Friday, November 02, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, NOV. 2, 2007 – 2:06 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Bush Veto of Water Resources Bill Sets Up Override Test
  • Reid Predicts Difficult Path to Thanksgiving Break
  • Speculation Focuses on Udall as Key New Mexico Democrat Bows Out
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Today in Washington

The House  is not in session; resumes legislative business at 2 p.m. Monday, considering minor bills under expedited procedures.

The Senate  convened at 10 a.m. for speeches only; returns at 2 p.m. Monday to begin debate on the five-year farm bill (HR 2419).

The President attends a Lindsey Graham Victory 2008 reception in Columbia, S.C., and speaks at a basic combat training graduation ceremony in Fort Jackson, S.C.

In Washington,  law students from the U.S. and Canada compete to argue First Amendment problems, as part of the 14th Annual Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition. Nov. 2-3, Washington College of Law, 4801 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Bush Veto of Water Resources Bill Sets Up Override Test

As expected, President Bush on Friday vetoed a water resources bill he says would cost too much, but Congress could vote within days to override the veto.  [Read More]

Reid Predicts Difficult Path to Thanksgiving Break

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., warned his colleagues Friday to expect long days and important votes before the start of the Thanksgiving break two weeks from now.  [Read More]

Speculation Focuses on Udall as Key New Mexico Democrat Bows Out

New Mexico Lt. Gov. Diane Denish said Friday she will not seek the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Pete V. Domenici, as efforts by Democratic activists to recruit Rep. Tom Udall intensified.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

CQ Politics reports that a federal court will hear arguments Dec. 5 in the ongoing dispute between Florida Democrats and the Democratic National Committee over the state’s decision to move its presidential primary to Jan. 29. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and others sued the DNC last month, arguing that the penalties the committee has threatened to impose on the state for moving its primary earlier than Feb. 5 violate the voting rights of Florida residents. The DNC has threatened to take away all 210 of Florida’s nominating convention votes and the major Democratic candidates have already agreed not to campaign in the state because of Florida’s scheduling decision.

The Lawrence Journal-World in Kansas reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will headline a fundraiser for Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., after a speaking engagement at Kansas University. The daily notes that “Boyda has eschewed accepting donations from the Democratic National Committee, running as a Democrat in a district that gave about 60 percent of its votes to George W. Bush in 2004.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.: Former Mayor Admits Lying about Military Record
MINNEAPOLIS: Feds OK Bridge Funds as Rebuilding Starts
THE SOUTHEAST: Three Governors Vow to End 17-Year Water War
FLORIDA: State Supreme Court OKs Lethal Injections

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Political Trivia

Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr., D-Ga., grew up in Mobile, Ala., where his parents were both educators. His father was the president of a community college that is now named for him — Bishop State Community College. His mother was the college librarian. In 2003, his first year as an appropriator, the younger Bishop secured $75,000 for a technology center at the college. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, NOV. 1, 2007 – 2:23 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Bill Combining Domestic Priorities and Veterans’ Spending Advances
  • House Panel Likely to Approve Tax Bill, Despite Offsets
  • Children’s Health Deal Nowhere in Sight as Senate Vote Looms
  • Climate Change Bill Clears First Senate Hurdle
  • Kennedy Joins Democrats Opposing Mukasey Nomination
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Today in Washington

The House  has scheduled a vote on “hard rock” mining overhaul legislation.

The Senate  continues work on the latest children’s health insurance bill.

The President speaks about the global war on terrorism at the Heritage Foundation; participates in a photo opportunity with the 2007 Little League World Series champions and with recipients of the 2006 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers; attends the Republican National Committee Regents Dinner.

