Afternoon Fix: AFL-CIO and U.S. Chamber back Obama infrastructure plan; John Thune sees 'big opportunity' ahead
South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune says he sees "big opportunity" ahead; Republican Ed Martin is "very seriously" considering a bid against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.); and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty (R) announces his February travel schedule.
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EARLIER ON THE FIX
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
* Both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO praised President Obama's State of the Union call for more infrastructure spending. "Whether it is building roads, bridges, high-speed broadband, energy systems and schools, these projects not only create jobs and demand for businesses, they are an investment in building the modern infrastructure our country needs to compete in a global economy," leaders of the two groups said in a joint statement.
* Republican Ed Martin, who served as chief of staff to former Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt (R), issued a statement to supporters today saying he's "very seriously" considering running against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in 2012. "The Republican nominee to face Senator McCaskill must be someone who understands the limits of Constitutional government," Martin wrote.
* Justin Bernier, a onetime legislative aide to former Rep. Rob Simmons (R-Conn.), announced that he will run for the 5th District seat being vacated by Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). Bernier ran for the seat last cycle and finished second in the Republican primary behind state Sen. Sam Caligiuri (R).
* The House today passed a measure introduced by Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) that would put an end to public financing of presidential campaigns and national political conventions, with two potential presidential contenders, Reps. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Michele Bachmann (R-Ind.), joining their party in backing the bill. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has introduced matching legislation in the Senate, but President Obama has vowed to veto the plan if it makes it to his desk.
* Thirty-five Republican senators including Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) have introduced legislation to repeal the national health care overhaul.
WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T MISS
* Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams (R) plans to officially announce his candidacy tomorrow for the seat of retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas).
* Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) told ABC News that he sees "big opportunity" ahead and that "it won't be long" before he makes a decision on a potential 2012 White House bid.
* Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty (R) continues his book tour in February, kicking off the month with a visit to Alpharetta, Georgia, followed by stops in Roseville, Minnesota and Chicago, Lombard, and Wheaton, Illinois. Pawlenty will visit Iowa on Feb. 7, the District of Columbia on Feb. 10-12 and return to Minnesota on Feb. 24.
* Bachmann is slated to visit Iowa on Mar. 23 to attend the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators home-school day at the Iowa state capitol.
THE FIX MIX
With Felicia Sonmez and Aaron Blake