The Congressional Clock Is Ticking

By MICHAEL FALCONE ( @michaelpfalcone )


  • ANALYSIS - ABC's RICK KLEIN: Texas Gov. Rick Perry will grab the immigration headlines today with a decision to assign some 1,000 National Guard troops to the Rio Grande Valley, according to local reports. But for the White House, the most troublesome political activity on immigration is happening on its left. With legislative days wasting away before the August recess, the chance of meaningful immigration action is fast diminishing. One reason is the Democratic blowback President Obama is getting for his plan to speed up deportations. His allies on Capitol Hill aren't on board for his plans, even as Republicans balk at the price tag and demand concessions. Already, the issue has caused an unusual public spat between the White House and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. And last week, when protesters at a speech being given by Vice President Joe Biden started chanting "Stop deporting our families," Biden offered cheers of his own.
  • TODAY AT THE WHITE HOUSE: President Obama has a packed schedule today that includes signing an executive order to protect LGBT employees from discrimination, answering questions from young people at a roundtable, and awarding the Medal of Honor, ABC's MARY BRUCE reports. This morning President Obama signs an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees and prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity in federal employment. Then the president participates in a town hall on his My Brother's Keeper Initiative and takes questions from DC-area youth at the Walker Jones Education Campus. In the afternoon, the president awards Ryan M. Pitts, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor for his courageous action while serving in Afghanistan.


HILLARY HEADS TO FACEBOOK. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will host a live Facebook Q&A today at 2:30 p.m. PT / 5:30 p.m. ET during her visit to Facebook's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters. Anyone interested in participating in today's conversation with Clinton can pose questions and follow along at:



JOHN KERRY: 'ENORMOUS ARRAY OF FACTS' THAT RUSSIA SUPPORTED REBELS ACCUSED OF SHOOTING DOWN PLANE. Evidence indicates Russia was involved with the separatists accused of shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 over Eastern Ukraine, said Secretary of State John Kerry, who urged Russian president Vladimir Putin to do more to avoid future tragedies like Thursday's crash, ABC's ALI WEINBERG reports. "There are an enormous array of facts that point at Russia's support for and involvement in this effort," Kerry told ABC's GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, noting that many of the separatists in the region are actually Russian, not Ukrainian, and that the U.S. has strong intelligence that Russia has been arming and training them. Kerry said Putin should publicly call out the separatists and encourage them to begin a political reconciliation process with the central government in Ukraine, and stop additional weapons from landing in the hands of the separatists. Kerry also condemned the rebels' handling of the debris field, as they have been seen tampering with the wreckage and bodies there, as well as blocking the access of international monitors.

NETANYAHU: HAMAS COMMITTING 'DOUBLE WAR CRIME'; RAILS AGAINST 'MAD ISLAMISTS.' Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he is sorry for civilian casualties in Gaza, but he lashed out at Hamas, asserting the Islamic group that controls the Gaza Strip is purposefully putting civilians in harm's way while also attacking innocent Israelis with rockets, according to ABC's BENJAMIN BELL. "We regret any civilian deaths but those lay entirely at Hamas' door," Netanyahu told ABC's GEORGE STEPHANOPOLOUS on "This Week" Sunday. "Hamas is deliberately targeting our civilians; they've fired 2,000 rockets, 2,000 rockets at Israel cities. Seventy-five percent of our population has to be in bomb shelter alert of 60 seconds or 90 seconds. "What Hamas is doing very cynically is embedding its rocketeers, its rocket cashes, its tunnels - these terror tunnels in homes, in hospitals, in schools, and when we take action, as targeted as we can, they then use their civilians as human shields," Netanyahu added. "So Hamas is both targeting civilians and Hamas is hiding behind civilians. That's a double war crime, and therefore all civilian deaths as regrettable as they are fall on their shoulders."

