MORE MEETINGS: President Barack Obama met with Republican senators yesterday for dinner and as senators left, there seemed to be signs of hope. “Most of the meeting was spent on budget and [finding] a way forward. His goal is ours. We want to stop careening from crisis to crisis," says Sen. Mike Johanns. Seeing the benefits from this meeting, Obama has now invited Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee Chairman, along with Budget Committee Ranking Member Rep. Chris Van Hollen. This is exactly what our country needs more of — across-the-aisle meetings with problem solving as the goal.
OLD-SCHOOL FILIBUSTER: Sen. Rand Paul led the first talking filibuster since 2010 yesterday and spoke for nearly 13 hours about John Brennan's confirmation for the director of the CIA. We applaud Paul for using the filibuster the way it was intended to be used — and the way we propose in our Make Congress Work! action plan. The talking filibuster requires senators to actually take the floor, put mind over bladder and stand up in front of the American people to make their case. That's what we need more of — not virtual filibusters where a lawmaker barely has to think about it: Philip Ewing for POLITICO: Rand Paul pulls plug on nearly 13-hour filibuster on drones
ICYMI: Last year we rated the five most memorable filibusters of all time. One filibuster involved spoiled milk, another involved recipes and another involved a poison-soaked rag.
DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS: We know Washington can't agree on the facts for budget debates, but now they can't even agree on the definition of spending. "If you need a sign that Washington is going to have a tough time breaking its gridlock on the budget, look no further than the fact that Democrats and Republican can't even agree to the terms of the debate." writes Niraj Chokshi. If our lawmakers can't even agree on definitions and numbers, how will they agree on solutions? Niraj Chokshi for National Journal: In the Budget Debate, Even the Definition of Spending Is Up for Grabs
A WAY OUT: "There are, believe it or not, grounds for hoping that the so-called sequester … might open the way to ending our nation’s budget stalemate. Hope is in short supply right now, but the case for seeing a way out of the current mess rests on knowable facts and plausible assumptions," writes E.J. Dionne. He says that by reaching across the aisle to work together rather than trying to beat the other in a shouting match, the country could see real results: E.J. Dionne for The Washington Post: A way out of our budget wars
READ ABOUT PROBLEM SOLVING: Helm Lehmann, a No Labels supporter, has written a book called Losing America about the politics of problem solving — about what happens when our leaders put their political party before our country. If you're interested in purchasing the book, click here to get a copy and be sure to write No Labels after your last name in the shipping address — all proceeds will go to No Labels.
THE DAILY BREAK: Twitter helped drive yesterday's filibuster: John Stanton and Rebecca Berg for BuzzFeed: How Twitter Helped Drive Rand Paul's Filibuster To The National Stage
STAT OF THE DAY: There were 115 cloture motions in the last Congress. All 115 ended "virtual" filibusters.