Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed French foreign minister Laurent Fabius to the State Department in Washington on Tuesday to discuss a range of issues, from Iran to Syria to climate change. Or, in the words of the foreign minister, “climate chaos.” Kerry and Fabius made a joint appearance before their meeting, and the foreign minister warned that only 500 days remained to avoid “climate chaos”[emphasis added]:
Well, I’m very happy to be with John. There is no week without a phone call or a visit between John and myself, and we have on the agenda many items, many issues – Iran, because negotiations are resuming today; the question of Syria, and we shall meet next Thursday in London together; Ukraine as well; and very important issues, issue of climate change, climate chaos. And we have – as I said, we have 500 days to avoid climate chaos. And I know that President Obama and John Kerry himself are committed on this subject and I’m sure that with them, with a lot of other friends, we shall be able to reach success on this very important matter.
Tea Party favorite Ben Sasse won the Republican nomination for an open Senate seat in Nebraska Tuesday night, after a heated and costly primary battle that drew heavy national attention.
Sasse, a university president, was able to hold off former state treasurer Shane Osborn and dark horse candidate Sid Dinsdale, who had begun to surge in recent weeks. Sasse grabbed 49 percent of the vote with Dinsdale finishing second and Osborn finishing third, according to preliminary returns.
“We were never doing this because we need another job,” Sasse told supporters Tuesday night. “We were only going to do this if we were going to talk about big, bold conservative ideas.”
Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that it would be “stressful” if he and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush became competitors in the 2016 GOP presidential primary.
“It would be stressful because I consider Jeb a friend. And he’s been a wonderful friend to me,” Christie said on his Ask the Governor radio program on Tuesday, according to CNN. “You like to run against people that you don’t like,” Christie added.
Bush began seriously considering a 2016 run for the presidency after Christie’s “Bridgegate” scandal, and both men would court the same Wall Street donors and compete for the same voters on the moderate establishment side of the presidential primary bracket.
The Internal Revenue Service paid more than $13 billion in tax credits last year to people who may not have qualified, a government investigator said Tuesday.
The Earned Income Tax Credits were supposed to go to low-income working families.
The agency’s inspector general issued a report Tuesday saying the improper payments were between $13.3 billion and $15.6 billion. That’s about a quarter of all EITC payments.
“The IRS can and must do more to protect taxpayer dollars from waste, fraud and abuse,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration.
The IRS said it is aggressively fighting tax fraud, and is improving its efforts to police EITC payments. The agency said it has stopped nearly 15 million suspicious returns since 2011, blocking more than $50 billion in fraudulent refunds.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has a pretty good idea of what immigration reform in the House is going to look like. He just doesn’t know when it’s going to happen.
Addressing the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Monday in San Antonio, Boehner said he wanted to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws “in chunks” over a period of a week or two to a month. The process would likely begin with border security measures, and it would address the crucial question of citizenship for illegal immigrants in a way that he said would “pass the straight-face test” for people who have already gone through the arduous process legally.
But none of that will happen, Boehner reiterated, until President Obama builds back trust with Republicans in Congress.