5) "I will mow your grass, limited to one acre. Or I will cook dinner, menu of my choice. Or if you like hockey, we'll organize a hockey game and make sure you score." That's from Tim Pawlenty, stumping in Iowa, challenging people to find entitlement reform proposals from the president. Hey, we thought he wasn't running for entertainer-in-chief. 4) Texas Republican state Rep. Randy Weber announced Wednesday that he's formed an exploratory committee to look at retiring Rep. Ron Paul's, R-Texas, seat, Roll Call reports. Weber joins least one other Republican, former Rep. Steve Stockman, who has expressed interest in running for Paul's seat. 3) Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, is going back Washington next week to speak at the Washington State Labor Council's annual convention, the Seattle Times reports. The state's Democratic Party chair doesn't appear to be warming to a potential Kucinich congressional bid in Washington, but he's speaking at a big-time event that will feature other prominent pols as well. Kucinich hasn't yet said he is committed to running in the Evergreen State. 2) Texas Gov. Rick Perry, edging ever closer towards a presidential run, told reporters in Houston that of a default are grossly exaggerated. "I think this threat that somehow or another the world's going to come to an end and the threat of we're not going to be able to pay our bills is a bit of a stretch," Perry said. The AP has the full story. 1) After hitting some roadblocks with conservatives on his debt ceiling bill, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, rallied his troops and is looking more likely that he'll be able to pass his deficit reduction plan through the House today. Boehner can't afford more than 23 defectors from his caucus - as of now, there are 15 House Republicans who have said they won't support it (check out the latest tally at the Hotline Whip Count). Interestingly, two of the bill's opponents are either running for the Senate (Missouri Rep. Todd Akin) or seriously considering it (Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz). A third Senate candidate, Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake, initially opposed the bill but now says he's leaning towards supporting it. -- Kathy Kiely contributed to this post
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