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Senate Advances Campaign Finance Amendment

Senate Advances Campaign Finance Amendment

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — A major debate over campaign finance reform came to the Senate Monday as Democrats pushed a constitutional amendment to effectively overturn the Supreme Court’s recent rulings on campaign finance.

The constitutional amendment, which was introduced by Sen. Tom Udall, would grant Congress and the states the authority to regulate and limit political donations and spending in federal campaigns.

“Our campaign finance system is being destroyed by misguided Supreme Court decisions, one after another,” Udall, D-N.M., said Monday. “Basically the Supreme Court placed a ‘For Sale’ signs on elections.”

The Senate cleared its first procedural hurdle on the constitutional amendment with a vote of 79-18 Monday evening, but there is little to no chance the bill will actually pass the Senate or even be considered by the Republican-controlled House. The amendment would require two-thirds of votes in the House and Senate to be enacted, and Republicans strongly oppose the measure.

Democrats are using the amendment as an attempt to curb the political influence wielded by super PACs funded by deep-pocketed donors, such as the conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

“We have had in this country a flood of very, very dark money coming into this nation’s political system which is threatening to tear apart the fabric of American democracy,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday.

Reid, D-Nev., said the Koch brothers are trying to “fix every election in America to their liking” by pouring millions into Senate races this year.

But it’s not just Republicans who are benefitting from well-financed groups. On the Democratic side, liberal billionaire Tom Steyer is directing millions of dollars into the NextGen Climate super PAC with an eye on promoting Democratic candidates espousing his views on environmental issues.

Republicans said the constitutional amendment impedes on free speech rights, and disparaged Democrats for spending legislative time on the issue.

“Their goal is to shut down the voices of their critics at a moment when they fear the loss of their fragile Senate majority. And to achieve it, they’re willing to devote roughly half of the remaining legislative days before November to this quixotic anti-speech gambit,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wrote in a Politico op-ed.

In the end, Republicans will likely stop the amendment from being passed, but the exercise may take away valuable time from legislative business in the final two weeks the Senate is in session before the November election.

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Obama’s ISIS Strategy: What We Know So Far

Obama’s ISIS Strategy: What We Know So Far

The White House(WASHINGTON) — President Obama in recent weeks has offered mixed messages about the threat from Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria and his plan to confront it. Now, he plans to set the record straight and provide greater clarity about his strategy in a speech to the nation on Wednesday.

Details are tightly held, but Obama says the overarching goal is to “systematically degrade” ISIS, also known as ISIL or the Islamic State, and ultimately “defeat them,” an objective that officials tell ABC News will take “years.”

The newly-defined policy shifts from a primarily defensive posture in Iraq — protecting American installations and personnel and avoiding humanitarian catastrophe — to a more offensive one, coming almost three years since the end of the Iraq war.

Here’s what we know so far about how the policy has evolved:

EXPANDED U.S. AIRSTRIKES: JETS AND DRONES

A broadening of ISIS targets by American warplanes and drones is already under way, with a new charge of rolling back militants’ territorial gains in northern Iraq. ISIS has control over a third of the country by some estimates, with strongholds extending into Syria. U.S. airstrikes began Aug. 8 as a limited operation to protect U.S. personnel and installations in Erbil and help avert a humanitarian disaster on Mt. Sinjar. Now, they have helped to push militants from the critical Mosul and Haditha dams and beyond. U.S. forces have conducted nearly 150 airstrikes since Aug. 8.

“This is similar to the kinds of counter-terrorism campaigns that we’ve been engaging in consistently over the last five, six, seven years,” Obama said Sunday in an interview with NBC News.

The president has signaled a counter-terrorism air campaign not unlike U.S. operations in Yemen and Somalia, where forces rely heavily on intelligence to strike key targets and eventually degrade their capacity and leadership. Obama has not yet made a decision about launching airstrikes against targets inside Syria, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

TARGETING SYRIA SAFE HAVENS

The White House acknowledges that ISIS cannot be defeated without rooting out its strongholds inside Syria, and that doing so will involve military force. But who exactly will execute that military campaign and when it will happen remains unclear. Unlike Iraq, which has directly requested U.S. help, Syria has warned against U.S. intervention.

“We continue to develop options for countering ISIL in both Iraq and in Syria. Military options are always more effective in the context of a whole-of-government strategy and in this case, in the context of a regional coalition,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey said during a Facebook Town Hall last week.

“In Syria, the boots on the ground have to be Syrian,” Obama said Sunday. The comments suggest greater effort to arm and train the moderate Syrian opposition forces — the Free Syrian Army — that’s fighting both Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the ISIS militants.

NO US TROOPS IN COMBAT

There are already about 1,000 U.S. troops in Iraq to protect the American embassy in Baghdad and the consulate in Erbil and to provide advice and assessment to Iraqi and Kurdish security forces. But Obama says there will be no American troops directly involved in ground combat — period.

“We need to attack [ISIS] in ways that prevent them from taking over territory, that bolster the Iraqi security forces, others in the region who are prepared to take them on, without committing troops of our own,” Secretary of State John Kerry explained last week. “I think that’s a red line for everybody here, no boots on the ground.”

The White House says an effort to train and equip Iraqi forces to fight ISIS will intensify once a new Iraqi government is formed. Several hundred U.S. personnel are working with the Iraqis at a Joint Operations Center to develop a strategy and identify targets.

Officials have not ruled out covert strikes involving U.S. special operations forces or CIA operatives on the ground.

“Is it possible that there might be some clandestine efforts that are also under way here?” Earnest said. “I’m sure that that’s the case, and I’m sure that’s something that, you know, I won’t be in a position to talk about if they do occur.”

INTERNATIONAL COALITION

Obama has demonstrated that any military campaign will be led by the U.S. but involve a host of allies that bring different resources to the table. Who will be involved in this coalition of the willing?

The U.S. convened an anti-ISIS coalition of western powers on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Wales last week. It included Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

“We are going to be as part of an international coalition, carrying out airstrikes in support of work on the ground by Iraqi troops, Kurdish troops,” Obama explained Sunday.

