Friday, April 06, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, APRIL 6, 2007 – 2:01 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Veto Threat Shadows War Funding Bill Conference
  • Senate Prepares to Challenge Bush on Stem Cell Research
  • Democrats Request Unedited U.S. Attorney Documents
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Today in Washington

The House is in spring recess.

The Senate is in spring recess.

The President is at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, and has no public events scheduled.

In Washington, the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and American University’s School of International Service hold a two-day conference on the scope of China’s expanding involvement in Africa. Friday’s events at Kennedy Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Saturday’s events at Ward Circle 3, 4400 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Veto Threat Shadows War Funding Bill Conference

As the rhetorical battle between President Bush and congressional Democrats escalate, lawmakers next week will begin hammering out the final version of an Iraq war funding bill that calls for a withdrawal of most U.S. troops by a date certain.  [Read More]

Senate Prepares to Challenge Bush on Stem Cell Research

The Senate is planning a fresh policy challenge to President Bush next week, this time on a popular domestic issue.  [Read More]

Democrats Request Unedited U.S. Attorney Documents

Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats today sent a letter to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales demanding that the Justice Department hand over complete, unedited versions of all documents related to the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.  [Read More]

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TheCapitol.Net: Defense Focus

This TheCapitol.Net workshop features an intensive 3-day overview of Congress and the legislative process while highlighting the forces that influence decision making in Congress.
This Capitol Hill Workshop will be of interest to Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Army personnel, as well as those employed in the defense industry.
WHERE: Hall of the States, 444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. (1 1/2 blocks from the Union Station Metro stop)
WHEN: April 18-20, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. each day
Registration Fee: $1295
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 Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, whose mother is of Mexican heritage, has not yet connected with Hispanic voters. The former House member, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Energy secretary and two-term governor trails well behind the Democratic presidential front-runner, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Part of that may be due to his Anglo last name. Only 37 percent of 1,000 Hispanic registered voters surveyed were aware that there is a Hispanic running for president, and only 25 percent of them could identify that person as Richardson, according to a recent survey .

According to the Idaho Press-Tribune, former Democratic Rep. Larry LaRocco “will run for Larry Craig’s U.S. Senate seat in 2008. It could be a rematch of LaRocco’s first campaign for Congress in 1982, which he lost to Craig. Craig has not said whether he will run for re-election in 2008. Former Canyon County Commissioner Robert Vasquez has announced he will run for the Republican nomination for the position. LaRocco lost a bid for lieutenant governor last November.” LaRocco, the last Idaho Democrat to serve in Congress, was ousted in 1994 after a single term. He plans to formally announce his candidacy next week, the paper said.

The Manchester Union Leader reports that “three anti-war activist groups say they have spent $100,000 to air a television ad criticizing Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., for his support of the Bush administration's Iraq policy. The ad, which began today and will air through next week, is being paid for by Americans United for Change, a group funded by activist and labor groups including AFSCME.” Democrats see Sununu as vulnerable in 2008. The GOP senator countered the attack ads by saying that it is wrong to hold up funding for troops in Iraq and, “even worse, it is being done to score partisan political points.”

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The 4th Annual World Health Care Congress

April 22 - 24, 2007 | Washington Convention Center | Washington, DC
The 4th Annual World Health Care Congress, co-sponsored by The Wall Street Journal - The conference will convene over 1,800 CEOs, senior executives and government officials from the nation's largest employers, hospitals, health systems, health plans, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and leading government agencies.
Register today by phone at 800-817-8601 or by e-mail at wcreg@worldcongress.com.

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Political Trivia

Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey, D-N.Y., grew up in a working-class home, joined the Navy out of high school, worked in a local cement plant for five years and then paid his way through college by working nights collecting tolls on the New York State Thruway. In the House, he is noticed for his silver hair, pin-striped suits and elegant silk ties. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2007 – 2:05 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Pelosi Talks Mideast Peace With Arab Leaders
  • Homeland Panel Members Want Answers about US-VISIT Program
  • Senate’s Democratic Presidential Candidates Largely in Accord
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Today in Washington

The House is in spring recess.

The Senate is in spring recess.

The President is at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, and has no public events scheduled.

In Washington, The George Washington University holds a conference, “Deterring Rogue States: Do the Old Rules Apply?” Session discussions will include the intentions of rogue states and policy alternatives, The George Washington University, Suite 602, 1957 E St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Pelosi Talks Mideast Peace With Arab Leaders

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., met today with members of Saudi Arabia’s advisory Shura Council, a day after a discussion with Saudi King Abdullah that ranged from the Iraq War to efforts to forge an Israeli-Palestinian settlement.  [Read More]

Homeland Panel Members Want Answers about US-VISIT Program

Members of the House Homeland Security Committee are ratcheting up their demands for information about the government’s progress on a system based on biometric data to track the entry and exit of foreign visitors.  [Read More]

Senate’s Democratic Presidential Candidates Largely in Accord

The four Democratic senators who are seeking their party’s 2008 presidential nomination have agreed with each other on more than 90 percent of Senate roll call votes so far this year, an analysis by CQPolitics.com shows.  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: Growth Returning to Tech Hubs
NEW YORK CITY: City Boosts Circumcision to Fight AIDS
DETROIT: 34 Schools to Be Closed
LOS ANGELES: Renter-Relocation Fees Get Big Increase
NEW JERSEY: Independent Auditors to Probe Pension Fund
CALIFORNIA: Firm Alleges Threat by Prison Health Czar

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Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that former Rep. Jim Ryun, R-Kan., faces a news obstacle in his comeback bid against Democrat Nancy Boyda, who unseated him in November in the typically Republican 2nd District. Republican state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins joined the race this week. Joseph Aistrup, head of the political science department at Kansas State University, said Ryun “was expecting people would clear the Republican field to make sure he had another shot at Nancy Boyda, but Lynn Jenkins had other ideas.”

