POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Senate Prevails: Nuke Deal Collapse Temporarily Delayed

05/07/2015 04:29 pm ET | Updated May 07, 2015

A man proposed to his girlfriend at the Vienna Metro stop, probably because he is shipping out soon to invade Texas. Marco Rubio tweeted about regulating mutants, but couldn’t say whether they exist because he isn’t a scientist. And the GOP fulfilled its promise to open up the amendment process by passing the Iran oversight bill with no major amendments. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, May 7th, 2015:

SENATE PASSES IRAN BILL - The bill, requiring John Kerry and Mohammad Javad Zarif to keep the door open during their study sessions so the Senate can hear if there's any monkey business, passed after weeks of negotiation. Jennifer Steinhauer: "A bill that would give Congress a voice in any nuclear agreement between world powers seemed headed for approval Thursday, clearing a procedural vote that came after Republican infighting prevented a debate of further changes to the bill. The overwhelming move to cutoff debate set up final vote on the bill...Republicans and Democrats had gingerly worked out a deal to allow votes on a few amendments to the bill. But that arrangement fell apart when Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, used procedural moves to stall the bill...Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, Democrat of Maryland, who is helping to manage the bill, said Mr. Vitter’s move was disruptive, which Mr. Vitter dismissed as 'a bunch of bull.'" [NYT]

Tom Cotton was the only "no" vote.

USA! USA! USA! - Tami Luhby: "Darrell Issa, the richest man in Congress, said America has made 'our poor somewhat the envy of the world.' Asked by CNNMoney whether he feels personally responsible to address income inequality in the United States, the Republican Congressman from California said 'absolutely.' But he noted that America is the richest country on earth and implied that those in poverty here are better off than the poor in other nations." [CNN]



Newt Gingrich wearing an Oculus Rift.

TRADE DEAL TROUBLE - Zach Carter: "The biggest threat to President Barack Obama’s trade agenda may be a plan to fight human trafficking, which threatens to reshuffle a major trade pact that includes Malaysia -- a nation with a troubling human rights record. The Senate is gearing up to vote on a bill granting Obama so-called “fast track” powers to streamline the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- a major trade pact the administration is currently negotiating with 11 other nations. Republican leaders strongly support the deal, arguing it will boost economic growth, but the majority of Democrats oppose it, contending it will exacerbate income inequality and undermine key regulations. But a seemingly uncontroversial human rights provision authored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) is giving the administration serious headaches as it attempts to win over skeptical members of its own party. Last month, the Senate Finance Committee approved a Menendez amendment that would bar the administration from fast-tracking trade deals with countries that tolerate human trafficking. The measure passed 16 to 10 with bipartisan support. But the State Department has long included Malaysia on its list of countries with serious human trafficking violations, as its government effectively tolerates slavery, including sex slavery." [HuffPost]

@CostaReports: scoop: MITT ROMNEY is returning to the political scene. Just obtained invite to his June summit. Many 2016ers attending, but not Jeb.

Haircuts: Sherrod Brown (h/t Laura Barron-Lopez)

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Wisconsin Republicans are pushing legislation to restrict what poor people can buy with food stamps. On Wednesday, a public benefits committee of the Wisconsin State Legislature approved a bill that would require food stamp beneficiaries to use two-thirds of their monthly allotment on healthy foods approved for a separate and much smaller federal nutrition program that serves pregnant women and moms with new babies. The bill would also prohibit them from buying "crab, lobster, shrimp, or any other shellfish." … Complaining about food stamp recipients buying crab legs has been an American political pastime for decades, though there's hardly any evidence food stamp recipients routinely gorge themselves on crustaceans. According to the best available data, SNAP benefits are rarely spent on shellfish. A new report from the USDA, based on surveys of thousands of SNAP beneficiaries, found just 3 percent said they had eaten shellfish the previous day, compared with 4.4 percent of poor people who didn't get benefits and 3.9 percent of wealthier Americans. [HuffPost]

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COURT RULES NSA BULK SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM IS ILLEGAL - Henceforth any mass collection of phone records must be discussed loudly by Michael Hayden aboard an Acela. Julian Hattem: "A federal court has decided that the National Security Agency’s bulk, warrantless collection of millions of Americans’ phone records is illegal. The sweeping decision from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday represents a major court victory for opponents of the NSA and comes just as Congress begins a fight over whether to renew the underlying law used to justify the program. That program 'exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized,' Judge Gerard Lynch wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel…The Second Circuit’s decision provides the most significant legal blow to the NSA operations to date and comes more than a year after a lower court called the program 'almost-Orwellian' and likely unconstitutional. The appeals court did not examine the constitutionality of the surveillance program in its ruling on Thursday." [The Hill]

Check out the first story from HuffPost's new longform platform, Highline.



