Friday, April 27, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2007 – 1:53 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Post-Veto Talks on War Funding Begin Before the Veto as Democrats Harden Stance
  • House Panel Seeks Former CIA Director’s Testimony on Iraq Intelligence
  • Cases Closed on Frist Stock Sales
  • Date Set for Special Election to Replace Millender-McDonald
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate is not in session.

The President meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Camp David, followed by a joint news conference and lunch.

In Washington, teams representing high schools from 42 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico will compete in the U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl, April 26-30, National 4-H Youth Conference Center, 7100 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase, Md.

---------------------------------

Top Stories

Post-Veto Talks on War Funding Begin Before the Veto as Democrats Harden Stance

While Democrats continue to escalate their rhetoric over the inevitable veto of a war funding bill, Senate leaders from both parties have begun talking about a post-veto appropriations measure.  [Read More]

House Panel Seeks Former CIA Director’s Testimony on Iraq Intelligence

Rebuffed so far in his attempts to get Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to testify about prewar claims that Iraq was seeking nuclear weapons, Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., is going after former CIA Director George Tenet.  [Read More]

Cases Closed on Frist Stock Sales

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said today that parallel insider trading probes by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department have exonerated him.  [Read More]

Date Set for Special Election to Replace Millender-McDonald

California Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has scheduled a June 26 primary for candidates in a special election to replace Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald in California’s 37th District.  [Read More]

---------------------------------

TheCapitol.Net: Media Relations 101

This TheCapitol.Net workshop features a course for the newer public or government affairs professional. This media training 101 will help you develop the essential skills necessary to deal with the Washington media environment. Includes practical hands-on exercises, discussion of who the media is, how to develop your basic message, prepare an effective press release and complete media kit, and put it all together in a communications plan with a strategy for using the Web and distributing the message.
WHERE: Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001 (Gallery Place / Chinatown Metro stop)
WHEN: May 1, 2007, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 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.

---------------------------------

Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore on Thursday made official his longshot candidacy for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, saying the crowded field lacked a bona fide conservative in the mold of President Ronald Reagan. Gilmore, a former Republican National Committee chairman, emphasized his conservative record as Virginia governor (1998-2002) as well as his previous service in the Army and as a county prosecutor. Gilmore said he will reach voters and increase his name recognition through the Internet.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Louisiana state Sen. Walter Boasso shook up the governor’s race Thursday by switching parties from Republican to Democrat. The daily said Boasso’s switch highlighted his dissatisfaction with the state GOP for lining up behind Rep. Bobby Jindal, and the Democrats’ reluctance to rally around Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell. Jindal leads both men in both polling and fundraising in the race to replace Democratic Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, who is not seeking re-election.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports that at least two Republicans in South Dakota have begun the touchy task of exploring a challenge to Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson, who is recovering from a brain hemorrhage. Public Utilities Commissioner Dusty Johnson and state Rep. Joel Dykstra “are at that point of soul-searching their political futures,” the daily said. Dusty Johnson so far is only considering challenging Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, D-S.D. Dykstra said he is open to challenging Sen. Johnson. “I am actively testing the waters,” he said.

---------------------------------

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
JACKSON, Miss.: Mayor Acquitted in House-Damage Incident
PHILADELPHIA: Psychics Unable to Predict City Busts
ATLANTA: Prosecutors: Pressured Police Bending Rules
SPENCER, Mass.: Water Ban Lifted in Lye Incident
MINNEAPOLIS: Ballpark Plan Gets County OK
CALIFORNIA: State Sets Tough Limits on Formaldehyde
NEW JERSEY: Injured Governors Says He's 'Blessed'

---------------------------------

Political Trivia

Rep. Richard H. Baker, R-La., won election to the Louisiana state House when he was just 23, and made a name for himself by writing a law creating objective criteria for allocating state highway funds, an activity that had been based on political favoritism. In 1985, Baker, then a Democrat, switched to the GOP, a practical move that instantly made him the favorite to capture the House seat being vacated by Republican W. Henson Moore, who was running for the Senate. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

---------------------------------

Thursday, April 26, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 2007 – 2:19 P.M.

