Friday, April 13, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2007 – 2:02 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Coordination Revealed Between DOJ and GOP Panel Members in Attorneys Probe
  • Intelligence Bill, Medicare Drug Pricing Top the Senate Agenda
  • Senate Passes Bill to Increase Translator Visas
  • New Homeland Security Technology to Detect ‘Hostile Intent’
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; returns from its spring recess on Monday.

The Senate is not in session.

The President speaks at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast; participates in a meeting with parochial education leaders.

In Washington, IMF-AID, Jubilee USA and Action Aid USA hold a discussion on “National Sovereignty versus Aid Cartels in the Global South,” with Nancy Alexander of Globalization Challenge Initiative, Oscar Ugarteche of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. 3 p.m., 1875 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Suite 1012.

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Top Stories

Coordination Revealed Between DOJ and GOP Panel Members in Attorneys Probe

A new batch of documents made public today reveals close coordination between the Justice Department and House Judiciary Committee Republicans regarding a March hearing on the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys.  [Read More]

Intelligence Bill, Medicare Drug Pricing Top the Senate Agenda

Intelligence legislation and a Medicare drug-pricing bill top the Senate agenda next week, although the future for both remains uncertain.  [Read More]

Senate Passes Bill to Increase Translator Visas

A bill permitting more Iraqi and Afghan translators to obtain visas to the United States has passed the Senate.  [Read More]

New Homeland Security Technology to Detect ‘Hostile Intent’

The Department of Homeland Security is developing a technology that lets screeners at airports and border posts uncover deception and bad intentions with minimal inconvenience to innocent travelers.  [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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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
DETROIT: Mayor: Lease Tunnel to Cut Deficit
DURHAM COUNTY, N.C.: D.A. Apologizes in Lacrosse Rape Case
SEATTLE: South Carolinian Gets Seattle Schools Post
NEW JERSEY: Governor Seriously Injured in Car Crash
CALIFORNIA: High Court Upholds Public-Works Outsourcing
THE NATION: AGs: Mexican Meth Fueling Crime Wave
SOUTH FLORIDA: State Tightens Water-Use Limits
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Offshore Gas Port Gets Second Rejection

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Political Trivia

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., was a star athlete in both high school and college, and his basketball prowess set him on his course to the Senate. Impressed with Thune’s performance in a basketball game during his freshman year in high school, Rep. James Abdnor struck up a conversation with the young man, and they stayed in touch over the years. After Thune completed graduate school, he moved to Washington to work for then-Sen. Abdnor, who in turn helped with his Senate campaign. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 2007 – 2:04 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Intelligence Authorization Clears Procedural Hurdle in Senate
  • Senate Panel Authorizes New Subpoenas in U.S. Attorneys Probe
  • Baucus Presses IRS Chief for More Aggressive Enforcement
  • TSA Likely to Miss Deadline for Port Worker Security ID
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Today in Washington

The House is in spring recess.

The Senate is considering a bill to authorize fiscal 2007 appropriations for intelligence operations (S 372).

The President participates in a meeting on reauthorizing elementary and secondary education programs in the No Child Left Behind Act (PL 107-110).

In Washington, The George Washington University hosts a celebration of the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s landmark integration of African American players into major league baseball. Hall of Fame player and Major League Baseball’s first African American manager, Frank Robinson, will receive the inaugural GW Jackie Robinson Society Community Recognition Award for his contributions to baseball and our nation. The award will be presented by W. Russell Ramsey, incoming chairman of the GW Board of Trustees and a former member of the GW baseball team. 5:30 p.m., Jack Morton Auditorium, GW Media and Public Affairs Building, 805 21st St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Intelligence Authorization Clears Procedural Hurdle in Senate

The Senate voted today to limit debate on a motion to proceed to the long-delayed fiscal 2007 intelligence authorization bill, moving the chamber one step closer to ending a two-year drought without passing such legislation.  [Read More]

Senate Panel Authorizes New Subpoenas in U.S. Attorneys Probe

The Senate Judiciary Committee today authorized new subpoenas for documents and interviews with senior Justice Department and White House aides regarding the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.  [Read More]

