Thursday, April 19, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2007 – 2:35 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Gonzales Says He Can’t Recall Key Meeting About Firing U.S. Attorneys
  • Snowe Wants Plan to Reverse Troop Surge If Iraqis Don’t Meet Benchmarks
  • House Panel Approves Dam Security Measure
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Today in Washington

The House considers D.C. voting rights legislation (HR 1905) and a related tax measure (HR 1906), as well as a bill (HR 1495) covering water projects across the country.

The Senate considers court security legislation (S 378).

The President speaks on the war on terrorism at Tippecanoe High School in Tipp City, Ohio.

In Washington, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies holds a session on the future of international news in the U.S. media, with NPR President Kevin Klose, 5:30 p.m., Kenney Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Gonzales Says He Can’t Recall Key Meeting About Firing U.S. Attorneys

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales testified today that he could not recall a Nov. 27, 2006, meeting at which he and senior Justice Department officials discussed the firings of several U.S. attorneys.  [Read More]

Snowe Wants Plan to Reverse Troop Surge If Iraqis Don’t Meet Benchmarks

Sen. Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, a leading GOP moderate, today unveiled a proposal that would require the top U.S. commander in Iraq to give Congress a plan for reversing President Bush’s troop “surge” if the Iraqi government does not meet certain benchmarks within four months of enactment.  [Read More]

House Panel Approves Dam Security Measure

A House Natural Resources subcommittee today approved legislation to require the federal government to pick up most of the security costs at hundreds of dams in Western states.  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md.: Struggling County Hospitals Get Reprieve
BLACKSBURG, Va.: Campus Killer’s Troubled State Long Known
ROSEMONT, Ill.: Longtime Mayor Dies
THE NEW YORK CITY REGION: Transit Agency Hikes Fares 9.6%
NEW JERSEY: Probe: Fraud, Waste Beset Health Care Program
TEXAS: Troubled College’s Regents Refuse to Quit

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Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that Democrat Joan Fitz-Gerald, the president of Colorado’s state Senate, confirmed that she will seek the congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., who is running for the state’s open Senate seat. Fitz-Gerald is the leading Democratic candidate in a Democratic-leaning district, which gave 58 percent of its votes in the 2004 presidential election to Democratic nominee John Kerry. Udall has typically prevailed in his House races by even wider margins.

The Boston Herald reports on a statewide poll suggesting that Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., could have trouble in his re-election bid next year. Only 37 percent of 400 voters polled said Kerry deserves re-election; 56 percent said it’s time for someone else. Suffolk Political Research Center director David Paleologos called the loss of support for Kerry “early warning signs of a political storm.” Former state Democratic Chairman Philip Johnston said Kerry should be immune from any primary challenge. “He has a boatload of campaign money,” Johnston said. The April 12-15 poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

The Oakland Tribune reports that GOP home-ownership consultant Charles Hargrave says he can defeat Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., next year. “Barbara Lee is going to be hard to beat, but I believe I have a platform, I have a plan and if I carry out that plan correctly I will beat Barbara Lee in 2008,” he said. Hargrave moved to Oakland from San Pablo since losing his 2002 and 2004 bids to unseat Rep. George Miller, D-Calif. Lee has represented the heavily Democratic 9th District since 1988, and took 86 percent of the vote in November.

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GovSec: Government Security Conference

Who becomes a terrorist? What is homeland security? When’s the next attack? How can terrorism end?
Get the answers from all points of view from GovSec May 9 – 10, D.C. Convention Center. FREE to Congressional staff with code: CQWEB.

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Political Trivia

The son and grandson of Navy admirals, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., went to the Naval Academy in Annapolis with great family expectations, but finished fifth from the bottom in 1958. Still, he was a good Navy flier and, it turned out, a good patriot. Nine years after graduation, his plane was shot down and he was captured by the North Vietnamese. He spent the next five and a half years enduring torture and solitary confinement, an experience recounted in his best-selling memoir, “Faith of My Fathers.” (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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