In This Issue

  • War Spending Measure Clears Senate, Heads Toward Presidential Veto
  • Former Justice Department No. 2 Next Up on Subpoena List in U.S. Attorneys Affair
  • Rice Suggests She Won’t Comply With Waxman’s Subpoena
  • House Restores Ban on Wild Horse Sale and Slaughter
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House considers a bill to restore the prohibition on the commercial sale of wild horses and burros (HR 249).

The Senate considers the conference report on the Fiscal 2007 war supplemental appropriations bill (HR 1591).

The President and first lady Laura Bush deliver remarks and participate in a photo opportunity with the 2007 national and state teachers of the year, then meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie Abe, at Blair House, followed by dinner at the White House.

In Washington, Oxfam America Media hosts a discussion, “The Farm Bill, Commodity Subsidies and the Small Family Farm: Facts and Fiction,” 3 -4:30 p.m., Cannon House Office Building, Room 304.

---------------------------------

Top Stories

War Spending Measure Clears Senate, Heads Toward Presidential Veto

The tussle between congressional Democrats and President Bush over the direction of the Iraq war intensified today as the Senate voted 51-46 to clear a war spending measure that seeks to withdraw most U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of March 2008.  [Read More]

Former Justice Department No. 2 Next Up on Subpoena List in U.S. Attorneys Affair

James B. Comey, the former deputy attorney general, is the latest official to be subject to a possible subpoena in the congressional investigation of the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.  [Read More]

Rice Suggests She Won’t Comply With Waxman’s Subpoena

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggested today that she would not comply with a House committee’s attempt to force her to testify about Bush administration claims that Saddam Hussein’s regime sought uranium from Niger.  [Read More]

House Restores Ban on Wild Horse Sale and Slaughter

Legislation the House passed today would restore a 1971 ban on selling and slaughtering thousands of free-roaming horses in the West.  [Read More]

---------------------------------

TheCapitol.Net: Media Relations 101

This TheCapitol.Net workshop features a course for the newer public or government affairs professional. This media training 101 will help you develop the essential skills necessary to deal with the Washington media environment. Includes practical hands-on exercises, discussion of who the media is, how to develop your basic message, prepare an effective press release and complete media kit, and put it all together in a communications plan with a strategy for using the Web and distributing the message.
WHERE: Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001 (Gallery Place / Chinatown Metro stop)
WHEN: May 1, 2007, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 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.

---------------------------------

Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that potential candidates to replace Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, D-Calif., who died April 22 from cancer, are lying low until after her funeral Monday. But that doesn’t stop the speculation on who might replace her in the Democratic 37th District. Millender-McDonald was one of four African-American House members from California. Veteran Republican political consultant Allan Hoffenblum suggests the most likely candidate is Democratic state Sen. Jenny Oropeza, a cancer survivor who calls herself a “Latina role model.”

The Middletown Press reports that Connecticut Republicans are starting early in their bid to take back a pair of House seats they lost in November. State Sen. David Cappiello announced Wednesday that he’s challenging freshman Democratic Rep. Christopher S. Murphy in the 5th District. The state GOP also is backing Norwich lawyer Sean Sullivan, the former commander of the Groton submarine base, in the 2nd District race against freshman Democratic Rep. Joe Courtney.

The Rocky Mount Telegram reports that retired Air Force Col. Dennis Nielsen announced Wednesday he will run for governor of North Carolina in 2008 but hasn’t decided which party he will represent. Nielsen, 60, is a perennial candidate who has sought seats in the state legislature as both a Democrat and a Republican. He said he chose the governor’s race because it is an open seat and he will not have to face an incumbent. “People should take a candidate and say, ‘Who am I most like?’” Nielsen said. “I can win. Is it going to be hard? No, not if people come to their senses.”

