CBS NEWS – GOP losing faith on sequester alternative?
The deep, across-the-board "sequester" cuts set to trigger March 1 risk devastating the U.S. economy and should be averted, both political parties have agreed, but – as several Republicans established today – not necessarily at all costs.
Arguing there are "much better ways to do these budget cuts," Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., on CNN’s "State of the Union" today said further tinkering with the newly minted tax rates is "off the table," and that Democrats’ proposal to generate more revenue isn’t going to win over the GOP.
CNN – GOP senator: Sequester is going to happen
Republican Sen. John Barrasso said Sunday the country should be prepared for the sequester and its massive spending cuts to kick in next month, despite Democrats’ proposal last week to avert it.
"Let me be very clear – and I’d say this to the president as I say it to you – these spending cuts are going to go through on March 1," the senator from Wyoming said on CNN’s "State of the Union."
LOS ANGELES TIMES – Climate change rally brings thousands to protest in Washington
Climate activists descended on Washington, D.C., on Sunday in what organizers boasted was the largest climate-change rally in American history, claiming more than 35,000 attendees.
The Forward on Climate rally, as it was billed by environmental groups Sierra Club and 350.org, called for President Obama to take immediate action on climate change, with many calling for the government to block the construction of the oil pipeline known as Keystone XL.
CNN – Environmentalists fill National Mall to fight climate change
Marching, dancing and poster-waving environmentalists chanting "Hey, Obama. We don’t want no climate drama," packed several blocks on and around Washington’s National Mall on Sunday, hoping to spur President Barack Obama to take strong measures against climate change.
Allison Spitz, 16, brandished a sign reading "Oil and Water Don’t Mix" as she attended her first political demonstration.
POLITICO – Why John McCain turned on Chuck Hagel
Well into last week, Sen. John McCain was telling confidantes that he would vote for cloture on the nomination of his one-time pal and fellow Vietnam veteran Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary.
Then Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) came to McCain’s Senate office late Wednesday afternoon and turned around the Arizona Republican — a switch that proved decisive the next day when Hagel came one short of the 60 votes needed for cloture on the Senate floor. Now, Hagel’s confirmation roll call is delayed until at least after a weeklong President’s Day recess.
NBC NEWS – McCain concedes: Hagel ‘will probably have the votes necessary’
President Barack Obama’s choice to lead the Pentagon, former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel, will likely be confirmed next week, one of his most dogged opponents said Sunday.
"I’m confident that Sen. Hagel will probably have the votes necessary to be confirmed as secretary of defense," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Sunday on NBC’s "Meet the Press."
WRAL – McCrory to sign first bill Monday
North Carolina high school diplomas will carry endorsements marking students as career read, college ready or both under the requirements of a bill Gov. Pat McCrory is scheduled to sign into law Monday.
The bill, which is meant to encourage more students to finish high school while pursuing trades that don’t require a four-year degree, is the first measure McCrory is due to sign into law as governor.
WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL – New governor set to sign his first bill
Republican Pat McCrory is signing his first bill as North Carolina governor.
McCrory planned to put his signature on a law Monday morning in Asheboro that requires the State Board of Education develop by the fall of 2014 new diplomas that make clear a student is ready for college, ready a vocational career, or both. The bill received final approval from the General Assembly last week.
WRAL – McCrory to give first State of the State speech
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is getting ready for his first State of the State speech.
The former Charlotte mayor was scheduled to visit the House chamber Monday evening to speak to a joint session of the General Assembly in Raleigh and before a statewide television audience. He should get a hearty welcome at the capitol since fellow Republicans control the legislature.
NEWS & OBSERVER – Democrats, Republicans alike have their own ideas for McCrory’s speech
Gov. Pat McCrory will give his first State of the State address on Monday. As the first Republican governor elected in more than 20 years, Republicans and Democrats alike have their own ideas about how he should set his first agenda for North Carolina.
With his party controlling the lawmaking for the first time since the 1800s, it’s an agenda that has a good chance of becoming reality. When Wilmington resident Michael Wooten, 60, voted for McCrory in November, it was the first time he voted for a Republican candidate for governor in his life, he said. And it had little to do with McCrory’s politics: Former Gov. Perdue’s administration saw too much political head-butting, Wooten said.
NEWS & OBSERVER – McCrory, GOP plan to stop NC Medicaid expansion
A Republican measure to prevent major components of the federal health care law from taking effect in North Carolina will almost certainly be approved after Gov. Pat McCrory endorsed the effort Tuesday.
The new governor had been a wild card after he expressed caution about the fiscal implications of the legislation and declined for weeks to take a position on the broader bill, which would prevent the expansion of Medicaid in 2014 to roughly 500,000 people and prohibit the state from creating an online exchange for private health insurance.
North Carolina Democratic Party