Friday, May 04, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2007 – 2:11 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senators Reach Deal on Auto Fuel Efficiency Standards
  • Democrats Move to Freeze VA Employee Bonuses
  • Deputy White House National Security Adviser Resigns
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate convenes at 9:30 a.m., with no roll call votes.

The President meets with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore; speaks at a celebration of Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexican victory over French occupational forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

In Washington, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute hosts Jon A. Krosnick, the Frederic O. Glover professor in the humanities and social sciences at Stanford University, to speak about American public opinion on global climate change, 3:30 p.m., Cannon House Office Building, Room 210.

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

Top Stories

Senators Reach Deal on Auto Fuel Efficiency Standards

The leaders of a Senate panel announced today that they have overcome an earlier dispute and reached an agreement to significantly boost automotive fuel efficiency standards for vehicles in the decades to come.  [Read More]

Democrats Move to Freeze VA Employee Bonuses

Political fallout continued today to a report that senior employees at the Veterans Affairs Department received hefty bonuses — a year after the department underestimated its budget needs by $1 billion.  [Read More]

Deputy White House National Security Adviser Resigns

The White House said today that Deputy National Security Adviser J.D. Crouch II has resigned.  [Read More]

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

TheCapitol.Net: Strategies for Working with Congress and Its Staff

This TheCapitol.Net workshop is designed to teach you to communicate effectively with Capitol Hill and to build relationships with those who can make or break your efforts. Understand the dos and don’ts you need to know when developing relations with congressional offices. Learn the differences between personal and committee staff. Find out which common mistakes will alienate staff and members alike. You will hear from a former member of Congress about what tools you can use to get staff on your side and learn how to write a “one-pager” and make your web site Hill friendly. This course is designed to meet the executive core qualification, building coalitions/communications, by instructing individuals how to explain, advocate and present facts and ideas in a convincing matter, and how to develop an expansive professional network with other organizations.
WHERE: Hall of the States, 444 North Capitol Street N.W., Washington, DC (1 1/2 blocks from the Union Station Metro stop)
WHEN: May 11, 2007, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Registration Fee: $595
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 Democratic state Rep. Steve Driehaus, whose potential already is being touted by national party strategists, is challenging Republican Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, in the Cincinnati-based 1st District. Chabot survived a serious Democratic challenge in the tough political environment of 2006, defeating Cincinnati City Councilman John Cranley 52 percent to 48 percent. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the electoral arm of the House Democratic majority, is bullish on Driehaus. So are state Democratic leaders.

McClatchy reports that Rep. John T. Doolittle, R-Calif., rejected calls for his resignation in the wake of an FBI raid on his Virginia home linked to the Jack Abramoff scandal. “There is no way I am stepping down. I am not resigning. Absolutely not,” Doolittle said. In a conference call with California reporters, Doolittle said he had information that federal agents had executed search warrants recently against two other members of Congress that he thought were related to the Abramoff probe.

The Journal Gazette & Times-Courier reports that Republican Adam Kinzinger has decided against challenging Rep. Timothy V. Johnson, D-Ill. A friend of the former McLean County board member and National Guard pilot had started a Web site trying to draft him into a race, but Kinzinger declined. “I have decided that my passion to take back our state and nation does not include a run for the U.S. Congress in 2008. . . . I have relayed my steadfast belief to Tim Johnson that the U.S. must win the war in Iraq, and we cannot afford a different outcome,” Kinzinger said.

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

GovSec: Government Security & Conference

Virginia Tech, Va, Amish Country, Penn. and Park County, Colo. — see the chiefs of police, commissioners and sheriffs from all three sites at a free panel on school shootings, “It Could Happen to You” — only at GovSec, May 9-10, Washington D.C. Convention Center. FREE to Congressional staff with code: CQ07.

