Thursday in politics: Rival sequester votes expected in Senate, and more

Phil Pruitt
The Ticket

Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have drafted alternative measures to replace the $85 billion in spending cuts – aka the sequester – set to begin phasing in Friday.

Votes on the measures are expected Thursday and both are expected to fail. The strategy, as the Associated Press reports, is avoiding public blame for any inconvenience or disruption in government services.

What’s next regarding sequestration? The House and the Senate are set to send their members home Thursday afternoon, and President Barack Obama is expected to meet Friday with Republican House Speaker John Boehner, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Secretary of State John Kerry will meet on Thursday with leaders of Syria's opposition council, and the outcome of that meeting is expected to move the United States towards more direct involvement in the nation's conflict, ABC OTUS News reports.

Also worth noting on Thursday: The House will vote on the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, and first lady Michelle Obama continues her national tour marking the third anniversary of 'Let's Move!' with a stop in Chicago to announce a plan to bring physical activity back to schools.

And then there is this: The Senate Judiciary Committee plans an executive business meeting Thursday, and gun safety bills are expected to be on the agenda.

Sources: Yahoo News’ The Ticket, ABC OTUS News, Associated Press and Reuters.