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Thursday Political Grab Bag: Obama, GOP House Agree On Jobs Bill, Etc.

President Obama with Reps. John Boehner and Eric Cantor, Jan. 29, 2010.
Charles Dharapak
President Obama with Reps. John Boehner and Eric Cantor, Jan. 29, 2010.

The Obama administration and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, are cooperating on new jobs legislation drafted by House Republicans, indicating that both sides see an election-year benefit in showing that they can work together. The legislation is expected to pass Thursday.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., interjected himself into the presidential race by taking Mitt Romney to task in a Washington Post op-ed piece for what he suggested were illegitimate, politically motivated criticisms of the Obama administration's Iran policy. The 2004 Democratic presidential nominee echoed Obama by saying Romney's bellicose talk only aided Iran by helping to raise oil prices.

Romney's campaign and its allied superPAC funneled resources into Mississippi and Alabama, which hold primaries next week, in an attempt to help the front-runner make a better showing in the South than he has up to now.

Two Alabama polls did little to shed light on what GOP voters are likely to do in that state next week, with one recent poll giving Romney a 10-point lead and another giving Rick Santorum a lead of four points. Interestingly, neither poll had Newt Gingrich, the candidate from neighboring Georgia, in the lead or in second place.

Low-income women in Texas are finding their health-care options reduced as clinics that once provided them with comprehensive medical care have been forced to close because of funding cuts to Planned Parenthood orchestrated by abortion foes.

U.S. officials were investigating charges that the Afghan air force was involved in secretly transporting narcotics and weapons for criminal and insurgent groups on aircraft secured through U.S. taxpayer funding. The latest allegations and others having to do with widespread Afghan corruption raise more questions about the reliability of the U.S.' Afghan allies as the U.S. role in Afghanistan is debated in the presidential campaign.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Frank James joined NPR News in April 2009 to launch the blog, "The Two-Way," with co-blogger Mark Memmott.

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