Friday, November 17, 2006

CQ Today Midday Update

CQ Today Midday Update
Highlights from today's news on www.cq.com
Published by Congressional QuarterlyE-mail the editor
FRIDAY, NOV. 17, 2006 – 2 P.M.
Edited by Martha Angle

House Republicans Stick With Boehner, Blunt for 110th Congress

    House Republicans today voted to keep their top leaders in place for the next two years, despite the devastating loss at the polls Nov. 7 that cast them into the minority in the 110th Congress.
    Majority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio trounced Mike Pence of Indiana, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, to win election as minority leader. Boehner drew 168 votes to 27 for Pence and one for Joe L. Barton, R-Texas, who dropped out of the race earlier this week.
    Shortly thereafter, Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri turned back a challenge from conservative hard-liner John Shadegg of Arizona, taking 137 votes to 57 for Shadegg. One member abstained.
    In the months since he was elected majority leader Feb. 2, Boehner has won praise from a wide range of Republicans for his inclusive leadership style and consensus-building skills. In his leadership campaign, he argued that it would take a unified minority to win back the majority in two years.
    Pence had vowed to push the party toward its conservative base — a message that did not sit well with a diminished corps of moderates.

Putnam Takes No. 3 Post in Only Leadership Cliffhanger

    For all the advance buildup over the race for House GOP whip, it was the contest for the No. 3 rung on the leadership ladder that turned out to be closest today.
    Adam H. Putnam, R-Fla., was elected chairman of the GOP Conference on the third ballot, defeating Jack Kingston, R-Ga., by 100-91. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., was knocked out on the first ballot, while Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., was forced out on the second. Putnam led all the way.
    Kay Granger of Texas defeated Steve Pearce of New Mexico for Conference vice chair, 124-63. John Carter of Texas was unopposed for Conference secretary.
    Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan defeated Darrell Issa of California, 132-63, to succeed Putnam as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee.
    Tom Cole of Oklahama was elected chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the party’s House campaign arm, on the second ballot, defeating Pete Sessions of Texas by 102-81. Phil English, R-Pa., was knocked out on the first ballot, which Cole also led.

Senate Confirms FCC Chairman Martin for Another Term

    The Senate voted late last night to confirm Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin for another five-year term at the agency.
    Martin, a Republican, joined the commission in July 2001 and became chairman in March 2005, after Michael K. Powell resigned as chairman and left the FCC.
    The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee unanimously approved Martin’s nomination in September.
    The FCC, which regulates the telecommunications industry, is expected to address a number of contentious issues under Martin’s leadership, including new media ownership rules and a potential overhaul of the fund that subsidizes rural telephone service.
    The five-member commission currently has three Republicans and two Democrats.

Political Clippings

    CQPolitics.comreports that Senate Democrats are vowing to find ways to stop abusive campaign practices such as automated “robocalls,” some types of so-called push polls and attempts to mislead voters about their eligibility or the location of polling places. “We have to do everything we can to make elections more civil,” said incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. “Somehow, constitutionally, we’re going to have to figure out a way to stop this,” Reid added.
    According to the Los Angeles Times, state legislators in California and Florida “are eyeing earlier primary dates” for the 2008 presidential election “that would force contenders to campaign in their states. The idea is drawing bipartisan support from lawmakers in Sacramento and Tallahassee and is being watched closely by strategists for potential candidates. ... Such a change would transform the nomination battles in both parties.”
    The Rocky Mountain News reports Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., said yesterday he has “not decided whether mounting a long- shot presidential bid, running for the U.S. Senate or staying in the House of Representatives will be the best way to advance his conservative agenda.” Tancredo, a leader of the anti-immigration forces in Congress, is is waiting for GOP Sen. Wayne Allard “to decide whether he will honor a term-limits pledge and leave at the end of 2008. Allard reiterated the pledge during his 2002 re-election campaign,” but has since “gotten friendly pressure from fellow Republicans to seek another term in 2008.”

