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Budget Votes Loom

House faces delicate budget votes this week. Politico: “Some Republican deficit hawks will vote against the budget resolution. But Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) — who heads the House Freedom Caucus, a group of roughly two dozen hard-line conservatives — supports the plan … Boehner — with Pelosi’s help — is also pushing a $200 billion package to fix Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate for calculating payments to doctors, as well as a two-year extension to the Children’s Health Insurance Program …”

Budget votes “could break the House” says Fox News’ Chad Pergram: “If the House adopts a [more conservative] substitute before the [leadership’s] resolution … that budget wins. The entire process comes to a screeching halt … So the Republican leadership must trod carefully here. Leaders must be certain about the whip count ahead of time. The GOP whip operation has been the source of much anxiety recently.”

“Doc fix” bill would give Boehner a win on entitlement reform. The Hill: “‘This is the first time Democrats have been willing to say yes to a compromise on entitlement reform without calling for major tax hikes.’ the leadership aide said. ‘That is a very important step forward in terms of ultimately balancing our budget and ultimately saving Medicare.’ Several Democratic senators, however, say they want more sweeteners in the deal. They are pressing, in particular, for a four-year extension of the children’s insurance insurance program (CHIP), rather than two years.”

Obama rules out extending sequester in HuffPost interview: “We are not going to have a situation where, for example, our education spending goes back to its lowest level since the year 2000 — since 15 years ago — despite a larger population and more kids to educate. … We can’t do that to our kids, and I’m not going to sign it.”

W. Post’s E. J. Dionne slams GOP budget priorities: “…we now know that conservatives and Republicans (1) aren’t serious about the plight of working-class and lower-income Americans and (2) would actually make their situations much worse. Their spending plans fail even on conservative terms: They are not fiscally responsible. Instead, they rely on all sorts of magic tricks that shove choices and problems down the road.”

Hillary To Speak On Urban Issues

Hillary Clinton joins Center for American Progress panel discussion today at 10 AM ET: ” This event brings together a small group of public, private, philanthropic, and nonprofit leaders to discuss challenges that our metropolitan regions face, as well as emerging solutions, laying the foundation for a vision of a thriving urban America that supports national prosperity.”

Final public event on her calendar. MSNBC: ” It’s the end of Clinton as we’ve known her. The next time she emerges publicly, Clinton is likely to be a candidate for president.”

Martin O’Malley sounds likes Elizabeth Warren, says W. Post: “…the advantage of wooing Warren supporters was clear as he spoke to big and small crowds on his first visit to Iowa this year: They are among the most energized Democrats, and they are hungry for an alternative to the more centrist Clinton. What was less clear is whether O’Malley, who barely registers in most polls, will become their natural fallback if Warren stays out.”

Big liberal donors hope to move Hillary and the Democratic Party leftward. Politico: “The Democracy Alliance funders club at a private April gathering in San Francisco is set to unveil a five-year plan to boost causes on which some of its members contend leading Democrats like Clinton have been insufficiently aggressive … It aims to steer more than $30 million a year toward groups committed to fighting income inequality, climate change and the influence of political money. A particular focus is on groups fighting those issues at the state level …”

Greece On The Hot Seat

“Decisive week” for Greece. Bloomberg: “Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is set to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the second time in five days on Monday … amid signs that it could run out of money by early next month …”

Syriza squeezed at home from all sides. NYT: “Infighting is worsening as hard-core leftist factions grow frustrated by some of the compromises made by Mr. Tsipras in his continuing negotiations with creditors. Critics on the left and right are questioning whether the government has a viable plan to restart economic growth.”

Upcoming British elections warped by pro-austerity media bias, says NYT’s Paul Krugman: “The narrative I’m talking about goes like this: In the years before the financial crisis, the British government borrowed irresponsibly [and] at imminent risk of a Greek-style crisis; austerity policies, slashing spending in particular, were essential … this is what you hear all the time on TV and read in British newspapers, presented not as the view of one side of the political debate but as simple fact.”

Breakfast Sides

New report show marriage isn’t the antidote to poverty, notes Nicole Sussner Rodgers in W. Post oped: “…according to a recent analysis of new census data on family structure, education and income from the Council on Contemporary Families (CCF) … financial security helps children more than does any particular family structure … There are almost as many poor or near-poor children in two-parent families as there are in single-parent ones.”

Koch-backed organization ramps up effort to kill Ex-Im Bank. NYT: “The group, called Freedom Partners, will begin a six-figure digital advertising campaign and has set up a new website,, to criticize the institution, which it has called a haven for cronyism and corporate welfare. But the real impact may not come from the size of the advertising campaign: The group’s members include the Kochs … whose allegiance (and wallets) are avidly sought by Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates.”

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