Slatest PM: The Next GOP Schism

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 25 2013 4:23 PM

Slatest PM: The Next GOP Schism

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U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) (C) leaves a Republican leadership press conference October 23, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Next GOP Schism: New York Times: "The [immigration] debate threatens to create another schism in the Republican Party and to further alienate a major source of campaign contributions; several corporate executives interviewed this week said they were considering withholding donations from lawmakers who get in the way. ... House Republican leaders ... support taking up their own immigration legislation this year, given that the Senate has already passed a comprehensive bill. But privately, some House Republican officials are saying that they do not expect any major legislation to move through the House this year, or perhaps not even until 2015, in advance of the next presidential election. There is intense division within the party over the proposals. In fact, a core group of hard-line conservatives said in interviews this week that they would not be intimidated by pressure from corporate America or other outside parties...."

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Not Going to Happen:  Politico: "The House has just 19 days in session before the end of 2013, and there are a number of reasons why immigration reform is stalled this year. ... Getting immigration through this deeply divided Congress in 2014 — an election year — would be incredibly difficult. That’s why immigration reform supporters are growing increasingly worried that the window for a bigger reform package could be slipping away since it would be even more difficult to try and forge ahead in an election year. ... That rhetoric combined with signals in private conversations with lawmakers and staff has led some immigration advocates to say they see the writing on the wall and they aren’t going to invest heavily until there’s more momentum."

Maybe That's the Point: Time: "The [push] is the latest in a pattern of efforts by Democrats to increase political pressure on Republicans, who have already ruled out the Senate bill, in the hopes of using the issue in the 2014 and 2016 elections. President Barack Obama took the podium in the White House State Dining Room last week to mark the end of the shutdown and laid out his priorities for the coming months. At the top of the list was a renewed push for comprehensive immigration reform. ... But privately, administration officials and congressional Democrats admit that they are unlikely to get immigration reform through Congress any time soon."

It's Friday, October 25th, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees, and the whole team at @Slatest.

Phew-kushima: Reuters: "The operator of Japan's wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant said on Saturday there was no damage or spike in radiation levels at the station after a large earthquake struck in the ocean east of Japan, triggering a small tsunami. There were no immediate reports of damage on land from the quake, classified as magnitude 7.1 by the Japan Meteorological Agency, which struck about 230 miles out to sea. ... A spokesman at Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), operator of Fukushima, said some workers had been ordered to evacuate to higher ground after the quake, but that there was no damage or change in readings at radiation monitoring posts around the plant."

The Healthcare.gov Fix: Washington Post: "The Obama administration said Friday it will take until the end of November for the new federal health insurance Web site to be fully fixed, and that a private contracting firm would be managing the effort.  Jeffrey Zients, the consultant brought in by the Obama administration this week to assess the problems plaguing the online health insurance marketplace, said in a conference call that his team had discovered dozens of problems but the site is 'fixable.' 'It will take a lot of work, and there are a lot of problems that need to be addressed,' he said. 'But let me be clear: HealthCare.gov is fixable.'"

High-Speed Chase: CBS/AP:  "A murder suspect has been killed by police on a Mojave Desert highway following a shooting incident and a high speed pursuit in which the man fired at vehicles and two hostages in his car trunk, California authorities say. Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said the suspect called Ridgecrest police early Friday and said he wanted to come to the department and shoot officers but because police had too many guns he would wreak havoc elsewhere. At an initial crime scene in Ridgecrest, a woman was found dead and a man was wounded.... During the lengthy car chase, the suspect's trunk popped open and revealed a man and woman inside. Eventually, the suspect began shooting into the trunk and officers opened fire on him. The hostages have been flown to a hospital."

The Grisly Details: NBC News: "Students returned to class Friday at the Massachusetts high school where authorities say a 14-year-old boy killed a beloved math teacher earlier this week and dumped her body in the woods. ... The body of the teacher, Colleen Ritzer, 24, was found in woods nearby just after midnight Wednesday. A law enforcement source told NBC News on Friday that Ritzer’s throat was slit from the back with a box-cutter in a second-floor bathroom at the school. ... Philip Chism, a freshman, was charged as an adult with first-degree murder and has been ordered held without bail. A surveillance camera caught the suspect following Ritzer into the bathroom and then leaving, covered in blood, the source said. The suspect changed his clothes at some point and went to the movies and to Wendy’s, the law enforcement source said."

Let's Not Forget About Syria: Associated Press: "Syrian troops killed at least 40 opposition fighters in an ambush Friday near Damascus, the government said, leaving their bloodied bodies strewn on rocks near a dried-out lake along with scattered rifles and ammunition. President Bashar Assad's forces backed by Lebanese Hezbollah gunmen also seized control of a rebel ammunition supply route on a highway linking the capital to its eastern suburbs — part of a blistering government offensive to bolster its position amid an international push for peace talks. Assad's forces have been gaining ground in rebel-held areas around the capital, the seat of his power, and have made progress against outgunned and fragmented fighters in several areas."

That's all for today. See you back here Monday. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. Follow him on Twitter.