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Boehner’s vacation home not a signal of retirement

House Speaker John Boehner has bought an $835,000 condo in southern Florida, which immediately sparked talk that the West Chester Twp. Republican is ready to retire. Not so, said Michael Steel, a Boehner spokesman.

The News-Press of Fort Myers reports that the $835,000 condo is in a 14-story tower known as The Tampico on Marco Island in the Gulf of Mexico.

Real estate records filed with the Collier County clerk show the Boehners took out a mortgage of $650,000 to help finance the purchase from John S. Lucas Jr. The unit comes with a quarterly condo fee of $3,900, records show.

In a statement to — which broke the story — Steel said “this area of Florida has been the Boehners’ family vacation spot for many years, and rather than continue to put money into vacation rentals year after year, they decided to buy a condo. Their home is in West Chester, Ohio, and will continue to be.”

Privately and publicly, those close to Boehner insist he will run for re-election to his seat and as speaker. He has been raising campaign money and his party is expected to retain control of the House in the November elections.

But … balanced against that is the fact that arch conservatives are upset with Boehner because he is not willing to shut down the federal government in budget disputes with President Barack Obama. And he has sent positive signals about immigration reform, another no-no among conservatives.

Senate Democrats winning money race for 2014

As both parties prepare for the November elections, Senate Democrats raised nearly $2 million more in January than the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which collected $4.62 million during the same month. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is the chief fundraiser for the Senate GOP. For the 2014 election cycle, Senate Democrats have raised $59.2 million compared to $41.2 million for the Republicans.

There was some good news for the GOP. The Senate Republicans raised more in January than in any other month in the election cycle, a sign that Portman is making a difference as head of the Senate GOP’s fundraising operation.

Brown praises decision to not cut Social Security benefits

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is thrilled by the news that the Obama Administration that it will not include cuts to Social Security benefits in its 2015 budget proposal.

Obama announced this week that he planned to drop a plan to change the way the federal government calculated inflation for Social Security that he had included in last year’s federal budget proposal.

“This is excellent news for American workers who spend a lifetime paying into Social Security,” he said. “Cutting the inflation index would have dramatically reduced the benefits of seniors and disabled Americans, including veterans. Too many seniors have budgets that are already stretched to the breaking point and they cannot afford to see their benefits cut.”

Portman takes on Obama economic policy

Portman made the rounds of cable talk shows last week, primarily using his time to criticize President Obama’s economic and foreign policies.

On an appearance on “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on Fox News Channel, Portman addressed a Congressional Budget Office Report that found that Obama’s signature health care law would hurt the economy and drive up the debt by another $10 trillion over the next decade. He said that report — combined with a CBO report that found that increasing the minimum wage would cost jobs — reflected an administration that has not been pro-growth.

“The economic growth issues, the entitlement issue, the debt and deficit issue generally; these are not being resolved,” he said. “We’re just kicking the can down the road. We’re not providing the economic growth needed to help people to get a job. We’re also not providing the kind of growth we need to have the revenues to deal with our historic levels of debt and deficit … We’re mortgaging our future.”

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