---------------------------------

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
SPENCER, Mass.: Lye in Water Sends 93 to Hospital
PITTSBURGH: City Regains 'Most Livable' Title
BOSTON: Council Backs Banning Plastic Bags
JACKSON, Miss.: Jury to Get Mayor's Case
ARIZONA: Court: Judge Must Decide on E-Mail Privacy
TEXAS: Drivers without Licenses Owe State $350 Million

---------------------------------

Political Trivia

Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., grew up in the hard-pressed west end of Montgomery near downtown. His parents divorced when he was young, and Davis, an only child, was raised by his grandmother and his mother, an elementary school teacher. As a boy, he was a voracious reader, loved history and excelled in school. Admitted to Harvard, he graduated magna cum laude in 1990, and went on to get his law degree there. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

---------------------------------

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2007 – 2:21 P.M.

In This Issue

  • As Supplemental Vote Approaches, Democrats Press Undecided Lawmakers
  • House Panel Authorizes Subpoena for Rice, RNC E-Mails
  • House Committee Will Seek Immunity For Ex-Justice Official
  • Bill to Expand Small Business Loan Programs Set to Pass in House Despite White House Opposition
  • FBI Seeks Hill-to-Newspaper E-mails as Part of Abramoff Probe
  • Congresswoman’s Family Sets Funeral for Monday; House Schedule Likely to Include No Monday Votes
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House considers legislation to improve small-business lending (HR 1332); considers the conference report on the fiscal 2007 war supplemental appropriations bill (HR 1591).

The Senate considers legislation (S 761) to beef up funding authorizations for science and math research and education.

The President delivers Malaria Awareness Day remarks with first lady Laura Bush; participates in a meeting on financial literacy.

In Washington, the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs will host experts on Russia, the Cold War, and democratization in the former Soviet Union to discuss the successes and failures of Boris Yeltsin, Russia’s first post-communist leader, 4-5:30 p.m., Lindner Family Commons, 6th Floor, 1957 E St., N.W.

---------------------------------

Top Stories

As Supplemental Vote Approaches, Democrats Press Undecided Lawmakers

Hours before the vote on the $124. 2 billion Iraq war spending conference report today, Democratic leaders were confident of winning adoption even as they worked to garner the support of undecided lawmakers.  [Read More]

House Panel Authorizes Subpoena for Rice, RNC E-Mails

The Democratic-run House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on today authorized subpoenas for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan and RNC e-mails as it ramps up a number of investigations of the Bush administration.  [Read More]

House Committee Will Seek Immunity For Ex-Justice Official

The House Judiciary Committee voted 32-6 today to seek immunity for former Justice Department official Monica Goodling in its investigation into the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.  [Read More]

Bill to Expand Small Business Loan Programs Set to Pass in House Despite White House Opposition

Legislation that would expand the number of loan programs for small businesses was expected to pass the House today, despite opposition from the White House.  [Read More]

FBI Seeks Hill-to-Newspaper E-mails as Part of Abramoff Probe

Two Florida newspapers reported today that they have been asked for information about a local congressman who took part on one of lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s Scotland golf trips.  [Read More]

Congresswoman’s Family Sets Funeral for Monday; House Schedule Likely to Include No Monday Votes

The staff of the late Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, D-Calif., announced Wednesday that her funeral has been scheduled for Monday, April 30, in Los Angeles.  [Read More]

---------------------------------

Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that Air Force Lt. Col. Jim Ogonowski is entering the special congressional election in Massachusetts’ 5th District. Ogonowski, who plans to retire from the service next month, is the brother of John Ogonowski, pilot of American Airlines Flight 11, which was hijacked and flown into the north tower of theWorld Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Jim Ogonowski — who announced his candidacy Tuesday at a memorial to his brother in the town of Dracut, where they grew up — said the personal tragedy he and his family endured influenced his decision to enter politics and run for the seat being vacated in July by eight-term Democratic Rep. Martin T. Meehan, who is resigning to become chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

The Boise Weekly reports that Boise City Councilor Alan Shealy is considering running for the seat held by Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho. “I’m talking to some people about it,” Shealy, a Republican, said. “It’s my prerogative to keep my options open.” Craig has yet to announce whether he will seek re-election, and already faces a primary challenge from Canyon County Commissioner Robert Vasquez. Former Rep. Larry LaRocco, a Democrat, is also in the race.