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

Political Trivia

A Brooklyn-born former stockbroker, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has not limited her energies to politics. She published a novel, “A Time to Run,” with author Mary-Rose Hayes in 2005. It tells the story of a female senator whose former lover attempts to sabotage her career, and it provides ample fodder for those who like to guess which real-life lawmakers the characters are based on. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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

Thursday, May 03, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, MAY 3, 2007 – 2:20 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House, Senate Leaders Set Conference on Budget Resolution
  • Negotiations Proceed on Next Supplemental
  • House Panel Proposals Boost Special Operations, Navy in Defense Bill
  • House Passes Hate Crimes Bill Despite Possible Veto
  • Senate Backs Drug Importation, Votes to Cut Off Debate on Dorgan Amendment
  • And Finally . . .
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House considers a bill (HR 1592) to expand federal hate-crimes law and make it easier for federal law enforcement agencies to assist state and local counterparts in battling such offenses.

The Senate considers a bill to to overhaul drug safety procedures at the Food and Drug Administration (S 1082).

The President makes remarks on the National Day of Prayer; participates in a meeting on immigration at the Centro Evangelistico, Asambleas de Iglesias Cristiana in Washington.

In Washington, the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and the David H. Miller Foundation co-host a panel discussion on “Defeating Malaria in Africa: Building on Success Through Partnership.” Panelists will address malaria’s effect on Africa’s business climate and the private sector’s role in combating the disease through partnerships with the public sector and other stakeholders, 6:30 p.m., Harry Harding Auditorium, Room 213, 1957 E St. N.W.

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

Top Stories

House, Senate Leaders Set Conference on Budget Resolution

House and Senate negotiators have made enough progress toward a joint budget resolution that they plan to formally meet next week in hopes of reaching a final agreement in time for appropriations bills to start moving on the House floor the week of May 14.  [Read More]

Negotiations Proceed on Next Supplemental

Senate leaders began substantive negotiations today with White House chief of staff Joshua B. Bolten in hopes of completing a stalled war spending bill before the Memorial Day recess in three weeks.  [Read More]

House Panel Proposals Boost Special Operations, Navy in Defense Bill

Two House Armed Services subcommittees today recommended more spending for equipment to protect special operations soldiers in the field, vehicles that can resist roadside bombs, and additional ships and submarines for the Navy.  [Read More]

House Passes Hate Crimes Bill Despite Possible Veto

Even before House members debated and passed a bill today to expand hate crimes law, the administration signaled that President Bush would veto it if it ever reaches his desk — delighting Republican lawmakers and social conservatives.  [Read More]

Senate Backs Drug Importation, Votes to Cut Off Debate on Dorgan Amendment

The Senate voted 63-28 today to limit debate on an amendment to allow the importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries, but the provision faces further challenges before it is added to a drug safety measure.  [Read More]

And Finally . . .

The House has eased up on one of the restrictive ethics changes adopted at the start of the 110th Congress.  [Read More]

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

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
SPENCER, Mass.: Worker Error Blamed for Lye in Water
OAKLAND, Calif.: Governor: Freeway to Be Repaired Quickly
BALTIMORE: Mayor Declares War on Illegal Guns
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Judge Overturns Locomotive Pollution Rules
NEBRASKA: Court Halts Execution over Electrocution Challenge
NEW JERSEY: Former Governor to Become a Priest
PENNSYLVANIA: The Case of the $411,216 Ping-Pong Ball

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

Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports high Democratic interest in the seat held by Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., who is running for the Senate. Joan Fitz-Gerald, the state Senate president who formally announced her long-anticipated House bid last month, has been joined in the contest by Will Shafroth, a land conservation advocate. The winner of the Democratic nomination almost certainly will be the automatic favorite to retain the seat in the 2nd District, which backed Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry over President Bush by a solid edge of 58 percent to 42 percent in 2004.

The Eagle Tribune reports that Sen. John E. Sununu, R-N.H., has raised nearly three times as much money as his nearest Democratic challenger. Sununu has more than $1.2 million on hand, according to Federal Election Commission filings, compared to $448,111 for Democrat Katrina Swett and $100,000 for Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand, another Democrat. State Republican Party Chairman Fergus Cullen said he thinks Sununu is in a strong position, but his fundraising recognizes that the race could be difficult.

