Obama Launches DNC Campaign Tour At Illinois State Capitol

the Senate Convenes: 9:30amET December 5, 2012

  • Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in a period of morning business for up to 4 hours with Senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each (except where noted below) and the time divided as follows:
  • Majority for up to 30 minutes
  • Republicans for up to 30 minutes
  • Senator Grassley for up to 45 minutes
  • Majority for up to 45 minutes
  • Republicans for up to 45 minutes
  • And the Majority for up to 45 minutes.
  • Following morning business (at approximately 2pm), the Senate will proceed to the consideration of H.R.6156, the Russia Trade bill. We expect to complete action on the Russia Trade bill during Wednesday’s session.

Senator Cornyn asked unanimous consent the Senate take up and pass H.R.6429, the STEM Jobs Act. Senator Schumer objected and then asked consent that the Judiciary Committee be discharged from further consideration of S.3553, and the Senate take up and pass S.3553, the BRAINS Act. Senator Cornyn objected to the Schumer request.

H.R.6429, To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to promote innovation, investment, and research in the United States, to eliminate the diversity immigrant program, and for other purposes.

S.3553, A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to enhance national security, combat illegal immigration, and promote job creation, innovation, investment, and research in the United States, and for other purposes.

At 5pm today the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to consider the nomination of Executive Calendar #676, the nomination ofMichael P. Shea, of Connecticut, to be US District Judge for the District of Connecticut. There will be up to 30 minutes for debate prior to a vote on confirmation of the nomination.

The Senate has reached an agreement to consider the Russia-Moldova PNTR bill with no amendments in order. There will now be up to 5 hours for debate equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders or their designees. Tomorrow, Thursday, December 6, at a time to be determined by the Majority Leader, after consultation with the Republican Leader, there will be up to 10 minutes for debate, equally divided between the two Leaders, or their designees. Upon the use or yielding back of time, the Senate will proceed to vote on passage of the bill, H.R.6156: Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012.

5:28pm The Senate began a roll call vote on confirmation of the nomination of Executive Calendar #676 Michael Shae, of CT, to be United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut;

Confirmed: 72-23



1) Confirmation of Executive Calendar #676, Michael P. Shea, of CT, to be United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut; Confirmed: 72-23



Passed S.3331, Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 with a Kerry amendment by voice vote.

Adopted S.Res.609, a resolution calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Alan Phillip Gross from detention in Cuba by voice vote.

Discharged and adopted S.Res.573, designating the third week of January 2013 as “Teen Cancer Awareness Week.”

Discharged and adopted S.Res.595, expressing support for the goals of National Adoption Day and National Adoption Month by promoting national awareness of adoption and the children awaiting families, celebrating children and families involved in adoption, and encouraging the people of the United States to secure safety, permanency, and well-being for all children.

Adopted S.Res.610, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Graduate Research Fellowship Program of the National Science Foundation.




« Previous Day

Be apart of 2013 Inauguration


The 2013 Presidential Inauguration is scheduled on January 21, 2013, which is also the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Furthermore, it is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This trip is an exceptional opportunity. The timing and symbolism cannot be missed.

President Obama to Host the 2012 White House Tribal Nations Conference

The White House

On December 5, 2012, President Obama will host representatives invited from each of the 566 federally recognized American Indian tribes, and Alaska Native Villages, at the 2012 White House Tribal Nations Conference. Fulfilling a commitment to improve and expand dialog with Indian Country, the President has hosted a Tribal Nations Conference in each year of his Presidency to facilitate a lasting discussion between Tribal Leaders and Senior Administration Officials.

The opening and closing sessions of the Conference will be available for live online viewing at and also at The expected agenda is as follows:

Opening Session, 9:00am – 10:30am EST
Secretary Ken Salazar, Department of the Interior
Secretary Arne Duncan, Department of Education
Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin, Department of the Treasury
Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank, Department of Commerce
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Department of Health and Human Services
Secretary Tom Vilsack, Department of Agriculture

Closing Session, 1:30pm – 3:30pm EST
Leaders of each Tribal Leaders Breakout Session
Secretary Ray LaHood, Department of Transportation
Secretary Hilda Solis, Department of Labor
President Barack Obama

The White House Tribal Nations Conference is the cornerstone of the Administration’s outreach and engagement with tribal governments and the dialogue and lessons learned will help shape federal policy in the weeks, months and years to come. We would like to sincerely thank all tribal leaders who will be taking part in the White House Tribal Nations Conference and we look forward to our continued collaboration and dialogue.

Release Liu Xiaobo and wife
Let’s call on China’s new leader for the release of imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and his wife
Sign Desmond’s Petition

You may not know his name, but my friend Liu Xiaobo is a global icon for freedom. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights.

Today, this hero remains in jail, as China’s most famous political prisoner.