“There’s going to be an economic element to this. There’s going to be a political element to it. There’s going to be a military element to it,” the president said.

Kerry will head Tuesday to Jordan and Saudi Arabia to coordinate efforts against ISIS, the State Department announced.

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John Dingell, Longest-Serving Member of Congress, Hospitalized

John Dingell, Longest-Serving Member of Congress, Hospitalized

US Congress(DETROIT) — Rep. John Dingell, the 88-year-old Democrat from Michigan and the longest serving member of Congress, was admitted to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit with abdominal pain, his office announced Monday.

Spokesman Christopher Schuler issued a statement proclaiming that Dingell is “doing well, is receiving an IV treatment of antibiotics, and remains in good spirits.”

Schuler added that doctors expect the 30-term congressman to be released “in a few days” although he is not expected back in Washington this week, where lawmakers are set to reconvene Monday after a 37-day summer recess.

Dingell, however, is expected to return to the Capitol next week on Sept. 16 when Congress returns after a four-day weekend.

The Michigan Democrat broke the record as longest serving member of Congress on June 7, 2013. He has owned the title of Dean of the House of Representatives since 1995, given for the longest continuous service of a current member.

Dingell has served with more than 2,400 lawmakers in the House, worked with 11 U.S. presidents and cast more than 25,000 votes during more than 21,000 days in Congress.

Schuler declined to address further inquiries.

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George W. Bush Gives Bill Clinton Advice on Being a Grandfather

George W. Bush Gives Bill Clinton Advice on Being a Grandfather

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton may not agree on much, but the two have developed a post-presidential friendship.

Onstage together at the Newseum Monday, they bonded over something they’ll soon have in common: being grandfathers.

About 20 minutes into the event promoting the Presidential Leadership Scholars program, Clinton’s phone rang.

“Only two people have this number and they’re both related to me,” Clinton quipped. “I hope I’m not being told I’m about to become a premature grandfather!”

“That’d make national news,” Bush responded, as the audience laughed.

Clinton’s only daughter, Chelsea Clinton, recently announced she and husband Marc Mezvinsky are expecting their first baby this fall. Bush’s grandchild, Mila Bush-Hager, was born in April 2013.

Bush offered some advice for Bill Clinton as a grandfather, once he becomes one.

“Be prepared to fall completely in love again,” Bush said. “It’s going to be an awesome period.”

He also joked, “Get ready to be, like, the lowest person in the pecking order.”

The two engaged in a non-stop lovefest onstage, with Bush jokingly describing his predecessor as a “beautiful man,” when asked to comment on him.

At the end, as the two made their way to the exit, working the crowd and shaking hands, former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (who was in attendance) greeted her husband and Bush.

“I actually learned a lot by watching him over the years,” Bill Clinton said of Bush onstage.

“You always want to be underestimated by your adversaries. He consistently benefited from being underestimated, and so did I, for comets my different reasons,” Clinton joked.

Bush called Clinton his “pal” and praised him as an “awesome communicator.”

Clinton also revealed that the two spoke over the phone periodically during Bush’s second term.

“He used to call me twice a year on his second term, just to talk,” Clinton said. “We talked about everything in the wide world.”

Bush would ask Clinton’s opinion, and often they’d disagree, Clinton said.

Bush and Clinton were onstage together at the Newseum to talk about presidential leadership, launching a new joint scholarship program on that topic, which will be run through the Clinton Foundation, Bush’s presidential library, and the presidential libraries of George H.W. Bush and Lyndon B. Johnson. The program will bring in experts and past administration officials to help participants study presidential leadership and decision-making.

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Seven Big Items Congress Won’t Get To this Fall

Seven Big Items Congress Won’t Get To this Fall

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — With Election Day looming, the House and Senate have returned to Washington with a full agenda. There are only 12 days of legislative work on the calendar, and with most of Congress on the ballot in November, lawmakers in both parties hope to tread lightly and avoid confrontation that could distract from re-election campaigns.

Here’s what definitely won’t come up before Election Day:

The Minimum Wage

It’s been five years since the federal minimum wage has been raised. It currently sits at $7.25 an hour. The bill H.R. 1010, Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, was introduced to the Senate in March of last year. If enacted, the federal minimum wage would be raised to $10.10 an hour over the course of two years, and the minimum wage for tipped workers would be $3.00 an hour. But the bill has only a two-percent chance of being enacted, according to Govtrack. In April, a measure on the minimum wage failed to advance in the Democratic-controlled Senate. With Republicans referring to the measure as “political theater,” a vote is even less likely in the House.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform

In June of 2013, a bipartisan group of senators passed a sweeping immigration reform bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, reform visa programs and increase border security. House Speaker John Boehner said President Obama was “feeding distrust” with executive orders, and told Obama in June the House wouldn’t vote on the bill this year. The Ohio Republican recently said Congress could vote next year, and with Obama walking back on his promise to go it alone with executive action last week, movement on the issues — big or small — will have to wait.

A Renewed Push for Gun Control

More than 74 school shootings have occurred since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut vaulted gun control into the national political conversation, according to a tally by the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety. The only major play at bipartisan gun control legislation in the aftermath, the Manchin-Toomey bill, was defeated in the Senate in April 2013. Despite the efforts of advocacy groups headed by the likes of Gabby Giffords and Michael Bloomberg to put gun control on the agenda in races across the country, Congress hasn’t budged. Instead, the fight has localized. Eleven states have added laws to nullify federal gun regulations since 2008, according to News21, an investigative journalism organization.

The Federal Budget

With both parties wary of another government shutdown, members of Congress will likely pass a continuing resolution by Oct. 1, the start of the next fiscal year, to keep the lights on in the federal government. The 10-week stopgap would put appropriations disagreements on hold until after Election Day, when voters would have a chance to punish lawmakers for any brinksmanship.

