Thursday, June 28, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2007 – 2:05 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Immigration Bill Appears Doomed As Cloture Vote Fails in Senate
  • Bush Rejects Hill Subpoenas, Citing Executive Privilege
  • House Amends Spending Bill to Ease Cuba Trade Restrictions
  • Democrats Vague on Plan to Move Energy Bills as Proposals Multiply
  • House Committee Will Weigh Two Versions of Farm Bill Next Month
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Today in Washington

The House considers fiscal 2008 financial services-general government appropriations bill (HR 2829).

The Senate refuses to limit debate on the immigration overhaul measure (S 1639).

The President announces the official nomination of Adm. Michael Mullen and Gen. James Cartwright as chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; addresses the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

In Washington,  Democratic presidential candidates Joseph R. Biden Jr., Hillary Rodham Clinton, Christopher J. Dodd, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis J. Kucinich, Barack Obama and Bill Richardson participate in the live All-American Presidential Forum 9-10:30 p.m., 2455 Sixth Street, N.W., Crampton Auditorium, Howard University.

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Top Stories

Immigration Bill Appears Doomed As Cloture Vote Fails in Senate

Comprehensive immigration legislation, President Bush’s top domestic priority this year, suffered a devastating blow in the Senate today that may prove to be the death knell for the bill in the 110th Congress.  [Read More]

Bush Rejects Hill Subpoenas, Citing Executive Privilege

President Bush has formally refused to comply with congressional subpoenas seeking information related to the firings of nine U.S. attorneys last year.  [Read More]

House Amends Spending Bill to Ease Cuba Trade Restrictions

Defying a White House veto threat, the House today agreed to relax restrictions on agricultural trade with Cuba as it moved toward passage of a spending bill funding federal fiscal entities.  [Read More]

Democrats Vague on Plan to Move Energy Bills as Proposals Multiply

House Democratic leaders proclaimed a goal of “energy independence” today, but offered few details on how or when they will move all the bills produced by multiple committees in pursuit of that objective.  [Read More]

House Committee Will Weigh Two Versions of Farm Bill Next Month

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., is expected to announce tomorrow that he will bring two versions of the farm bill to the full committee after the Fourth of July recess.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins is one of the most direct beneficiaries of Connecticut Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman’s declaration of partisan independence after his stormy re-election campaign last year. Lieberman has a strong working relationship with GOP centrist Collins, the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that Lieberman chairs. He has endorsed her and raised money for her in her 2008 re-election bid against Democratic Rep. Tom Allen. Anti-war groups contend that Lieberman’s close identification with President George W. Bush’s Iraq policies could make his endorsement more a burden than a boon for Collins.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Republicans contend that Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young will easily win re-election next year. “But the political terrain in the Last Frontier appears to be shifting, and two highly regarded young Democrats are seriously weighing bids against the state’s two most powerful GOP politicians. Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich is getting the full-court press from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Former state House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz has been in serious talks with the DCCC and has expressed interest in the Senate race, too. . . . A poll commissioned by the Alaska Democratic Party and conducted by Anchorage’s Hays Research Group in mid-June showed fewer than half of the 401 Alaskans surveyed approved of the job either Young or Stevens was doing.”

The Lincoln Journal Star reports, “Scott Kleeb emerged Tuesday as a potential Democratic Senate candidate after reactivating his 2006 congressional campaign fund-raising base. Kleeb, whose competitive challenge in the 3rd District House race last year attracted national attention, sent letters to his contributors seeking donations to resume his political activities.” Former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey and Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey also are eyeing a bid for the seat of GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel, who has not formally announced his plans for 2008. “Attorney General Jon Bruning already is in the Republican race whether Hagel is a candidate or not.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: Sun Belt Cities Just Keep Growing
CHICAGO: Transit Labor Deal Ups Workers' Contributions
ALASKA: Study: Climate Change to Raise Infrastructure Costs
MASSACHUSETTS: Budget Cuts Ending Lauded Troubled-Youth Program

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Political Trivia

Del. Eni F.H. Faleomavaega (D-Am. Samoa) is a “matai” — a Samoan chief — a title he has held since 1988. Faleomavaega (pronounced FOL-ee-oh-mav-ah-ENG-uh) is actually his title; his family name is Hunkin. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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