Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell have reached a bipartisan deal to end the government shutdown and lift the debt ceiling, they announced in Senate floor speeches today. “This is far less than many of us had hoped for frankly,” McConnell said. “But it’s far better than what some had sought.” The deal does not include any major tweaks to the Affordable Care Act, but it does require people getting subsidies under the program to verify their income. It also calls for a conference committee to settle bigger budget issues like the sequester cuts, the Washington Post reports. Read more on Newser…
As predicted, the Senate today rejected a bipartisan effort to expand federal background checks on gun purchasers. The proposal would have required checks for all transactions at gun shows and online. The 54-46 vote was a blow to the drive to curb firearms sparked by December’s massacre of children and staff in Newtown. The roll call was also a victory for the National Rifle Association, which opposed the plan as an ineffective infringement on gun rights. Read more on Newser…
Sorry if this is ruining your perfectly fine Wednesday, but we thought we’d bring this asshattery to your attention. The Senate voted in favor of the Violence Against Women Act on Tuesday, which is great! What’s not great: there were 22 jerks who voted against it. Thankfully, Whitney Dawn over at A Fine Frenzy compiled a list of all 22 dissenting Senators — which we’ve listed, along with their Twitter handles, after the jump, so feel free to put ‘em on blast.
And there is a silver lining: All 20 women in the Senate, regardless of party, voted in favor of VAWA, so there’s that. Keep reading »
“For the first time, there was a traffic jam in the Senate women’s bathroom. There were five of us in there, and there are only two stalls.”
– Senator Amy Klobluchar (D-Minn.) on how the record number of women serving in the Senate (20!) is causing problems in the ladies’ room. Good to know that even lady senators take a long time to pee. May there be many more ladies’ room traffic jams — and a few more stalls, geez, people — in decades to come. [Washington Post]
People often joke that politics is going to the dogs, but how wrong they are. It’s actually going to the cats — one cat in particular, a Maine Coon named Hank. Hank came in third in a battle for a Virginia senate seat, behind Democrat Tim Kaine (who won!) and Republican George Allen, running on a pro-jobs, pro-cat platform. Allen, you’ll remember, is the guy who referred to a college journalist as a “macaca,” which is a racial slur for a mixed race person. Surprisingly, the cat didn’t beat Allen, but did garner 6,000 votes. Keep reading »