Political Trivia

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has politics in her blood. Both her parents served terms as mayor of the small northern Maine town of Caribou. Her father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather served as Maine legislators. (Source: CQ Politics in America 2006) More info

Quote of the Day

    “We were slow to recognize the trouble we were in earlier this year. We’re slow to recognize what it’s going to take to get out.” — Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., regarding GOP leadership election results.
Today in Washington
House
Not in session; reconvenes Tuesday, Dec. 5.
Senate
Not in session; reconvenes Tuesday, Dec. 5.
The President
Tours Ho Chi Minh City in Vienam. Meets with Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, president of Indonesia in Bogor, Indonesia. Participates in roundtable with civic leaders there and attends dinner with Yudhoyono.
In Washington
Vice President Dick Cheney appears at the Federalist Society’s 2006 National Lawyers Convention. 5 p.m., Renaissance Mayflower Hotel 1127 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
The Future of Privacy: 12/5
Join FTC Chairman Majoras for “Minding Your Business: The Future of Privacy” at the Chamber on Dec. 5 to discuss the relationship between security and data retention as well as privacy issues on the horizon. Register today
"White House Workshop"
Topics include: Who are the key players in the current administration and how to best reach them. How to educate and influence the Executive Branch and OMB. How the White House Office of Legislative Affairs works Capitol Hill. What can we learn from federal agency congressional liaison offices.
This training conference is sponsored by TheCapitol.Net - exclusive provider of Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences.
** Space is limited. **
WHERE: DC Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, Washington, DC (Metro Center station)
WHEN: November 29-30, 2006, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm both days
Registration Fee: $795
For more information about this program and secure online registration click here, or call our Registrar at 202-678-1600.
Today on Governing.com
State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW YORK STATE — Gov.-Elect Likely to Seek Comptroller's Removal
NEW JERSEY — State Debt Hits $33 Billion
PENNSYLVANIA — Plan Would Cut Mercury 90 Percent
WISCONSIN — Auditors: Deer-Killing Effort Ineffective
FLORIDA — State Opens Criminal Probe of Ex-Congressman
CQ Products
CQ Legislative Impact: How New Bills Affect Current Law
Using an enhanced version of our Bill Text product and integrating it with our new Public Law Text and U.S. Code services, CQ Legislative Impact shows you the connections between pending bills and current law more accurately — and faster — than ever before.
Comprehensive news and legislative tracking, including floor and committee coverage, schedules, member profiles, news and hearing transcripts and government documents.
CQ's weekly news magazine has been redesigned to cover all the forces that shape public policy. From Capitol Hill to K Street to the White House, CQ Weekly provides fresh perspectives on how policy is shaped and who is shaping it.
Forward-looking articles on each day's important Hill activity plus comprehensive coverage of the previous day's congressional news and the Hill's most accurate daily schedule. Print edition or e-mail PDF delivered by 7 a.m.
Stay ahead of the curve with customized notifications of breaking news based on your CQ Today alerts profile.
Enhanced CQ BillTrack brings you same-day notification of critical bill action.
A one-stop Web site and daily e-mail newsletter for tracking the federal budget and appropriations.
CQ offers the text of committee amendments — often before they've even been acted upon.
The new CQ Green Sheets is a revolutionary resource that gets inside the energy and environmental policy landscape.
Same-day coverage of federal health care policy.
CQ provides ongoing coverage of the largest reorganization of the federal government in more than 50 years.
Analysis of every bill and amendment scheduled for consideration on the House floor, briefings on the final versions of bills reported by conference committees, plus much more.
A free Web site with original news and analysis from Congressional Quarterly's reporters and editors. Election forecast map, balance of power scorecards, Craig Crawford and more. Every District. Every State. Every Day.
Your first source for information on politics, policy and people.
Get the appropriations draft bills and reports you need all in one easy-to-use resource, plus access to CRS, GAO, CBO, OMB documents, press releases, and much more.

