A.M. Links: Same Contractor Vetted Snowden and Navy Yard Shooter, Al Qaeda-Linked Rebels in Syria Shifting Focus, Rand Paul Says Filibuster May Not Stop Budget With Obamacare Funding
- USIS, a contractor currently being investigated by the feds for possible criminal violations relating to its oversight of background checks, vetted NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis.
- The Western-backed Syrian opposition group the Syrian National Coalition has said that rebels with links to Al Qaeda are shifting their focus from fighting the Assad regime to controlling rebel territories.
- Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has questioned whether a filibuster could stop Obamacare funding. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said that he will filibuster any budget that includes funding for Obamacare.
- The Israeli prime minister's office has released a statement urging the world not to be fooled by Iran's "charm offensive." In a recent interview for NBC Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran was not seeking a nuclear weapon.
- Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), who according to the Center for Responsive Politics is worth between $3 million and $7.6 million as of 2011, complained about his $172,000 salary during a meeting with congressional Republicans on the treatment of lawmakers and their staff under Obamacare.
- The House has voted to cut about $4 billion a year from the food stamp program.