Tuesday, September 18, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, SEPT. 18, 2007 – 2:08 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Budget Leaders Would Force Next Congress to Tackle Entitlement Costs
  • Democrats Resist Unchecked Surveillance Powers in FISA Overhaul
  • Boucher Says Leadership Won’t Delay Energy Bill for Climate Measure
  • House Panel Approves Aviation Fuel Tax Increase
  • Senate Passes Five-Year Extension of D.C. Tuition Assistance Program
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Today in Washington

The House considers a bill (HR 1852) to allow the Federal Housing Administration to use risk-based premiums to expand its mortgage insurance program and to increase loan limits; also considers measures under suspension of the rules.

The Senate resumes consideration of a bill (HR 1124) reauthorizing tuition assistance for District of Columbia college students.

The President meets with military support organizations at the White House.

In Washington,  Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao hosts the Labor Department’s fifth Opportunity Conference, aimed at helping underserved communities to network, and providing them skills enhancement and training to access such opportunities as public- and private-sector contracts. The conference goal is to promote economic development in the nation’s ethnic communities. All Day. Grand Hyatt Washington, 1000 H St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate Budget Leaders Would Force Next Congress to Tackle Entitlement Costs

The leaders of the Senate Budget Committee unveiled legislation Tuesday that would require the next Congress to address the long-term budget strain associated with Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs.  [Read More]

Democrats Resist Unchecked Surveillance Powers in FISA Overhaul

Congress and the Bush administration on Tuesday kicked off the opening round of discussions about permanently overhauling the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, with the two sides divided over how much unchecked spying authority to give the executive branch.  [Read More]

Boucher Says Leadership Won’t Delay Energy Bill for Climate Measure

Progress in the House on a global warming bill could be delayed as lawmakers struggle to complete separate energy policy legislation, according to the chairman of a House subcommittee drafting a climate-change measure.  [Read More]

House Panel Approves Aviation Fuel Tax Increase

The House Ways and Means Committee approved legislation Tuesday that rejects the administration’s call for a sweeping overhaul of the way the nation’s aviation system is financed.  [Read More]

Senate Passes Five-Year Extension of D.C. Tuition Assistance Program

The Senate voted 96-0 on Tuesday to extend for five years a program giving District of Columbia high school graduates tuition assistance to attend colleges nationwide.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Oregonian reports that Oregon state House Speaker Jeff Merkley “showed off his Democratic establishment credibility at a kick-off rally for his U.S. Senate campaign Monday evening. Everything about the event — staged in a parking lot next to several union offices in Southeast Portland — seemed designed to showcase his support among prominent Democrats, as well as his capability to run a professional, well-funded campaign.” Merkley is challenging GOP Sen. Gordon H. Smith.

The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that Dan Meuser, a Republican House candidate in Pennsylvania’s 10th district doesn’t live in the district but in the neighboring 11th District. Meuser said he plans to move into the district before filing his official nominating petitions next spring to challenge Rep. Chris Carney, D-Pa. The Constitution does not require House members to live in the districts they represent, “but political opponents could make an issue of it.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW YORK CITY: City Revenue Slowdown Seen
CALIFORNIA: Judge Dismisses Global-Warming Suit Against Automakers
NEW JERSEY: Pension Funds to Be Invested in State Companies
LOUISIANA: 19,000 Home Buyouts Pose Barrier to Rebuilding
NEW JERSEY: Governor Recovering after Bone Surgery

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Political Trivia

Rep. Robert C. Scott, D-Va., is the son of a surgeon and a teacher. When local white officials resisted court-ordered integration of the public schools, the Scotts, along with other well-to-do black families, sent their son to Groton, the prestigious Massachusetts prep school. Scott graduated from Harvard University and earned his law degree from Boston College. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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