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The Edge

The CIA Might be Spying on Congress—THE EDGE Brought to You by the National Retail Federation

By Jack Fitzpatrick (@jackfitzdc)

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: The European Union offered Ukraine up to $15 billion in aid over the next two years to help its struggling government, hoping to bolster the Eastern European country in its struggle with Russia. The Senate Intelligence Committee has accused the CIA of spying on it as the committee worked on a major classified report. The Senate rejected President Obama's nominee to be assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division because of his role defending Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of killing a police officer. Israel's navy seized a ship carrying advanced rockets that Iran was reportedly sending to Palestinian guerrillas in the Gaza Strip. The SAT will go back to its old 1,600-point scoring system. And Darrell Issa had Elijah Cummings's microphone cut during a House Oversight Committee hearing.


EU OFFERS UKRAINE $15 BILLION IN AID: The offer, which comes on top of the United States' pledge of $1 billion in aid, came as Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in an attempt to convince Russian officials to meet with representatives of Ukraine's new government. (Erlanger/Gordon, NYT)


CIA ACCUSED OF SPYING ON SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: The CIA inspector general is reviewing whether the agency hacked into the computers of committee staffers who worked on a classified report that was critical of the CIA's interrogation practices. (Brendan Sasso, NJ)

SENATE REJECTS OBAMA NOMINEE FOR JUSTICE DEPARTMENT: Seven Democrats joined Republicans in rejecting Debo Adegbile's nomination as assistant attorney general. Adegbile was involved in the defense of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in the killing of a Philadelphia police officer in 1981. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Adegbile's nomination was a "thumb in the eye of our law-enforcement officers." (Ramsey Cox, The Hill)

ISRAEL SEIZES ARMS SHIPMENT WITH IRANIAN ROCKETS: The Israeli navy said the cargo vessel that flew Panamanian flags carried dozens of advanced M302 rockets intended for Palestinian guerrillas in the Gaza Strip. Those rockets can strike over 100 miles and could have put "millions of Israelis under threat," according to a U.S. military spokesman. (Dan Williams, Reuters)

CBO: 1 MILLION WOULD FORGO INSURANCE IF MANDATE IS DELAYED. House Republicans have proposed pushing back Obamacare's individual health care mandate. A report shows that it would lead 1 million more people to put off getting insurance, but that it would also save the federal government $9.5 billion over the next decade. Either way, the proposal has little chance of getting through the Senate. (Clara Ritger, NJ)

DISCRIMINATION BILL PROMPTS ARIZONA LAWMAKER TO COME OUT: State Sen. Steve Gallardo, who has said he will run to replace Rep. Ed Pastor in Congress, announced he is gay, saying the state bill allowing businesses to refuse service to gay people based on religious beliefs, which was vetoed, prompted his decision. (Dylan Scott, Talking Points Memo)

TOMORROW IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will testify at 9:30 a.m. at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the White House FY2015 budget. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will testify at 9:30 a.m. at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the Defense Department budget. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will testify at 11 a.m. at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on terrorism and sectarianism in Syria. The House and Senate are in session.

Join National Journal on Wednesday, March 12 for "The Future of Nuclear Security Policy Summit" underwritten by the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Knight Broadcast Studio, Third Floor, The Newseum, 8:00 - 10:00 am. RSVP @ http://the-future-of-global-nuclear-security-policy-summit-tickets

Yesterday's Edge incorrectly stated that President Obama's FY2015 budget called for $3.9 billion in federal government spending. It should have said it called for $3.9 trillion in spending.


HILLARY CLINTON: PUTIN'S TACTICS SIMILAR TO HITLER'S. Clinton compared Putin's involvement in Ukraine under the pretense of protecting ethnic Russians to Hitler's insistence that he protect ethnic Germans in countries like Czechoslovakia and Romania. (Ruby Cramer, BuzzFeed)

THE NORMAL BARBIE: An artist and a former Mattel executive have teamed up to make a doll with normal body proportions. (Laura Stampler, Time)

SAT TO DROP ESSAY PORTION: The test will go back to the usual 1,600-point scoring system and will rely less on flashy vocabulary. (Nick Anderson, WaPo)

UKRAINE'S OTHER EAST-WEST DIVIDE: Western Ukrainians live an average of 4.9 years longer than those in the east and south. Sex, drugs, and alcohol are likely to blame. (Gwynn Guilford, Quartz)


DEMOCRATS' STANCE ON BENGHAZI PUTS CLINTON AT RISK: Despite the investigations that have cleared the secretary of State of any wrongdoing, Democrats need to accept that Benghazi will be an issue for Clinton in 2016. (Alex Seitz-Wald, NJ)

RAND PAUL AND ISOLATIONISM: A Republican front-runner in 2016, Paul's antiwar image may be more popular than, say, John McCain's views on foreign policy. But he'll have to distance himself from his father's more extreme isolationist views. (Matt Berman, NJ)

IS PUTIN JUST WINGING IT? House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers says Putin "is playing chess and I think we are playing marbles." But what if Putin doesn't really have a plan? (Dominic Tierney, The Atlantic)


ISSA CUTS CUMMINGS'S MIC IN IRS HEARING: Rep. Elijah Cummings read a statement leading to a question with his microphone turned off after House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa adjourned the hearing. (Steven Dennis, Roll Call)

LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 3 MINUTES: Stephen Colbert is surprised to learn the Crimea is not, in fact, a character in a Tyler Perry movie. (Reena Flores, NJ)

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