ObamaCare ‘defund’ to get a vote

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Buzz Cut:
• ObamaCare ‘defund’ to get a vote
• Dems lose support on economy, security
• GOP leaders team up for school choice
• Backyard brawl
• Megyn’s walk

OBAMACARE ‘DEFUND’ TO GET A VOTE - House Speaker John Boehner and his leadership team will today start the process of bringing forward a bill that would make funding the government conditional on defunding President Obama’s 2010 health law. This is a major victory for the Heritage Action PAC, the group led by former Sen. Jim DeMint, which has threatened to help unseat any Republican who votes for any bill that does not strip out new funding for ObamaCare. It’s also going to slow down the process of finding a way to avert a government shutdown on Oct. 1.

[Watch Fox: Sen. Jon Barrasso, R-Wyo., Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee discusses ObamaCare in the 10 a.m. ET hour]

Tick, tick, tick – Leadership aides say that under the plan, the House would pass the defunding bill, sending it to the Democratic Senate where Majority Leader Harry Reid would likely strip out the provision, setting up a days-long procedural battle with conservatives, like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. With a government shutdown just 12 days away, leaders in both parties are anxious. The best-case scenario for avoiding a shutdown looks to be a swift defeat in the Senate for the measure, beginning the process of building a bipartisan coalition in support of an emergency funding bill in the House.

The takeaway - DeMint is closer to his apparent goal of forcing a painful vote on members of his own party: Shut down the government or fund the president’s health law. But the question stands, if the government shuts down, how would Republicans reopen it? By staking their fight on an ideological rather than a fiscal claim, Republicans would set up a battle with the president in which no compromise would be possible: A zero-sum game taking place against the backdrop of a chaotic disruption of government services.

[House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in a USA TODAY OpEd: “This irresponsible action [of resisting an increase in the federal debt limit] poses a cataclysmic danger to the stability of our markets and the economic security of our middle class.”]

MoDo smacks O - NYT’s Maureen Dowd on President Obama: “Unlike Bill Clinton, who excels at boiling down complex arguments to simple ones, Obama prefers to wallow in the weeds, reminding people that he’s the smartest man in the room and expecting their support because he feels he is only doing what’s complicated and right.”

DEMS LOSE SUPPORT ON ECONOMY AND SECURITY ISSUES - A new Gallup survey finds a drop of nearly 10 points in support for Democrats’ handling of the economy. Only 42 percent of respondents said they believed Democrats are doing a better job than Republicans, down from 51 percent at this time last year. Republicans broke their tie with Democrats on security matters, with 45 percent saying Republicans are better at protecting the country, compared to 39 percent who feel safer with the Ds.

REID ICES GUN CONTROL TALK - The Washington Examiner reports Sen. Majority leader Harry Reid expressed a vote on gun-control is not likely to occur anytime soon. “‘We're going to move this up as quickly as we can, but we've got to have the votes first,’ Reid told reporters after a closed-door lunch with the Democratic caucus. ‘We don't have the votes. I hope we get them, but we don't have them now.’’’

SECURITY QUESTIONS TO HIT SEQUESTER HEARING - Top brass from all military forces will be testifying at a Senate hearing on caps on Defense spending that were part of the 2011 debt-limit deal, known as “sequestration.” Adm. Jonathan Greenert, head of Naval Operations, is expected to be asked about base security and the Navy Yard shootings. The Department Of Defense is expected to formally announce a review of security and access at all their installations worldwide. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. is calling for hearings to examine federal contractor hiring practices at military installations.

White House orders security reviews - Washington Examiner: “The White House announced on Tuesday that the Obama administration was reviewing security procedures for government contractors … The president had already ordered a review of government contractors by his Director of National Intelligence after National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden disclosed classified details about U.S. phone and Internet surveillance programs…”

FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARIES FAULT OBAMA ON SYRIA - Fox News: “Former defense secretaries Robert Gates and Leon Panetta criticized President Obama's strategy regarding the Syrian civil war Tuesday, with both agreeing that Obama should not have sought the approval of Congress for a military strike against the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad… Speaking at a forum in Dallas, Gates and Panetta, Obama's first two defense secretaries,  disagreed on whether the United States should ultimately carry out a military strike…[but] both expressed skepticism (and occasionally sarcasm) about ongoing negotiations, led by Russia, for Assad to hand over his stockpile of chemical weapons to the international community.”

BENGHAZI DECISIONS UNDER SCRUTINY - Patrick Kennedy,undersecretary of State for management, faces the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Benghazi today. At issue: Did he, or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, make policy decisions that could have contributed to the deaths of four Americans during a deadly ambush on an American outpost in Benghazi, Libya last year?

Issa may call Clinton back - House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told Senior Intelligence Correspondent Catherine Herridge that his panel will not hesitate to question former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton again.

[Watch Fox: Rep. Darell Issa, R-Calif., Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee discusses Benghazi in the 9 a.m. ET hour]

IRS TARGETED GROUPS FOR ‘ANTI-OBAMA RHETORIC’ - Newly uncovered IRS documents “…obtained by USA TODAY, list 162 [Tea Party and conservative] groups by name, with comments by Internal Revenue Service lawyers in Washington raising issues about their political, lobbying and advocacy activities. In 21 cases, those activities were characterized as ‘propaganda.’’’ Groups were often targeted specifically for what was deemed their “anti-Obama rhetoric.”

GOP LEADERS TEAM UP FOR SCHOOL CHOICE - Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., meet up in Washington today to call for an end to Attorney General Eric Holder’s effort to block Louisiana’s school-voucher program. Holder is trying to stop the program on the grounds that the flight of top-tier students from failing schools will lead to de facto segregation. Jindal, Bush and Scott are slated to appear at the National Press Club this morning.

