Progressive Breakfast for March 2

Morning Message

The Fast-Track Fandango

The White House recently waived its ethics requirements to bring in a skilled lobbyist, Martin Paone, to marshal its fast-track war room. Paone, who spent three decades running floor operations for Democrats in the Senate, now serves clients like Boeing, Google and the Financial Markets Association. With his corporate and Wall Street allies, he’ll make certain that every Democrat gets a “personal” touch from banks and businesses in his or her state, while enforcing “message discipline” on the administration. One result is that the fast-track lobby is rolling out a few new refrains...

House To Try Again To Fund Homeland Security

Republicans may surrender this week on funding Homeland Security. Politico: “…the GOP-controlled Senate will take the first step with a vote Monday on whether to head into formal negotiations with the House on financing the security agency. Senate Democrats are expected to block that move. That will put the onus squarely back on Speaker John Boehner and his leadership team. Democrats fully expect the speaker to allow a vote on a so-called clean DHS funding measure that runs until the end of the fiscal year … Republicans were coy over the weekend about what they’ll do [but] Democrats would not have backed a seven-day DHS funding patch without some assurance from Boehner…”

Parliamentary tactic may let House Dems keep Homeland Security open. CQ Roll Call: “…any House lawmaker, arguing that a conference scenario is moot and won’t be resolved before the clock runs out on the current extension of DHS funding, could take to the floor and move that the House recedes from its previous position and concurs in the Senate amendment. Because such a motion is ‘privileged’ that would then trigger a vote on sending the Senate-amended full year Homeland Security appropriations bill to Obama’s desk without any of those riders designed to block his executive actions on immigration.”

Right-Leaning Dems To Challenge Warren

House New Democrat Coalition to propose agenda this week to counter Warren’s populism. The Hill: “…said Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) … ‘My own preference is to create a message without bashing businesses or workers, [the latter of which] happens on the other side.’ … The fight over the future of the Democratic Party poses a real test for Clinton, who will need to keep the factions from breaking apart should she mount her expected run for the White House.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders says White House could end corporate tax breaks by executive order. WSJ: “He called on the administration to curb six specific tax breaks through executive action that could raise $100 billion over 10 years … Three of the breaks were created through administrative actions or regulation, which means President Barack Obama could use executive powers to void them. The other three could be closed through regulatory powers delegated to the Treasury Department, Mr. Sanders said.”

Walker, Bush Grapple With Right-Wing

Gov. Scott Walker admits immigration flip-flop. The Hill: “‘My view has changed. I’m flat out saying it. Candidates can say that,’ Walker said in an interview that aired on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ ‘I don’t believe in amnesty,’ … Walker said he’s changed his mind on immigration since 2013, when he was asked whether he envisioned a world where illegal immigrants could become citizens if the right penalties and a waiting period were put in place.”

Jeb Bush resisting Grover Norquist so he can cut Social Security. Time: “‘My concern is that he has not made a commitment to the American people that he will not raise taxes when all the other candidates have done so,’ Norquist said … ‘If Governor Bush decides to move forward, he will not sign any pledges circulated by lobbying groups,’ [said] Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell … One reason for Jeb Bush’s reluctance may be his desire to strike a bargain to reform entitlements if he became president.”