Friday, June 08, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, JUNE 8, 2007 – 2:02 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Pace Ousted as Joint Chiefs Chairman in Bid to Avert Senate Battle
  • Immigration Bill’s Backers Vow to Continue Efforts
  • Rep. Jefferson Pleads Innocent at Federal Court Arraignment
  • Administration Eases Passport Rule for Western Hemisphere Travel
  • GOP Activist Pleads Guilty in Abramoff Scandal
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Today in Washington

The House convenes at 4 p.m. for a pro forma session, with no votes expected.

The Senate is not in session; reconvenes Monday at 2 p.m.

The President attends working sessions on the last day of the 33rd Annual Group of Eight Summit in Germany; meets with President Nicolas Sarkozy of France at the summit; travels to Rome with a side trip to Jurata, Poland, to meet with President Lech Kaczynski of Poland; returns to Rome.

In Washington,  Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States, hosts an “American Conversation” with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., providing a retrospective on his life and career. 7 p.m., William G. McGowan Theater, National Archives, 7th St. and Constitution Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Pace Ousted as Joint Chiefs Chairman in Bid to Avert Senate Battle

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Friday he will ask President Bush to replace Marine Gen. Peter Pace as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff rather than risk a contentious Senate confirmation battle by seeking a second term for Pace.  [Read More]

Immigration Bill’s Backers Vow to Continue Efforts

Sponsors of a comprehensive immigration overhaul that has stalled in the Senate today vowed to persevere in seeking passage of the legislation this summer.  [Read More]

Rep. Jefferson Pleads Innocent at Federal Court Arraignment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Rep.William J. Jefferson pleaded innocent to federal corruption charges today and vowed to fight to clear his name.  [Read More]

Administration Eases Passport Rule for Western Hemisphere Travel

The State Department and Department of Homeland Security have temporarily suspended passport requirements for U.S. citizens traveling by air to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda who have applied for but not yet received passports.  [Read More]

GOP Activist Pleads Guilty in Abramoff Scandal

The founder of a Republican environmental group pleaded guilty today in federal court to obstruction of a Senate committee probe and tax evasion.  [Read More]

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TheCapitol.Net: Capitol Hill Workshop

This TheCapitol.Net workshop features an intensive 3-day overview of Congress and gives you an overview of the legislative process while highlighting the forces that influence decision making in Congress.
WHERE: In Washington, D.C.
WHEN: June 13 - 15, 2007, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Registration Fee: $1295
Full program description and online registration, or call our registrar at 202-678-1600.
This training conference is sponsored by TheCapitol.Net, exclusive provider of Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences.

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Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that Senate Republicans, who will be defending 22 seats next year to 12 for the Democrats, should be able to count on holding seven of those. There is a new and previously unscheduled contest in the November 2008 lineup that CQ has not yet rated — a special election in Wyoming to fill the final four years of the term of Republican Craig Thomas, who died on June 4. State law requires appointment of another Republican in the interim, and Wyoming is normally a heavily Republican state. Meanwhile, the other safe GOP seats as of this date are Ted Stevens, Alaska; Larry E. Craig, Idaho; Pat Roberts, Kan.; Mitch McConnell, Ky.; Thad Cochran, Miss.; and Chuck Hagel, Neb.

According to the Des Moines Register, “Republican Rep. Tom Latham of Iowa said today he has moved his residence from Alexander, in rural Franklin County, south to Ames, in Story County.” He said he made the move to be closer to his grandchildren and “more central for his travels around the 4th District. . . . There has also been speculation that Latham might mount a challenge to incumbent Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat up for re-election in 2008.” Latham said the move “had nothing to do with a more central location for a statewide bid.” Asked if he’s consideing a Senate bid, he said: ‘“I have not said no.’ But he added: ‘That doesn’t mean I’ve said yes.’”

The Jackson Hole Guide reports, “Two days after pundits raised his name as a possible replacement for deceased U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas, Jackson native Matt Mead resigned his post as U.S. attorney for Wyoming.” Mead “released a statement from his Cheyenne office saying his departure would be effective midnight Thursday. . . . Like others whose names have surfaced as possible replacements for Thomas, Mead would not address the prospect that he could be one of three nominated for the post by Wyoming’s Republican Party. . . . Gov. Dave Freudenthal, a Democrat who was U.S. attorney before Mead, will appoint Thomas’ replacement from among the party’s nominations,” which must be submitted by June 20. “Mead is the grandson of former U.S. Sen. and Wyoming Gov. Cliff Hansen.”

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EUCI presents: Carbon Emissions: Understanding and Managing Carbon Risk

Congressional attempts at carbon mitigation have also begun to appear more frequently in legislative sessions. The potential for carbon regulatory policy in the U.S. represents a new set of challenges and opportunities for the North American utility and energy industry. This conference will outline regulatory developments, carbon emissions reduction technologies, management and financial support for carbon programs, and more. June 25-26, 2007, Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, Alexandria, Va.

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Political Trivia

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., is the son of a wealthy ambassador, Charles S. Whitehouse, who worked first for the Central Intelligence Agency and then for the State Department. Whitehouse’s grandfather was also a career diplomat. As a young man, the senator taught for a while in Vietnam. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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