The Fate of the Export-Import Bank

The agency, which helps finance American trade overseas, has become a flashpoint for conservatives on the role of the government in business. Republicans such as Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, who believe the bank’s work makes it harder for small business to complete in the global economy, want Congress to let the bank’s authorization expire on Sept. 30. Others see it as an important component of trade policy. Because an intraparty feud isn’t the best way to showcase the GOP to voters, expect Congress to pass a short-term extension of the bank before debating the long-term viability of the program.

Approving the Keystone XL Pipeline

First proposed nearly six years ago, the Keystone XL oil pipeline system would transport oil from Canada down to the Gulf Coast. However, the pipeline, which currently runs to Nebraska, has been delayed and heavily debated due to environmental concerns, and is the subject of an active Nebraska Supreme Court case. In 2013, the House passed the Northern Route Approval Act, which approved the building of the pipeline and eliminated barriers to the pipeline’s construction. A Senate vote on the bill would put pressure on the Obama administration, which has repeatedly postponed making a decision on the international project, to weigh in.

Campaign Finance Reform

After a dramatic Supreme Court ruling in April striking down limits on campaign contributions, Democrats (and some Republicans) have called for tighter campaign finance restrictions. A constitutional amendment initiated by Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., could seek more regulation by Congress and states over where and how much money pours into campaigns. Republicans have called the issue an election-year ploy, an attempt to motivate progressives to vote in November. In an editorial he wrote for Politico Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accused Democrats of trying to “shut down the voices of their critics” in a “quixotic anti-speech gambit.” While action on the issue may be limited within the halls of Congress this fall, the fight will continue through the election — another record-spending affair by most estimates.

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First Lady Michelle Obama Consoles Child Who Fainted

First Lady Michelle Obama Consoles Child Who Fainted

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(ATLANTA) — As part of her Reach Higher education initiative, first lady Michelle Obama joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on his Partners in Progress Back to School Bus Tour event on Monday.

While speaking to students at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, one girl in the audience fainted.

The first lady called for paramedics and said, “If anyone is starting to feel tired standing up, bend your knees! And eat your breakfast, and lunch!”

She made sure the rest of the audience was feeling okay, and regained their attention by providing them with “insights that a lot of rich kids all over the country [know], and I want you to know it, too.”

Click here to watch a video of the incident, courtesy of ABC News affiliate WSB-TV.

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Meet the Five Richest and Poorest Members of Congress

Meet the Five Richest and Poorest Members of Congress

US Congress(WASHINGTON) — When he’s not getting feisty on the House floor, Congressman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., is sitting pretty with an estimated net worth of $357.25 million. Former CEO Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., has raked in nearly $112 million, and Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, has amassed more than $117 million, thanks, in part, to his wife’s considerable fortune.

But not everyone on Capitol Hill is rolling in dough. Reps. David Valadao, R-Calif., Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., all have a negative net worth, some with debt running up into the multi-millions.

Roll Call, the Capitol Hill publication, on Monday released its annual list of the 50 richest — and 10 poorest — members of Congress. The top 50 list is relatively homogenous — all white, with 41 men and just nine women.

All of the net worth figures below are courtesy of Roll Call:

RICHEST:

1. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)

Net Worth: $357.25 Million

The California Republican, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has once again topped Roll Call’s list. In 1982, Issa founded Directed Electronics, one of the largest vehicle security companies in North America. After making millions on car alarms, he has since branched out into the bond market and real estate.

2. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas)

Net Worth: $117.54 Million

McCaul’s wife, Linda Mays McCaul, is the daughter of Lowry Mays, the founder of Clear Channel Communications, a billion-dollar media and advertising company. The family money, according to Roll Call, is tied up in stocks and government bonds.

3. Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.)

Net Worth: $111.92 Million

Delaney, the wealthiest Democrat in Congress, was chief executive of two companies, including HealthCare Financial Partners, which he sold for half a billion dollars in 1999, and commercial lender CapitalSource. His stake in CapitalSource grew to over $50 million during his first year at the Capitol.

4. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)

Net Worth: $108.05 Million

Rockefeller, heir to oil mogul John D. Rockefeller, has money in three blind trusts, including at least $50 million at JPMorgan and Wells Fargo, and at least $5 million at United National Bank in Charleston, West Virginia. His assets could be much higher than the minimum amount he had to disclose. His wife Sharon owns more than $1 million in PepsiCo corporate securities stock, and recently sold a home in Washington, D.C. for at least $1 million.

5. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.)

Net Worth: $95.13 Million

The junior Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee hit it big as a telecommunications venture capitalist and invested in Nextel in the 1980s before it was bought by Sprint. Warner has no liabilities and his assets are in blind trusts for members of his family.

POOREST:

1. Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.)

Net Worth: -$3.7 Million

Valadao was born in Hanford, California, center of the agriculturally rich 21st Congressional District, but that hasn’t translated to his net worth. Valadao, who owns two dairy farms, has made this list before, but because congressional financial disclosure requirements are imprecise, his exact net worth is unknown.

2. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.)

Net Worth: -$2.23 Million

Nearly 30 years later, Hastings is still suffering from his impeachment as a federal judge. He was charged in 1981 with conspiracy and obstruction of justice for soliciting a bribe, and though a jury acquitted him, he was impeached and removed from his post by the Senate in 1989. The debt represents his stil- unpaid legal bills. The 78-year-old’s only asset is his single bank account with more than $1,000.

3. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)

Net Worth: -$972,000

Democratic National Committee Chair Wasserman Schultz serves on an Appropriations subcommittee that determines the funding level for Congress. She and her husband have two mortgages, a home equity line of credit over $250,000 and credit card debt over $15,000.

4. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.)

Net Worth: -$943,000

This retiring Armed Services chairman, who calls himself a champion of “returning fiscal discipline to the federal government,” needs to take care of a personal loan exceeding $10,000 that’s been with him for more than a decade. He also has two hefty mortgages, both exceeding $500,000.

5. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.)

Net Worth: -$924,000

Rohrabacher’s biggest liability was a $500,000 mortgage, which was paid off in 2013 but still needed to be reported. His largest asset is an investment in a biotech firm called ISI Life Sciences Inc.

