These excerpts are from the National Journal Toolbox,which is produced every Thursday by the National Journal’s Daily Briefings Team.
- Overnight, Congress passed and the president signed legislation that will fund the government through January 15 and raise the debt ceiling through February 7—setting a timeline for the next fiscal fight.
- Following the resolution of the fiscal crisis, President Obama is shifting his focus toward immigration reform.
- Look ahead: Administration efforts on immigration could yet be stymied by congressional opposition, as they have in the past.
- Technical issues persist in the first few weeks of the insurance exchanges. A key problem is the bottleneck resulting from the requirement to create an account before browsing options, which officials are working to fix.
- Look ahead: So far, at least 185,000 people have applied for coverage using the exchanges; enrollment information for the 34 states participating in the federal exchange won't be available until next month.
- The top negotiators on the farm bill have told their staffers to pick up the pace of discussions, with a possible conference committee coming in the last week of October.
- Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat, won the Senate special election in New Jersey with approximately 55 percent of the vote, to roughly 44 percent for former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan.
- Despite a tough political environment, southern Democrats running for the Senate – some of the party’s most vulnerable candidates – are bringing in millions.
- Leaked biofuel targets are only a draft proposal for next year’s renewable-fuel standard, according to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
The National Journal Toolbox is produced every Thursday by Courtney McBride, Jordain Carney, Alex Brown, Clare Foran, and Sophie Novack with National Journal’s Daily Briefings Team. Read the complete October 17, 2013, edition here.