Xiaobo is serving an 11-year term for his activism demanding that the Chinese government make his country more democratic and make its courts more independent. His wife, who has never been convicted of any crime, is under house arrest. This is not just.

I was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for my work fighting the racist Apartheid system in South Africa. I am humbled to share the Nobel legacy with someone so brave as Xiaobo.

Today, with more than 130 other Nobel Prize winners, I am calling on the new Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, to release Liu Xiaobo from prison and his wife, Xia, from house arrest.

Click here to join us and call for their freedom by signing the petition I started on

This is an historic moment in China. Every 10 years, the Chinese government hands over power to a new generation of leadership. As of a few weeks ago, Xi Jinping has succeeded his predecessor, Hu Jintao, in leading China — and hopes are that he will open China to reform more than any of his predecessors.

The Chinese government doesn’t usually listen to voices from outside the country. (Or voices from within the country, for that matter!) But the world has a singular opportunity to push for change when China’s leadership changes over every 10 years. This is our chance!

Humans are wonderful, and we can do amazing things when we act together. I have seen this time and time again with my own eyes.

Click here to sign my petition now, and call on China’s new Premier Xi Jinping to release Nobel Peace Prizer winner Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia.

Brothers and sisters, we are going to move mountains together!

God bless you,

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Cape Town, South Africa

No Magic Beans Required

By ThinkProgress War Room

A Progressive Plan to Avoid the Fiscal Cliff

As we discussed yesterday, Republicans have put their so-called plan to avoid the fiscal cliff on the table. The White House correctly observed today that the GOP’s vague and uncertain promises of new tax revenues amounted to little more than “magic beans and fairy dust.”

Fortunately, there is a way to avoid the fiscal cliff — and do so in a progressive way — that doesn’t require either magic beans or fairy dust. The not-so-secret ingredient in a new tax reform and deficit reduction plan released today by the Center for American Progress is making the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.

The team that brought you the last good economy,” Roger Altman, William Daley, John Podesta, Robert Rubin, Leslie Samuels, Lawrence Summers, Neera Tanden, Antonio Weiss, Michael Ettlinger, Seth Hanlon, and Michael Linden, a collection of leading economic experts from the Clinton administration and other CAP experts, have outlined a balanced approach that will deal with our fiscal challenges, make our tax code more progressive, and grow the economy in a way that will reduce income inequality and rebuild the middle class.

ThinkProgress’ Travis Waldron breaks down the details in four charts:

On revenue, the CAP plan would end the high-income Bush tax cuts, pushing top marginal tax rates back to their Clinton-era level. It also reforms the tax code by closing loopholes, converting deductions to credits, and repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax. As a result, it would raise $1.8 trillion in revenues and bring taxes as a share of the economy into line with the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan:

A substantial amount of the revenue would come from increasing the rate on capital gains, income earned through investments. Falling capital gains rates are the biggest driver of the growth in income inequality, according to one study, but the CAP plan would raise it to 28 percent, where the rate was under Ronald Reagan (it would also treat dividends, another form of investment income, as ordinary income, as it was for 90 years until Bush cut the rate in 2003):

CAP’s plan also cuts $1.8 trillion in spending, including the $385 billion from Medicare proposed in its Senior Protection Plan. It also finds another $100 billion in spending cuts from mandatory programs and cuts the defense budget by $10 billion a year over the next decade. The plan includes $300 billion in investments for infrastructure spending, teacher hiring, and energy efficiency programs, as well as $100 billion for the extension of middle class tax cuts similar to the payroll tax cut (or simply the payroll tax cut itself) that would help the economy. Together with new revenue, the spending cuts would reduce interest payments on the debt by $500 billion, bringing overall deficit reduction to $4.1 trillion over the next 10 years and reducing federal spending to less than 23 percent of the economy:

The CAP plan would reduce budget deficits to 3 percent of gross domestic product in 2015 and to less than 2 percent by 2017, all while dropping the debt to 72 percent of the economy by the end of the decade. That’s a bigger reduction than Obama has proposed:

BOTTOM LINE: Solving our fiscal challenges doesn’t require magic. It just requires simple math, which means asking the wealthiest Americans to go back to the tax rates they paid during the period of massive economic growth we enjoyed under President Clinton.

Evening Brief: Important Stories That Might’ve Missed

Climate change is behind the real war on Christmas.

Sen. Ashley Judd?

Government-backed mortgage giants won’t foreclose during the holidays.

Hostess CEO cuts worker pay, but leaves own salary untouched.

Most Americans agree with Obama’s contraception coverage mandate — even for religiously-affiliated institutions.

Ohio Senator confronted by constituents over support for cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

POLL: Republicans will take the blame if we go over the fiscal cliff.

Senate GOP leader declines to endorse House GOP fiscal plan.

POLL: 49% of Republicans voters think ACORN, which no longer exists, stole the election for President Obama.