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Senate to Vote on Overturning Citizens United Ruling

Senate to Vote on Overturning Citizens United Ruling

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A major campaign finance debate begins Monday as the Senate holds its first test vote on a constitutional amendment that would effectively overturn the Citizens United ruling.

In the landmark 2010 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations can make unlimited independent expenditures using general treasury funds to support or oppose candidates.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the amendment an “assault on free speech” in a Politico op-ed Sunday night, and disparaged Democrats’ desire to devote legislative time to the issue for the two weeks the Senate is back in session.

“Their goal is to shut down the voices of their critics at a moment when they fear the loss of their fragile Senate majority. And to achieve it, they’re willing to devote roughly half of the remaining legislative days before November to this quixotic anti-speech gambit,” McConnell, R-Ky., wrote.

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Congress Returns from Recess

Congress Returns from Recess

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — After more than a month away from Washington, members of the House and Senate finally return to town Monday — even if there are just a few days of legislative business on the calendar before lawmakers go back into campaign mode ahead of Election Day.

While the House could consider a continuing resolution later this week to fund the government into the Lame Duck session, on Monday, lawmakers will ease back into it as they consider a dozen measures to rename post offices, among other non-controversial business.

Congressional leaders don’t meet with President Obama until Tuesday about his ISIS strategy, but on Monday evening, the House Intelligence Committee will receive a classified update from CIA and other agencies.

Obama is expected to give a speech this week outlining his strategy for taking on the threat posed by ISIS. He will use the speech to outline the nature of the threat — serious, but not an imminent threat to the homeland — and the strategy for confronting it.

It is not expected that the president will make any major new announcements.

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Wendy Davis Discusses Shocking Memoir Revelations

Wendy Davis Discusses Shocking Memoir Revelations

Erich Schlegel/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has made headlines for revealing in a new memoir that she had two abortions, but the Democrat, who rose to national prominence for her 13-hour filibuster of a bill that would have restricted women’s access to abortion, denied that her revelations were designed to gain her a political advantage ahead of the elections.

Speaking in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts that aired Monday on the show, Davis said the book, Forgetting to Be Afraid, was intended to give people insight into her.

“You’re running for governor. And people are going to question the timing. …Are you trying to pull at the heartstrings, people are going to say, of the voters that you’re trying to win votes with sympathy?” Roberts asked.

Davis replied: “I wanted to share a book about my life, how I came to be who I am. I wanted people to feel like they’re not alone…The struggle of being a single mom. The struggle, after my parents divorced, and that I came through it. I came through it, through my faith in God. I came through it because of my education.

“I wanted to be very honest in my story, and not leave pieces aside,” she added. “I wanted people to understand.”

In the memoir, Davis reveals that after her parents divorced, her mother became so depressed that she almost killed herself and her three children, Davis included.

At the time, Davis’ mother was in her 20s with three children aged 5 and under.

She became depressed after Davis’ birth and, after the separation, her husband remarried. Davis’ mother was all alone.

“She almost took her life and ours,” Davis told Roberts.

Her mother put her children in the trunk of the car because “she couldn’t imagine leaving the world and leaving us behind…she had intended to start the car in the garage,” Davis said. “And an angel came into our lives that day. A neighbor who had never come to our home before rang the bell. And he sat in the living room. He held my mother’s hand. He talked to her for quite a long time. And by the time he left, she was through it. And she came and collected us from the car and put one foot in front of the other and pushed on for all of us, and did a beautiful job of it.”

Davis, 51, credits her mother’s life experiences for giving her the strength to persevere in the face of her own challenges of being a single working mother.

Davis, a graduate of Harvard Law School, is running for governor against Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott.

The mother of two daughters talked with Roberts about her headline-making filibuster last year. Dressed in a pair of pink sneakers, Davis went on for nearly 13 hours against a bill in the legislature. Although her filibuster succeeded in delaying the restrictions, they were eventually implemented.

“For me, it was very important to give voice to the women and men that I stood for that day. …And of course I couldn’t help but reflect upon my own journey,” she said.

In the memoir, Davis disclosed for the first time that she terminated two pregnancies in the 1990s. One was terminated after tests showed the fetus was developing outside the uterus and therefore not viable.

Two years later, Davis was pregnant again with a daughter she and her then-husband, Jeff Davis, had already named, but a routine exam detected a serious problem.

“Our baby had a severe brain abnormality — one that was such an extreme abnormality that we were told she would likely not survive to term,” Davis told Roberts. “If she did survive to term, she likely would not survive delivery. And if she did survive delivery, she likely would be in a vegetative state.”

Davis and her husband decided that “the most loving thing that we could do for our daughter was to say goodbye,” she said, adding that the decision was difficult and made with love.

“Her name was Tate Elise Davis,” Davis said. “And we loved her as we love our living daughters, Dru and Amber. And she forms, of course, a very important part of my life.”

Asked by Roberts whether she could understand that some people would say they would have handled the matter differently, Davis replied: “This was how my family confronted this tragic experience. I respect so much that people make their own decisions, and that that decision is the one that is right for them.”

Forgetting to Be Afraid goes on sale Tuesday.

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President Obama to Address ISIS Strategy in Speech

President Obama to Address ISIS Strategy in Speech

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama will give a speech next week outlining his strategy for taking on the threat posed by ISIS, ABC News has learned.

The president will use the speech to outline the nature of the threat — serious, but not an imminent threat to the homeland — and the strategy for confronting it.

It is not expected that he will make any major new announcements such as a decision on Syria air strikes, but he will describe the efforts he is already taking, including air strikes in Iraq and building an international coalition.

In other words, the president wants to leave no doubt he does in fact have a strategy for taking on ISIS despite his words two weeks ago — “We don’t have a strategy yet” — when asked about taking on ISIS in Syria.

The president will also begin stepped up consultations with Congress and meet with Congressional leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell from the Senate, and John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi from the House on Tuesday to talk about ISIS. The following week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey will be testifying before Congress.

