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CQ Roll Call: Medicare Changes, Diamond Withdraws Fed Nomination, Santorum Running For Republican Presidential Nomination

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Democratic senators request that Medicare remains unchanged

Five democratic senators sent a note to Vice President Joe Biden asking him to declare Medicare changes off the table in budget negotiations.

"The significance is that all five of those senators are up for reelection," says Hawkings. "About four of them are vulnerable to defeat. The fifth is Maryland’s own Ben Cardin, who has seemingly a safe seat, but the other four are facing electoral problems, and they just want to get out front and nail shut the only tiny bit of momentum that is left for any move for Medicare and these budget talks."

The aspirations of both sides are getting smaller and smaller with each passing day, but not much is expected to come out Biden’s meeting on Thursday.

"As a matter of fact, most people looking at the calendar on this, are now looking down the road at Saturday, June 18, when a highly anticipated golf outing between Speaker Boehner and President Obama is scheduled, and people are thinking maybe the two will get out on the tee."

Peter Diamond withdraws nomination to Federal Reserve Board

Nobel-prize winning economist Peter Diamond is withdrawing his nomination to the Federal Reserve Board of Governor after Republicans opposed his confirmation.

"Diamond is a Labor economist," says Hawkings. "His expertise is actually the labor market, and he made the argument that that’s actually a pretty useful skill to have on the Federal Reserve at a time when unemployment is above 9 percent, and the republicans disagreed. They think Diamond is too liberal – essentially using the Fed, and so they have blocked his nomination. It’s just an example of the tit for tat when the president nominates the senate."

Santorum is announcing his run for the Republican presidential nomination

Former senator Rick Santorum is announcing today he'll run for the Republican presidential nomination. Santorum is the latest in a string of Republicans throwing their hats into the ring.

"There’s a surprising amount of quiet in Congress about who they're going to endorse," says Hawkings. "Twelve years ago George W. Bush made a big show of rounding up an enormous amount of congressional endorsements early on. Four years ago all of the candidates did it as well. This time, the number of House members and senators who are actually endorsing is very low."

They all seem to be waiting – like all of the public – for the field to be absolutely locked down with no new entrance before they start endorsing, says Hawkings.

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