Politics In 60 Seconds: What You Need To Know Right Now

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver

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Good morning!  Here’s what you need to know:1.  House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told the Economic Club of New York that “Republicans would insist on trillions of dollars in federal spending cuts in exchange for their support of an increase in the federal debt limit sought by the Obama administration to prevent a government default later this year.”

2. Specifically, Mr. Boehner said: “Without significant spending cuts and reforms to reduce our debt, there will be no debt limit increase. And the cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the President is given.”

3. Prior to his speech to the Economic Club of New York, Speaker Boehner campaigned (for the GOP nominee) in New York’s 26th Congressional District.  The Democratic candidate has turned the election into a referendum on Republican plans to “transform” Medicare.  The race is close.

4. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will announce tomorrow that he is a candidate for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.  Mr. Gingrich’s wife is expected to play a significant role in his campaign.

5. Some supporters of Rep. Ron Paul’s presidential campaign are voting with their feet. They’re moving to New Hampshire to work and vote for Mr. Paul. The New Hampshire primary is the nation’s first in the presidential nominating process.

6. President Obama will travel to the U.S.-Mexico border today to lay out his “comprehensive immigration reform” plan.  His plan has no chance, at all, of passing the US House of Representatives.  So it’s a campaign trip for Latino voters.

7. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) said yesterday that she would petition the United States Supreme Court to lift an injunction blocking some portions of Arizona’s controversial immigration law.  Arizona Republicans are seeking on-line donations to pay for the construction of a fence along the Arizona-Mexican border.

8. US military officers have drawn up plans to begin the draw-down of US forces from Afghanistan.  As many as 5000 US soldiers may return home in July and another 5000 may be home by Christmas.

9. Pakistan’s double game with the United States has been laid bare by events.  Lawrence Wright reports that the nation is economically dependent on US aid.  He describes Pakistan now as a “slowly failing state.”

10. The Syrian government intensified its crack-down on rebels and protesters across the country. 

11. The Wall Street Journal reports: “Two rival Palestinian factions felt the strains of implementing a unity pact after the West Bank’s government ran out of money to pay tens of thousands of workers and Hamas accused Fatah of making political arrests of its members.”

12. Greece expects to receive a new aid package totalling nearly 60 billion euros as soon as next month, a senior Greek government official told The Wall Street Journal.

13. Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver announced yesterday that they had decided to live separate lives.