PLO'S HANAN ASHRAWI: 'DELIBERATE MASSACRE' IN GAZA. PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi lashed out at Israel today over what she described as "war crimes" and the "deliberate massacre" of Palestinian civilians during Israel's current ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, ABC's SANDRA PETRYKOWSKI reports. "This morning, it's nothing short of a massacre, a deliberate massacre. War crimes committed daily. But now there is a deliberate shelling and bombing and destruction of whole areas, of residential areas," Ashrawi said on "This Week." "These are war crimes being committed before the world, before the eyes of the whole world and I just can't understand how people sit back and say [it's] self-defense. I just can't take the language, I can't take the propaganda, I can't take the mantra that Israel has a right to defend itself. Against whom? Against innocent civilians? More than 80 children have been torn to bits. Is this self-defense?" Ashrawi added in her extended interview with ABC's HAMISH MACDONALD reporting today from Ramallah. As of Sunday morning, more than 400 Palestinians have been killed - including at least 60 on Sunday alone - and more than 35,000 Gaza residents have been displaced.

FEDS CHANGE MIGRANT KIDS HEALTH SCREENING AFTER ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE In response to an ABC news exclusive on the breakdown in medical screening of unaccompanied migrant children along the southern United States border, the government agency in charge of housing the children announced "additional measures" including physically taking the temperature of each child before he or she boards a government plane to housing facilities across the country, according to ABC's SERENA MARSHALL, JIM AVILLA and JOSH MARGOLIN. The new measures, announced today by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at HHS, are designed to make sure the children screened and medically cleared while in the custody of CBP (Customs and Border Protection) have "not fallen ill while pending transport to Unaccompanied Alien Children program facilities." "CBP (Customs and Border Protection) medical providers already check flight manifests against children who were identified as sick overnight; if there are any concerns, children destined for a DoD (Department of Defense) installation are pulled from the flight," ACF statement read. "Under the updated protocol, our staff also take the children's temperatures shortly before flights.


4 REASONS THE KIDS' STATE DINNER WAS WAY COOLER THAN AN ADULT ONE. Want to drive the president crazy? Just show him a bowl of guacamole he can't eat. Obama "lose[s] his mind" over chips and guac, he told guests at the annual Kids' State Dinner Friday, ABC's ERIN DOOLEY notes. The dinner (technically a lunch, Obama pointed out) honors the 54 kid winners of the first lady's "Healthy Lunchtime Challenge" recipe contest. But the rather than focusing on nutrition, a particularly chipper Obama went a little off-script, instead divulging the first family's junk food soft spots. "One thing - maybe I shouldn't say this - but it's not like our family, including me, don't have, you know, some snacks once in a while that may not be, you know, on the perfect nutrition chart," the president said. "We have a lot of state dinners around here, they're not always as cheerful and fun as this!" the leader of the free world joked. "Everybody's older and a little stodgier. But this is a much hipper crowd."


"CLINTON EARNS $12 MILLION SPEAKING, WRITING AFTER SERVICE," by Bloomberg's Lisa Lerer and Lauren Streib. "Hillary Clinton has earned at least $12 million in 16 months since leaving the State Department, a windfall at odds with her party's call to shrink the gap between the rich and the poor. Clinton's income since her resignation as secretary of state in February 2013 is derived mostly from her latest memoir, speeches and paid appearances at corporate retreats, according to an analysis of data compiled by Bloomberg. At least 12 organizations that previously booked President Bill Clinton - who has been paid almost $106 million in speaking fees alone since he left the White House - also hired his wife. Among them: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and the National Association of Realtors."


?@ZekeJMiller: Obama: "I think Joe would be a superb President." …

@dcbigjohn: great @rubycramer story on The Rise And Fall Of Brian Schweitzer …

@TheFix: In Russia, everybody loves Putin. EVERYBODY.

@ajjaffe: A question being asked today: Is Wayne Allyn Root the man who will take down Harry Reid in 2016?

@jonward11: my long piece on the straight gay pioneer whose ideas are now drawing attention from the likes of Newt Gingrich …

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