President and Editor-in-Chief: Robert W. Merry
Editor and Senior Vice President: David Rapp

Executive Editors: Anne Q. Hoy, Mike Mills and Susan Benkelman
Managing Editors: Randy Wynn and Mark Stencel
Assistant Managing Editor: Daniel J. Parks
Deputy Editor: Chris Wright
Associate Editor: Martha Angle
Midday Update Product Editors: Arwen Bicknell, Jessica Scheuer, Jesse Stanchak and Paul Volpe

Reporters: The staff of Congressional Quarterly
Political Clippings compiled from BNN Frontrunner and CQ Politics.com

Publisher and Senior Vice President: Keith A. White
V.P. Advertising, Beth Bronder
Chief Marketing Officer: Greg Hamilton
V.P., Sales: Jim Gale
Chief Information Officer: Larry B. Tunks
Chief Financial Officer: Diane Atwell
Director, Strategy and Development: Neil Maslansky

Copyright 2006 Congressional Quarterly Inc. All rights reserved.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

CQ Today Midday Update

CQ Today Midday Update
Highlights from today's news on www.cq.com
Published by Congressional QuarterlyE-mail the editor
THURSDAY, NOV. 16, 2006 – 2:12 P.M.
Edited by Martha Angle

In Rebuff to Pelosi, Democrats Elect Hoyer as Majority Leader

    In a stunning revolt against incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, House Democrats on Thursday elected Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland as majority leader for the 110th Congress.
    By a vote of 149-86, Hoyer defeated John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania, whom Pelosi had endorsed Nov. 12 and lobbied for vigorously.
    That leaves Pelosi locked in an uneasy partnership with her longtime rival, a man she considers disloyal. Hoyer, a 25-year House veteran, has served as minority whip for the past four years, and Pelosi has resented his occasional public policy disagreements with her.
    The unexpectedly bruising contest could leave scars. It fractured the caucus just as Democrats prepare to take control of the House for the first time in a dozen years. Many members were unhappy at being strong-armed by Pelosi and her lieutenants, and she may find it harder to go to them for favors in the future.

House Democratic Blue Dogs Set to Exert New Influence

    The growing coalition of fiscally conservative House Democrats known as the “Blue Dogs” yesterday announced its new leaders and introduced new members for the 110th Congress.
    With the 44 Blue Dogs comprising about 20 percent of the new House Democratic majority, the group will play a pivotal role in the 110th Congress. Outgoing co-chairman Jim Matheson of Utah said the group “would be the voice of reason in the new Congress,” characterizing its members as “independent voices; they’re not rubber stamps.”
    Promoting balanced budgets remains at the top of the Blue Dogs’ agenda. Mike Ross of Arkansas, co-chairman for communications, said the group was pleased that Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had included the restoration of pay-as-you-go budget rules as part of her “first 100 hours plan.” But he also warned, “We plan to work with our party leadership . . . but we’re not going to be a rubber stamp for anyone. We’re going to help bring our party back to the middle.”

Senate Expected to Pass Bill to Advance Nuclear Pact With India

    The Senate today was moving toward passage of legislation allowing the United States to export nuclear fuel, technology and reactors to India for the first time in three decades.
    The legislation is intended to allow exports for peaceful purposes only and to endorse a preliminary agreement already struck with India.
    Critics fear it may help India expand its arsenal and destabilize South Asia, seen as a nuclear tinderbox because of the proximity of terrorist groups and India’s nuclear rivalry with Pakistan.
    Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, urged passage of the bill, calling the deal with India “the most important strategic diplomatic initiative undertaken by President Bush.”
    Joseph R. Biden Jr., D-Del., who will succeed Lugar as chairman next year, also defended the pact against charges it would weaken global non-proliferation efforts.

Stevens Vows to Seek Final Action on Pipeline Safety Bill This Year

    Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, said today he still hopes to win enactment this year of a measure reauthorizing pipeline safety programs through 2010.
    Stevens, chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, noted that the measure has drawn support from industry groups, safety advocates and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
    “Everyone wants to see this in place,” he said.
    Carolyn Weyforth, a spokeswoman for Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said the only way the Senate would act on the bill would be if a unanimous consent agreement is reached to speed it through.
    The Senate measure, like a bill approved in September by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, would subject low-stress pipelines to the same standards and regulations as other hazardous-liquid pipelines. Calls for stricter regulation intensified after corrosion in low-stress lines forced a shutdown of some pipelines in August at a BP facility on Alaska’s North Slope.
    Stevens said he anticipated House and Senate committee staffs would try over the Thanksgiving recess to resolve differences among the various bills.

