Wednesday, May 23, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2007 – 2:21 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Poised to Cut Back Guest Worker Program
  • House GOP Support Needed to Pass Iraq Funding Bill
  • House Panel Approves Energy-Water Appropriations Bill
  • Brushing Off Veto Threat, House Votes to Ban Gas Price Gouging
  • Goodling Says She ‘Crossed the Line’ in Hiring Attorneys
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Today in Washington

The House considers various measures under suspension of the rules, including a bill to protect consumers from price-gouging of gasoline (HR 1252) and a half-dozen veterans-related measures, including bills to extend eligibility for free medical care for returning combat veterans (HR 612), to expand research and treatment of traumatic brain injuries (HR 2199) and to boost outreach programs at the Veterans Affairs Department (HR 67).

The Senate considers proposed amendments to a compromise immigration overhaul bill (S 1348).

The President delivers commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.

In Washington, the Library of Congress presents its first Gershwin Prize for Popular Song to Paul Simon. 8 p.m.,Warner Theater, 1299 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate Poised to Cut Back Guest Worker Program

The Senate appears poised to sharply reduce the number of temporary visas that could be granted to guest workers under an immigration overhaul.  [Read More]

House GOP Support Needed to Pass Iraq Funding Bill

House and Senate leaders remained optimistic today that Congress will send President Bush a final war spending measure by week’s end.  [Read More]

House Panel Approves Energy-Water Appropriations Bill

House appropriators delivered a sharp rebuke to the Energy Department today, scaling back or rejecting key nuclear weapons initiatives and shifting money toward clean energy and nonproliferation programs instead.  [Read More]

Brushing Off Veto Threat, House Votes to Ban Gas Price Gouging

The House ignored a White House veto threat and passed a bill today that seeks to ban price gouging for gasoline and other fuels.  [Read More]

Goodling Says She ‘Crossed the Line’ in Hiring Attorneys

Monica Goodling, a former top Justice Department aide, said she went too far in considering the political leanings of job candidates during testimony Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher, renominated in yesterday’s GOP primary election, faces a more difficult challenge in November, as he struggles to overcome ethics questions and divisions within his own party. Fletcher took 50 percent of the vote to defeat former GOP Rep. Anne M. Northup, who had 37 percent. A third candidate trailed with 13 percent. Fletcher will face Democrat Steve Beshear, a former lieutenant governor, who drew 41 percent in a six-candidate field, just enough to avoid a June 26 runoff. Fletcher continues to struggle in the polls. A SurveyUSA poll taken earlier this month put his approval rating at 38 percent and his disapproval rating at 58 percent.

Bloomberg.com reports that in the 2000 nominating season, independents in New Hampshire — “who are a plurality of the voters in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary — chose in overwhelming numbers to vote in the Republican contest, fueling Arizona Senator John McCain’s victory. Next year, according to the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, more than two-thirds of independents plan to vote in the Democratic primary, driven by a desire for change and dissatisfaction with the Iraq war and President George W. Bush. ... Andy Smith, the poll director at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, said the movement of independents to the Democrats might help Obama, the Illinois senator, more than his New York colleague Clinton, who polls show is stronger with the party’s base.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa.: Court Overturns County Smoking Ban
THE DALLAS REGION: North Texas Chosen for 2011 Super Bowl
LOS ANGELES COUNTY: Empowering of County Exec Approved
PROVIDENCE, R.I.: Imprisoned Mayor Headed for Hotel Job
DELAWARE: State Pushes for Nation's First Offshore Wind Farm
ILLINOIS: Governor's Campaign-Fund Records Subpoenaed
CALIFORNIA: State Presses Feds on Emissions Waiver

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Political Trivia

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was born in July 1955, six months after his predecessor, the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, was first sworn in to the Senate. Graham is the son of a tavern owner who grew up racking billiards in his parents’ bar in the textile town of Central, S.C. The death of both parents when he was not yet out of college left him to care for his 13-year-old sister, Darlene, whom he legally adopted. “It changes your world and you have to grow up a lot quicker,” Graham said. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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