There is no timeline for a presidential decision on ordering airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria, and it sounds like such a decision is unlikely to happen before late September at the earliest.

Of course, none of this rules out an isolated strike on a high-value target in Syria along the lines of the strike in Somalia on Monday that killed al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, along with two other high-ranking members of the terror group.

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After 30 Years and a Return to NH, Bob Smith Faces His Last Campaign

After 30 Years and a Return to NH, Bob Smith Faces His Last Campaign

Craig Herndon/The Washington Post/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Bob Smith is fighting to return to the Senate, trying to regain his former title as U.S. Senator from New Hampshire, but he has to first beat another former U.S. Senator, one from Massachusetts who is heavily favored in Tuesday’s primary, Scott Brown.

Yes, two formers, one battle for the Senate, a fight against incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen that could determine if Democrats retain control. Brown and Shaheen have essentially been fighting a general election battle for months, facing off head to head and ignoring Brown’s GOP opponents.

That hasn’t deterred Smith, who has a 30-year political resume — with several non-traditional moments — but admits Tuesday is his last political campaign, no matter what happens.

“I doubt very much I would be a candidate again,” Smith told ABC News. “Some people I might help probably, but not as an elected official.”

He’s confident, saying he still very much thinks he will be the nominee and doesn’t like to think about the possibility of losing, but acknowledges that if he doesn’t win, he will stay busy writing a book he is about one-fifth of the way done with. He says this race will be the book’s “final chapter.”

Smith was first elected to New Hampshire’s 1st District House seat in 1984. In 1990, he ran for Senate and won, going on to serve two terms before losing in 2002 to then U.S. Rep. John Sununu.

His second Senate term was not without its share of headlines. In 1999, after a short primary bid for the GOP presidential nomination, he left the Republican Party and launched a long-shot White House campaign as a candidate for the U.S. Taxpayers Party. He had a subsequent presidential bid as an independent, which also was brief. That hurt him in his 2002 bid and he moved to Florida soon after his loss and mounted two bids for the GOP Senate nomination from the Sunshine State in 2004 and 2010, both unsuccessfully.

Now that he’s back in New Hampshire, Smith is running as the “true conservative” in the race, but it’s not only the fact that he left the GOP that has undermined his claim to that title: In 2004, just before Election Day, he endorsed John Kerry over George W. Bush.

Smith admitted that the endorsement was a “mistake made in anger” when Bush did not endorse him in his 2002 election, something he said Bush promised him.

Smith said most of the reaction he gets on the campaign trail, something he calls the “Dunkin Donuts poll” is positive, but said “I would be lying” if he said people didn’t bring up these parts of his record. He says he tells them, “If you can’t get past that I understand it fully,” and counsels them to vote for another candidate.

He said the one thing people never are upset about is the fact he changed parties briefly, saying conservatives he meets now are “so angry at the establishment and this national party and some in the state party who have all endorsed Brown…it’s not the way it’s supposed to be, primaries are supposed to be left to the voters.”

He said he left the party in 1999 to make a statement that the GOP “can’t desert our principles,” which he thinks some in the party, notably Brown, have done. The former Massachusetts senator is more moderate than Smith and the Republican Party on issues including abortion and gun control.

Smith says his early stance against what he calls the “catastrophe” with the national debt shows that he was “tea party before the tea party was cool.”

Smith may be 73, but he says he’s been hitting the campaign trail hard. On Friday, he did 11 appearances, including two radio interviews, a stop at a gun manufacturer, two gun shops, and a block party.

“I did it the old fashioned way,” Smith said. “As if I had never run before, I re-introduced myself and I think it has worked.”

In their final GOP primary debate on Thursday, Smith was the only one of the three candidates who declined to commit to endorsing Tuesday’s victor, saying “I’ll make that decision when the primary election is over.”

Smith said he did that because he doesn’t “like to pre-judge…I like to think I’m going to be the nominee. That’s always the way I think, but I also said that I would support every Republican that supports the Republican platform.” Another clear non-committal about whether he would endorse Brown or the other challenger, former New Hampshire state Senator Jim Rubens.

He said he isn’t wistful as he looks at his final campaign, and he has “no bitterness for the past.”

“I think if you are bitter you aren’t healing yourself, you have to forgive and move on,” he said.

Looking back, he said that during his time in the Senate, Capitol Hill was less divided than it is now, noting, “Ted Kennedy and I were bitter political enemies, but we were friends. I liked him a lot and I think he liked me…that’s respect.”

Watchers of Smith’s bid say his irregular path, despite the years, could still be having an impact.

“Some voters are not forgetting,” Director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College Neil Levesque said.

“Leaving the party, endorsing Kerry, then running for the U.S. Senate in Florida. That’s three pretty big things that could be central to voters’ minds,” Levesque said. “He’s certainly been a longtime candidate, but he hasn’t been necessarily here for a while. He’s been in Florida. It was kind of a surprise then when he came back.”

Smith’s final message to voters is something he says he hasn’t held back from telling Brown on the campaign trail.

“I think Scott Brown is more like Shaheen than he’s like me,” he said, before recalling Ronald Reagan’s famous phrase. “If he’s the nominee there are so many issues he agrees with Shaheen on, I don’t see him winning, but with me bold colors, not pale pastels…there is a sharp contrast between Shaheen and myself.”

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Should Mitch McConnell Be Next Senate Majority Leader? Cruz Won’t Say

Should Mitch McConnell Be Next Senate Majority Leader? Cruz Won’t Say

ABC News(CONCORD, N.H.) — In an interview with ABC News, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, predicted his party would reclaim the Democratic-controlled Senate in November, but he declined to endorse current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as the party leader, should there be a transfer of power in the upper chamber of Congress.

“You know, I am very optimistic. I believe in November Republicans are going to retake the Senate and we’re going to retire [Sen.] Harry Reid as majority leader,” Cruz told ABC’s Jeff Zeleny in New Hampshire on Saturday night.

