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Farm Bill Nightmare Ends, 'House of Cards' Gets Season 3—THE EDGE—Brought to You by Neustar Farm Bill Nightmare Ends, 'House of Cards' Gets Season 3—THE EDGE—...

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The Edge

Farm Bill Nightmare Ends, 'House of Cards' Gets Season 3—THE EDGE—Brought to You by Neustar

By Jack Fitzpatrick (@jackfitzdc)

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: The $1 trillion farm bill finally passed the Senate. A Congressional Budget Office report says the Affordable Care Act will reduce the number of full-time jobs by 2 million, but that its "bailout" provision will save the government $8 billion. U.S. Intelligence Director James Clapper said he would be surprised if Russia hasn't already talked to Edward Snowden, and a Justice Department official said the NSA is probably collecting data on members of Congress. Facebook turned 10 years old, and California's drought is visible from space.

TOP NEWS

THE FARM-BILL SAGA IS OVER: It took three years, but Congress passed a five-year, $1 trillion farm bill, which eliminates direct payments to farmers and cuts $8 billion in food-stamp funds. The farm bill failed last summer because conservatives didn't think it cut enough from food stamps. (Elahe Izadi, NJ)

 

McCONNELL SAYS THERE WON'T BE IMMIGRATION REFORM THIS YEAR: The Kentucky Republican said the House and Senate have "irresolvable" differences, despite growing interest in passing some sort of immigration legislation in 2014. (Alexander Bolton, The Hill)

OBAMACARE WILL LEAD TO 2 MILLION FEWER FULL-TIME JOBS: A CBO report said the Affordable Care Act will reduce the number of full-time workers by 2 million, a combination of some workers forgoing employment and others getting bumped down to part-time jobs. (Goldfarb/Kliff, WaPo)

BUT THE LAW'S "BAILOUT" WILL SAVE TAXPAYERS $8 BILLION: The same CBO report said the portion of the law that Republicans have called a "bailout for insurance companies" will save the federal government $8 billion. Many Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio, want to repeal the program. (Sam Baker, NJ)

CLAPPER THINKS RUSSIA HAS TRIED TO CO-OPT SNOWDEN: The Russians are capable of investigating Snowden, and Clapper would be "incredulous" if they hadn't already, he told the House Intelligence Committee. Chairman Mike Rogers also seemed to try to get law-enforcement officials to agree that reporters "selling" their articles to news outlets were breaking the law, although FBI Director James Comey said that wasn't clear. (Sara Sorcher, NJ)

THE NSA IS "PROBABLY" SPYING ON MEMBERS OF CONGRESS: A Justice Department official said in a House Judiciary Committee hearing that the NSA likely collects phone records from lawmakers and their staffs. NSA Director Keith Alexander had previously told Sen. Bernie Sanders that "nothing NSA does can be fairly characterized as 'spying on members of Congress or other American elected officials,'" when asked the same question. (Dustin Volz, NJ)

TOMORROW IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Vice President Joe Biden will speak at the UAW National Community Action Program Conference at 11:15 a.m. First lady Michelle Obama will speak at a federal student aid workshop at 11:15 a.m. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Brett McGurk testifies at 10 a.m. before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on al-Qaida's resurgence in Iraq. The House is in session but the Senate is not.

Join National Journal on Thursday, Feb. 6 for "Dialing In on the IP Transition" Policy Summit underwritten by Neustar. The Newseum, 3rd Floor Broadcast Studio, 8-10:30 am. RSVP @ http://njiptransition.eventbrite.com/ .

TOP LINES

"HOUSE OF CARDS" WILL HAVE A THIRD SEASON: The award-winning political drama was originally given a two-season deal on Netflix. (Yvonne Villarreal, LA Times)

JOHN KERRY IS BACK ON TWITTER: A year after becoming secretary of State, Kerry returned to Twitter with the hashtag "#JKTweetsAgain." (Sara Sorcher, NJ)

SEN. MARK WARNER IS NOT A BELIEBER: "As a dad with three daughters," the Virginia Democrat would like Canadian pop star Justin Bieber to be deported. (Elahe Izadi, NJ)

YOU CAN SEE CALIFORNIA'S DROUGHT FROM SPACE: There was a lot more snow in the Sierra region last year. (Brian Resnick, NJ)

NEW DATA SHOW THE SOUTH IS STILL VERY RELIGIOUS: Gallup's report shows not much has changed: Mississippi is the most religious state and Vermont is the least religious. (Emma Green, The Atlantic)

TOP READ

HARD TIMES AT HOWARD UNIVERSITY: Howard and other historically black colleges and universities once held a monopoly over the brightest black students. But as other top schools became more inclusive, Howard faced new challenges. (Charlayne Hunter-Gault, NYT)

TOP VIEWS

LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 2 MINUTES: David Letterman investigates if Obama plagiarized President Bush. (Reena Flores, NJ)

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SOCHI: Including how hot the region is, where the snow comes from, and what Abkhazia is. (WaPo)

FACEBOOK AFTER 10 YEARS: How the social network has evolved over the last decade. (Time)
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