Friday, November 16, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, NOV. 16, 2007 – 2:34 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Farm Bill Trapped in Senate Stalemate
  • War Funding Stalls in Pair of Senate Votes
  • Medicaid Issue Is Latest Sticking Point on Children’s Health Bill
  • Senate Judiciary Revisits Surveillance Bill
  • Senate Passes Terrorism Insurance Measure
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Today in Washington

The House  is in Thanksgiving recess; will reconvene at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4.

The Senate  failed to limit debate on competing Iraq War funding bills and a substitute amendment to the farm bill, then recessed until pro forma session Tuesday, Nov. 20. Resumes business at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3.

The President  meets with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda; holds a photo opportunity with recipients of the 2006 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring; and speaks on National Adoption Day.

In Washington,  the National Defense University Foundation holds its 2007 American Patriot Award ceremony, with Sen. John W. Warner, R-Va., and Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo. 7:30 p.m. Reagan Trade Building.

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Top Stories

Farm Bill Trapped in Senate Stalemate

Senators were heading home for Thanksgiving Friday without any progress to report on a five-year farm bill that is important to many of their constituents.  [Read More]

War Funding Stalls in Pair of Senate Votes

On a pair of votes that broke largely along party lines, the Senate on Friday failed to advance legislation to provide more funds for war operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.  [Read More]

Medicaid Issue Is Latest Sticking Point on Children’s Health Bill

A dispute over Medicaid eligibility is now the major sticking point in negotiations on children’s health legislation, two Republican senators said Friday.  [Read More]

Senate Judiciary Revisits Surveillance Bill

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a rare “do-over” vote Friday to clarify its desire to strip immunity for telecommunications firms from a proposed overhaul of the nation’s electronic surveillance law.  [Read More]

Senate Passes Terrorism Insurance Measure

The Senate passed a seven-year extension of the nation’s terrorism insurance backstop on Friday, after negotiators hammered out a solution to pay-as-you-go issues that had stalled the bill.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Anchorage Daily News reports that Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, is blaming overzealous reporters for continued interest in a federal corruption probe that has spread to him and his son, former state Senate President Ben Stevens, suggesting that it’s politically motivated. “I don’t see any reason why we should have had this massive press interest in what’s going on,” Stevens said in an interview. “It’s just an investigation of a federal agency. They go on all the time. No one else talks about them the way they talk about the one involving me.” He said he was unconcerned about Democratic efforts to use the scandal against him and made what the daily described as “vague threats” against his accusers. “When it’s all over, some people are going to have to account for what they’ve said and what they’ve charged us with,” Stevens said.

The Huntsville Times reports in an editorial that Democratic Alabama state House Speaker Seth Hammett is opposing attempts to redraw congressional districts for the 2008 elections. The daily said Republican leaders reacted warmly to Hammett’s declaration, saying “talk of the possible redistricting sent Republicans into a rage. They threatened to shut down the House in 2008 if such an attempt is made.” There had been speculation that the redistricting would make the 2nd District seat being vacated by GOP Rep. Terry Everett more competitive.

The Arlington Heights Daily Herald reports that one of the Democrats challenging Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill., has objected to the candidacy of another Democrat, saying his nominating petition does not have enough valid signatures. Writer and activist Randi Scheurer filed a formal objection to fellow Democrat Jonathan Farnick’s candidacy. Farnick, a 39-year-old computer consultant who had a write-in campaign in 2006, criticized Scheuer’s objection, because her husband, Bill Scheuer, who ran for the seat as an independent in 2006, had problems with his own petition. The state Board of Elections will hear the objection Monday in Chicago.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MARICOPA, Ariz.: County to Go Green with 2,000-Vehicle Fleet
LOS ANGELES: Police Scrap Muslim-Mapping Plan
SAGINAW, Mich.: Dioxin Discovery Brings Cleanup Order
SAN FRANCISCO BAY: Coast Guard Ousts Oil-Spill Commander
FLORIDA: Governor OKs Tribal Gambling Expansion
THE NATION: Governors Ally on Climate Change
HAWAII: Judge Clears Superferry to Sail

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Political Trivia

Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., grew up in Seattle, where his father was a high school biology teacher and a coach. A star football and basketball player, Inslee plays in the annual congressional baseball game and in an annual geezer basketball tournament. He and a group of middle-aged friends who call themselves the Hoopaholics play basketball for three days straight to raise money for children’s charities. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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