But when asked if he would endorse McConnell — currently embroiled in a tight race for his Kentucky Senate seat — as Senate majority leader, the Texas Republican said that is a decision that would be made “when the time is right.”

“Well, that will be a decision for the conference to make, but I am confident we will have a new majority leader,” he said.

“I will support the leader of the Republican Party,” Cruz added when pressed by Zeleny.

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Rep. Luis Gutierrez Hits Obama for ‘Playing it Safe’ on Immigration

Rep. Luis Gutierrez Hits Obama for ‘Playing it Safe’ on Immigration

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — President Obama is “playing it safe” on immigration reform by announcing that he will delay executive action until after the midterm elections in November, Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez said Sunday on This Week.

“It’s clear that playing it safe is what is going on at the White House and among Democratic circles,” Gutierrez, D-Ill., told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “Playing it safe means walking away from our values and our principles.”

The White House announced Saturday that President Obama recently made the decision to postpone executive action on immigration until after the upcoming midterms.

The decision to put off executive action on immigration reform comes just days after President Obama promised to act “soon” on the issue. In a news conference Friday, the president said, “In the absence of Congressional action, I intend to take action to make sure we are putting more resources on the border, that we are upgrading how we process these cases, and that we find a way to encourage legal immigration, and give people some path so they can start paying taxes and pay a fine and learn English.”

“President Barack Obama in the last five years has deported more people than any other president in the history of the United States,” Gutierrez said. “And while we wait until November, because that’s the president’s decision, there’s going to be another 60,000 people deported. So there is pain and suffering in the community and there’s a lot of anguish and anger.”

Critics say Obama’s decision is a political one designed to help vulnerable Senate Democrats in red states up for re-election. Some analysts – including FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver – project that the GOP will likely take control of the Senate in November.

Gutierrez said that action on immigration reform shouldn’t be based on party politics.

“Playing it safe might win an election,” he said. “Sometimes you lose an election playing it safe also. But it’s almost never leads to fairness, to justice, and to good public policy that you can be proud of.”

Republicans have also criticized Obama for failure to act more quickly on the immigration issues facing the country. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the decision to hold off on immigration reform until after the midterms “smacks of raw politics,” while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called it “Washington politics at its worst.”

Gutierrez said he’s still hopeful for progress on immigration reform in the coming weeks.

“I’ve called the president, called the White House, I expect that we will be meeting this week so that we can continue,” the lawmaker said.

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On ISIS, Ted Cruz Tells Obama to ‘Take Them Out’

On ISIS, Ted Cruz Tells Obama to ‘Take Them Out’

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Ted Cruz accused President Obama of underestimating and misjudging the threat posed by ISIS, but said he should seek congressional approval before deciding whether to escalate the military campaign against the Islamic extremists.

“What we ought to have is a directed, concerted, overwhelming campaign to take them out,” Cruz said in an interview on ABC’S This Week. “The focus should be Iraq, but the real focus should be taking out ISIS. Within Syria, it should not be our objective to try and resolve the civil war.”

Cruz, a Texas Republican, said the president “has not demonstrated that he’s taking ISIS seriously.” Even as Cruz delivered a blistering critique of the administration’s foreign policy, he conceded that Republicans have their own foreign policy debate unfolding inside their party, which he said makes him more inclined to seek the presidency.

“The American people in 2014 and also November 2016 are going to be looking for leaders who want to work to restore America’s leadership in the world,” Cruz said.

When pressed whether the challenges abroad made him more inclined to open his own bid for the Republican presidential nomination, he declared: “It increases my interest in doing everything I can to change the direction we’re on.”

Not all Republicans agree with Cruz’s view that the president should seek congressional approval. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sent a letter to the White House on Friday, saying the president should act swiftly without the input of Congress.

For Republicans eyeing the White House in 2016, early divisions are becoming clear.

Sen. Rand Paul now says he would “destroy ISIS militarily.” But his tough talk is at odds with his earlier views, which prompted him to write an essay this week in TIME magazine, titled: “I am Not an Isolationist.”

When asked whether he agreed, Cruz demurred, but did not come to Paul’s defense.

“Oh look, I’m going to let Rand characterize his own views,” Cruz said. “And I will leave that to the American people to make their own judgments.”

Among some grassroots Republicans, there is a growing non-interventionist strain with deep resistance to another war.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, also visiting New Hampshire over the weekend, said it was a fine and dangerous line for the party to walk.

“The country, the world, needs America to be strong and predictable,” Jindal told This Week. “The world is getting more dangerous and less predictable because of a lack of American leadership.”

ISIS, along with a growing list of foreign policy challenges, are already front-and-center in the early stages of the 2016 campaign. Positions staked out now are likely to become a lasting part of a candidate’s record.

“It is absolutely true that there is a war weariness. We are tired of sending our sons and daughters to find in distant battles for years,” Cruz said, but added: “I don’t think the American people are at all reluctant to defend America. They’re just not interesting in nation building.”

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Obama Delays Immigration Decision Past November Elections

Obama Delays Immigration Decision Past November Elections

The White House(WASHINGTON) — With his Democratic Party facing uneasy odds ahead of the fall congressional elections, President Obama has decided to delay any executive action on immigration until after voters hit the polls.

The decision, confirmed to ABC News to by a senior administration official, abandons a prior pledge to address the surge of undocumented immigrants across the southwest border by the end of summer.

In a White House speech in June, Obama said he had ordered Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to draw up solutions to the crisis the administration could pursue if Congress refused to act.

The president said Friday that he would act soon.

“In the absence of Congressional action, I intend to take action to make sure we are putting more resources on the border, that we are upgrading how we process these cases, and that we find a way to encourage legal immigration, and give people some path so they can start paying taxes and pay a fine and learn English,” Obama said Friday. “My expectation is fairly soon I’ll be considering what the next steps are.”

Officials now say the decision will come before the end of the year.

