Episode #59: Boxer KO’s 5th term; GOP OK’s Keystone

It looks like the relationship between President Obama and the 114th Congress is starting exactly where it left off with the 113th — battles with Republicans, little compromise in sight.

Let’s start with the Keystone XL Pipeline. The House has overwhelmingly passed — and the Senate is expected to follow — legislation that authorizes the building of the controversial pipeline. Republicans claim this will lower gas prices and create more jobs. Democrats say gas prices won’t be affected and that the environment will be adversely affected. Elana Schor, an energy reporter with Politico, lays out likely action from both sides, and how it’ll affect 2016.

Another dispute: immigration. The House has passed two amendments — and attached them to the funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security. The amendments effectively gut President Obama’s protections for millions of immigrants, including so-called Dreamers. Daniel Newhauser of the National Journal talks about what Republicans hope to accomplish, and what might happen in the Senate.

While things may not be getting accomplished in Washington, there is legislative activity going on in the states. Reid Wilson of the Washington Post brings us up to speed on some of the governors we should be watching in 2015 and beyond.

And this week in 2007, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama broke from two years of presidential denials with his announcement that he had formed an exploratory committee. Steve Hildebrand, the Democratic strategist who ran Al Gore‘s successful 2000 Iowa caucus campaign, was an early Obama supporter. He remembers what the early days were like in Obama’s path to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Big political news out of California: Sen. Barbara Boxer, a four-term California Democrat, announced she will not seek re-election next year. John Myers of KQED in San Francisco handicaps the race to succeed her, who’s already in the mix and who may wait it out until 2018.

And with news that Boxer’s out, we asked Jennifer Duffy of the Cook Political Report which senators up in 2016 might also be considering calling it quits.

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Evidence Song (The Good Lawdz) / CC BY-SA 3.0

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1 thought on “Episode #59: Boxer KO’s 5th term; GOP OK’s Keystone”

  1. Reid Wilson has not spent time in Northern California as he claims we are lush and get a lot of rain. On our third year of ‘historic’ drought we are nowhere near lush. We have water rationing, boat docks that no longer reach the lakes/reservoirs, fallow fields, and extraordinary fire danger. Northern California needs what little water it gets. (And what could possibly go wrong with large underground tunnels of water in earthquake country?)

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