Conservative group: Majority oppose DOJ lawsuit - A new poll commissioned by Republican strategist Alex Castellano’s New Republican PAC finds 64 percent of national respondents oppose the DOJ’s lawsuit.

HOUSE HEATS UP ON OBAMA CLIMATE PLAN - Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz are set to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee today as it tackles President Obama’s efforts to curb what he believes are man-made changes to Earth’s climate.

Reid cites Colorado floods in climate fight - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took to the Senate floor Tuesday and insisted Congress should forget repealing ObamaCare, saying, “Climate change is here and we’re doing nothing about it.” Reid cited destructive flooding and wildfires in the West as evidence of the need to increase regulations.

OBAMACARE CONTRACEPTION MANDATE FOES SCORE WIN - The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver issued a ruling Tuesday in favor of family-owned Cherry Creek Mortgage Co., exempting the firm from an ObamaCare mandate that requires companies to cover contraceptives in employees’ insurance plans. The issue is expected to make its way to the Supreme Court.

[FNC's Shannon Bream is looking at the growing concern among pro-life groups over taxpayer-funded abortions, despite assurances from the administration that no federal funds will be used to cover abortions.]

WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...University of California, Berkley Economics professor Enrico Moretti shares his recipe for job growth in a WSJ OpEd: Where the Good Jobs are -and Why – “Most industries have a multiplier effect. But none has a bigger one than the innovation sector: about three times as large as that of extractive industries or traditional manufacturing. Clearly, the best way for a city or state to generate jobs for everyone is to attract innovative companies that hire highly educated workers.”

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POLL CHECK - Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 44.0 percent//Disapprove – 50.6 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 27.4 percent//Wrong Track – 61.2 percent

OFF TO THE RACES - Touting values - Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Rand Paul, R-Ky., Marco Rubio, R-Fla. and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. have confirmed they will appear at the Value Voters Summit in October.

Rand to Michigan - Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., heads to the potential early primary state of Michigan Saturday to speak at the bi-yearly Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference according to a statement from Rand PAC, Tuesday.

Rubio picks Cotton - Sen. Marco Rubio, R- Fla., offered his first endorsement of the 2014 election cycle, backing freshman Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., for Senate. Cotton was an ardent opponent of the bipartisan immigration bill Rubio promoted in the Senate. Rubio made the endorsement via an e-mail from his leadership PAC.

Sebelius to stump for Kansas Dem - The Kansas City Star reports former Kansas Governor, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, will head to the Sunflower State Thursday to campaign for state House Minority Leader Paul Davis. Davis made his challenge of incumbent Republican Gov. Sam Brownback official with an online announcement Tuesday, declaring the need for a ‘fresh start.’”

DEMS POUNCE ON JEWISH JOKE FROM CUCCINELLI BACKER - The Virginian-Pilot reports on Democratic charges of anti-Semitism over a joke playing on unflattering Jewish stereotypes told by a supporter of Republican Ken Cuccinelli at a rally Tuesday for Cuccinelli with conservative radio host Mark Levin. The joke, caught on camera by a Democratic videographer, was from Virginia’s10th Congressional District GOP Chairman John Whitbeck. Cuccinelli was not on stage at the time and his campaign strategist, Chris La Civita, told WaPo that Whitbeck’s joke was “…wholly inappropriate and not connected to the campaign. And it’s not reflective of Ken Cuccinelli.” Whitbeck has yet to respond to the charges.

Conservative group dumps cash in Virginia race - Citizens United launches a $375,000 ad-blitz today to lampoon Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s electric car startup, GreenTech and his support for ObamaCare. The group’s radio advertisement assails McAuliffe’s support of ObamaCare saying, “It’s hard enough making ends meet without liberal politicians like Terry McAuliffe making things worse.”

BACKYARD BRAWL - Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, D-W.Va., officially launched her Senate campaign Tuesday, but misfired by using footage of West Virginia University’s archrival, the University of Pittsburgh, in her Web announcement. The kicker? The same video also touts Tennant’s love of WVU and her service as the school’s first female Mountaineer mascot. A campaign spokesperson said the use of the stock video was unintentional, according to Breitbart.

MASTER OF DRONE ADMINISTRATION -The NYPOST reports on the popularity of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s new masters program in drone warfare.“Embry-Riddle had hoped to attract 200 students within the first five years of the program. Just three semesters in, they have 120 students. Now, they expect they’ll have to limit their enrollment to 500 students a year.”

MEGYN’S WALK -With the announcement that starting Oct. 7, Megyn Kelly heads to the 9 p.m. ET timeslot – as well as a new 7 p.m. start-time for Greta Van Susteren and a 10 p.m. home for Sean Hannity – let’s remember together our favorite TV moment of election night 2012: Megyn’s famous walk to the Decision Desk [a.k.a. “the nerd tank”]. Watch it here.

NATTITUDE TO HELP NAVY YARD VICTIMS -The Washington Nationals are auctioning patriotic jerseys, sported by players during Tuesday’s win, to benefit the victims of Monday’s Navy Yard Shooting. Online bidding ends today at 8 p.m. ET and additional team jerseys will be available for purchase beginning Thursday. Proceeds from the sales will go to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors that will provide support and care for the families of civilian workers or defense contractors who lost loved ones in the shooting.

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…“Even former President Clinton is talking about this as if [Russian President Vladimir Putin] said, ‘Well, let’s end the problem,’ and the problem is ended.  Are these people delusional?  There is no chance in the world that we're going to get rid of the chemical weapons in Syria. We're not going to get the resolution that we want… It’s going to be an endless process.  And [Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad] stays in power, which is exactly what the Russians have wanted.” Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for FoxNews. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here. To catch Chris live online daily at 11:30 a.m. ET, click here.