- - Monday, November 26, 2012

Senate plans to consider a U.N. treaty espousing equal rights for the disabled is drawing opposition from some Republicans wary of the treaty and asserting that the lawmakers should not be taking up international treaties during a lame-duck session.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, has said he would ask the Senate to consider legislation to ratify the U.N.’s Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities.

The chances of success are not good. It takes 60 votes to move a bill to the floor and a two-thirds majority to ratify a treaty. In September, 36 Senate Republicans wrote a letter saying they would oppose any treaty brought up during the lame-duck session.

Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who leads the opposition, says the treaty threatens U.S. sovereignty.


Former lawmaker seeks Jackson’s Illinois seat

Former Democratic Rep. Debbie Halvorson will run to replace former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. in the upcoming special election for his Illinois seat, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.

Mr. Jackson, a Democrat and son of civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson, resigned from Congress on Wednesday after a long struggle with medical and legal problems.

Ms. Halvorson served one term in the House but lost her re-election bid in 2010 to Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger. Mr. Jackson easily defeated her in this year’s Democratic primary in Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District.

Ms. Halvorson served 12 years in the Illinois state Senate, including a stint as the chamber’s Democratic majority leader.

Under Illinois law, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has until Monday to schedule an election to fill Mr. Jackson’s seat. The election must be held within 115 days.


Capito planning Senate bid for Rockefeller seat

CHARLESTON — Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is vowing to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by John D. Rockefeller IV in 2014.

The 2nd District Republican announced her campaign plans Monday at the state Capitol.

Rockefeller, a five-term Democrat, says Ms. Capito called him last week and told him of her plans.

The 75-year-old Rockefeller did not say whether he plans to run in 2014. He and the state Democratic Party’s chairman instead referred to how West Virginians have gone through seven elections in less than three years. Rockefeller said he’s focusing on the federal budget and other pressing issues.

Ms. Capito won her seventh term Nov. 6. The former state legislator chairs a House Financial Services subcommittee.


Governor insists he’s not thinking about 2016

MADISON — Plenty of Republicans are talking about a possible presidential run by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, but Mr. Walker insists he’s not one of them.

Mr. Walker said Monday he’s focused on putting together the next state budget and his job as governor, not a presidential run in 2016.

Mr. Walker was elected in 2010 and shot to stardom in the GOP with his fight to eliminate most public workers’ union rights. His proposal sparked massive protests at the state Capitol, as well as a June recall election that Mr. Walker won handily.

He says after two elections in two years, he’s just happy to be working as governor.

Mr. Walker also says he hasn’t talked to former Republican vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan, a close friend, about whether he’ll run.


Christie files election papers for second term

MIDDLETOWN — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has announced he will seek re-election to a second term.

Mr. Christie says he want New Jerseyans to know that he’s “in this for the long haul” as he leads the state’s recovery from Superstorm Sandy.

The governor confirms he filed election papers during a trip to Middletown to thank first responders and volunteers who have helped in storm recovery efforts.

With New Jersey just starting on a long road to rebuilding, the 50-year-old Republican governor says “it would be wrong for me to leave now.”

The election is scheduled for November 2013.


Obama to meet prime minister of Bulgaria

President Obama plans to meet with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov at the White House on Dec. 3.

The White House says Mr. Obama will discuss a number of issues, including Bulgaria’s leadership in NATO and its contributions to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

White House officials say Mr. Obama expects to receive updates on Bulgaria’s investigation into the July 18 suicide bombing in Burgas that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver along with ongoing rule of law and judicial reforms.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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