Ex-Rep. Burns Won’t Seek Recount in Georgia Race

    Former Rep. Max Burns, R-Ga., today said he will not seek a recount in his close 12th District election race and congratulated Democratic Rep. John Barrow on winning a second House term.
    “While the vote was extremely close, we accept the results as certified by the Secretary of State,” Burns said in a statement. The final tally gave Barrow a winning margin of just 864 votes out of more than 142,000 cast. That would have allowed Burns to request a recount at no cost to his campaign.
    Barrow and fellow Rep. Jim Marshall of the 8th District were two of the House’s most vulnerable Democrats this year, competing in districts redrawn last year by the Republican-led state legislature.
    Republicans pitted two former House members against them, Burns and former six-term Republican Rep. Mac Collins. But both Democrats survived; Marshall prevailed by a 1,752-vote margin over Collins.
Today in Washington
House
Not in session; reconvenes Tuesday, Dec. 5.
Senate
Considers legislation promoting nuclear cooperation with India (S 3709) and possibly the fiscal 2007 Agriculture appropriations bill (HR 5384).
The President
In Singapore, visits Asian Civilizations Museum; meets with U.S. Embassy staff, Singapore’s acting president, and prime minister; speaks at the National University of Singapore; and attends a social dinner with the prime minister and his wife.
In Washington
The Federalist Society holds its 2006 National Lawyers Convention, with a 3 p.m. speech by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave. N.W., and a 7 p.m. dinner with Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. at Marriott Wardman Park, 2660 Woodley Rd. N.W.
The Future of Privacy: 12/5
Join FTC Chairman Majoras for “Minding Your Business: The Future of Privacy” at the Chamber on Dec. 5 to discuss the relationship between security and data retention as well as privacy issues on the horizon. Register today
Today on Governing.com
State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ILLINOIS — Pension Sought for Convicted Ex-Governor
NEW JERSEY — It's Official: No Bear Hunt
WASHINGTON, D.C. — City to Mandate 'Green' Construction
LOS ANGELES — Hospital Firm Accused of Skid Row Dumping
CQ Products
CQ Legislative Impact: How New Bills Affect Current Law
Using an enhanced version of our Bill Text product and integrating it with our new Public Law Text and U.S. Code services, CQ Legislative Impact shows you the connections between pending bills and current law more accurately — and faster — than ever before.
Comprehensive news and legislative tracking, including floor and committee coverage, schedules, member profiles, news and hearing transcripts and government documents.
CQ's weekly news magazine has been redesigned to cover all the forces that shape public policy. From Capitol Hill to K Street to the White House, CQ Weekly provides fresh perspectives on how policy is shaped and who is shaping it.
Forward-looking articles on each day's important Hill activity plus comprehensive coverage of the previous day's congressional news and the Hill's most accurate daily schedule. Print edition or e-mail PDF delivered by 7 a.m.
Stay ahead of the curve with customized notifications of breaking news based on your CQ Today alerts profile.
Enhanced CQ BillTrack brings you same-day notification of critical bill action.
A one-stop Web site and daily e-mail newsletter for tracking the federal budget and appropriations.
CQ offers the text of committee amendments — often before they've even been acted upon.
The new CQ Green Sheets is a revolutionary resource that gets inside the energy and environmental policy landscape.
Same-day coverage of federal health care policy.
CQ provides ongoing coverage of the largest reorganization of the federal government in more than 50 years.
Analysis of every bill and amendment scheduled for consideration on the House floor, briefings on the final versions of bills reported by conference committees, plus much more.
A free Web site with original news and analysis from Congressional Quarterly's reporters and editors. Election forecast map, balance of power scorecards, Craig Crawford and more. Every District. Every State. Every Day.
Your first source for information on politics, policy and people.
Get the appropriations draft bills and reports you need all in one easy-to-use resource, plus access to CRS, GAO, CBO, OMB documents, press releases, and much more.

