These excerpts are from the National Journal Toolbox,which is produced every Thursday by the National Journal’s Daily Briefings Team.
- After multiple delays, Obama’s nominee for Labor secretary, Thomas Perez, won approval in a Senate committee Thursday along party lines, 12-10, The Associated Press reports. Read more
- As three separate scandals—the Internal Revenue Service targeting the tea party, the Justice Department’s phone-records grab from the AP, and Benghazi—erupt simultaneously, congressional Republicans are hoping to fold them into a single narrative of an unaccountable and overreaching White House that cannot be trusted, National Journal’s Shane Goldmacher reports. Read more
- Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Tuesday called for the creation of a select committee to examine the Justice Department’s handling of leaks of national-security information. Read more
- The Senate’s refusal to confirm recent presidents’ judicial nominees means that “some 10 percent of the federal judiciary is empty,” The Wall Street Journal’s Gerald Seib writes. Read more
- The Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday approved a five-year farm bill that reveals a new consensus on crop and nutrition policy, National Journal’s Jerry Hagstrom reports. Read more
- The House Agriculture Committee passed a $940 billion farm bill by a 36-10 vote late Wednesday, after a markup that began at 10 a.m. and ran late into the evening, The Hill reports. Read more
- House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., is gaining prominence as his panel investigates a trio of administration scandals, The Washington Post reports. Read more
- The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on the IRS scandal Wednesday. Led by Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the committee will hear testimony from some of the primary figures, including Lois Lerner, director of the IRS’s Exempt Status Division, and former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman. Read more
- While Perez’s nomination cleared the Senate panel, his path forward is blocked by Republicans, who say they have concerns about the handling of a deal with St. Paul, Minn., that Perez brokered as head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
- The unfolding Internal Revenue Service scandal could complicate Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus’s top goal of enacting comprehensive tax reform, National Journal’s Stacy Kaper reports. Read more
- The Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled a hearing for May 23 on the nomination of Chicago business executive Penny Pritzker to serve as Commerce secretary. Read more
The National Journal Toolbox is produced every Thursday by Glen Justice, Jonathan Miller, Cory Bennett, Jordain Carney and Courtney McBride with National Journal’s Daily Briefings Team. Read the complete May 16, 2013, edition here.