Friday, December 14, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on
Midday Update for FRIDAY, DEC. 14, 2007 – 2:13 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Clears Defense Authorization Bill
  • Senate Passes Bill to Boost FHA Mortgage Loans
  • Bush Signs Latest Stopgap Bill, Urges Congress to Finish Spending Package
  • Bush Signs Bill Raising Pilot Retirement Age to 65
  • Court Delays Rep. Jefferson’s Trial Until Late February
  • Political Trivia for Dec. 14

Today in Washington

The House  reconvenes at noon Monday for legislative business, with no roll call votes before 6:30 p.m.

The Senate  passes legislation to modernize the mortgage insurance program of the Federal Housing Administration; clears for the president’s signature the fiscal 2008 defense authorization bill, and expects to pass a five-year farm policy bill.

The President  signs a bill raising the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots to 65; meets with Peruvian President Alan Garcia Perez, and signs implementing legislation for the U.S.-Peru free trade agreement; attends a holiday reception for the diplomatic corps at the State Department.

In Washington,  the AIDS Institute holds a daylong Women’s HIV and Health Policy Forum. with closing remarks by Jeanne White-Ginder, mother of AIDS victim Ryan White, at 3:45 p.m. Room 2168, Rayburn House Office Building, Capitol Hill.


Top Stories

Senate Clears Defense Authorization Bill

The Senate on Friday cleared the fiscal 2008 Defense authorization bill, paving the way for a 3.5 percent pay raise for U.S. troops along with major improvements in their medical care and other benefits.  [Read More]

Senate Passes Bill to Boost FHA Mortgage Loans

The Senate on Friday passed legislation designed to modernize the Federal Housing Administration’s mortgage insurance program to give home buyers a safe, low-cost alternative to subprime loans.  [Read More]

Bush Signs Latest Stopgap Bill, Urges Congress to Finish Spending Package

As congressional appropriators scramble to complete an omnibus year-end spending package, President Bush on Friday signed the third stopgap funding measure for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.  [Read More]

Bush Signs Bill Raising Pilot Retirement Age to 65

The graying of America is about to reach the cockpit of the nation’s airlines, under legislation signed into law Friday by President Bush.  [Read More]

Court Delays Rep. Jefferson’s Trial Until Late February

A federal judge reluctantly agreed on Friday to delay next month’s scheduled corruption trial Rep. William J. Jefferson, D-La., by about six weeks.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Dec. 14

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., entered public life by fighting what project?  [Read More]


TheCapitol.Net: Update on the 110th Congress, 2008, 2nd Session

Our expert faculty look at the second session of the 110th Congress in terms of leadership, membership, the 2008 elections, and the anticipated legislative agenda. They will also review and analyze the major legislative initiatives and accomplishments of the first session of the 110th Congress
WHERE: Location in Washington, D.C. will be announced before course.
WHEN: January 29, 2008, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Registration Fee: $395
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This training conference is sponsored by TheCapitol.Net, exclusive provider of Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences.


Political Clippings

The Jackson Clarion Ledger reports that former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore said Thursday he would not seek to replace Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., in next year’s special Senate election. Moore was one of the top potential Democratic contenders for the seat; the GOP nominee is likely to be whoever Gov. Haley Barbour nominates to replace Lott, who has said he would resign by the end of the year. “I am happy doing what I am doing, my family is happy, and I look forward to making a big difference in my state and nation,” Moore said in a statement. “I have seriously considered the U.S. Senate vacancy as my friends urged me to do, but I have always known that what I am doing now is good enough for me.”

Houston television station KHOU reports that power struggles among Republicans in Texas’ Fort Bend County are threatening the GOP’s chances of retaking the House seat once held by former Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Nine Republicans are seeking the seat and a 10th is considering a run against Rep. Nick Lampson, D-Texas. Meanwhile, key GOP leadership posts are vacant and the last two local party chairmen have resigned. “They’ve lost focus of who they are and what their responsibility is,” DeLay told the station. “I’m concerned — very concerned.”

The Peoria Journal Star reports that Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., said he won’t take sides in the race to replace him next year. LaHood, who is retiring at the end of his current term, noted that his son, Darin LaHood, is running as a Republican for Peoria County state’s attorney against incumbent Democrat Kevin Lyons. “I don’t want to do anything to hurt Darin’s chances for state’s attorney and make people mad,” the elder LaHood said. LaHood wrote all three candidates on Nov. 5 asking them to seek his permission before using his name or image.


Today on

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
SAN DIEGO/TIJUANA: Border Patrol-Smuggler Clashes Escalate
THE WASHINGTON D.C. REGION: Fare Hikes Target Rush-Hour Riders
PHILADELPHIA: Council Pushes Unions on Minority Hiring
PENNSYLVANIA: Feds Deal Setback to I-80 Tolling Plan
ILLINOIS: Governor's Fund-Raiser Indicted for Tax Fraud



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