President and Editor-in-Chief: Robert W. Merry
Editor and Senior Vice President: David Rapp

Executive Editors: Anne Q. Hoy, Mike Mills and Susan Benkelman
Managing Editors: Randy Wynn and Mark Stencel
Assistant Managing Editor: Daniel J. Parks
Deputy Editor: Chris Wright
Associate Editor: Martha Angle
Midday Update Product Editors: Arwen Bicknell, Jessica Scheuer, Jesse Stanchak and Paul Volpe

Reporters: The staff of Congressional Quarterly
Political Clippings compiled from BNN Frontrunner and CQ Politics.com

Publisher and Senior Vice President: Keith A. White
V.P. Advertising, Beth Bronder
Chief Marketing Officer: Greg Hamilton
V.P., Sales: Jim Gale
Chief Information Officer: Larry B. Tunks
Chief Financial Officer: Diane Atwell
Director, Strategy and Development: Neil Maslansky

Copyright 2006 Congressional Quarterly Inc. All rights reserved.

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To be removed from this mailing list:

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

CQ Today Midday Update

CQ Today Midday Update
Highlights from today's news on www.cq.com
Published by Congressional QuarterlyE-mail the editor
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 15, 2006 – 2:14 P.M.
Edited by Martha Angle

Sen. Lott Returns to GOP Leadership With One-Vote Victory

    Senate Republicans proved today that there can indeed be second acts in politics, electing their former leader Trent Lott of Mississippi to the No. 2 minority leadership post for the 110th Congress.
    Lott prevailed over Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., by a single vote in a race he jumped into only this week, after the Nov. 7 elections gave Democrats control of the Senate by a 51-49 margin. Alexander began lining up support nearly a year ago
    Lott will serve as GOP whip under newly anointed Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who was unopposed to succeed retiring Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.
    “It was just a choice of two styles and two sets of experience,” Alexander said. “Senators, like most Americans, like a comeback.”
    Just weeks after Republicans chose Lott as majority leader following the 2002 elections, he was pressured out of the job after suggesting that the country would have been better off had former Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., won the presidency in 1948 running on his segregationist “Dixiecrat” platform.
    McConnell was one of two senators who publicly supported Lott until the day he stepped down from the leader post.

Blunt Tries to Parry Shadegg’s ‘New Face’ Appeal to House GOP

    House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., fought today to quell a campaign by conservatives to elect a “new face” as minority whip for the 110th Congress.
    Blunt said he would stress his record as whip and his strong conservative views when he appeared before the party’s conservative faction, the Republican Study Committee (RSC).
    But Blunt’s supporters privately acknowledged that John Shadegg of Arizona, a longtime RSC leader, was gaining support because Blunt is the only candidate seeking a top leadership post in the new Congress who was part of the team elected at the start of the current one. “He’s the only one left. And it’s clear they have gotten some traction with the argument that we need to make a fresh start,” said one member backing Blunt.
    Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., a Shadegg supporter, said that the Arizonan’s case for a new face would be particularly strong if Majority Leader John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, wins the race for minority leader, the first contest that will be decided in the balloting on Friday.

Democrat Seals Narrow Victory Over Rep. Simmons

    Democrat Joe Courtney has eked out a razor-thin victory over three-term Republican Rep. Rob Simmons in Connecticut’s 2nd District. A recanvass by state election officials confirmed his Election Day win.
    Simmons planned a press conference this afternoon at which he was expected to concede.
    Courtney, who held a 167-vote lead on Election Day, won by just 90 votes after the recanvass, according to the Connecticut Secretary of State’s office.
    The contest was the closest of many tight races in a midterm election cycle that boosted Democrats to control of both chambers of Congress.
    This was the second face-off between Courtney and Simmons, who defeated the Democrat by 54-46 percent in 2002. This year, however, Simmons — like several other moderate Republicans in the Northeast — could not withstand the strong Democratic tide.

Political Clippings

    The Raleigh News and Observer reports that North Carolina “State Democratic Chairman Jerry Meek has turned to the Web to get names of someone who can beat Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole in 2008. The plea is part gesture to the power of political blogs and part acknowledgment that he has no strong candidate in sight.” Suggestions in response to his post “include Gov. Mike Easley, former four-term Gov. Jim Hunt, former UNC-Chapel Hill basketball coach Dean Smith and Elizabeth Edwards,” wife of former Sen. John Edwards, the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee.
    According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, “Republican Vern Buchanan’s lead increased slightly at the end of a two-day, computer-generated recount of the 13th Congressional District race. On election night, Buchanan led Democrat Christine Jennings by 368 votes. His lead rose to an unofficial 377 votes” by Tuesday. “The recount, though, doesn’t address the most inflammatory issue of the election dispute: Why were more than 18,000 ballots left blank in the congressional race, and did it involve voter error or problems with the system?” A state audit of the machines was delayed for 48 hours.