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

GovSec: Government Security & Conference

Virginia Tech, Va, Amish Country, Penn. and Park County, Colo. — see the chiefs of police, commissioners and sheriffs from all three sites at a free panel on school shootings, “It Could Happen to You” — only at GovSec, May 9-10, Washington D.C. Convention Center. FREE to Congressional staff with code: CQ07.

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

Political Trivia

After losing his first run for Congress in the neighboring 6th District in 1998, Rep. Mike Ferguson, R-N.J., moved to the 7th District and won the seat that Republican Bob Franks was abandoning to run for the Senate in 2000. Ferguson confronted the carpetbagger label directly. “It’s because I want to go to Congress, because I want to serve,” he said when asked why he moved. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2007 – 2:48 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Fails to Override Bush Veto of ‘Unconstitutional’ Spending Bill
  • Democrats Put Their Stamp on Defense Programs
  • Controversial Energy Topics Surface in Senate Markup
  • House Panel Approves Bill to Restrict Banking, Commerce Crossover
  • ‘Spyware’ Bill Wins Panel’s Approval
  • Colombian President Lobbies Lawmakers for Trade Deal
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House votes on whether to override President Bush’s veto of the emergency war supplemental bill (HR 1591 — H Rept 110-107); considers a bill to reauthorize and improve Head Start (HR 1429); considers legislation to authorize appropriations for the National Science Foundation (HR 1867).

The Senate considers a bill to to overhaul drug safety procedures at the Food and Drug Administration (S 1082).

The President meets with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe; speaks to The Associated General Contractors of America; meets with President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen; meets with congressional leaders on supplemental funding.

In Washington, the American Enterprise Institute hosts a discussion, “Collision or Collaboration? No Child Left Behind and America’s International Competition,” on whether the No Child Left Behind Act (PL 107-110) complements or competes with increased international competitiveness in education. 3:30 p.m., Wohlstetter Conference Center, 12th floor, AEI, 1150 17th St. N.W.

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

Top Stories

House Fails to Override Bush Veto of ‘Unconstitutional’ Spending Bill

The House, as expected, failed to override President Bush’s veto of the fiscal 2007 war supplemental spending bill today, just hours after he returned it with an accompanying statement saying he could not sign legislation that includes deadlines for U.S. troops to leave Iraq.  [Read More]

Democrats Put Their Stamp on Defense Programs

Two House Armed Services subcommittees significantly rearranged the president’s defense budget today, shifting billions of dollars to reflect the Democratic leadership’s priorities, not the White House’s.  [Read More]

Controversial Energy Topics Surface in Senate Markup

A tenuous agreement to delay action on divisive issues blew up today as a Senate panel marked up its first major energy legislation of the year.  [Read More]

House Panel Approves Bill to Restrict Banking, Commerce Crossover

The House Financial Services Committee today easily approved legislation to prevent commercial businesses like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. from owning their own banks.  [Read More]

‘Spyware’ Bill Wins Panel’s Approval

The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill today that would make it a crime to install malicious “spyware” software on someone’s computer.  [Read More]

Colombian President Lobbies Lawmakers for Trade Deal

President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia lobbied Congress today, hoping to demonstrate his country’s progress on human rights issues as he pushes for a controversial free-trade deal.  [Read More]

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

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW ORLEANS: School Superintendent Resigns, Successor Tapped
HENNEPIN COUNTY, Minn.: Check Clears Way for Ballpark Construction
LOS ANGELES: Police Chief Endorsed for Second Term
NEW JERSEY: Governor Asks For And Gets Seat-Belt Fine
TEXAS: Governor Moves to Install New Regents At TSU

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

Political Clippings

The Albuquerque Tribune reports that former University of New Mexico President Louis Caldera says he’s considering challenging Rep. Heather A. Wilson, R-N.M. Caldera, secretary of the Army under President Bill Clinton, resigned as university president in January amid speculation he might be fired. Former state Democratic Party chairman and Board of Regents President Jamie Koch told the daily he had not heard of Caldera’s possible candidacy, but “offered little in the way of encouragement.”

