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Posted at 5:00 PM ET, 12/13/2010

Afternoon Fix: Tax cut deal clears hurdle in Senate; Virginia judge strikes down health care bill's 'individual mandate'; reapportionment numbers due out on Dec. 21

By Chris Cillizza

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* The Senate voted to move forward with a vote on President Obama's tax cut compromise package on Monday. The bill is expected to pass in the Senate on Tuesday, at which time all eyes will be on the House.

* Republicans everywhere are cheering a Virginia federal judge's ruling that the "individual mandate" portion of the health care bill is unconstitutional. The issue is expected to head to the U.S. Supreme Court.

* The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that it will release state-based population numbers and will inform us which states will be adding and losing seats on Tuesday, Dec. 21. Keep an eye on The Fix for all you need to know about reapportionment.

* The centrist No Labels Movement launched today in New York, with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (I) and Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) slated to attend.

* Former RNC official Gentry Collins is officially entering the race for the Republican National Committee chairmanship today. Meanwhile, Tennessee Republican National Committeeman John Ryder sent an e-mail today supporting former RNC co-chairwoman Ann Wagner for the committee's chairmanship.


* Politics and Pints is tonight! Yes, that's right -- your monthly political-trivia-and-beer hookup is at Capitol Lounge at 7 p.m. And remember -- no need to form a team in advance. You can join one once you get there!

* The big announcement is expected tonight from Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who is set to reveal whether he will run for another term on a conference call with RNC members at 7:30 p.m. While it would be interesting to see him wage another campaign, we doubt it would get very far anyways. It might be much ado about nothing.

* If Steele says no to running for a second term, keep an eye on former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.). Coleman has said he might run, but only if Steele does not.

* A new poll from the Clarus Research Group finds Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) and former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) in a statistical tie. Clarus pegs Webb at 41 percent and Allen at 40 percent.

* Sticking with the Virginia theme: Former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) said on ABC's "Topline" today that "my political days are probably over." The former National Republican Congressional Committee chairman had considered a 2008 Senate run and was thought to be in the mix for future statewide runs.


What Obama really wanted to do at that press conference.

With Felicia Sonmez and Aaron Blake

By Chris Cillizza  | December 13, 2010; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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