A few of the political stories worth noting this Friday:
Congressional negotiators reached agreement on extensions of the payroll tax cut as well as federal jobless benefits and a "fix" that would prevent Medicare reimbursements to doctors from being cut. But while the House's Republican leaders and the Senate's Democratic leaders were on board, Senate Republicansn weren't. Votes are expected in both chambers Friday.
President Obama's campaign along with the Democratic National Committee raised $29.1 million in January for the president's re-election efforts. The Obama campaign bragged that more than 98 percent of that came from donors of $250 or less.
A new Suffolk University poll out of Massachusetts showed Republican Sen. Scott Brown leading Elizabeth Warren by nine percentage points, 49 percent to 40 percent. Other recent polls had shown Warren with a slight lead but the Suffolk poll suggests Brown may not be as vulnerable as Democrats hoped, especially since 60 percent of those surveyed thought the state benefited from having both a Republican and Democrat in the Senate.
The Washington Post reports, as others have before, that in earlier incarnations Mitt Romney was dedicated to chasing federal taxpayer money, an activity he now rails against. Both as head of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and as governor of Massachusetts, he sought federal dollars from Congress, including earmarks.
Maine's Republican Party now appears to be conceding it prematurely declared Romney the winner of its Republican presidential caucuses last Saturday. The state's GOP officials plan to include the results from Washington County and are reconfirming results from elsewhere. They declared Romney the victor with just 200 more votes more than Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.