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- "The Obama administration announced on Monday that it would postpone enforcement of a federal requirement for medium-size employers to provide health insurance to employees and allow larger employers more flexibility in how they provide coverage. The delay is the latest in a series of policy changes, extensions and clarifications by the administration, and it drew a new round of criticism from congressional Republicans, whose scorching attacks on the law have become a central theme in many of this year’s midterm election campaigns." (New York Times)
- "House Republican leaders spent Monday trying to finalize a plan to increase the Treasury's borrowing authority and avoid a federal default by urging GOP lawmakers to rally behind a proposal that ties a debt-ceiling increase to a plan to restore full pension benefits for some military veterans." House Speaker John Boehner "called a 'special conference meeting' in the Capitol basement, trying to find the right policy mix that would attract enough Republican and Democratic support for the measure to be approved, possibly as soon as Wednesday." (Washington Post)
- In CO SEN, the Tea Party Express endorsed state Sen. Owen Hill (R) Monday and is spending $100,000 on ads supporting him over the next two weeks. (AP)
- In GA SEN, the Madison Project PAC endorsed Rep. Paul Broun (R) on Tuesday. (release)
- In the FL-13 Special, House Majority PAC (D) released a new TV ad Monday attacking former lobbyist David Jolly (R) "for lobbying for a group that has pushed to privatize Social Security." The super PAC "is in the midst of a $650,000, two-week ad buy." (Washington Post)
- In PA-06, physician Manan Trivedi (D) will "officially announce his bid Tuesday. ... It will be his third attempt at the seat." (PoliticsPA.com)
- In AR GOV, the Republican Governors Association released its first ad of the 2014 election cycle Tuesday, tying former Rep. Mike Ross (D) to President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. "The ad will run on cable and broadcast television across the state, as well as on radio." (Politico)
- A new Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV poll of IL GOP Republican primary LVs, conducted Feb. 5-8 by Market Shares Corporation, shows businessman Bruce Rauner leading state Sen./2010 nominee Bill Brady, 40-20%, with Treasurer Dan Rutherford at 13% and state Sen. Kirk Dillard at 11%. (release)
- "In the biggest potential shake-up yet" in IL GOV GOP primary, "a former high-ranking state treasurer employee filed a federal lawsuit on Monday, leveling explosive sexual harassment allegations against ... Rutherford. ... A calm but firm Rutherford ... said he was taking the accusations head on, and laid out his rebuttal -- producing documents that seemed to contradict the timeline" of accuser Ed Michalowski's claims. (Chicago Sun-Times)
- In FL GOV, Gov. Rick Scott (R) raised $4.1 million and spent $520,000 in January between his two campaign committees, while former Gov. Charlie Crist (D) raised $1 million and spent $380,000 between his two campaign committees. (Tampa Bay Times)
- The RGA announced Tuesday it raised $6 million in January, "more than double the previous high for fundraising during the month in organization history." New Jersey Gov. and RGA Chairman Chris Christie's (R) "trip last week to Texas raised $1.5 million." (ABC News)
- "The electoral chaos caused by" former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D) "comes to a close Tuesday as ... voters choose one of two City Council members — Democrat David Alvarez and Republican Kevin Faulconer — as the city's next mayor." (U-T San Diego)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• The theme of the RGA's first ad of the cycle targeting Ross in Arkansas is a preview of what's to come in a handful of governors races involving Democratic candidates who are current or former members of Congress. The ad ties Ross to Obama and Pelosi for his vote on the stimulus bill, and Democrats including Mike Michaud in Maine, Mark Schauer in Michigan and Allyson Schwartz in Pennsylvania will surely be under threat of similar ads. In these races, the GOP will work to remind voters that Congress is far more unpopular than even some of the party's weakest gubernatorial candidates. -- Karyn Bruggeman
• Dems expect San Diego mayoral candidate David Alvarez (D) to trail opponent Kevin Faulconer (R) when early mail ballots are tallied tonight. The important question is how big the initial deficit will be. Late momentum and enthusiasm for Alvarez will culminate in a massive labor-fueled GOTV effort today, which could allow Alvarez to make up a, say, 5 percentage point gap in the mail voting. Too much more than that and San Diego will again become the largest American city with a GOP mayor. -- Scott Bland
HAIR OF THE DOG
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) "returned to Washington Monday for the first time since she began a seven-month leave to undergo treatment for lung cancer." (Newsday)
