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House Takes On Transportation

House aims to pass three-year transportation bill tomorrow. The Hill: “The amendments include … a controversial reauthorization of the Export–Import Bank. The House hopes to complete its work by Thursday to set up a potential conference committee with the Senate … members are promising long workdays. ‘There are 280 amendments. We’re going to go through them,’ House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) said Tuesday.”

Speaker Ryan signals spending bill will include conservative policy riders. The Hill: “‘We fully expect that we are going to exercise that power [of the purse,]” [said Ryan. White House press secretary Josh Earnest countered with a warning … ‘My suspicion is that Speaker Ryan doesn’t want to preside over a government shutdown six weeks after getting his new job,’ he said.”

Obama Signals Keystone Rejection

Obama may still rule on Keystone, despite request for delay. NYT: “The White House on Tuesday said President Obama had no intention of bowing to a request from the company behind the Keystone XL oil pipeline to delay a decision on the project, saying he wanted to take action before his tenure ends … Environmental protection advocates say Mr. Obama is poised to reject the pipeline project in large part to make a bold statement about his commitment to curb climate change in advance of a United Nations summit meeting in Paris.”

“Gore Calls for Exxon Mobil Inquiry on Climate Change” reports NYT: “Echoing the views of the Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bernie Sanders, [Gore said] that Exxon’s actions were similar to those of the tobacco industry in the 1980s, when it denied that smoking could cause health problems.”

Big GOP Wins On Election Day

Republicans keep control of Virginia Senate. W. Post: “Republicans held onto the Virginia Senate in fiercely contested elections Tuesday, leaving Gov. Terry McAuliffe without legislative leverage or political momentum as he works to deliver Virginia for his friend and ally Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016.”

Conservative firebrand Matt Bevin takes KY gubernatorial race, threatening Obamacare implementation. W. Post: “‘I plan to use the open enrollment period in 2016 to transition people from the state-level exchange to the federal exchange,’ Bevin told the Cincinnati Enquirer last week. ‘Once all are transitioned, I would shut down the exchange.’ When it came to Medicaid, Bevin pledged to ‘repeal the expansion as it currently exists, and seek a Section 1115 waiver from the Center for Medicaid Services.'”

Anti-discrimination ordinance repealed in Houston. Texas Tribune: “Delivering a hit to the Texas gay rights movement, Houston voters on Tuesday resoundingly rejected an ordinance that would have established protections from discrimination for gay and transgender residents and several other classes … opponents successfully attacked the measure with arguments about bathrooms.”

Breakfast Sides

Hillary Clinton proposes $12 minimum wage. W. Post: “Clinton said that figure would roughly match in today’s dollars what the federal minimum wage was in 1968, the time when it was highest in terms of buying power … Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, supports a federal minimum of $15.”

Mayor de Blasio faces criticism from left. Bloomberg: “[Donny] Moss said he backed de Blasio because he vowed to rid Central Park of [horse-drawn] carriages on his first day in office. Now the mayor says he can’t find enough City Council votes to enact the ban … Protesters say that police have continued to stop, question and frisk residents in minority neighborhoods as part of a ‘broken windows’ policy …”

Judicial nominations grind to a virtual halt. Mother Jones: “The Senate has confirmed just nine judges nominated by President Obama so far this year. It’s the slowest pace of confirmations in more than half a century, on track to match the 11 confirmations in 1960.”

Prison population is shrinking, but slowly. Mother Jones: “…The number of prisoners in the United States dropped last year to its lowest point since 2005 [but it] still only dropped by 1 percent in 2014 … At this rate, we won’t return to the incarceration rate the country had in 1994, before tough new legislation sent the prison population soaring, until 2027…”

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