Political Trivia

    Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., outgoing head of the Senate Republicans’ campaign unit, began her Washington career as a consumer affairs aide to Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon. She served on the Federal Trade Commission under Presidents Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter, as secretary of Transportation under President Ronald Reagan and as secretary of Labor under President George Bush. More info
Today in Washington
House
Passed measures under suspension of the rules, including financial contract netting improvements (HR 5585) and continuing fiscal 2007 appropriations resolution lasting through Dec. 8 (H J Res 100). Reconvenes Dec. 5.
Senate
Considers fiscal 2007 Agriculture appropriations (HR 5384).
The President
Arrives in Moscow and greets Russian President Vladimir Putin; departs for Singapore on Air Force One.
In Washington
Rabbi Irving Greenberg, president of the Jewish Life Network/Steinhardt Foundation, lectures on the next stage of Jewish-Catholic relations. 7 p.m., Bunn Intercultural Center Auditorium, Georgetown University, 37th & O Streets, N.W.
The Future of Privacy: 12/5
Join FTC Chairman Majoras for “Minding Your Business: The Future of Privacy” at the Chamber on Dec. 5 to discuss the relationship between security and data retention as well as privacy issues on the horizon. Register today
Today on Governing.com
State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
SAN DIEGO — SEC: City Defrauded Pension Investors
SAN FRANCISCO — City Drops Olympics Bid
NEW YORK CITY — Judge Rejects City Effort to Block Insurer Merger
CALIFORNIA — Pension on Track for 33.6% Insurance Rate Boost
MASSACHUSETTS — Plan to End Pike Tolls Hitting Barriers
ILLINOIS — Chief Justice Wins $7 Million in Libel Suit
TEXAS — New Long-Range Water Plan OKd
CQ Products
CQ Legislative Impact: How New Bills Affect Current Law
Using an enhanced version of our Bill Text product and integrating it with our new Public Law Text and U.S. Code services, CQ Legislative Impact shows you the connections between pending bills and current law more accurately — and faster — than ever before.
Comprehensive news and legislative tracking, including floor and committee coverage, schedules, member profiles, news and hearing transcripts and government documents.
CQ's weekly news magazine has been redesigned to cover all the forces that shape public policy. From Capitol Hill to K Street to the White House, CQ Weekly provides fresh perspectives on how policy is shaped and who is shaping it.
Forward-looking articles on each day's important Hill activity plus comprehensive coverage of the previous day's congressional news and the Hill's most accurate daily schedule. Print edition or e-mail PDF delivered by 7 a.m.
Stay ahead of the curve with customized notifications of breaking news based on your CQ Today alerts profile.
Enhanced CQ BillTrack brings you same-day notification of critical bill action.
A one-stop Web site and daily e-mail newsletter for tracking the federal budget and appropriations.
CQ offers the text of committee amendments — often before they've even been acted upon.
The new CQ Green Sheets is a revolutionary resource that gets inside the energy and environmental policy landscape.
Same-day coverage of federal health care policy.
CQ provides ongoing coverage of the largest reorganization of the federal government in more than 50 years.
Analysis of every bill and amendment scheduled for consideration on the House floor, briefings on the final versions of bills reported by conference committees, plus much more.
A free Web site with original news and analysis from Congressional Quarterly's reporters and editors. Election forecast map, balance of power scorecards, Craig Crawford and more. Every District. Every State. Every Day.
Your first source for information on politics, policy and people.
Get the appropriations draft bills and reports you need all in one easy-to-use resource, plus access to CRS, GAO, CBO, OMB documents, press releases, and much more.

