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Republicans Turn On Each Other

McConnell prepared to offer a “clean” bill to fund Homeland Security. The Hill: “McConnell said he would be willing to vote on the clean measure before considering a separate bill that would prohibit the administration from implementing Obama’s executive actions shielding the immediate family members of citizens and permanent legal residents from deportation … Even though McConnell’s plan would appear to give Senate Democrats exactly what they want, Reid said he first wanted assurances from Boehner that the bill would pass the House.”

Republican intra-party tensions rise. Politico: “…a frustrated Sen. Jeff Sessions angrily dismissed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan, arguing that his party should be prepared for an all-out battle with Democrats … But Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a New Hampshire Republican who could face a tough reelection next year, sharply countered that McConnell’s plan was the only option to not hamper law enforcement agencies that rely on money from the Department of Homeland Security.”

Speaker Boehner’s team pessimistic. The Hill: “Boehner has signaled he’s open to the McConnell plan, but isn’t showing his cards just yet. He’ll take the temperature of his conference Wednesday morning to see what kind of Republican support there is for the new strategy. Still, those close to the Speaker aren’t hopeful.”

Obama goes to Miami today to up pressure on Republicans. NYT: “He plans to hold a town-hall-style meeting on immigration at Florida International University and to sit for an interview with Telemundo, the Spanish-language television network. It is a classic use of the bully pulpit …”

“Don’t Hold Our Pay Hostage, Say U.S. Homeland Security Employees” reports Bloomberg: “…DHS workers said they’ve heard concerns over paying for childcare, mortgages and insurance premiums … some employees, who may make as little as $30,000 a year, will find they simply can’t afford to be dedicated to the mission.”

Hillary Warms Up

Hillary Clinton delivers populist message in Silicon Valley. NYT: “‘Wages no longer rise with productivity, while C.E.O. pay keeps going up,’ she said. ‘We have to figure out how to make this new economy work for everyone.’ … Clinton chose to kick off a month packed with pre-campaign speeches in Silicon Valley, where she could hone her message about breaking the glass ceiling with professional women … Clinton must walk a tightrope when wooing the tech sector, lest she seem too friendly with the wealthiest 1 percent…”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren launches “Middle Class Prosperity Project” with Rep. Elijah Cummings. Bloomberg: “…Warren and Cummings announced a series of congressional forums they would be holding, ‘to examine economic policies threatening the middle class, and we’ll hear from leading economists about how to help families rebuild economic security.’ Not long after their article was published, the first such forum began…”

Progressives Deny Emanuel Easy Re-Election

Chicago progressives force Mayor Rahm Emanuel into a runoff. Chicago Tribune: “…Emanuel failed to win a second term Tuesday, suffering a national political embarrassment as little-known, lesser-funded challenger Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia forced the mayor into the uncharted waters of an April runoff election … unofficial results showed Emanuel with 45.4 percent and Cook County commissioner Garcia at 33.9 percent … Garcia sought to keep the pressure on by portraying himself as the populist progressive and attacking the mayor as a puppet of the large corporations and special interests he said filled Emanuel’s massive campaign fund.”

Another anti-union bill advances in Wisconsin. NYT: “More than eight hours of testimony on a so-called right-to-work bill ended abruptly here Tuesday night after the Republican committee chairman cited a ‘credible threat’ to disrupt the vote. In a hurried, chaotic roll call as protesters chanted in opposition, legislators voted to advance the bill to the full Senate.”

Breakfast Sides

Dean Baker slams TPP pressure campaign: “The [Washington] Post tells us that adding currency rules ‘at this late date could cause a rebellion …’ The reason that the issue is being pressed ‘at this late date’ is that there was no opportunity for action earlier … So the Post’s argument here is essentially that we kept the deal out of public sight for so long (it is still secret) that it is now too late for the public to weigh in.”

Tuition deferment could solve student debt crisis, argues Steve Cohen in NYT oped: “Colleges should offer an alternative to traditional loan programs by allowing students to defer up to 75 percent of the cost of attending school … and pay it back over 20 years. Repayment would be based on a sliding percentage of what the student defers and then later earns … it is the college that is borrowing capital to offset its cash-flow needs because of the deferred tuition, not the student or parent. The college’s borrowing cost would be substantially lower than what individuals have to pay for current loan programs because colleges have collateral…”

Obama vetoes Keystone bill, but could still approve the pipeline. Politico: “Obama has no deadline for making that verdict, but the speed of Tuesday’s veto suggests his administration may hustle to deliver a one-two punch by rejecting Keystone sooner rather than later … The State Department is in the final throes of determining whether building Keystone would be in the national interest. Its recommendation may not become public until after the president reveals his final decision … The president hasn’t made any public judgments about what he thinks of the merits of Keystone…”

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