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports that Bausch and Lomb executive David Nachbar announced Tuesday he is a Democratic candidate for the nomination to challenge Rep. John R. “Randy” Kuhl Jr., R-N.Y. Eric Massa, who challenged Kuhl last year, also is running. Party leaders hindered Nachbar’s efforts to run at that time by uniting behind Massa. Nachbar also was hurt by the fact that he was not a registered Democrat in 2006.

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

GovSec: Government Security & Conference

Virginia Tech, Va, Amish Country, Penn. and Park County, Colo. — see the chiefs of police, commissioners and sheriffs from all three sites at a free panel on school shootings, “It Could Happen to You” — only at GovSec, May 9-10, Washington D.C. Convention Center. FREE to Congressional staff with code: CQ07.

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

Political Trivia

Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla., first got an insider’s view of the Capitol at 5 years old — in 1979, when his father, Democrat David L. Boren, began his career in the Senate. When the younger Boren returned in 2005, at 31, he became the third generation of his family to serve as a Democratic member of Congress from Oklahoma: His father was a senator until 1994, when he resigned to become president of the University of Oklahoma; his grandfather, Lyle Boren, was a House member from 1937 to 1947. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2007 – 2:21 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Supplemental Talks Set to Immediately Follow Expected Veto
  • House Panel Authorizes Subpoena for Former Justice Deputy
  • Senators Looking for a Way Forward on FDA Bill
  • Appeals Court: McDermott Liable for Damages in Taping Case
  • Panel Approves ‘Spyware’ Prevention Bill
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House considers various measures under suspension of the rules, including resolutions to recognize Nobel Prize winners and mark the 45th anniversary of astronaut John Glenn’s orbit of Earth.

The Senate considers a bill to to overhaul drug safety procedures at the Food and Drug Administration (S 1082).

The President speaks at a conference at U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla.

In Washington, screening of the documentary, “Running Dry,” narrated by actress Jane Seymour, with Reps. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore. 5:30 p.m., Room 345, Cannon House Office Building.

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

Top Stories

Supplemental Talks Set to Immediately Follow Expected Veto

On the heels of an expected veto, congressional leaders plan to meet with President Bush and begin new negotiations on the Iraq supplemental spending bill Wednesday afternoon.  [Read More]

House Panel Authorizes Subpoena for Former Justice Deputy

A House Judiciary subcommittee today authorized a subpoena for former Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey to testify May 3 in the panel’s probe of the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys last year.  [Read More]

Senators Looking for a Way Forward on FDA Bill

Democratic and Republican negotiators worked off the Senate floor today with the goal of wrapping up debate on FDA overhaul legislation by Thursday.  [Read More]

Appeals Court: McDermott Liable for Damages in Taping Case

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has reaffirmed an earlier decision that Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., is liable for damages in a case brought against him by House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, R-Ohio.  [Read More]

Panel Approves ‘Spyware’ Prevention Bill

A House Judiciary subcommittee approved a measure today that would make it a crime to maliciously install “spyware” on someone’s computer.  [Read More]

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

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
SOUTH TEXAS: Border Fence Plan Upsets Mayors
OAKLAND, Calif.: Tanker Driver Served Time in Prison
MASSACHUSETTS: State Throws Out Faulty Sentence-Tracking System
VIRGINIA: Governor Closes Gun-Buying Loophole
COLORADO: Revenue Supervisor Accused in $5 Million Scam
NEW JERSEY: 'Blessed' Governor Leaves Hospital

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

Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that Democrats intend to make the unpopular Iraq war the centerpiece of their strategy to oust Sen. John E. Sununu, R-N.H. Strong antiwar sentiment in the state last year cost the GOP both House seats and control of both state legislative chambers. Sununu backed President Bush last week against Democratic-crafted Iraq withdrawal language in a supplemental spending measure. “Yet again, John Sununu has voted to support President Bush’s indefinite commitment in Iraq,” said Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand, a Democratic Senate candidate.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that the proliferation of presidential debates could help expand public engagement in the process and give lesser-known candidates a chance to win wider appeal. The Democrats have already staged their first, and at least 16 more are scheduled between now and January. The first Republican debate is Thursday, with 10 candidates, and at least 12 more debates will follow.