President and Editor-in-Chief: Robert W. Merry
Editor and Senior Vice President: David Rapp

Executive Editors: Anne Q. Hoy, Mike Mills and Susan Benkelman
Managing Editors: Randy Wynn and Mark Stencel
Assistant Managing Editor: Daniel J. Parks
Deputy Editor: Chris Wright
Associate Editor: Martha Angle
Midday Update Product Editors: Arwen Bicknell, Jessica Scheuer, Jesse Stanchak and Paul Volpe

Reporters: The staff of Congressional Quarterly
Political Clippings compiled from BNN Frontrunner and CQ Politics.com

Publisher and Senior Vice President: Keith A. White
V.P. Advertising, Beth Bronder
Chief Marketing Officer: Greg Hamilton
V.P., Sales: Jim Gale
Chief Information Officer: Larry B. Tunks
Chief Financial Officer: Diane Atwell
Director, Strategy and Development: Neil Maslansky

Copyright 2006 Congressional Quarterly Inc. All rights reserved.

To sign up for this newsletter, visit:
To be removed from this mailing list:

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

CQ Today Midday Update

CQ Today Midday Update
Highlights from today's news on www.cq.com
Published by Congressional QuarterlyE-mail the editor
TUESDAY, NOV. 14, 2006 – 2:09 P.M.
Edited by Martha Angle

Senate Democrats Ratify Leadership Choices

    Senate Democrats today elected a tried and true slate of leaders for the 110th Congress, and gave a special thank you to Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., whose performance as head of their campaign unit helped them secure the majority.
    Harry Reid of Nevada and Richard J. Durbin of Illinois will continue to lead the party as majority leader and majority whip, respectively. The two have held the top jobs since the start of the current Congress in 2005. Reid previously served as whip under Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.
    Byron L. Dorgan of North Dakota will remain chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee, and Schumer agreed to an encore as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
    But Schumer also will get a new title — vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, making him No. 3 on the leadership ladder.
    Asked whether that was a tip of the hat to Schumer’s extraordinary success as DSCC chairman, Reid replied swiftly: “Yes.”
    Schumer raised record sums for the 2006 cycle and far outpaced the Republican campaign committee. Democrats did not lose a single seat and they swept all but one of the most closely contested races Nov. 7.

Senate Democrats Dole Out Coveted Committee Slots

    Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., today won back a seat on the Appropriations Committee that he had lost after Republicans recaptured control of the Senate in 2002.
    Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Ken Salazar, D-Colo., won coveted slots on the powerful Finance Committee. Stabenow was given the Finance slot as enticement to ease her departure from the elected Democratic leadership. Patty Murray of Washington was elected today to Stabenow’s old post as conference secretary.
    Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, incoming chairman of the Governmental Affairs and Homeland Security Committee, will have two new committee Democrats — Barack Obama of Illinois and Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana.
    Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., is leaving the panel after failing to persuade fellow Democrats that he should be chairman instead of Lieberman, who was re-elected Nov. 7 as an independent after losing the Democratic primary.

Reid Taps Former Capitol Police Chief as Senate Sergeant at Arms

    Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., today announced that he will appoint former Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer to be Senate sergeant at arms in the 110th Congress.
    Gainer retired from the force in March after it was revealed that his son-in-law worked for the Capitol Police in violation of department nepotism rules. Deputy Chief Phillip D. Morse Sr. was promoted to succeed him late last month.
    Gainer was popular with rank-and-file officers but at times clashed with House leaders and appropriators. Now he will have some say over the shape and function of the department as a member of the Capitol Police Board, which oversees the Capitol Police and chose Morse as its new chief.
    Reid, who picked Gainer as the Senate sergeant at arms, is a former Capitol Police officer himself. He moonlighted on the force while working his way through George Washington University Law School in the mid-1960s.
    Reid also announced that Nancy Erickson, now the Democratic representative to the sergeant at arms, will serve as secretary of the Senate next year.

