Friday, March 16, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2007 – 2:10 P.M.

In This Issue

  • More Republicans Question Whether Gonzales Should Stay in Office
  • Wal-Mart Abandons Plans to Enter Banking Business
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Today in Washington

The House convenes in the afternoon for a pro forma session.

The Senate is not in session.

The President participates in an administrative meeting with the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors; meets with Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern in the Oval Office; travels to Camp David.

In Washington, Christians gather at Washington National Cathedral for a worship service to mark the fourth anniversary of the Iraq War followed by a candlelight procession to the White House. 7 p.m., Washington National Cathedral.

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Top Stories

More Republicans Question Whether Gonzales Should Stay in Office

As congressional pressure mounted on Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said today that “hazy memories” are playing a part in the conflicting stories about the White House role in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.  [Read More]

Wal-Mart Abandons Plans to Enter Banking Business

Opponents of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s attempt to open a special type of bank celebrated the retailer’s announcement today that it was withdrawing its application, but vowed to press on to prevent other retail firms from making a similar attempt.  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: Transit Director Forced to Resign
LOS ANGELES: Planners Question Air-Rights Sale
NEW JERSEY: $56 Billion Pension Deficit Seen
WISCONSIN: 90% Cut in Mercury Emissions Proposed
THE WEST: Report: Groundwater Pumping Endangers Rivers

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Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that Democrat Darcy Burner, who narrowly lost to Republican Rep. Dave Reichert in the hotly contested 2006 race in Washington’s 8th District, has announced she is restarting her campaign and will seek a 2008 rematch with Reichert. “There is nobody in a better position to win this seat than me,” Burner wrote in an e-mail Thursday to supporters. “So I am in.” Burner, a former Microsoft Corp. manager, filed a statement of candidacy March 9 with the Federal Election Commission.

The Los Angeles Times reports that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a shift of the state’s presidential primary to Feb. 5. The shift has pushed other states to follow, setting up that date as a de facto national primary. Schwarzenegger said the change already has raised California’s status among presidential hopefuls. “Holding our presidential primaries in June used to mean nominees were locked before we ever had a chance to vote,” the governor said. “I’m happy to say these days are over….We will get the respect California deserves.”

The Omaha World-Herald reports that Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning has formed an exploratory committee to seek the Senate seat held by Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., in 2008. Bruning, a fellow Republican, said he would only enter the race if Hagel, a possible GOP presidential contender, doesn’t run for re-election. The daily said Bruning is one of about a half-dozen Republicans considering Senate runs if Hagel bows out, and his decision could increase the pressure on others to follow suit.

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TheCapitol.Net: Speechwriting: Preparing Speeches and Oral Presentations

This TheCapitol.Net workshop will teach you the ABCs of writing speeches and preparing oral presentations. Our faculty will show you how to prepare for and draft a speech, focusing on organization, sequence, support, and style.
WHERE: Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh Street N.W., Washington, D.C.
WHEN: March 20, 8:30 a.m.-4:15 p.m.
Registration Fee: $495
Full program description and online registration, or call our registrar at 202-678-1600.
This training conference is sponsored by TheCapitol.Net, exclusive provider of Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences.

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Political Trivia

Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., won his first statewide race for auditor in 1970 at age 31. Two years later, he became Missouri’s first Republican governor since World War II. He had a troubled first term, and lost his bid for re-election in 1976 to Democrat Joseph P. Teasdale. But Teasdale was a weak administrator, and Bond came back and avenged his loss in 1980, helped by President Ronald Reagan’s coattails. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 2007 – 2:27 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate to Vote on Iraq Resolutions
  • Supplemental Spending Bill Approved With Iraq Withdrawal Provisions
  • Both Chambers Moving on Bills to Repeal Anti-Terrorism Law Provision
  • Senate Budget Panel Expected To Approve 2008 Budget Plan
  • House Panel Approves Ban on Illegitimate Uses of Caller ID ‘Spoofing’
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Today in Washington

The House considers a bill to reform federal contracting practices (HR 1362).

The Senate considers a joint resolution (S J Res 9) to revise U.S. policy on Iraq.

The President Meets Iraqi Vice President Adil Abdel Mahdi at the White House; attends a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon at the U.S. Capitol; speaks at the National Republican Congressional Committee dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel.

In Washington, the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce holds an industry briefing on the proposed Reconstruction Opportunity Zones for Afghanistan and Pakistan. 3-6 p.m., Embassy of Afghanistan, 2341 Wyoming Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate to Vote on Iraq Resolutions

Senate leaders struck a deal for speedy votes today on three Iraq resolutions: One calling for redeployment and eventual withdrawal, another supporting troop funding and a third broadly backing the troops.  [Read More]

Supplemental Spending Bill Approved With Iraq Withdrawal Provisions

The House Appropriations Committee approved by a 36-28 vote a roughly $124 billion draft supplemental spending bill today after a series of passionate debates on amendments addressing the Iraq War.  [Read More]

Both Chambers Moving on Bills to Repeal Anti-Terrorism Law Provision

Legislation to roll back a law allowing the attorney general to install U.S. attorneys who can serve indefinitely without Senate confirmation is advancing in both the House and Senate.  [Read More]

Senate Budget Panel Expected To Approve 2008 Budget Plan

The Senate Budget Committee today was heading toward approval of the fiscal 2008 budget resolution, after what was expected to be a lively debate on a string of GOP amendments to the Democratic-authored blueprint.  [Read More]

House Panel Approves Ban on Illegitimate Uses of Caller ID ‘Spoofing’

A House panel approved legislation today designed to curb identity theft and other types of fraud by making it illegal to maliciously falsify telephone caller identification information.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said her re-election bid will not be influenced by whether former Sen. John Breaux, D-La., jumps in the race. The Democratic governor is trailing GOP Rep. Bobby Jindal in most polls, and some Democrats want her to step aside in favor of Breaux. Breaux, in response, issued a statement saying he had “always said that Gov. Blanco has earned the right to run for re-election. ... Whatever help I can be to her and our state, I’m more than happy to provide.”

