Vice President Joseph Biden will deliver remarks in Iowa on Wednesday for the second time this month.
Biden will speak at PCT Engineered Systems in Davenport about the administration’s efforts to improve the economy and the importance of manufacturing. It’s the third in a series of speeches Biden is delivering on the economy, which kicked off two weeks ago in Toledo, Ohio. Full story
Rep. Mark Critz got the endorsement from the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Updated 7:30 p.m. | A new poll released today by the campaign of Rep. Mark Critz (D) showed him in a tightening primary with frontrunner Rep. Jason Altmire (D) in Pennsylvania’s newly reconfigured 12th district. The poll coincided with the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO’s endorsement of Critz today.
“We’re proud to endorse Congressman Critz in the 12th Congressional District. He’s the best candidate to represent the over 100,000 union members in CD12 who are looking for someone to fight for jobs and an economy that works for everyone,” Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Richard Bloomingdale said in a statement to Roll Call.
A Democratic operative familiar with the race said by endorsing, the labor group is asserting independence and a willingness to wade into Democratic primary fights. The source also said the race is a dry run for the AFL-CIO’s post-Citizens United campaign operation. Beyond endorsing, an AFL-CIO official said the group would be putting resources into campaigning for Critz. Full story
The Supreme Court kicked off the widely anticipated arguments over President Barack Obama’s health care law today. You can read Steven Dennis‘ roundup from the opening day arguments here.
Today’s proceedings were more procedural than anything, with both sides in agreement that the case should be heard now and not in three years’ time.
Justices on both the liberal and conservative wings of the court pressed attorneys for ways around an 1867 law that prohibits people from filing a lawsuit against tax provisions until after they have already paid the tax in question. Both sides of the lawsuit agree that an exemption should be granted, but for different reasons, although the court appointed an attorney to defend the notion — held by a lower court — that the case won’t be ripe until 2015.
Tuesday’s arguments over the constitutionality of the individual mandate are expected to be much more heated. Indeed, on this first day there was more drama outside the court than inside the chamber. Full story
State Rep. Ric Killian, an Army Reserve colonel running in a crowded GOP primary in the Tar Heel State’s 9th district, picked up the endorsement of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) today.
“Leaders need the courage to make hard choices for the long-term benefit of our country. Ric has shown that kind of courage throughout his lifetime of service,” McCain said in a statement released by the Killian campaign. “His experience in business and the legislature make him the best candidate for this seat and I am proud to support him, but it is his record of duty, honor and service to our country that will make him an outstanding Congressman.”
A McCain aide confirmed the endorsement to Roll Call. Killian co-chaired a Veterans for McCain coalition in North Carolina in 2008.
President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has hired senior staff to aid Vice President Joseph Biden.
Sheila Nix has been named chief of staff to the vice president; Scott Mulhauser has been named deputy chief of staff; Sam B. “Trip” King III has been named political director; Amy Dudley has been named press secretary; Nora Cohen has been named deputy director of advance; and Virginia Lance has been named scheduler. Full story
Montana Sen. Jon Tester today launched his first TV ad of the cycle, a 30-second positive spot featuring the first-term Democrat back home on the ranch.
“Sitting out here makes the partisanship back there seem pretty ridiculous,” Tester says in the ad. “Montanans don’t care which party gets the credit or the blame. That’s why I’m focused on doing what’s right for Montana — always.”
The Club for Growth backed former Rep. David McIntosh’s (R) comeback bid in Indiana’s open 5th district today.
“David McIntosh has long been a champion of economic freedom, and we are excited to endorse his candidacy,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement.
McIntosh is in a crowded field of GOP candidates seeking retiring Rep. Dan Burton’s (R) seat in central Indiana. The club’s support will only boost the former Member ahead of the May 8 primary. Full story
Updated 6:55 p.m. | Sen. Dick Lugar’s (R-Ind.) re-election campaign has seen better days, even this cycle.
The six-term Senator faces a tough primary against state Treasurer Richard Mourdock on May 8, but this must be Lugar’s worst week yet for his prospects. A request for response from Lugar’s team was not immediately returned this afternoon.
In the meantime, here’s the countdown of Lugar’s lackluster week:
1. This morning, former Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) chimed in with his support for Lugar on C-SPAN. Conservatives loathe Specter — a former Republican who lost re-election as a Democrat in 2010 — and Lugar’s backers probably wish he kept these four words to himself:
2. Lugar will have to cough up $4,500 to pay back the government for his Indianapolis hotel stays during visits to the Hoosier State, according to a Politico report out this morning. Forget the actual sum: The news underscores Lugar’s residency problems again. He doesn’t own a home in Indiana, and his office made taxpayers foot the bill for his overnight trips — accidentally, Lugar says.
Rep. Donna Edwards announced her support of businessman John Delaney in the 6th district race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Maryland Rep. Donna Edwards today endorsed businessman John Delaney in the 6th district race, putting her on the opposite side of three of her fellow Democratic colleagues.
While it does not carry the stature of a national endorsement from President Bill Clinton, Edwards’ support has strategic and symbolic resonance of its own.
Delaney is facing state Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola in what has become a tough Democratic primary. The 6th district was essentially redrawn with Garagiola, who is deeply entrenched with Maryland Democratic insiders, in mind. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer is backing Garagiola, along with Reps. Elijah Cummings and Dutch Ruppersberger. Full story
But this may not be just any cross-country speaking trip. Last year, Kucinich flirted with running for a new House seat in the Evergreen State before seeking re-election in a redrawn Ohio district against his longtime colleague, Rep. Marcy Kaptur.
Kaptur walloped Kucinich by a 14-point margin in the Democratic primary earlier this month. But since his defeat, the 65-year-old hasn’t exactly ruled out another run somewhere, at some point in time. Full story
Veteran operative Andy Stone is joining the Democratic-aligned House Majority PAC as communications director, the organization will announce today.
“We are thrilled to have Andy on board,” the political action committee’s executive director, Ali Lapp, said in a statement obtained by Roll Call. “Andy brings many assets to House Majority PAC — his understanding of the House, experience in California — one of our most important states in 2012 — and he knows firsthand what it’s like to be fighting for progressive principles and policies every day.” Full story