Here’s your weekly quick look at few developing stories in the political arena:
- Minnesota continued a recent trend by becoming the 12th state to legalize gay marriage on Tuesday when Governor Mark Dayton signed a recently passed marriage equality bill into law. “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should certainly include the right to marry the person you love,” Dayton said. The bill passed in the senate on Monday by a 37-30 vote. Couples will be allowed to marry starting August 1, 2013. The other states that currently allow gay marriage are: CT, DE, IA, ME, MD, MA, NH, NY, RI, VT, WA, and also the District of Columbia.
- On Wednesday, the White House released more than 100 pages of e-mails in an attempt to quiet critics who think that President Barack Obama and his aides played politics with our national security following the deadly September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The White House has always denied any type of cover-up. White House spokesman Eric Schultz said, “Collectively these emails make clear that the interagency process, including the White House’s interactions, were focused on providing the facts as we knew them based on the best information available at the time and protecting an ongoing investigation.”
- President Obama on Thursday said he had no knowledge of the recent IRS scandal until the media exposed it last Friday. The IRS is under heavy scrutiny for singling out groups, particularly those with Tea Party ties, that were seeking tax-exempt status. President Obama has since repeatedly denounced the discriminatory behavior at the IRS. President Obama said, “What I’m absolutely certain of is that the actions that were described in that I.G. report are unacceptable.” On Wednesday, the Obama administration called for the resignation of acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller and the Justice Department announced that they will be investigating the matter. It is not yet known whether or not any laws were broken and if any criminal charges will be filed.
- Finally, a bipartisan U.S house group has reached an agreement on immigration reform. The report says that the Democrats and Republicans involved will run it by their party leaders and colleagues and hopefully formal legislation will be introduced in June. “Filing a real bipartisan bill, a serious, enforceable commonsense bill is, I think, a huge step. But it’s the first step of the process, a very important step,” said Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, one of the members of the bipartisan group.