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Beltway Confidential

Morning Examiner: Gun and immigration bills proceed despite Boston bombings

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Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

America’s heart may be with the victims of Monday’s horrific Boston Marathon bombings, where at least three people have been killed and more than 100 injured, but the United States Senate is still moving ahead on two highly controversial gun and immigration bills.

On immigration, the Gang of Ocho had planned a press conference today to promote their legislation which would give citizenship to many of the 11 million immigrants currently in the United States illegally and thousands more who have already been deported. After the bombings, those senators announced they would cancel their press conference, but confirmed they will still formally file their bill, called the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013,” tonight. The Senate Judiciary Committee also confirmed they will go ahead with their previously scheduled hearing on the bill this Friday. A second hearing is scheduled for Monday, and the Senate Democrats still plan for a full Judiciary Committee vote in May.

On gun control, Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., confirmed that they are having trouble rounding up the 60 votes needed to end debate on their “Public Safety & Second Amendment Rights Protection Act.” So far only three Republicans – Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Mark Kirk, R-Ill.; and John McCain, R-Arizona – have committed with Toomey to voting for the bill. If Democrats get all 55 members of their operating caucus to vote for the bill, they still would need one more Republican to cave. But a slew of red state Democrats are still uncommitted, including Sens. Mark Begich, D-Alaska; Mark Pryor, D-Ark.; Max Baucus, D-Mont.; Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.; Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.; and Mary Landrieu, D-La. If Democrats lose any one of these senators, the legislation will almost certainly fail. Since they do not have the votes yet, Senate Democratic leadership now says they may push the vote on final passage to Thursday or possibly even next week.

From The Washington Examiner
Editorial: A new way to talk about tax fairness
Byron York: The effect of immigration reform on American workers
Charlie Spiering: Chris Matthews says bombing might be domestic attack in response to Tax Day
Tim Carney: Industry lobbyists jockeying as gun control bill promises to have winners, losers
Conn Carroll: How the federal government spent the average American’s taxes in 2012

In Other News
The Wall Street Journal, Dow’s Drop Is Worst Since November: Stocks tumbled as steep declines in gold and other commodity prices fueled a selloff after worse-than-expected data on Chinese and U.S. economic growth.
The Washington Post, Senators to release immigration plan, including a path to citizenship: Millions of immigrants living illegally in the United States could earn a chance at citizenship under a sweeping Senate proposal to be released Tuesday that would represent the most ambitious overhaul of the nation’s immigration system in three decades.
The Washington Post, Senate background check proposal for gun sales lacks necessary votes: Debate on a major overhaul of the of the nation’s gun-control laws is scheduled to begin Tuesday in the U.S. Senate, but there were still not enough votes late Monday to assure expansion of the national gun background check program for gun sales, which is the centerpiece of the proposal.
The Hill, Markey suspends campaign following Boston Marathon explosions: Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., temporarily suspended his Senate campaign Monday after bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
The Washington Post, Cuccinelli raises half of McAuliffe’s total: Democrat Terry McAuliffe raised more than twice as much money as Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II during the latest fundraising period, as the Republican nominee for Virginia governor found himself hamstrung by rules banning him from courting donors during this year’s legislative session.
McClatcy Newspapers, America turns left on social issues, but not on government: America in the age of Obama is something in between, a new landscape for a new century. Liberal on social issues. Solidly in support of the liberal government programs delivered in those earlier times. Yet hamstrung by debt and highly skeptical about expansive government.
Pew Research, State Governments Viewed Favorably as Federal Rating Hits New Low: Even as public views of the federal government in Washington have fallen to another new low, the public continues to see their state and local governments in a favorable light.
Associated Press, Arkansas "Private Option" Fails In House Vote: A plan for Arkansas to use federal Medicaid funds to buy private insurance for low-income residents has failed to capture the supermajority needed to pass the state House.

Lefty Playbook
Talking Points Memo reports that Secretary of State John Kerry is telling people that foreign students are not coming to the United States because they fear gun violence.
Kevin Drum calls for federally funded child care.
Neil Irwin blames Grover Norquist for making it harder to file taxes.

Righty Playbook
Katrina Trinko on Ken Cuccinelli’s plan to become Virginia’s next governor.
Chris Stirewalt on how Obamacare hit Americans on Tax Day.
Doug Bandow claims South Korea’s Strength Is Why America Should Come Home.

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