---------------------------------

Political Trivia

Married and the mother of two teenage sons, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and her husband, Verne Martell, faced a difficult choice when she first became a senator — move the boys to Washington, or keep them in their familiar home and schools. Murkowski chose the latter course at first, but worried constantly about being so far from her children when she was in Washington. After the 2004 election, the family moved East. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

---------------------------------

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 2007 – 2:16 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Rescission of Highway Contract Authority in Supplemental Draws Fire
  • Many House Democrats Undecided on Supplemental Conference Report
  • Leadership Considers Pushing Renzi to Quit Another Committee
  • Cheney’s Health Prompts Kucinich to Delay Impeachment Drive
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House considers legislation to authorize scholarships to educate math and science teachers (HR 362); considers legislation to authorize appropriations for basic research in science and engineering and to support graduate fellowships (HR 363).

The Senate considers legislation (S 761) to beef up funding authorizations for science and math research and education; considers the nomination of Halil Suleyman Ozerden to be a U.S. District Court judge for the Southern District of Mississippi.

The President visits Harlem Village Academy Charter School in New York City; speaks on the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (PL 107-110); attends a Republican National Committee dinner.

In Washington, the United States Transport Council holds the National Transportation Summit, “State of the Industry: Emerging Campaigns and Issues for Nuclear Materials Commerce,” April 24-26, Sofitel Lafayette Square Hotel, 806 15th St., N.W.

---------------------------------

Top Stories

Rescission of Highway Contract Authority in Supplemental Draws Fire

House and Senate appropriators have decided to include a provision in the conference report on the fiscal 2007 emergency spending bill rescinding some authorized federal highway funding to pay for emergency road repairs elsewhere, despite objections from a key House lawmaker.  [Read More]

Many House Democrats Undecided on Supplemental Conference Report

Democrats who attended a closed-door caucus meeting today said there are still many members who have not decided whether to vote for the conference report on the fiscal 2007 emergency spending bill.  [Read More]

Leadership Considers Pushing Renzi to Quit Another Committee

Rep. Rick Renzi, who stepped down from the House Intelligence Committee last week after FBI agents raided his family business, may be asked to leave another prominent committee assignment.  [Read More]

Cheney’s Health Prompts Kucinich to Delay Impeachment Drive

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich today put off efforts to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney, citing reports that Cheney was being treated for a blood clot in his leg.  [Read More]

---------------------------------

Political Clippings

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning leads Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., 47 percent to 38 percent in a possible GOP primary matchup next year. The poll of 404 Republicans, however, was commissioned by Bruning, and was summarily dismissed by a spokesman for Hagel. Bruning is considering challenging Hagel if the senator seeks re-election, but said “I am leaving room for hedge.”

The Albuquerque Tribune reports that Democrat Martin Heinrich, an Albuquerque city council member, has announced he’s setting up an exploratory committee for a possible challenge to Rep. Heather A. Wilson, R-N.M. Wilson is perceived as damaged because of her involvement in the firing of the local U.S. attorney. Heinrich said he’s leaning toward running, but wants to be sure he’s making the right choice and hopes to decide over the next several weeks.

---------------------------------

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio: Suburban Mayors: Remake County Government
LOS ANGELES: Planning Panel Targets 'Visual Blight'
THE WASHINGTON, D.C., REGION: Transit Agency to Cut 220 Jobs
THE NATION: State AGs Take Lead in College Lending Probes
THE NATION: Study: Execution Drugs Unreliable
NEW JERSEY: Governor Won't Run State from Hospital

---------------------------------

Political Trivia

Brooklyn-born and bred, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., was elected to represent the borough in the state Assembly just before he turned 24, the fall after his graduation from Harvard Law School. Six years later, he was easily elected to Congress with the endorsement of Elizabeth Holtzman, who gave up her Brooklyn House seat to be the 1980 Democratic nominee for the Senate. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

---------------------------------

Monday, April 23, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2007 – 2:13 P.M.

In This Issue

  • War Spending Bill to Set April 1 Goal for Withdrawal From Iraq
  • Congress Awaits Latest Projections for Social Security, Medicare
  • Millender-McDonald’s Death Leaves Chairmanship Open
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House considers minor measures under suspension of the rules, including several post office designations; votes are postponed until 6:30 p.m.

The Senate considers legislation (S 761) to beef up funding authorizations for science and math research and education.

