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Posts tagged "Carl Levin"

h/t: HuffPost

Moments ago, Gary Peters announced that he will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Carl Levin in 2014.

h/t: eclectablog.com

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan says he will not seek re-election in 2014. He says he wants to do his job as Senate Armed Services chairman and as an advocate for his home state “without the distraction of campaigning for re-election.”

Levin was first elected to the Senate in 1978 and is the longest-serving senator in Michigan’s history. The 78-year-old lawmaker says in a statement the decision was “extremely difficult.” He says he loves representing the people of Michigan and fighting for what he believes is important for them.

h/t: Yahoo! News

Filibuster reform is in trouble, proponents warn, at the hands of a scaled-back proposal they say would enhance rather than diminish the Senate minority’s power to obstruct.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) says his proposal to force filibustering senators to occupy the floor and speak ceaselessly could be in jeopardy, thanks to a newbipartisan filibuster package that he and his ally Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) argue would do more harm than good to the cause.

“Normally the majority party has a right to determine the agenda of the Senate. They don’t have the right to pass bills. That’s up to the majority of the Senate,” Udall said on the floor Wednesday. “But then the majority leader should have the right to bring a bill to the floor of the Senate. And that has been denied over and over again by the minority party. That’s wrong.”

The dueling proposal, spearheaded by longtime Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Carl Levin (D-MI), would make it somewhat tougher for the minority to block debate on legislation but also guarantee them two amendments on bills — regardless of relevancy — which proponents of a weaker filibuster say defeats the purpose.

“It’s a step backward rather than a step forward,” a Merkley aide said. “It doesn’t attack the core of the matter. It doesn’t include a talking filibuster. And it allows the minority to kill legislation with poison pill amendments. It keeps all the tools minority has to obstruct and then gives them another tool.”

Early in December, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said filibuster reform will happen with or without Republican support, and Merkley-Udall was the plan on the table. But the unveiling of the McCain-Levin late December — and the optics of a partisan versus bipartisan solution — scrambled the game for reformers.

If Reid decides to pursue McCain-Levin instead of the talking filibuster plan, “Senator Merkley will encourage others to vote against the bill,” his aide said. It’s not yet clear that proposal has the super-majority of votes required to pass, but multiple Democratic senators have said there are at least 51 votes for reform.

h/t: Sahil Kapur at TPM

The Republican politicization of the Benghazi attack may have endangered the lives of several Libyan nationals. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, released 166 pages of documents [PDF] on Friday as part of his investigation into the Obama administration’s response to the Sept. 11, 2012 attack.

That evening, Foreign Policy reported that the documents contained unredacted names of several Libyans working closely with the United States government. In an interview with Rogin, an Obama administration decried Issa’s action as endangering the lives of those named:

Much like WikiLeaks, when you dump a bunch of documents into the ether, there are a lot of unintended consequences,” an administration official told The Cable Friday afternoon. “This does damage to the individuals because they are named, danger to security cooperation because these are militias and groups that we work with and that is now well known, and danger to the investigation, because these people could help us down the road.”

One of the cables released by Issa names a woman human rights activist who was leading a campaign against violence and was detained in Benghazi. She expressed fear for her safety to U.S. officials and criticized the Libyan government.

“This woman is trying to raise an anti-violence campaign on her own and came to the United States for help. She isn’t publicly associated with the U.S. in any other way but she’s now named in this cable. It’s a danger to her life,” the administration official said.

Among others named in the document were a port manager working with the U.S. to improve infrastructure, as well as various militia members and commanders who share information on other armed groups within Libya. Top Democrats, including Sens. John Kerry (D-MA), Carl Levin (D-MI), and Dick Durbin (D-IL), have slammed Issa for the document dump.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), who also sits on the Oversight Committee, likewise issued a statement saying, “The irony is that while Chairman Issa purports to be sincere in his desire to investigate the recent attack so that we can learn how best to protect our diplomats in the future, his own actions have now compromised the safety of U.S. personnel and Libyans working together to forge a better Libya.”

This is not the first time that the Oversight Committee’s Republican majority has possibly exposed sensitive information in the course of their investigation into Benghazi. During the Oct. 10 hearing, Issa and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) may have revealed the classified location of a CIA safehouse while viewing an unclassified map.

Rep. Issa has been quoted, according a partial transcript released by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), as referring these unclassified designations as “crap.” Those whose names were published would likely argue otherwise.

H/T: Hayes Brown at Think Progress Security

Newly revealed donations made by former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, the Republican primary for Senate, could further compound accusations that he is not sufficiently conservative: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that in 2008, Thompson donated to two Democratic candidates.

Thompson donated $250 to Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, and $100 to Bev Perdue in the North Carolina gubernatorial race. He had earlier run for the Republican presidential nomination, after having been Secretary of Health and Human Services during President George W. Bush’s first term.

h/t: Eric Kleefeld at TPM LiveWire