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

GovSec: Government Security & Conference

Virginia Tech, Va, Amish Country, Penn. and Park County, Colo. — see the chiefs of police, commissioners and sheriffs from all three sites at a free panel on school shootings, “It Could Happen to You” — only at GovSec, May 9-10, Washington D.C. Convention Center. FREE to Congressional staff with code: CQ07.

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

Political Trivia

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., gained national attention by traversing the state on foot — he is a lifelong hiker — in what would become his trademark red-and-black plaid shirt to run for governor of Tennessee in 1978. The voters loved it, electing him with 56 percent of the vote over financier Jake Butcher. Alexander was governor for eight years. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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

Monday, April 30, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2007 – 2:10 P.M.

In This Issue

  • White House Asks: Where’s the Supplemental?
  • Sen. Johnson Now Recovering at Home
  • Senate to Take Up Drug Safety Bill
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House is in pro forma session, with no legislative business.

The Senate considers a bill to reauthorize prescription drug user fee provisions (S 1082).

The President meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other U.S. and European Union leaders, followed by a joint press availability; meets with the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue; participates in photo opportunity with the First Independent Research Support & Transition Award winners.

In Washington, The National Breast Cancer Coalition honors lawmakers for leadership in the fight against breast cancer. Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev.; Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo.; Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; and Democratic California Reps. Henry A. Waxman and Lois Capps will be among the honorees, 4:30 p.m., Room 902, Hart Senate Office Building.

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

Top Stories

White House Asks: Where’s the Supplemental?

The White House today accused Congress of dragging its feet on a $124.2 billion supplemental spending bill that includes disputed language calling for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.  [Read More]

Sen. Johnson Now Recovering at Home

Sen. Tim Johnson, who suffered a debilitating brain hemorrhage in December, has left a rehabilitation center to continue his recovery at his home in northern Virginia.  [Read More]

Senate to Take Up Drug Safety Bill

The Senate today was set to begin consideration of a bill that would overhaul drug safety procedures at the Food and Drug Administration.  [Read More]

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

GovSec: Government Security & Conference

Who becomes a terrorist? What is homeland security? When’s the next attack? How can terrorism end?

Get the answers from all points of view from GovSec May 9-10, D.C. Convention Center. FREE to Congressional staff with code: CQWEB.

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

Political Clippings

The Houston Chronicle reports that Rep. Nick Lampson, D-Texas, is considering a challenge to Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, according to “well-connected Democrats in Texas and Washington.” Lampson’s camp “is being somewhat coy about the Senate race, as might be expected at this point.” Democratic strategists say Lampson “faces a battle to hold on to his House seat, and, since he’ll have to raise millions of dollars anyway, he might as well go for the brass ring.” A new Democratic Party poll finds 41 percent of Texans have a favorable opinion of the Republican and 39 percent either don’t know him or don't know enough to decide.

The Easton Express-Times reports, that Republican New Jersey Assemblyman Mike Doherty is considering challenging Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., next year. “I’m seeing what reactions are and if support starts to snowball,” said Doherty, a West Point graduate, who points out that his military and middle-class background give him more blue-collar appeal than previous wealthy Republican candidates. Doherty said he wants to focus on border security, taxes and rethinking the military’s role in the world community."

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

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: Program trustees issue “funding warning” for program.
DRUG SAFETY: Senate vote expected on legislation to reauthorize prescription drug user fee program.
GENETIC NONDISCRIMINATION: House approves measure to ban genetic nondiscrimination.
SCHIP: Veto promised for measure that includes funding for State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) | Read the online report | Health on the Hill audio links

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

Political Trivia

Sen. Daniel K. Akaka (pronounced ah-KAH-kah), D-Hawaii, is the only native Hawaiian ever to serve in the Senate — his mother was Hawaiian and his father of Chinese and Hawaiian ancestry — and he focuses most intently on home state issues, ranging from the islands’ role in national security to creation of an honorary postage stamp for surfing and swimming legend Duke Kahanamoku. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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