The President meets with President of Peru Alan Garcia; attends meeting on Medicare Part D; participates in a photo opportunity with Super Bowl LXI champions, the Indianapolis Colts.

In Washington, Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, D-S.D., delivers the Marver Bernstein Lecture on “Constituents, Committees and Caucuses: Finding the Balance for the Common Good,” 4:30 p.m., Bunn Intercultural Center Auditorium, Georgetown University.

---------------------------------

Top Stories

War Spending Bill to Set April 1 Goal for Withdrawal From Iraq

The fiscal 2007 supplemental war spending bill to be considered by appropriations conferees later today will set a goal of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq by April 1, 2008, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.  [Read More]

Congress Awaits Latest Projections for Social Security, Medicare

The trustees for Social Security and Medicare will issue their annual report this afternoon, providing the latest assessment of the looming financial crunch for the two giant entitlement programs.  [Read More]

Millender-McDonald’s Death Leaves Chairmanship Open

The death Sunday of Democratic Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald of California left open the chairmanship of the House Administration Committee and created the second vacancy of the current Congress.  [Read More]

---------------------------------

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW YORK CITY: Cost to Make City Eco-Friendly: $32 Billion
RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif.: State May Dock School District $53 Million
INDIANAPOLIS: Police Union OKs Contract for Merged Force
BLACKSBURG, Va.: Tech Gunman Was Ineligible to Buy Weapons
THE GREAT LAKES REGION: Fish-Killing Virus Spreading
MASSACHUSETTS: New Greenhouse-Gas Rules Target Developers
MICHIGAN: Chief Justice: Shrink State's Judiciary
NEW JERSEY: Governor's Improvement Continues

---------------------------------

Political Clippings

The Palm Beach Post reports, “Campaign finance filings last week from the three Republicans who want to challenge freshman Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney marked the first test of spinning skills for GOP political pros in what is expected to be one of the nation’s hottest 2008 congressional contests. Hired hands for Palm Beach Gardens Councilman Hal Valeche, attorney Tom Rooney and state Rep. Gayle Harrell all turned in workmanlike performances without scoring any knockout blows.” Valeche led the GOP field with $180,315 in contributions; Rooney followed with $139,655, including a $25,000 personal loan to his campaign; and Harrell came in third, at $126,752.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Missouri’s rising tide of unlimited campaign donations is leaving some candidates adrift. . . . Gov. Matt Blunt and his Democratic rival, Attorney General Jay Nixon, are collecting waves of campaign money, much of it in the form of record-size checks,” since the state dropped contribution limits. “Blunt’s report shows that he received a whopping $3 million from about 500 donors during the past six months, while Nixon raised $1.3 million from roughly 2,000 contributors. Dozens of their donors gave $5,000 or more, and eight of Blunt’s contributors wrote $100,000 checks. But the rest of the state's top officeholders or candidates were, with few exceptions, left with the scraps.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that Washington state is about to outlaw “driving while texting,” a bill that gained momentum when a Mercer Island, Wash., man “was accused of causing a five-car pileup after he was distracted by a message on his BlackBerry.” The measure gained final passage in the legislature last week, and Gov. Christine Gregoire is expected to sign it, making “Washington the first state to impose a specific ban on reading or sending text messages while driving, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures.”

---------------------------------

This Week in Health Policy on the Hill

Health on the Hill with kaisernetwork.org and CQ are weekly audio updates from CQ reporters highlighting the latest health policy developments on Capitol Hill. A podcast of the report is also available.
MEDICARE DRUGS: Senate turns back effort to allow Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary to negotiate Medicare drug prices.
STEM CELLS: Backers of more federal funding win Senate victory but face White House veto threat.
DRUG SAFETY: House and Senate panels debate legislation to overhaul the Food and Drug Administrationa??s drug safety efforts. | Read the online report | Health on the Hill audio links

---------------------------------

Political Trivia

A lifelong resident of the 11th District, located north and west of Detroit, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., spent many years as a semi-professional musician playing guitar in several bands, including one called Sir Funk-a-Lot and the Knights of the Terrestrial Jam. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

---------------------------------