By Tracey Webb Follow @WebbWriterguru
Your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, April 10, 2014.
1. Brown is in. Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown is back in the political ring. The Republican, now a New Hampshire resident, has launched his bid to challenge the state's incumbent Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and is taking aim at her support of the health care law. Shaheen "is wrong on issues facing the people of New Hampshire," Brown said. "She made that clear when she cast the deciding vote for Obamacare on this state and our country." Should Brown win the GOP primary, a race between him and Shaheen could become one of the country's most high profile contests in a year when Democrats are struggling to hold on to their majority in the Senate.
2. What's race got to do with it? House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi thinks it may be a reason House Republicans haven't moved on immigration reform. "I think race has something to do with the fact that they're not bringing up an immigration bill," Pelosi said at her weekly news conference. "I've heard them say to the Irish, 'If it was just you, this would be easy'." While House Speaker John Boehner's spokesman didn't respond specifically to Pelosi's race comments, he said the reason Republicans aren't pushing ahead on immigration reform is because they don't trust President Obama to enforce current immigration laws.
3. Obamacare and GOP voters. A candidate's stand on the health care law is more important to Republican than Democratic voters heading into this fall's midterm elections. According to a new Pew Research Center poll, 64% of Republicans say a candidate's position on Obamacare is "very important," compared with 52% of Democrats and 45% of Independents. The Affordable Care Act is still getting a thumbs down from a majority of Americans. 50% disapprove of the law, while 37% approve.
4. Praising LBJ. President Obama paid tribute to President Lyndon Baines Johnson, saying the 36th president's role in passing the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Medicare and other social welfare programs made America a much better country. "The brown child in a small Texas town. The white child in Appalachia.The black child in Watts. As powerful as he became in that oval office, he understood them, he understood what it meant to be on the outside. And he believed that their plight was his plight, too. That his freedom ultimately was wrapped up in theirs," Obama told an audience gathered to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act. Former presidents Carter, Clinton and George W. Bush are also participating in the commemoration of LBJ's work.