.