But that promise of executive action is playing poorly for Democrats in red-state Senate contests. Administration officials tell ABC News the president was concerned it would “bog down” debate going into November. The decision to delay is one thing the White House can try to do in its quest to hold the chamber.

Immigration enforcement agencies have overseen an estimated 1,000 deportations a day of undocumented immigrants, including large numbers of children. It is a number likely to rise as the administration grapples with an overwhelmed system, creating a humanitarian crisis. The migrants come mostly from Central America, fleeing violence and epidemic poverty.

The White House had previously gone to Congress asking for $3.7 billion to relieve pressure on the agencies. But the Republican-controlled House of Representatives balked, yielding only a fraction of the request. Further, the House measure made it easier to deport children arriving at the border, a move opposed by progressives and immigration reform groups. Ultimately Capitol Hill entered its summer recess with no solution.

Regardless, last week ABC News surveyed Democrats in a dozen key races but only one gave a thumbs up to the president acting alone.

Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas was among the sharpest critics, voicing his disapproval like this: “I, too, am frustrated with the partisanship in Washington, but that doesn’t give the president carte blanche authority to sidestep Congress when he doesn’t get his way.”

Michelle Nunn, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Georgia, echoed Pryor’s views.

“I do believe that we need to have Congress and the president work together,” Nunn said at a campaign forum late last month. “We need to get out of the executive order business and into the compromising, collaboration and partnership business in Washington.”

Even Democrats in blue states have raised concern about the president acting alone on immigration.

Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, whose re-election bid is becoming increasingly competitive, said last week that Congress should hammer out an immigration deal — not the White House.

“We need to fix our nation’s broken immigration system, which is why I supported the Senate’s bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform bill,” Franken said in a statement to ABC News. “I have concerns about executive action. This is a job for Congress, and it’s time for the House to act.”

Immigration groups are criticizing the president’s delay.

“The President’s latest broken promise is another slap to the face of the Latino and immigrant community,” said Cristina Jimenez of United We Dream, who estimates an additional 70,000 deportations will occur before the election.

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Wendy Davis, Who Fought Abortion Restrictions in Texas, Reveals She Had an Abortion

Wendy Davis, Who Fought Abortion Restrictions in Texas, Reveals She Had an Abortion

Win McNamee/Getty Images(AUSTIN, Texas) — Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, who made national headlines last year after her marathon filibuster against a bill that would have restricted women’s access to abortions, made a “difficult decision” when she had an abortion in the 1990s, she told Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts in an exclusive interview.

Davis had the abortion in 1996 when doctors said her baby girl would be blind, deaf and in a permanent vegetative stage if she survived to term.

“Our baby had a severe brain abnormality,” Davis told Roberts. “We knew that the most loving thing that we could do for our daughter was to say goodbye.”

Two years before, doctors deemed it medically necessary for Davis to terminate an ectopic pregnancy, when an embryo implants outside the uterus.

The Texas state senator made headlines last year when she donned a pair of hot pink sneakers and filibustered for nearly 13 hours against bill in the legislature that would have severely restricted women’s access to abortions. She is running for governor against Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott.

In her conversation with Roberts, Davis said her baby, who she named Tate Elise, still forms “a very important part of my life.”

“We loved her as we love our living daughters, Drew and Amber,” Davis said. “This was how my family confronted this tragic experience. I respect so much that people make their own decisions, and that that decision is the one that is right for them.”

Davis’ complete interview will air Monday morning on Good Morning America. Her memoir Forgetting To Be Afraid goes on sale Tuesday.

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Hillary Clinton on 2016: Will Decide ‘Probably After the First of the Year’

Hillary Clinton on 2016: Will Decide ‘Probably After the First of the Year’

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — How soon until Hillary Clinton will decide if she will run for president again?

On Friday the former Secretary of State said she will be making her decision “probably after the first of the year.”

Clinton dropped this hint while speaking at an event in Mexico City honoring thousands of scholarship students.

“It’s a very serious undertaking so obviously I’m thinking about it but I have not made a decision yet,” Clinton said.

Clinton added that she has “a unique vantage point and set of experiences about what makes the United States operate well and what doesn’t and what a president can do and should be doing.”

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Biden Highlights Economic Boosts for Middle Class in Weekly Address

Biden Highlights Economic Boosts for Middle Class in Weekly Address

The White House(WASHINGTON) — In this week’s address, Vice President Joe Biden discussed America’s economic recovery, emphasizing the action needed to benefit middle class families.

Biden highlighted the recent job’s report, also underlining the reduction in nation’s unemployment rate. Still, the vice president stressed that more work is necessary for America’s working families.

“If an employee contributed to the growth and profitability of the company, they got to share in the profits and the benefits as well.  That’s what built the middle class,” he said. “It’s time to restore the bargain, to deal the middle class back in.  Because, folks, when the middle class does well, everybody does well – the wealthy get wealthier and the poor have a way up.”

Read the full transcript of the weekly address:

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Joe Biden, I’m filling in for President Obama, while he addresses the NATO summit in Wales.

When the President and I took office in January of 2009, this nation was in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the great depression.  Our economy had plummeted at a rate of 8% in a single quarter – part of the fastest economic decline any time in the last half century.  Millions of families were falling underwater on their homes and threatened with foreclosure.  The iconic American automobile industry was under siege.

But yesterday’s jobs report was another reminder of how far we’ve come.  We’ve had 54 straight months of job creation. And that’s the longest streak of uninterrupted job growth in the United States’ history.

We’ve gone from losing 9 million jobs during the financial crisis to creating 10 million jobs.  We’ve reduced the unemployment rate from 10% in October of 2009 to 6.1% today.  And for the first time since the 1990s, American manufacturing is steadily adding jobs – over 700,000 since 2010.  And surveys of both American and foreign business leaders confirm that America once again is viewed as the best place in the world to build and invest.

That’s all good news.  But an awful lot of middle class Americans are still not feeling the effects of this recovery.   Since the year 2000, Gross Domestic Product – our GDP – has risen by 25%. And productivity in America is up by 30%.  But middle class wages during that same time period have gone up by only fourteen cents.

