President Obama to visit Tar Heel state today, N.C. House repeals Racial Justice Act, U.S. Senate to take up immigration reform, student loan rates
TIME: Obama returns to Tar Heel State
National Democrats, who are growing increasingly bolder in their attempts to make gains in Republican territory, say the 2012 defeat and McCrory’s policies only make the state more of a target in the future. “Democrats have been contesting North Carolina for five years,” said one Democratic Party official. “2012 wasn’t a banner year for Democrats there, but the electoral landscape has shifted to a degree. This is going to be a state that Democrats continually look at and keep going on there.”
WRAL: Dems say McCrory staffers tried to shape legislative response on unemployment insurance reform
"We find it highly inappropriate for any office of your administration to seek to dictate the actions of our staff without our consent or knowledge and hope your office will offer notification to legislators before conducting any such meetings in the future," Sen. Martin Nesbitt and Rep. Larry Hall, the Democratic leaders in the Senate and House, wrote in a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory.
DOME: House passes Racial Justice Act repeal
The full House on Wednesday gave its final approval of a bill repealing the 2009 Racial Justice Act, which would re-start executions in North Carolina if it becomes law. The legislation has to return to the Senate for concurrence in minor changes a House committee made to the bill earlier this month. Wednesday’s vote was 77-39, mostly along party lines.
NEWS & OBSERVER: Cap on mortgage deductions is back in House tax bill
But an effort to remove Howard’s amendment sparked an uprising Wednesday morning. An unusual cadre of Democrats and some Republicans joined forces to block the rewritten measure from even being considered. State Rep. Nelson Dollar, a Cary Republican, tried to strong-arm the measure through the committee, but it failed on a chaotic 34-44 vote. It split Republican leaders with Tillis watching from the sidelines in a rare appearance at a committee.
POLITICO: Harry Reid says immigration bill on floor next week
The Senate will begin considering the landmark immigration reform bill next week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday morning. “Even if we we’ve not completed action on the farm bill or the student loans proposals, we’re going to bring immigration to the floor next week. Immigration is broken, it needs to be fixed,” Reid said in his opening remarks Tuesday.
POLITICO: Student loan fight set in Senate
The Senate is set to vote on two separate bills to keep low the interest rates on student loans, but the issue is far from settled. Senators will vote on Thursday on dueling proposals that aim to stop interest rates from doubling on July 1. Without any congressional action, interest rates on millions of subsidized federal student loans would double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.
POLITICO: ‘War on women’ returns
Not every Republican learned Todd Akin’s lesson from 2012 – and Democrats noticed. This week alone: Sen. Saxby Chambliss blamed sexual assaults in the military on hormones, conservative pundit Erick Erickson credited biology for male dominance in society and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said working moms are making kids fail in school.
WASHINGTON POST: The Republican party acts like it’s 1999
Now, after a long economic winter, green shoots are everywhere: The stock market is booming, housing prices are rebounding and mortgage providers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, long demonized by Republicans, are returning profits to the Treasury. Job growth has accelerated and consumer confidence has reached its highest level in almost six years. Health-care cost increases are slowing, Medicare’s prospects are improving — in part because of President Obama’s health-care reforms — and gasoline prices are forecast to decline. Long-term fiscal problems remain, but the federal deficit is shrinking, putting off Washington’s debt-ceiling standoff until late fall.
Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party