Almost Friday, guys.

BUSH TORTURE EXPERT STILL ADVISING GOVERNMENT -The power move would've been to take a torture advisory job in the private sector and then come back for money. Ali Watkins: "A government psychologist who helped craft policies central to the CIA’s torture program is now advising an FBI-led interrogation project, according to a series of emails revealed in a new independent report. The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group is the Obama administration’s response to the now-defunct CIA effort. Its members are dispatched to question terror suspects. Dr. Susan Brandon leads the HIG’s research committee, which studies and recommends the most effective methods of noncoercive interrogation. But as a Bush White House official, the new report says, Brandon helped that administration base the legality of the CIA’s interrogation techniques -- now widely denounced as torture -- on the assessments of psychologists present during the interrogations." [HuffPost]

Bernie Sanders would like to remind you about breaking up the big banks.

GOP FIELD LARGELY SILENT ON CLINTON IMMIGRATION REMARKS - Maybe instead of self-deportation, this crop of GOP candidates can just start playing up the charms of the countries from which the immigrants are coming. David Nakamura and Robert Costa: "Two days after Clinton vowed to expand on President Obama’s executive actions to shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was one of the only leading Republican 2016 contenders to strike back.. By contrast, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did not weigh in publicly on the remarks Clinton made Tuesday at a campaign stop in Las Vegas. Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.)...waited to make a late evening post on Facebook, writing that Clinton 'wants to expand and continue' Obama’s programs and 'lawlessness.' ...Although virtually all of the Republican hopefuls have denounced Obama’s executive actions, which are wildly unpopular with the GOP’s conservative base, they recognize that staking out a hard-line immigration position probably would harm their status with two of the fastest-growing subsets of the electorate. In 2012, Romney advocated 'self-deportation' for illegal immigrants, earning him scorn from Latino groups." [WaPo]

@TeamMarco: Should be a question in the first presidential debate - would you support the govt regulation of superbeings (or mutants)?

GOP GETS BEHIND DEMOCRATIC CHILD CRIME BILL - And it has absolutely nothing to do with curtailing child labor laws! ….right? Christina Wilkie: "A bill in Congress aimed at preventing crime by keeping at-risk youth out of the prison system could get a major boost this year from an unlikely new alliance of progressive Democrats and libertarian-leaning Republicans. The Youth PROMISE Act, long championed by Virginia Democratic Rep. Bobby Scott, would seek to prevent youth crime by awarding grants to local governments for programs to prevent juvenile delinquency. It would also provide funds to collect more data on which juvenile intervention programs are working and which aren’t. According to the bill's current language, money for the act would come out of Justice Department appropriations, and no grant would exceed $10 million per year...The bill has traditionally been backed by Democrats and moderate Republicans. But it has a new co-sponsor this year: tea party darling and GOP rising star Rep. Trey Gowdy (S.C.)...In addition to Scott and Gowdy, Republican Rep. Walter Jones (N.C.) and Democratic Rep. Tony Cardenas (Calif.) were also original co-sponsors of Friday's Youth PROMISE Act." [HuffPost]



If you're going to propose on the Metro, don't do it at Rosslyn. Rosslyn is the cubic zirconia of Metro proposals locations. Anyhoo, mazels.

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are some fox pups.

COMFORT FOOD

- The bored button will help you detract from the GDP.

- A searchable database of movie scripts

TWITTERAMA

@dnewhauser: well that’s a first. mac autocorrected scalise to scabies

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tiki tiki -- benghazi

@boring_as_heck: Oh man I thought your shirt was just gonna say "and carry on" after the first part. Nice twist.

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