Baucus Presses IRS Chief for More Aggressive Enforcement

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus continued his push for more aggressive tax enforcement today, seizing on the testimony of a convicted tax cheat to press IRS commissioner Mark Everson.  [Read More]

TSA Likely to Miss Deadline for Port Worker Security ID

Delays in testing a security card for port workers could cause the Transportation Security Administration to miss a congressional deadline for issuing the card.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Charlotte Observer reports that Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., is weighing a challenge to Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., believing she is vulnerable to defeat. Miller told the daily he’s discussed the race with party officials in Washington and plans to consult with friends in North Carolina. “She has simply been a down-the-line partisan Republican on every issue from Iraq to privatizing Social Security to opposing the minimum wage increase and supporting [the Central America Free Trade Agreement],” Miller said.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Democrats see Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, as a reliable ally of the Bush administration who might be a good target for defeat next year, but they have yet to field a candidate or offer any sign he might be vulnerable. Some potential candidate names mentioned include former state Comptroller John Sharp, state Reps. Rick Noriega and Pete Gallego, and Barbara Ann Radnofsky, the 2006 Senate nominee against Kay Bailey Hutchison.

The Macon Telegraph reports that while visiting the state Capitol on Wednesday, Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Ga., ran into a potential GOP challenger for his seat, state Sen. Ross Tolleson. “I know you’re being recruited heavily,” Marshall told the state senator as the two shook hands. Tolleson just grinned. “I’m just not even worried about (running for Congress),” Tolleson said. As for Marshall, he said he has no plans to run for the U.S. Senate. “My plan is to do as good a job as I can . . . and get re-elected and grow seniority,” he said.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CHICAGO: Council OKs $12 Million Hiring Settlement
MINNEAPOLIS/HENNEPIN COUNTY: Library Merger Would Bring Pay Cut
DURHAM COUNTY, N.C.: A.G. Ends Duke Lacrosse Rape Case
MASSACHUSETTS: Insurance Mandate to Exempt 20 Percent
CALIFORNIA: State Has Most Minorities Near Toxic Facilities

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Political Trivia

Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., was raised by her maternal grandparents while her mother attended the University of Wisconsin and participated in various civil rights and anti-war demonstrations in the 1960s. Her grandfather, a biochemist, and grandmother, who worked at the costume lab at the university, lived through two world wars, the Depression and the attainment of women’s suffrage. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2007 – 1:58 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Nears Vote on Embryonic Stem Cell Research
  • Court Says Convicted Felon May Testify at Senate Hearing
  • Envoy Tells Lawmakers Sudan Sanctions Must Wait
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Today in Washington

The House is in spring recess.

The Senate votes this evening on competing bills to permit federal funding of expanded stem cell research (S 5, S 30).

The President participates in a meeting on reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act (PL 107-110).

In Washington, the Cato Institute hosts a policy forum, “South Africa’s Democracy: Dynamic or Defective?,” featuring Tony Leon, MP Leader, Democratic Alliance. 4 p.m., Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate Nears Vote on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

The Senate was headed for a vote tonight on an embryonic stem cell research bill that is expected to pass, but not by the two-thirds majority needed to override a second veto by President Bush.  [Read More]

Court Says Convicted Felon May Testify at Senate Hearing

A federal judge has decided that a convicted felon may testify at a Senate Finance Committee hearing tomorrow, thwarting an attempt by the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ to prevent the man from appearing.  [Read More]

Envoy Tells Lawmakers Sudan Sanctions Must Wait

The United States has delayed implementing sanctions against Sudan for two to four weeks after U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon requested time to convince Khartoum to accept international peacekeepers in Darfur, the U.S. special envoy to Sudan told lawmakers today.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that Republican Kieran Michael Lalor, an Iraq War veteran, is preparing to challenge freshman Rep. John Hall, D-N.Y., next year in the 19th District. While Lalor has not yet filed candidate paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, he said in an interview with CQ that he is “aggressively exploring” a campaign and raising money. “The more people I meet, the more I’m encouraged that I am going to ultimately make the decision to run,” said Lalor. He asserted that Hall, who unseated six-term Republican Rep. Sue W. Kelly last November, has taken “far, far left” stances and is out of touch with the district, which includes the Hudson Valley and has historically voted Republican.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, former GOP Rep. Anne Northup (1997-2007) won the backing yesterday of 14 former state legislators, as Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher was endorsed by two firefighter groups. The two are frontruners in the May 22 Republican gubernatorial primary. Among those backing Northup was Steve Nunn, “the son of the last Republican governor, Louie Nunn,” who lost to Fletcher in the 2003 primary. Wealthy businessman Billy Harper, Fletcher’s campaign finance chairman in 2003, also is seeking the GOP nomination this time.