- "[T]here is no inherent power in the office of the vice presidency. Zero. None. It’s all a reflection of your reflection of your relationship with the President. ... I mean, Kennedy never let Johnson in the office. I spend somewhere between four and seven hours a day with the President. I attend every single meeting. I'm there." -- Vice President Biden in an interview with TIME magazine (TIME)
- "Some members of Congress have long been unhappy with the name of Washington's football team, the Redskins. But in a new letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the team name," Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) "bring up an aspect of the league that Congress may be able to affect: its tax-exempt status." (National Journal)
- Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D) "announced Monday that she will not try to defend Nevada's law blocking gay marriages." Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), "through his office, said he agrees with Masto's legal reasoning and the law is 'no longer defensible in court.' ... Masto's decision does not allow gay marriages in Nevada, but removes the state as an ally of organizations that support retaining Nevada's marriage law." (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
- "A lot of people say to me, 'Gosh, why do you want to keep doing it?' It's a question that deserves to be answered. I'd really rather be in the middle of the debate fighting for the people of Washington state rather than yelling at my television." -- Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), on her intention to seek a fifth term in 2016 (Seattle Times)
- "Closing arguments in the Ray Nagin corruption trial on Monday centered on whether the former New Orleans mayor was a predator focused on helping himself or prey for an assortment of shady operators. ... After the lawyers made their final pitches, the jury began working through the many questions involved in the 21-count indictment. They decided to break for the day after about three hours." (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
- Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) "is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Monica Rivers. ... "Ruiz ... proposed in December at sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park but the couple decided to keep the news private at first." (Palm Springs Desert Sun)
- "If I tell you that I haven't, you won't believe me. If I tell you that I did, then kids will look up to me and say, 'Well, I can smoke marijuana, because look how he made it.' ... At this point, it's irrelevant." -- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), when asked if he's ever smoked pot (National Journal)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- A Winter Storm Watch is in effect. (Wednesday evening-Thursday evening)
- Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Sunny. Highs in the upper 20s. North winds 5-10 mph.
- The House and Senate both return at 10 a.m.
- Newly-installed Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the House Financial Services Committee. (2128 RHOB, 10 a.m.)
- The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holds a hearing on reforming security-clearance procedures following the Navy Yard shooting last year. (2154 RHOB, 10 a.m.)
- The individual Olympic figure skating events kick off with the pairs short program. (NBC Sports Network, 10 a.m.)
- Obama and French President François Hollande hold a joint news conference at the White House. (noon)
- The Wizards try to vault over the .500 mark once again when they visit the Grizzlies. (Comcast SportsNet, 8 p.m.)
- Olympic women's hockey: Both 2-0 in round-robin play, the U.S. and Canada square off for first place in Group A. (NBC Sports Network, 7:30 a.m. Wednesday)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN) was a command sergeant major in the Army National Guard, making him the highest-ranking enlisted soldier to ever serve in Congress.
- The winner is Randy Richards, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Which current member of Congress was the first combat veteran of either Iraq or Afghanistan to serve in Congress?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- The Democrats' Colorado Conundrum
- The GOP’s Primal Fear of Primaries
- The Last Major Fault Line in the Democratic Party
- House GOP's Debt Limit Plan Is Slap in the Face to Paul Ryan
- The New Face of Common Cause
[B]ecause he asked me. He asked me when there was nobody else in the race. And I said yes." -- Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), when asked by Glenn Beck why he endorsed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for reelection (Talking Points Memo)
"Between you and me, I'm sort of holding my nose for two years, because what we're doing here is going to be a big benefit to Rand in '16, so that's my long vision." -- McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton, to a conservative activist (EconomicPolicyJournal.com; Aug. 8, 2013)
Adam Wollner, Editor
Steven Shepard, Editor-in-Chief
Steven Shepard contributed to this article.