Bush Heads to Vietnam Without Trade Normalization Bill

    The surprise House failure to accelerate passage of legislation granting permanent normal trade relations to Vietnam is sending President Bush off to Hanoi empty-handed late Tuesday.
    The delay in clearing the measure is an embarrassment; Bush expected to have the measure in hand for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
    House GOP leaders intend to seek a rule to bring the bill back to the floor tomorrow. With a rule, it could pass by a simple majority rather than the two-thirds required under suspension of the rules.
    But the bill could face more trouble in the Senate. The measure is not protected under fast-track rules and thus is open to amendments on the Senate floor.
    Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, who will become chairman of the panel in January, nonetheless predicted that the Vietnam measure would be cleared during the current lame-duck session. “We’ll get it passed,” he said today.

Senate Banking Leaders Still Hope to Move Some Bills This Year

    Legislation overhauling regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and a flood insurance bill could come up during the lame-duck session, leaders of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee said today.
    However, Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., who will take over as chairman next year, said he did not want to raise expectations too high.
    “We hope to clean up where we can clean up,” Dodd told reporters Tuesday morning following a breakfast with current Chairman Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala.
    Both men said “must-do” fiscal 2007 appropriations bills would outrank Banking Committee bills in the competition for scarce floor time, but they could try to slip in between those bills.
    Still, limited floor time may not be the biggest obstacle to moving the measures. The Fannie Mae bill has been stalled for more than a year over whether to rein in the mortgage giant’s investment portfolio. And Louisiana’s senators are worried that changes to the federal flood insurance program could make coverage unaffordable for their state’s residents.

Political Clippings

    The Baton Rouge Advocate reports that jockeying has already begun for Louisiana’s 2007 gubernatorial election. “James Quinn, executive director of the state GOP, said that his party sees opportunities in 2007 in Louisiana despite the difficulties in 2006 national campaigns. ‘Louisiana is becoming more and more of a red state,’ he said.” Rep. Bobby Jindal, R-La., is widely expected to run for governor against Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco. But he may not be the only one. “Is it possible to avoid multiple GOP candidates for the most-glittering prize in state politics, the governorship? ‘It might not work out in every race,’ ” Quinn conceded.
    According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., “yesterday said Republicans need to move toward the political center if they hope to avoid a repetition of last week’s electoral drubbing, which delivered control of both houses of Congress to the Democrats for the first time since 1994.” Specter “cited exit polls showing that many Americans identify themselves as moderates, while growing voting blocs, such as young people and Hispanics, are turning toward the Democrats. ‘You can run the math and say that we ought to be moving to the center as a party,’ he said, pointing toward the landslide victory of Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger in California, a state that often elects Democrats.”

Political Trivia

    Rep. David R. Obey, D-Wis., the incoming chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, grew up in a Republican family in Wausau. When he was a boy, his father, who ran a small floor covering business, had surgery that threatened his ability to work. “We were scared,” Obey recalls. “That experience taught me that working families are just one paycheck away from economic disaster,” he said. “And it showed me firsthand the importance of every family having access to good health care.” More info
Today in Washington
House
Considering several measures under suspension of the rules, including a bill on veterans’ benefits (HR 6314).
Senate
Considers fiscal 2007 Military Construction-Veterans’ Affairs appropriations bill (HR 5385).
The President
Meets with auto industry CEOs and later departs with Mrs. Bush for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam.
In Washington
American University’s School of Communications hosts “An American Forum” panel discussion, “The Midterms and the Media.” Participants: Ana Marie Cox, editor, Time.com and founding editor of the political blog Wonkette; Dotty Lynch, executive in residence, AU School of Communication and political consultant, CBS News; Ken Walsh, chief White House correspondent, U.S. News & World Report; and David Winston, founder and president, The Winston Group. 8 p.m.-9 p.m., Room 1, Ward Circle Building, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
The Future of Privacy: 12/5
Join FTC Chairman Majoras for “Minding Your Business: The Future of Privacy” at the Chamber on Dec. 5 to discuss the relationship between security and data retention as well as privacy issues on the horizon. Register today
Today on Governing.com
State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
OHIO — GOP Figure Convicted in Coin Scandal
MARYLAND/VIRGINIA — States Ready Joint Space Program
THE WASHINGTON, D.C., REGION — L.A. Bus Expert to Head Transit System
LOS ANGELES — Police HQ Bond Deal Raises Cost Concerns
FARMERS BRANCH, TEXAS — City Targets Illegal Immigrants
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