Folks, it’s long past time to cut the middle class back into the deal, so they can benefit from the economic growth they helped create. Folks, there used to be a bargain in this country supported by Democrats and Republicans, business and labor.  The bargain was simple. If an employee contributed to the growth and profitability of the company, they got to share in the profits and the benefits as well.  That’s what built the middle class.  It’s time to restore the bargain, to deal the middle class back in.  Because, folks, when the middle class does well, everybody does well – the wealthy get wealthier and the poor have a way up.

You know, the middle class is not a number. It’s a value set. It means being able to own your home; raise your children in a safe neighborhood; send them to a good school where if they do well they can qualify to go to college and if they get accepted you’d be able to find a way to be able to send them to college. And in the meantime, if your parents need help, being able to take care of them, and hope to put aside enough money so that your children will not have to take care of you.

That’s the American dream. That’s what this country was built on. And that’s what we’re determined to restore.

In order to do that, it’s time to have a fair tax structure, one that values paychecks as much as unearned income and inherited wealth, to take some of the burden off of the middle class.  It’s time to close tax loopholes so we can reduce the deficit, and invest in rebuilding America – our bridges, our ports, our highways, rails, providing good jobs.

With corporate profits at near record highs, we should encourage corporations to invest more in research and development and the salaries of their employees.  It’s time for us to invest in educational opportunity to guarantee that we have the most highly skilled workforce in the world, for 6 out of every 10 jobs in the near term is going to require some education beyond high school.  Folks, it’s long past due to increase the minimum wage that will lift millions of hardworking families out of poverty and in the process produce a ripple effect that boosts wages for the middle class and spurs economic growth for the United States of America.  Economists acknowledge that if we do these and other things, wages will go up and we’ll increase the Gross Domestic Product of the United States.

My fellow Americans, we know how to do this. We’ve done it before. It’s the way we used to do business and we can do it that way again.  All the middle class in this country want is a chance. No guarantee, just a chance. 

Americans want to work. And when given a fair shot, the American worker has never, ever, ever, let his country down. Folks, it’s never a good bet to bet against the American people.

Thanks for listening.

May God bless you, and may God protect our troops.

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GOP Weekly Address: Obama Administration ‘Stuck in the Last Century’

GOP Weekly Address: Obama Administration ‘Stuck in the Last Century’

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) — In this week’s Republican address, U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan of Alaska criticizes President Obama and Senate Democrats for stifling job growth.

“Unfortunately, I worry that my three teenage daughters won’t be able to take full advantage of all that our state has to offer,” Sullivan says. “Why? Because rather than being a partner in prosperity, the federal government has become an obstacle to progress.”

The nominee proposes a Republican-controlled Senate to approve Keystone XL pipeline jobs and expand America’s energy trade.

“As we do, we’ll create new jobs. We’ll reduce our debt. We’ll improve our energy security and we’ll drive the cost of energy down – not up – for families and businesses,” he said.

Read the full transcript of the Republican address:

Hello, this is Dan Sullivan from the great state of Alaska.

I’m a 20 year Marine, currently serving as a Lieutenant Colonel and commanding officer of 6th ANGLICO, United States Marine Corps Reserve. I’ve served as Alaska’s Attorney General and Natural Resources Commissioner. And just a couple weeks ago, I was honored to be chosen as Alaska’s Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.
 
Alaska is a beautiful state with incredible opportunities. We have oil, natural gas, hydropower, minerals, fisheries, timber, tourism – and a young, energetic, highly-skilled workforce.
 
Unfortunately, I worry that my three teenage daughters won’t be able to take full advantage of all that our state has to offer. Why? Because rather than being a partner in prosperity, the federal government has become an obstacle to progress.
 
Federal agencies won’t allow Alaskans to build crucial roads and bridges. The EPA and Washington, DC try to dictate how we manage our state-owned lands. The Interior Department locks up huge swaths of oil and gas resources, stifling our economic potential and costing us high-paying jobs.
 
This problem isn’t specific to Alaska. It’s actually nationwide, and it’s being quarterbacked by President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
 
The Obama-Reid agenda has locked up America’s natural resources, burdened small businesses throughout the country with an avalanche of regulations and suffocated job growth through a complete disrespect for the rule of law.
 
What our friends on the other side of the aisle don’t understand is that none of this is helpful. We all lose when the federal government stifles responsible resource development – it means fewer jobs, less revenue, higher energy costs and a diminished manufacturing ability to grow our economy.
 
But the American Dream is resilient. Time and again, Americans have proven themselves up to the challenge of creating new opportunities and handing off a better world to our children. All we need is new leadership in Washington to make it happen once again.
 
A Republican Senate would approve Keystone XL pipeline jobs, because Canada is our neighbor and ally.
 
We’ll authorize more offshore development, because it’s good for coastal states and the rest of the country.
 
We’ll seize the opportunity to expand our energy trade, because that will benefit our nation, and others who need energy – like Ukraine.
 
And, when it comes to Alaska, instead of watching federal agencies say ‘no way,’ ‘not here’ or ‘never going to happen,’ we’ll open up areas like the National Petroleum Reserve and the Arctic Coastal Plain to responsible development and will do so, maintaining the highest standards to protect our environment.
 
As we do, we’ll create new jobs. We’ll reduce our debt. We’ll improve our energy security and we’ll drive the cost of energy down – not up – for families and businesses.

Another important way we can empower Americans, especially here in Alaska, is to reform our burdensome federal regulations in a way that makes sense for today’s economy.
 
Right now we’re stuck in the last century and the old system is needlessly stifling us. 
 
Solving problems does not have to mean big government solutions dictated by DC bureaucrats. Republicans like me believe that the key to getting our country back on track is less government intrusion into our lives and more freedom for you.
 
If we empower Americans to control their own destiny, we can reinvigorate our economy, build a brighter future for our kids and get our country back on track.
 
I hope you’ll join us.
 
Thanks for listening. May God bless Alaska – and may God bless America.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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