In Washington,  the National Geographic Channel hosts the world premiere screening of a film about AIDS, “India’s Hidden Plague.” 6 p.m. The National Geographic Society, 1145 17th St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Bill Combining Domestic Priorities and Veterans’ Spending Advances

House and Senate appropriators agreed on a spending package Thursday that includes funding for health, education and veterans’ programs, but not the Pentagon. Democrats are hoping to force Republicans to support more domestic funding than President Bush requested.  [Read More]

House Panel Likely to Approve Tax Bill, Despite Offsets

Private equity executives, venture capitalists, multinational corporations and hedge fund managers would bear the brunt of the year-end tax bill heading toward approval in the House Ways and Means committee on Thursday.  [Read More]

Children’s Health Deal Nowhere in Sight as Senate Vote Looms

Senate Republican leaders blocked an attempt to give bipartisan negotiators more time to strike a deal with House Republicans on a children’s health bill, almost guaranteeing a second presidential veto.  [Read More]

Climate Change Bill Clears First Senate Hurdle

The primary Senate vehicle to address the threat of global warming surmounted its first big hurdle Thursday, but it still faces a potentially treacherous path to enactment.  [Read More]

Kennedy Joins Democrats Opposing Mukasey Nomination

Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts on Thursday became the fourth Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee to come out against confirmation of former federal judge Michael Mukasey as attorney general.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

CQ Politics reports that a former defense contractor who pleaded guilty to bribing former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham has been ordered to pay a $1 million fine to the Federal Election Commission for campaign finance violations. Mitchell Wade, the former president of MZM Inc., agreed to pay the fine — the second largest in FEC history — after the commission ruled he engaged in an employee reimbursement scheme that funneled $78,000 in corporate contributions to Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr. , R-Va., and former Rep. Katherine Harris, R-Fla. (2003-07). Goode and Harris have denied any wrongdoing, and the commission found no evidence either of them knew the contributions were illegal.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that attorney John Armor has become the third Republican challenger trying to unseat Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., next year. Armor “touted 35 years of experience as a lawyer and government consultant. He said job losses and improving education are the two most important issues facing Western North Carolina.” Asheville City Councilman Carl Mumpower and former Henderson County Republican Party Chairman Spence Campbell are also seeking the Republican nomination.

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Political Trivia

The father of Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine, Greek immigrant George Bouchles, and her mother, Georgia, operated the State Street Diner in Augusta, down the street from the state house. Georgia Bouchles loved politics, and the diner was a magnet for politicians, business people and journalists. Snowe still runs into folks back home who remember her as a kid hanging out at the restaurant. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, OCT. 31, 2007 – 2:24 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Judiciary Sets Nov. 6 Vote on Mukasey Nomination
  • Tax Writers Tell IRS to Count on Enactment of AMT ‘Patch’
  • Bush Chooses Former North Dakota Governor as Agriculture Secretary
  • House Panel Approves Flood Insurance Phase-Out
  • House Majority Leader Gives Boost to Proposed Entitlement Commission
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Today in Washington

The House  considers a trade adjustment assistance bill and a motion to go to conference on the Labor-HHS-Education spending bill.

The Senate  revisits the issue of children’s health insurance coverage.

The President  speaks to the fall conference of the Grocery Manufacturers Association/Food Products Association; introduces his new Agriculture secretary nominee, former North Dakota Gov. Ed Schafer.

In Washington,  the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academies kick off a conference aimed at increasing the involvement of businesses in science education. Hamilton Crowne Plaza, 1001 14th St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate Judiciary Sets Nov. 6 Vote on Mukasey Nomination

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a Nov. 6 vote on the nomination of Michael Mukasey, a former federal judge from New York, to succeed Alberto R. Gonzales as attorney general.  [Read More]

Tax Writers Tell IRS to Count on Enactment of AMT ‘Patch’

Congressional tax writers from both parties and both chambers have told the Internal Revenue Service – and about 20 million taxpayers – not to worry about any new hit from the alternative minimum tax this year.  [Read More]

Bush Chooses Former North Dakota Governor as Agriculture Secretary

President Bush on Wednesday named former North Dakota Gov. Ed Schafer as Agriculture secretary.  [Read More]

