By all accounts, Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) loves Congress. I have a dream job, a job I love, he said in January, attempting to quash rumors that he’d join
By all accounts, Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) loves Congress. “I have a dream job, a job I love,” he said in January, attempting to quash rumors that he’d join an Obama administration he worked hard to elect. Those rumors resurfaced yesterday when it became known that he’s resigning his seat. But Wexler won’t, apparently, take an administration position. He’s told colleagues he’ll be director of the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation, a Washington think tank focusing on the Arab-Israeli peace issues that Wexler worked on in Congress. Why?
The move perplexes Mideast-peace watchers. Wexler is young — he was born in 1961 — a favorite of progressives, and not in any electoral danger. Laura Rozen reports that he has children he needs to put through school, and the Center was founded by a Slim-Fast tycoon. But it still seems like a strange choice: it’s described as a shell of its former self, and doesn’t have much policy influence.
Still, some peace-process observers are theorizing that Wexler, with his strong ties to both the Jewish community, the Israelis and the Obama administration, might be part of an inside-outside game by the administration. Wexler, who earlier this month implored the Obama administration to spend more time reaching out to an Israeli public that is quickly souring on him for demanding a settlement freeze in the West Bank, might be able to vouch for Obama to the Israelis and pass messages as a back channel. The Center’s strategic adviser is Avi Gil, a longtime adviser to Israeli President Shimon Peres. And with Wexler’s ability to raise money and solid connections to Israel, the theory goes, he’s well-positioned to help Obama with a constituency the president will need for his peacemaking efforts that’s slipping away. “Wexler’s a great guy to make the case to the Israelis about why an Obama led peace effort is good for them,” said one Israel lobbyist who preferred not to speak on the record ahead of Wexler’s 10 a.m. Florida press conference. Could the Center be a platform for that effort? “I’m sure they could,” as its remaining staffers are “very well-connected.”
Still, that’s just a theory. There hasn’t been a hint of a scandal so far, but the day’s very young.
Rep. Paul Ryan to deliver SOTU response
Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday, according to Mike Allen
Rep. Paulsen allies with medical device industry to relax FDA oversight
Source: Flickr; Republicanconference (www.flickr.com/photos/republicanconference) On the heels of the Minnesota Independent story last week about U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s cozy financial relationship with the medical device industry, the New York Times reported Tuesday that some health professionals are alarmed by Paulsen’s push to relax Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight
Rep. Paulsen touts balanced budget constitutional amendment
In a post for the conservative blog True North , U.S. Rep
Rep. Patrick McHenry: Please, Conservatives, Fill Out Your Census Forms!
The conservative congressman from North Carolina, a constant critic of the census -- one of the people who sounded the alarm about politicization when the
Rep. Paulsen, Karl Rove the latest to get ‘glittered’
Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday
Rep. Perlmutter to hold constituent meet-up in grocery store
Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter will hold a Government in the Grocery constituent meet-up this evening from 5-7 at the Safeway at 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge. The address is 3900 Wadsworth. The meeting, where Perlmutter typically sits at a folding table and talks to whomever shows up, is free and open to the public
Rep. Perlmutter criticizes House measure that would eliminate 800K federal jobs
Congressman Ed Perlmutter today issued a scathing statement criticizing the House of Representatives for passing a spending bill that could put nearly a million federal employees out of work. The Colorado delegation voted strictly on party lines, with all four Republicans voting in favor of the bill and the three Democrats voting in opposition. Perlmutter’s statement: “My number one priority is to get people back to work because that’s the best thing we can do to pay our debt and move forward toward economic stability
Rep. Pete Stark Won’t Dignify Constituent by, er, Micturating Upon His Leg
In the tradition of Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), California Democratic Rep. Pete Stark revealed at a recent town hall gathering that there are limits to what
Rep. Peace, ACLU seek investigation of soldier’s allegations of racial discrimination in Afghanistan
Both Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) and the American Civil Liberties Union agree: There needs to be an investigation into Spc.
School of Hock
A growing number of college grads are defaulting on their student loans as the economy worsens.