Obama tops Romney: President Obama’s campaign outraised Mitt Romney for the first time in a full quarter, bringing in $114 million in August, compared to Romney’s $111.6 million. Democrats’ increasingly desperate sounding pleas for money seem to have worked, according to the numbers announced late last night and early this morning. While we don’t yet know how much Obama has in the bank, Romney is likely to keep his cash-on-hand advantage, with his $168.5 banked. The edge is narrow, but it will certainly be a big psychological boost for the Obama campaign coming out of a successful convention.
Back to doing nothing: Congress returns to work this week, or at least returns to Washington after recess, though it’s unclear how much work will actually get done. The legislature is expected to accomplish almost nothing before the election, aside from some political posturing. The only substantive piece of legislation Congress must address is a stopgap spending measure to keep the government funded through Election Day, and it may also take up a farm bill. Otherwise, the floors of the House and Senate will become another venue for stump speeches as Democrats slam Republicans for obstructing legislation on jobs and Republicans try again to advance the repeal of Obamacare. All the big issues — such as dealing with the so-called “fiscal cliff” — will have to wait until what’s promising to be a jam-packed lame duck session after the election.
Obama repays young people: The percentage of young adults without health insurance fell by one-sixth in 2011 from the previous year, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. It’s the largest annual decline for any age group since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began collecting the data in 1997, according to a new report out today. That figure means 1.6 million young people have insurance today that didn’t before. Both conservative and liberal policy analysts agree the provision in Obamacare allowing children to stay on their parent’s health care until age 26 is the only plausible explanation for the drop. Romney yesterday suggested he would keep this provision of the law if elected president, but later muddied the waters on it.
School’s still out for Summer: Teachers in Chicago staged the first strike in a quarter century over reforms implemented by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and endorsed by the Obama administration. Some 29,000 teachers and support staff in the nation’s third largest school district stayed home today, leaving parents of 350,000 students scrambling to find alternate child care, some of which was provided by a network of churches and community centers with financial backing from the district. The dispute centered on, among other things, a desire to hold teachers accountable to the standardized tests scores of their students and a plan to give principals more power over teachers.
Jackson returns: Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. plans to return to work today after months of absence from Capitol Hill to undergo medical treatment for bipolar disorder and a gastrointestinal condition at the Mayo Clinic. Jackson disappeared from Washington months ago and it was unclear at first where he had gone, but his medical condition was later revealed. He’s also faced scrutiny from the House Ethics Committee for allegedly offering to raise money for then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for an appointment to the Senate seat being vacated by Barack Obama, something Jackson has denied.