4) Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., facing a tough GOP primary challenge against Treasurer Richard Mourdock, has been taking heat from opponents over his ties to President Obama. Now Lugar wants to make it clear they're far from best friends. Politico reports today on the relationship between the two. "It may be [a political problem] in a contest like the one I'm in that some Republicans who don't like the president will say, 'Well look at Lugar, he's right there, constantly helping out Obama. This is anathema,'" Lugar told Politico. "Which is inaccurate and entirely false. It's an opportunistic slam of sorts." 3) The Wall Street Journal reports House Republicans will try to reset the economic-policy debate Thursday, offering a broad plan aimed at boosting jobs and growth by easing tax and regulatory burdens. 2) In the Florida GOP Senate race, former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner has staked out the most conservative territory when it comes to the Ryan budget. He released a statement Wednesday saying that "unlike my opponents, I would vote for the plan without hesitation." Former Sen. George LeMieux told the St. Petersburg Times he prefers his own plan over Ryan's, while state Senate President Mike Haridopolos told the paper this week "I think it still has some issues, but he is moving us in the right direction." 1) The Senate on Wednesday voted down the Ryan budget plan, 57 to 40. All Democrats voted against the measure, and were joined by five Republicans: Sens. Scott Brown, R-Mass., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska and Rand Paul, R-Ky. who argued that the plan did not go far enough in cutting spending. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., voted for the plan -- casting his second vote in favor of the proposal, as he voted yes earlier this year as a Member of the House.
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