On MSNBC’s Hardball Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., said “the odds are stacked against us” as Republicans seek to regain control of the Senate in 2008. Ensign, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, noted: “You haven’t even mentioned the fact that we have 21 Republicans up for re-election and only 12 Democrats ... To me, this is a huge challenge, but also a great opportunity. We have to convince people out there hopefully that Republicans learned something from the last election.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CLEVELAND: City Challenges Gun-Law Pre-emption
FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va.: County Plans to Go Eco-Friendly
INDIANAPOLIS: Audit: Schools Overcharged, Misspent Student Fees
NEW YORK CITY: Council Bans Metal Baseball Bats
THE NATION: Latin American Parasite Worries Health Officials
CALIFORNIA: Governor's Health Plan Gets Federal Support

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Political Trivia

Rep. Julia Carson, D-Ind., began her congressional career as a secretary, and then a district aide, for Democratic Rep. Andrew Jacobs Jr. of Indianapolis. When Jacobs retired in 1996 after 15 terms, he endorsed Carson to succeed him, helping her win a difficult nomination battle and hold off a vigorous Republican attempt to capture the 10th District. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 2007 – 2:20 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Moves Toward Debate on Iraq
  • Wide Gap Between House, Senate on Small-Business Tax Packages
  • Spratt Says House Budget Plan Will Include a New AMT Patch
  • Clinton, Dingell Collaborate to Expand SCHIP Coverage
  • Bush, Lawmakers at Odds Over Gonzales
  • Political Trivia
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Today in Washington

The House considers measures under suspension of the rules, including legislation to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (HR 1309), to make it harder for presidents to shield their records from the public (HR 1255) and to require quarterly disclosure of major donors to presidential libraries (HR 1254).

The Senate considers a resolution (S J Res 9) calling for withdrawal of most U.S. troops from Iraq by March 31, 2008.

The President meets interns, exchange and scholarship students at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Merida, Mexico; participates in a joint news conference with Mexican President Felipe Calderon; returns to Washington.

In Washington, the National Lieutenant Governors Association holds its winter conference with panel discussions on issues such as transportation and the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act. March 14-16, Westin Embassy Row Hotel, 2100 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate Moves Toward Debate on Iraq

Senate Republicans joined with Democrats today to move toward a long-awaited debate on Iraq, the first in the new Democratic-controlled Senate.  [Read More]

Wide Gap Between House, Senate on Small-Business Tax Packages

House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel took aim at revenue-raising measures targeted to businesses in the Senate small-business tax package by summoning a panel from K Street today to denounce them.  [Read More]

Spratt Says House Budget Plan Will Include a New AMT Patch

House Budget Committee Chairman John M. Spratt Jr., D-S.C., says he will include in his draft fiscal 2008 budget plan at least a one-year extension of provisions designed to limit the reach of the alternative minimum tax.  [Read More]

Clinton, Dingell Collaborate to Expand SCHIP Coverage

Presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton joined with House Energy and Commerce Chairman John D. Dingell on today to propose a huge expansion of public health insurance for children.  [Read More]

Bush, Lawmakers at Odds Over Gonzales

A day after trying to deal with the political fallout over the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, the Bush administration tussled with lawmakers over access to documents and testimony from officials involved in the dismissals.  [Read More]

Political Trivia

Duncan Hunter of California, top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, has served on the panel since he was first elected to the House in 1980 at age 32. His sometimes boisterous informality contrasts with the courtliness of his Senate Armed Services counterpart, Republican John W. Warner of Virginia. Still, Hunter has a solid grasp of defense policy and a forceful style of presentation. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Bradenton Herald reports that the House committee weighing Democrat Christine Jennings’ challenge to her 2006 election loss “is scheduled to hold a voting machine investigation, of sorts, on Thursday. The House Administration Committee will hold what it is calling a ‘voting machine forum’ to allow committee members and staff to look at voting machine technology.” Jennings lost her 13th District contest to Republican Vern Buchanan by 369 votes, “but has charged that the paperless electronic voting machines malfunctioned and failed to record more than 18,000 votes in the congressional race.” She has challenged the outcome in court and in the House.

According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, Rep. Bobby Jindal, R-La., “said Tuesday that former U.S. Sen. John Breaux is not eligible to run against him for governor. Breaux cannot even cast a ballot in the Oct. 20 race because he is registered to vote in Maryland, Jindal said in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C. ... Breaux, a Democrat who is said to be nearing a decision on whether to run, declined to comment. A fellow Democrat, Gov. Kathleen Blanco, is seeking re-election.” The state constitution requires candidates for statewide office to have been a resident of Louisiana for the preceding five years.

The Philadelphia Daily News reports that the city’s top judge “has asked for the appointment of a judge from outside the city to hear a challenge to the mayoral candidacy of U.S. Rep. Bob Brady. ... Attorney Paul R. Rosen challenged Brady’s candidacy this week on behalf of six voters allied with Democratic mayoral rival Tom Knox. They cited Brady’s failure to list an $8,727-a-year city pension on a financial-disclosure form required of all candidates. Rosen also asked for an out-of-county judge, citing Brady’s 20-year tenure as city Democratic chairman ‘involved in the support of political lives of many of the judges in this Judicial District.’”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
LOS ANGELES: Air-Rights Sale Means Denser Development
TEXAS: State Ends Outsourcing of Social Services
GEORGIA: State to Rescue Kidsa?? Health Insurance

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