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Dick Armey received $8 million in deal to leave FreedomWorks

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Republicans losing blame game on fiscal cliff


* President Obama said in a Tuesday interview that there is still a chance that the White House and Congress can reach an agreement to to avert the fiscal cliff, but said the latest offer from House Republicans’ is “out of balance.” He said that the GOP proposal to raise $800 billion in new tax revenue by closing loopholes and eliminating deductions would not be enough to reach his goal of up to $1.6 trillion.

* House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), meanwhile, defended Republicans' latest offer, and asked that Obama offer up a new one. “With our latest offer we have demonstrated there is a middle ground solution that can cut spending and bring in revenue without hurting American small businesses. The President now has an obligation to respond with a proposal that does the same and can pass both chambers of Congress," Boehner said.

* Former House majority leader Dick Armey (R-Tex.) agreed to resign as chairman of the tea party group FreedomWorks in exchange for $8 million in consulting fees, a confidential contract shows. Armey left the group because of an internal split over the direction of the organization. Prominent fundraiser Richard J. Stephenson will pay the consulting fees.

* Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) will be the next chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Bennet's former chief of staff, Guy Cecil, who was the committee's executive director during the 2012 cycle in which Democrats padded their majority, will stay in his current position for another cycle.


* Former president George W. Bush entered the national debate over immigration reform Tuesday, using a speech in Texas to speak highly of immigrants and ask that the issue be approached with a “benevolent spirit.” He said: “Immigrants come with new skills and new ideas. They fill a critical gap in our labor market. They work hard for a chance for a better life." Bush unsuccessfully tried to pass comprehensive reform as president.

* Newt Gingrich says he has “explicitly no interest” in running for the Senate in Georgia in 2014. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) faces reelection in 2014, and may be vulnerable to a primary challenge.

* Sen-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), an outspoken critic of Wall Street, is likely to be named to the Senate Banking Committee, two Senate aides said. Warren, architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, unseated Sen. Scott Brown (R) on Nov. 6.

* New Jersey state Sen. Barbara Buono (D) sure looks like someone who might be about to launch a gubernatorial campaign. She recently posted an advertisement seeking a campaign manager, traveled to California for the Democratic Governors Association's winter meeting, and conducted a poll gauging her odds against Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D). Buono said she's "doing all the things someone would do when considering a run for governor." A recent Quinnipiac University poll showed Buono trailing Gov. Chris Christie (R) by 38 points, whereas Booker trailed by 18. Meanwhile, Christie's string of sparkling polling numbers continued Tuesday with a Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll showing his approval rating is 67 percent.


Happy holidays from DMX!

With Aaron Blake