News in Brief: Warren Prodded to Run for US Senate Seat in Massachusetts, and More

Warren Prodded to Run for US Senate Seat in Massachusetts

Even as activists and advocates are pushing for a recess appointment of Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, another campaign to draft Warren to run for the US Senate seat as a Democrat is heating up, The New York Times reports. While agency spokeswoman Jen Howard said Monday, “Elizabeth Warren is 100 percent focused on building the new consumer agency,” Democratic officials think the Harvard Law professor is a prime pick to run again Republican Sen. Scott Brown. While the Democratic field is already crowded with a range of candidates, officials think Warren's popularity with progressive activists make the seat an easy pick-up in a year that looks to be otherwise hard for Democrats in the Senate.

White House Adds Rapid Response and Progressive Outreach Staffer

Gearing up for his 2012 re-election campaign, President Obama has appointed a rapid response and netroots outreach staff member to his communications shop, reports The Huffington Post. “This week, Jesse Lee will move from the new media department into a role in the communications department as Director of Progressive Media & Online Response,” said White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer in a memo provided to The Huffington Post. Lee is a new media veteran on the Hill, having worked on Obama's 2008 campaign and as a staffer for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California).

Leahy, Paul Team Up to Change Elements of Patriot Act

In an unlikely partnership, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) will introduce an amendment to the Patriot Act ” that would phase out some of the most controversial components of the national security law,” reports Talking Points Memo. The amendment would end National Security Letters (NSLs) by the end of 2013, and call for more oversight of NSLs in the interim. No word yet on the likelihood of the amendment's passage.