The Seattle Times reports that Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire is expected to sign a “domestic-partnership bill for gay and lesbian couples that cleared the state Legislature on Tuesday.” The bill would grant domestic partners the same hospital-visitation rights as spouses, allow them to give consent for health care if their partner is unable to, and permit them to inherit property or administer a partner’s estate if there is no will. “A referendum last year to overturn a gay-rights law passed by the Legislature failed to attract enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md.: County Hospitals May Shut Down
LOS ANGELES: State Pledges to Cover Olympics Overruns
PENNSYLVANIA: Governor's Grants Back Clean Energy
WISCONSIN: State Seeks Extension for Senior Rx Program

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Political Trivia

Raised on a cherry orchard, Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., as a youth earned the rank of Eagle Scout and worked at his father’s radio station in Hood River. He developed his own broadcast voice as a disc jockey and talk-show host, and later bought the business with his wife. He also worked in television while attending college in Alaska. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2007 – 1:59 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Democrats Reject Bush’s Conditional Offer to Discuss Supplemental
  • Bush Again Vows to Veto Embryonic Stem Cell Bill as Senate Debate Opens
  • House Judiciary Panel Subpoenas Justice Department Documents
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Today in Washington

The House is in spring recess.

The Senate is considering bills to permit federal funding of expanded embryonic stem cell research (S 5, S 30).

The President speaks on the Iraq war supplemental bill (HR 1591) at American Legion Post 177 in Fairfax, Va.

In Washington, the House of Sweden hosts an opening reception for its new “Water and Environment” display, featuring two fresh ice exhibitions from Northern Sweden. The blocks of ice began their journey 125 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the Swedish village of Jukkasjdrvi and will circle the sundial in front of the House of Sweden, accompanied by photographs of ice and water, April 10-22. 5:30-6:30 p.m., House of Sweden, 901 30th St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Democrats Reject Bush’s Conditional Offer to Discuss Supplemental

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today rejected an invitation from President Bush to come to the White House to negotiate a war spending bill on the condition that it does not contain language calling for a withdrawal of most U.S. troops from Iraq by a certain date.  [Read More]

Bush Again Vows to Veto Embryonic Stem Cell Bill as Senate Debate Opens

The Senate opened debate today on legislation to allow expanded funding of embryonic stem cell research, on the heels of President Bush issuing a new threat to veto the measure.  [Read More]

House Judiciary Panel Subpoenas Justice Department Documents

The House Judiciary Committee today issued a subpoena for all Justice Department documents related to the firing of eight federal prosecutors.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that Florida Republican Marc Flagg, a former Navy pilot whose parents were killed on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, will challenge freshman Democratic Rep. Ron Klein in the state’s 22nd District. Flagg, president of the Passenger-Cargo Security Group, a trade association that aims to improve airline security, filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on April 4. Other possible Republican candidates include Boca Raton mayor Steven L. Abrams and retired Army Lt. Col. Allen West. Klein ousted veteran Republican Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr. in November.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that Democratic former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes will not challenge GOP Sen. John Cornyn, despite speculation that he would do so. Barnes said “I’m not making any calls. Any calls that are coming are coming from the other direction.” He also said it is “highly unlikely” he has “any interest in being a candidate.” Other possible Democratic contenders against Cornyn are former Comptroller John Sharp and state Rep. Rick Noriega.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
SAN FRANCISCO: Effort Planned to Stem Black Exodus
WASHINGTON, D.C.: City Seeks Review of Gun-Law Ruling
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Panel Rejects Offshore Gas Terminal
TEXAS: State to Boost Child Medicaid Services
FLORIDA: Manatees May Lose Endangered Status

