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Senate opens up debate on bill regarding background checks

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  • 68 Senators voted in favor of opening up debate on a new gun control agreement which would  close gun show loophole, and also require background checks for firearms sold online.
  • 16 Republican Senators supported ending the filibuster, including former NRA favorite Pat Toomey (R-PA), who helped to draft the bipartisan proposal. source

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First reactions to President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense…

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  • Sen. Inhofe (R-OK): “In the months and years ahead, the Defense Department will be confronted with significant challenges from budget issues to Afghanistan policy. … I am aware of the serious concerns about some of [Hagel’s] policy positions, his record, and some of his comments that have been publicly reported. I will be seeking clarification from him about these concerns as his nomination proceeds.” source
  • Sen. McCain (R-AZ): ”I have serious concerns about positions Senator Hagel has taken on a range of critical national security issues in recent years, which we will fully consider in the course of his confirmation process before the Senate Armed Services Committee.” source
  • Rep. Cantor (R-VA): “Recent reporting has made clear that Senator Hagel’s views and inflammatory statements about Israel are well outside the mainstream and raise well-founded doubts that he can be trusted to manage the special relationship the United States shares with our greatest Middle East all.” source
  • Barney Frank:With the attack coming out of the right, I hope he gets confirmed.” source

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Bloomberg News poll reveals a majority of Americans believe in Obama mandate

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  • 65% of voters believe that President Obama has a mandate to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans after being reelected last month. That includes 45 percent of the Republicans surveyed as well.
  • 64% of voters believe that President Obama also has a mandate top protect programs like Medicare and Social Security during his next term. Considering Senate Republicans are now relying on filibusters of their own proposals related to the “fiscal cliff,” something tells us that Speaker Boehner was probably correct in telling House Republicans not to make holiday plans this year. source