A new spirit of bipartisanship? Don't hold your breath | This week's poll: Top stories of 2013 | Fed prepares to pull plug on monetary stimulus
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December 16, 2013
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National Pulse
A new spirit of bipartisanship? Don't hold your breath
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McConnell (T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)
Last week's bipartisan budget deal probably isn't a sign of things to come, at least in the Senate, experts say. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has plenty on his to-do list, but with an election year in the offing, there's little sign of Democrats being able to win support for any major legislative action. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said, "The American people have given us divided government. The administration needs to accept it." The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (12/15), The Hill (12/16)
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Reader Polls
This week's poll: Top stories of 2013
It's the time of year when we look back on the past 12 months to see where we've been, and peer into the new year to try to figure out where we're headed. This week's question: What do you think was the most important news story of 2013? Suggested answers are below, but we welcome your suggestions and comments at politics@smartbrief.com. We'll post the results on Friday.
VoteCongress, White House strike deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff'
VoteEdward Snowden steals, reveals government secrets
VoteIRS accused of giving extra scrutiny to conservative groups
VoteBudget impasse leads to 16-day partial government shutdown
VoteRepublicans, Democrats win in odd-year elections
VoteNone of the above/other
Agenda Items
Fed prepares to pull plug on monetary stimulus
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(Manny Ceneta/Getty Images)
Federal Reserve officials will this week decide whether the country's strengthening economic indicators justify cutting back on the Fed's bond-buying stimulus program. Most economists expect the Fed to keep the program in place for now, but then to pull the plug on the program soon after the holidays. "Whenever the Fed starts winding down the bond program, it is clear it is on the way toward removing a tool that has been the market's crutch for more than a year," write Pedro Nicolaci da Costa and Jon Hilsenrath. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (12/15)
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Data Points
Chart suggests Ryan won the budget negotiations
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Ryan (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., should be happy with the outcome of his budget negotiations with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., writes Matthew O'Brien. The compromise deal actually has less discretionary spending than was called for in Ryan's original budget, suggesting that Ryan succeeded in shifting the political balance in favor of austerity. The Atlantic online (12/13)
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The Conversation
Daily Diversion
Who had the worst year in Washington?
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Obama (Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)
It was a bad year for Republicans, but an even worse one for President Barack Obama, writes Chris Cillizza in his annual summing-up of the year's political disasters and disappointments. "The damage done to Obama’s brand will linger well beyond this calendar year. There are no second chances in presidential tenures," he writes. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (12/13)
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Hot Topics
SmartQuote
It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America."
-- Molly Ivins, American journalist
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