Thursday, December 06, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, DEC. 6, 2007 – 2:12 P.M.

In This Issue

  • White House Renews Veto Threat Against Energy Bill
  • Year-End Tax Package Again Stalls in Senate
  • House Democrats Plan To Fund War in Afghanistan, Not Iraq
  • Defense Policy Bill Advances Without Hate-Crimes Provision
  • Democrats Back White House Proposal to Freeze Subprime Interest Rates
  • Kyl, Alexander Move Up in Senate GOP Leadership
  • Political Trivia for Dec. 6
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Today in Washington

House  considers comprehensive energy legislation.

The Senate  refuses to take up a House-passed tax package that would prevent the alternative minimum tax from hitting up to 25 million Americans in 2007.

The President  participates in a meeting on the mortgage crisis, followed by a statement; with the first lady, participates in 5 p.m. ceremony for lighting the National Christmas Tree at the Ellipse, just south of the White House.

In Washington,  Georgetown University holds a roundtable discussion on the Annapolis Conference on the Middle East, with Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha and Ambassador Phillip Wilcox of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. 5:30 p.m., Copley Formal Lounge, on campus.

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Top Stories

White House Renews Veto Threat Against Energy Bill

As the House headed toward a vote on sweeping energy legislation Thursday, the White House renewed a threat to veto the bill over tax provisions and renewable electricity mandate.  [Read More]

Year-End Tax Package Again Stalls in Senate

Senate Republicans again blocked Democratic efforts to call up a year-end tax bill Thursday, throwing attempts to limit the reach of the alternative minimum tax into further disarray.  [Read More]

House Democrats Plan To Fund War in Afghanistan, Not Iraq

House Democratic leaders are preparing an omnibus fiscal 2008 appropriations package that would provide billions in emergency spending for the war in Afghanistan and for some domestic defense needs, but would not offer any new funds for operations in Iraq.  [Read More]

Defense Policy Bill Advances Without Hate-Crimes Provision

Senate conferees have dropped their insistence on including a hate-crimes provision in the final fiscal 2008 Defense authorization bill, paving the way for the conference report to be signed Thursday.  [Read More]

Democrats Back White House Proposal to Freeze Subprime Interest Rates

Democratic leaders welcomed a White House proposal to freeze interest rates for certain struggling subprime borrowers, but some GOP lawmakers worried the proposal could further disrupt troubled housing markets.  [Read More]

Kyl, Alexander Move Up in Senate GOP Leadership

Senate Republicans recast their leadership team Thursday, elevating Jon Kyl of Arizona to succeed Trent Lott as Senate minority whip and electing Lamar Alexander of Tennessee to replace Kyl as GOP Conference chairman.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Dec. 6

Who did “No Preference” beat in the 1980 Iowa Republican caucus?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Homer News reports state Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux of Kodiak is challenging veteran Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, in the GOP primary. “Elected to the Alaska House of Representatives in 2004, LeDoux was Kodiak Island Borough Mayor before that. Raised in California with bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of California, Berkley, she’s a lawyer in private practice with a specialty in maritime law.” Diane Benson, who lost to Young in 2006, “has filed again for the Democratic Party nomination.” She faces two opponents, Jake Metcalfe and Ethan Berkowitz, in the primary.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports that Dothan, Ala., dentist Craig Schmidtke “is the latest to announce his candidacy for the congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Terry Everett.” Schmidtke, a 37-year-old oral surgeon, “joins a growing list of those who have either announced or said they are considering a run for Everett’s seat. Those who formally have announced include state Sen. Harri Ann Smith, R-Slocomb, and state Rep. Jay Love, R-Montgomery. Still considering a run are Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright, David Woods, president of Montgomery’s WCOV-TV, and Tim James, son of former Gov. Fob James.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer, in an editorial this morning, called the Democratic presidential aspirations of Rep. Dennis Kucinich “a fantasy” and endorsed City Councilman Joe Cimperman, one of four Democrats challenging Kucinich in the 2008 primary in Ohio’s 10th District. “No matter how deep Kucinich’s roots may be in Greater Cleveland, he has lost his laser-like focus on the needs of this region,” the paper said. “Even that’s putting it mildly. Here’s the unvarnished truth: No matter how earnest he may be on the issues that obsess him, Kucinich doesn’t get much done. Not even Democratic rule on Capitol Hill has changed that.” The Plain Dealer said Kucinich would “almost certainly” win a multi-candidate primary, and said Cimperman would be the strongest candidate to take on the incumbent.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
OMAHA, Neb.: Mall Shooting Spree Leaves Nine Dead
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.: Treasurer: $460 Million in Debt Faces Downgrade
NEW YORK CITY: Subway Lines to Compete in Management Overhaul
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md.: County Pushes to Cut Pedestrian Deaths
FLORIDA: Manatees to Stay on Endangered List
GEORGIA: State to Buy, Conserve 19,465 Acres

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