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Don’t look now but the 2016 race is already underway

The long (and sometimes turbulent) history of the NRA and the GOP

President Obama has the public on his side on gun proposals

Why Republicans have no incentive to compromise

A cool diagram of the 113th Congress

Is it fair to call them ‘assault weapons’?

‘The Daily Show’ on an ATF leadership void (video)

What the next two months will tell us about Congress


* House Republicans are weighing a plan to raise the nation's debt ceiling for just a few months, which could shift debate over the matter into March, when Congress will face other significant fiscal decisions, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Thursday.

* Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a Wednesday night interview that Obama "doesn’t have the guts" to admit he opposes the Second Amendment. "If he doesn’t want the Second Amendment to be in the Constitution or if he wants to reform it, then have the guts to admit that," he said. Rubio also said he supports background checks for gun purchases, but the matters should be left to individual states.

* Vice President Biden renewed the Obama administration’s call for action on gun control, telling the U.S. Conference of Mayors that the issue is “more urgent and immediate” than any other facing the country. “I know we don’t have absolute unanimity in this ballroom — nor do we in any ballroom — but we all know, everyone acknowledges we have to do something,” Biden said.

* Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) pushed back against a story suggesting he did not back an assault weapons ban. “I also support the principle that we should reinstate a ban on assault weapons, and I will carefully review any proposal to do that,” Franken said in a statement. The Democrat, who looks potentially vulnerable ahead of his 2014 reelection campaign, is the recipient of an "F" rating from the National Rifle Association.


* Obama's half brother plans to run for political office in Kenya, a decision he says was inspired by the president. "When I look at the success that my brother has had in America, I feel I would have let down my people if I do not follow in his footsteps and end their suffering through dedicated, honest and focused leadership," Malik Obama said.

* Before former South Carolina Republican governor Mark Sanford decided to run for Congress again, he sought input from his ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, and his sons. “I sat down with her on the porch and said, ‘If you have any thoughts about running for this, then I’m out, because I can’t think of anything more disastrous than for a husband and wife to run against each other,’” he said in an interview. "I also told my boys that I wouldn’t run if they didn’t want me to run.” Meanwhile, newly-minted National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) is staying out of the 1st District Republican race. “My goal is after they pick that person, to win that seat," he said. The seat is widely expected to stay in Republican hands.

* Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) says he plans to run for reelection in 2014. He's not expected to face much of a challenge in his deeply conservative home state.

* Republican strategist Karl Rove will remain with Fox News through the 2016 election.


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