THE PROBLEM SOLVERS: Members of the No Labels problem solvers group in Congress are proudly displaying their No Labels attitude at the State of the Union address on Tuesday by wearing orange “Stop Fighting, Start Fixing” lapel pins. Rep. Michael GrimmRep. Bill OwensRep. Kurt Schrader and Rep. Jim Cooper are just four of the 40 members of Congress who will wear the pin. Click here to read the full list.
BEST POLITICAL RAP SONG: The No Labels Anthem by AKON won best political rap song in The Washington Post’s “The Fix Grammys!” After three days of voting, our anthem won “in a landslide.” Thanks to all who voted! Sean Sullivan for The Washington Post: The Fix Grammy winners!
FEDERAL AGENCIES WORRY: The automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that may happen in a month are already affecting federal agencies. No one knows whether the cuts will end up happening, but the agencies are planning for hundreds of thousands of furloughed employees. And they’ve been here before: “Several added that they had grown weary of the threat, which also loomed late last year before Congress struck a deal to postpone the cuts until March 1. Being kept in the dark, they said, made matters worse.” Ben Goad for The Hill: Sequestration silence stokes furlough fears
STILL WAITING: The agency in charge of Medicare and Medicaid has been without a chief for six years now — and Marilyn Tavenner has been waiting for Senate confirmation to the post for more than a year. The holdup isn’t her qualifications, it’s questions about the healthcare system itself. Regardless of politics, though, the agency needs someone in charge in order to function. In our Make Congress Work! action plan, we’ve proposed that the Senate only should get 90 days to vote on a nominee, or the nominee is automatically confirmed: Robert Pear for The New York Times: With No Confirmed Medicare Chief for 6 Years, Obama Tries Again
THE DAILY BREAK: For Valentine’s Day this year, send a D.C.-themed card. Check out The Washington Post’s suggestions here.
STAT OF THE DAY: The trade gap, or difference in a country’s imports and exports, is expected to widen in the next year as the U.S. imports more and more goods: Kathleen Madigan for The Wall Street Journal: Number of the Week: Expect Wider Trade Gap in 2013

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