THE DEBT CEILING
POLITICO – Double trouble – House GOP eyes default, shutdown
House Republicans are seriously entertaining dramatic steps, including default or shutting down the government, to force President Barack Obama to finally cut spending by the end of March.
The idea of allowing the country to default by refusing to increase the debt limit is getting more widespread and serious traction among House Republicans than people realize, though GOP leaders think shutting down the government is the much more likely outcome of the spending fights this winter.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL – Obama to Press GOP on Debt Ceiling
President Barack Obama will hold the final press conference of his first term at 11:15 a.m. Monday, the White House said, and plans to pressure Congress to raise the nation’s borrowing limit without linking the increase to spending cuts.
The press conference comes just days before his second term is set to formally begin and as a showdown over the nation’s debt ceiling gears up.
Mr. Obama has urged Congress to raise the country’s $16.4 trillion federal borrowing limit, with the Treasury expected to run short of cash in the coming months. Republicans, however, see the debt ceiling as a way to pressure the president to cut spending as part of broader deficit negotiations.
ABC NEWS – Gun Control Advocates See ‘Opportune Moment’ as Biden Readies Proposals
Still days away from any announcement of the White House’s proposals for addressing gun violence — and less than one month since a mass shooting claimed the lives of 27 people, including 20 first graders, in Newtown, Conn. — Americans are lining up around the block to buy guns.
And though gun control advocates say this is an “opportune moment” to enact stricter gun controls, the National Rifle Association is vowing to fight what it calls “a real threat to Second Amendment rights.”
USA TODAy – Biden to present gun package this week
Vice President Biden, poised to propose new gun violence legislation this week, meets Monday morning with Democratic lawmakers who will consider the administration’s plans. Biden sits down with members of the House Democratic task force on gun violence, as the Obama administration is marking the week of its second inaugural with a robust debate on guns.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL – Gun Violence Focus Set to Shift to Congress
After Vice President Joe Biden delivers his recommendations for reducing gun violence to the president Tuesday, the focus will shift to Congress, where legislation restricting firearms faces an uncertain path.
Senate leaders have offered assurances that gun-safety legislation will be among the first bills introduced, a Senate Democratic aide said. But Majority Leader Harry Reid already is expressing doubts about enacting an assault-weapons ban, which President Barack Obama has urged Congress to pass.
ABC NEWS – NRA Says Congress Will Not Pass Weapons Ban
As Vice President Joe Biden finalizes a package of recommendations for the president to curb gun violence, the National Rifle Association predicted that Congress is likely to block any new laws that would ban assault weapons.
The NRA has so far prevented passage of another assault weapons ban like the one that expired in 2004. But some lawmakers say the December massacre in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman slaughtered 20 young children and six adults, has transformed the country, and Americans are ready for stricter gun laws.
THE McCRORY ADMINISTRATION
WFMY – Gov. Pat McCrory’s Full Inauguration Speech (VIDEO)