We're 100 days out from Election Day, but only four days away from a congressional break. We can take some vows. We promise not to copy off of anyone. We promise not to get between Chris Christie and his fellow Republican governors, or between Andrew Cuomo and any commissions he appoints. We promise not to stop Republican 2016ers from talking about poverty. And we promise not to cancel any fundraisers along the way.
Here's a glimpse at some of the stories your ABC News political team will be covering in the week ahead:
|BOY NAMED SUE|
Call it impeachment-lite -- unless it's just the appetizer. The House of Representatives is slated to authorize a suit against President Obama, targeting his use of executive actions around the health care law. It will be one of the last items of business before the August recess, but its impact will linger into the fall. House Republican leaders hope it will let off some tea party steam and put lawmakers on record on what they view as a White House that's straying outside the law in enacting an agenda. Democrats, meanwhile, are hoping it only whets the conservative appetite for confrontation with the president in advance of the midterms -- a fight Democrats welcome. A top White House adviser late in the week predicted that the suit will lead to Republican efforts to impeach the president -- something House Speaker John Boehner has ruled out.
There's a White House plan, a Senate plan, and a House plan. There's just no plan to actually talk about a compromise when it comes to this summer's border crisis. Everyone involved agrees that more money needs to flow toward border control and adding immigration judges who can speed up proceedings. But inter- and intra-party fights about how to deal with the Central American children who are arriving in record numbers -- and mistrust among Republicans over President Obama's handling of immigration in general -- means there's diminishing expectations of passing a bill before Congress leaves town for the month of August. And the suggestion by the Honduran president that Americans bear "enormous responsibility" for the issue, due to the public demand for illegal drugs, is unlikely to generate many sympathies in Washington.
Secretary of State John Kerry left the Middle East in disappointment, with a chance of a pause in the fighting in Gaza. Israel paused its offensive for 12 hours, then extended it another 24, but Hamas rejected Israel's offer of a truce, because it did not include a withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. Diplomatic efforts will continue, amid international pressure to crack down on the Israelis -- particularly after a United Nations-run school in Gaza came under attack. And the games of diplomatic chess spread across Europe when it comes to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. President Obama is coming under growing pressure from critics back home to ratchet up pressure on Vladimir Putin's Russia, even as he urges European allies to push the most promising buttons still out there.
|OVER THE BRIDGE|
Rob Astorino is suddenly a popular guy. The longshot of a Republican challenger to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo first got dissed by Gov. Chris Christie, who said early in the week that he wouldn't provide much help for Astorino because he had no interest in "lost causes." But then a raft of other governors -- Rick Perry, Nikki Haley, Bobby Jindal, Mike Pence -- showed sudden interest in campaigning for Astorino. It's not that his chances against Cuomo markedly improved. It's that Christie's Republican rivals sensed a chance to rough up the onetime Republican frontrunner, whose tenure as chairman of the Republican Governors Association hasn't worked quite like he thought it would. Christie's enemies list is growing, and we know how he interacts with people who don't like him.
The primary schedule gets a break next week, but the action is heating up in the next round of voting. Sarah Palin has inserted herself into the Senate Republican primary in Tennessee, where tea partier Joe Carr hopes to take down Sen. Lamar Alexander on Aug. 7. That day also features a possible incumbent loss in the House, with Rep. Scott DesJarlais' complicated personal history with abortion turning him into the underdog to keep his own seat. And on the Democratic side, President Obama has something personal at stake in the Hawaii Democratic primary for governor Aug. 9. The president just cut a rare primary radio ad to help Gov. Neil Abercrombie keep his job. Abercrombie has known Obama longer than any other politician on the planet, having been friends with Obama's parents before the president was born.