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — who is considering a possible presidential bid — received significant support in a Field Poll of probable California voters taken March 20-31. The poll found that 9 percent of 315 likely GOP voters supported Gingrich, putting him third behind former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani with 36 percent and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., with 24 percent. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

The Osceola Sentinel in Iowa reports that Democrat Rob Hubler is getting an early start as he prepares to challenge Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, in the heavily Republican 5th District. Hubler told the daily he plans to go after King on issues he believes King has taken ‘extreme’ stances on, including immigration and the Iraq war, and hopes his early start will give his campaign the financing and support to win.

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The 4th Annual World Health Care Congress

April 22 - 24, 2007 | Washington Convention Center | Washington, DC
The 4th Annual World Health Care Congress, co-sponsored by The Wall Street Journal - The conference will convene over 1,800 CEOs, senior executives and government officials from the nation's largest employers, hospitals, health systems, health plans, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and leading government agencies.
Register today by phone at 800-817-8601 or by e-mail at wcreg@worldcongress.com.

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Political Trivia

After high school, Rep. Henry E. Brown Jr., R-S.C., entered the National Guard and took a job in North Charleston with the local electric company, where he was among the early workers in the budding computer field. Later, Brown began a long career with Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co., the South Carolina franchisee of the Southern grocery chain. Brown took a few classes at The Citadel and continued to move up in the grocery business, eventually becoming a vice president of the firm’s computer operations. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 2007 – 2:19 P.M.

In This Issue

  • White House Gets Specific in Earmark Debate
  • Landrieu to Meet With Army Corps of Engineers Nominee
  • Lawmakers Still Waiting on Strategic Plan for Foreign Visitor Monitoring Program
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Today in Washington

The House is in spring recess.

The Senate is in spring recess.

The President participates in a demonstration at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California; followed by lunch with military personnel and families; attends a private Republican National Committee reception in Los Angeles.

In Washington, the National Defense Industrial Association, in support of The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense, sponsors the Department of Defense Chemical and Biological Defense “Advance Planning Briefing for Industry” (APBI) Conference, Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Square, N.W.

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Top Stories

White House Gets Specific in Earmark Debate

The White House today upped the ante in its challenge to Congress to reduce the amount and cost of earmarks in half this year.  [Read More]

Landrieu to Meet With Army Corps of Engineers Nominee

Sen. Mary L. Landrieu plans a meeting with a nominee for the top post at the Army Corps of Engineers, and wants him to visit her hurricane-ravaged state as a condition of lifting her threat to block his nomination.  [Read More]

Lawmakers Still Waiting on Strategic Plan for Foreign Visitor Monitoring Program

Members of Congress are again urging the Department of Homeland Security to submit a strategic plan due in 2005 on the visitor monitoring program US-VISIT. Recent reorganization has made the plan more vital, they say.  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Council OKs Mayoral School Takeover
NEW JERSEY: Diverted Billions Threaten Pension Fund
GEORGIA: Scholarship Program Brimming with Cash
CALIFORNIA: Contract Deal Averts Faculty Strikes

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Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that Rep. Martin T. Meehan, D-Mass., plans to resign May 9, setting the timing of the special election to replace him sometime in the first half of October, according to the provisions of state law dealing with such contests. Meehan’s departure has been a certainty since March 14, when he was named chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell — the congressman’s hometown school and alma mater. He is set to take over July 1. Several names have already surfaced as potential candidates in his Democratic-leaning 5th District.

The Oregonian reports that Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, D-Ore., is reluctantly considering running for Senate next year after first saying he wouldn’t. DeFazio said he’s being courted to run but doesn’t see how he could raise enough campaign money to unseat Gordon H. Smith, regarded as among the most vulnerable Republican senator in 2008. DeFazio previously had cited his desire not to risk his position as chairman of a House subcommittee on highways, transit and pipelines.

The Bradenton Herald, citing campaign finance reports, said Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., won election last year in the most expensive House race in history. Buchanan spent $5.55 million of his personal fortune to defeat Democrat Christine Jennings. Buchanan’s personal spending also ranks third among the most by House candidates.

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The 4th Annual World Health Care Congress

April 22 - 24, 2007 | Washington Convention Center | Washington, DC
The 4th Annual World Health Care Congress, co-sponsored by The Wall Street Journal - The conference will convene over 1,800 CEOs, senior executives and government officials from the nation's largest employers, hospitals, health systems, health plans, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and leading government agencies.
Register today by phone at 800-817-8601 or by e-mail at wcreg@worldcongress.com.

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Political Trivia

The early years of Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., were marked by the death of his parents, who were killed by a drunken driver when he was 5. He and his brothers were raised by his grandparents. He went to high school at a U.S. military base in Libya, where he lived with family friends. Upon his return to North Dakota, he headed a successful statewide campaign — while still a teenager — to grant voting rights to 19-year-olds. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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