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Political Trivia

Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh’s movie-star good looks and cross-party appeal keep his favorability ratings high back home in Indiana. And it drives speculation that he has his sights set on the White House. He briefly considered a 2004 campaign but concluded his children were too young for him to be an absent father for the better part of two years. Bayh is the father of school-age twins, Beau (Birch Evans IV) and Nicholas. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Monday, April 09, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, APRIL 9, 2007 – 1:55 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Republicans Urge Pelosi to Call House Back Early
  • GOP Member Seeks Support for AMT Restructuring
  • New York Joins the Crowd for Feb. 5 Presidential Primary
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Today in Washington

The House is in spring recess.

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow to consider a bill to permit federal funding of expanded embryonic stem cell research.

The President participates in a tour of the Yuma sector of the southern border in Arizona; speaks on immigration reform.

In Washington, Ali Allawi, senior advisor to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Malaki, speaks at the National Press Club’s Newsmaker event about his book, “The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace,” 3 p.m., National Press Club, Holeman Lounge.

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Top Stories

Republicans Urge Pelosi to Call House Back Early

Republican leaders in both chambers are urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to call the House back into session to resolve differences with the Senate on a $123 billion-plus emergency war spending bill.  [Read More]

GOP Member Seeks Support for AMT Restructuring

It’s not just congressional Democrats who are pressing to restructure or repeal the alternative minimum tax, which ensnares an increasing number of middle-income Americans each year.  [Read More]

New York Joins the Crowd for Feb. 5 Presidential Primary

The rush to the front of the 2008 presidential nominating season continued today, as New York Democratic Gov. Eliot Spitzer signed a bill moving his state’s primary to Feb. 5, the Associated Press reports.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that some early first-quarter campaign finance reports show House leaders of both parties are already funneling money to potentially vulnerable colleagues for the 2008 elections. The leadership PAC of Florida Rep. Adam Putnam, chairman of the House Republican Conference, the No. 3 GOP leadership post, gave out $27,500 — $2,500 apiece to 11 House members who could face challenging re-election races. The leadership PAC of Rep. John P. Murtha, D-Pa., a confidant of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and chairman of the Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, doled out $47,500, including $5,000 to each of four Pennsylvania Democrats who ousted GOP incumbents in 2006.

According to the Sarasota Herald Tribune, freshman Rep. Tim Mahoney, D-Fla., “is finding out that being one of the most targeted members of Congress has its advantages.” Although national Republicans have “marked him as one of their top five targets for defeat in 2008,” Mahoney says the attention is “really helping the district.” House Democratic leaders are helping him raise campaign funds, and his political situation “has helped land federal funding for projects in the 16th District,” including money for “a federal courthouse project in Fort Pierce, which has been waiting for funding for 20 years.”

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that with “six weeks to go before the primary election, the Republican race for governor will get a jump-start tonight when the three candidates appear in the first of a series of political forums on Kentucky Educational Television. So far it has been a relatively quiet campaign — though that might change with all three candidates planning television ads this week.” GOP Gov. Ernie Fletcher faces challenges from former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup and Paducah construction magnate Billy Harper. “A recent SurveyUSA/WHAS poll showed Fletcher with the support of 40 percent of Republicans surveyed, with Northup and Harper hovering around 31 percent and 16 percent, respectively.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
LOS ANGELES: 'Green Power' Would Come at a Price
MILWAUKEE COUNTY: Transit Workers Reject Contract
THE NATION: States Saying No to Chastity Education
ILLINOIS: No More Tailpipe Tests for Dirtiest Cars

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Political Trivia

With all the energy and self-discipline of a long-distance runner, Sen. Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind., has racked up an impressive list of accomplishments: Phi Beta Kappa at Denison University, where he was co-president of the student body with his wife-to-be, Charlene Smeltzer; Rhodes Scholar at Oxford; naval intelligence officer; mayor of Indianapolis; longest-serving senator in Indiana history; and architect of an overhaul in federal agriculture policy. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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