EARLIER ON THE FIX:
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
NSA head defends surveillance: The head of the National Security Agency told lawmakers that the agency's electronic surveillance programs have played a critical role in thwarting “dozens” of terrorist attacks. Gen. Keith Alexander vowed at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearings to quickly make public records that show the success of the agency's phone-record program in preventing attacks. Check out our live blog of the hearing here -- complete with Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) responding to one reporter's tweets, which you can also watch below.
Morell stepping down: CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell plans to retire and will be replaced by White House lawyer and agency outsider Avril D. Haines.
Bay State battle heating up: The Massachusetts Senate race is heating up, with just 13 days to go until election day. President Obama stumped for Rep. Ed Markey (D) on Wednesday, while Bill Clinton will come in for the Democrat on Saturday. Meanwhile, the air war is also intensifying, with a Senate Majority PAC upping its ad buy and a pro-Gabriel Gomez (R) group hitting the air with a six-figure buy.
Bloomberg presses donors on gun control: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) is asking influential donors to abstain from giving to Democratic Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.), each of whom voted against a measure to expand background checks on gun purchases.
Key Republicans want border security: Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said he will not support a bipartisan immigration measure unless it adopts a stronger border security component. Meanwhile, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he would support the bill if senators accept his amendment to increase congressional oversight over border security.
House Committee approves measure to tighten abortion restrictions: The House Judiciary Committee signed off on a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The measure was authored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), who stoked controversy with his remark that “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”
Walker would sign abortion ultrasound measure: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said he would sign a measure requiring women seeking abortions to get an ultrasound.
THE FIX MIX:
The drum question.