House Panel Approves Flood Insurance Phase-Out

The House Financial Services Committee approved a bill Wednesday that would begin phasing out flood insurance subsidies for certain homes.  [Read More]

House Majority Leader Gives Boost to Proposed Entitlement Commission

Congress should create a commission next year to address long-term budget strains created by soaring health care costs and the retirement of the baby boom generation, but it should not begin real work until the next president takes office, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Wednesday.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

CQ Politics reports that Democratic state Sen. Kay Hagan, who earlier this month said she would not run for the U.S. Senate next year, has done a quick pivot. She announced Tuesday that she will seek the nomination to challenge GOP Sen. Elizabeth Dole. Hagan’s decision to run came days after Jim Neal, a Chapel Hill businessman, announced his candidacy. John Ross Hendrix, a graphic artist who switched parties after seeking the 2006 Republican nomination to challenge 13th District Democratic Rep. Brad Miller, also is running for the Democratic Senate nomination. Hagen sees some Dole vulnerability, despite the incumbent’s huge jump in fundraising and poll ratings. “We need accountability to end the war in Iraq so we can re-invest those resources here at home,” Hagen said in her video announcement. Hagan, though a first-time congressional candidate, has senatorial bloodlines. She is a niece of the late Democrat Lawton Chiles, who served as U.S. senator (1971-89) and governor (1991-98) in Florida.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal,Kentucky’s gubernatorial campaign, which ends at the polls next Tuesday, has focused increasingly on casino gambling, with incumbent GOP Gov. Ernie Fletcher making “his opposition to casinos in Kentucky the drumbeat of his campaign.” Democrat Steve Beshear, a former lieutenant governor and attorney general, “favors a statewide referendum to allow casinos and has promised to campaign for it. . . . Any referendum would be next fall, at the earliest.” A Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll in September “showed Fletcher trailing Beshear by 20 percentage points, 55 percent to 35 percent, with 10 percent undecided.

Blue Ridge Now reports that the Republican field in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District ‘has gotten a bit more crowded. John Armor, a Highlands lawyer who challenged incumbent Charles Taylor in the 2006 Republican primary, says he is gearing up for another run, this time against two others, but so far not Taylor,” who was defeated last year by Democrat Heath Schuler. “‘We are going to have a knock-down, drag-down fight all the way to the general election,’ Armor said.” Former Henderson County Republican Party Chairman Spence Campbell and Asheville City Councilman Carl Mumpower are also seeking the Republican nomination to take on Schuler.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA: Earthquake Biggest Since 1989 Disaster
NEW ORLEANS: Embattled District Attorney Resigns
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.: Sheriff's Indictment Alleges Years of Corruption
THE NATION: States Running Out of SCHIP Funds
WISCONSIN: Dozens of Felons Got Gun Hunting Licenses
TEXAS: Audit Slams Medical Transportation Program

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Political Trivia

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., a native of Indiana, is the second of five children and the first person in her family to graduate from college. She was exposed early to politics by her father, Paul Cantwell, who brought the family to the nation’s capital in 1965 when he took a job working for home-state Democratic Rep. Andrew Jacobs. After a year, he moved the family back to Indiana and took a seat as a county commissioner. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Announcing the new CQ Politics

 
CQ Politics

Dear Friend,

For more than 60 years, Congressional Quarterly has delivered premium information to its subscribers on the inner workings of Congress and Washington.

Now we invite you to visit our first major foray into free publishing on the Web. The new CQ Politics, our enhanced free-content Web site, launches today at www.cqpolitics.com.

The expanded site delivers news, analysis and interactive tools to help you track the campaigns, the players and the issues — all in signature CQ style.

With the new CQ Politics, you can:

  • Go beyond the political headlines with in-depth reporting and analysis from CQ’s 150 reporters and editors, the largest press corps covering politics and Washington.
  • Get a fresh perspective on the campaigns and the issues from our featured blogs and columns. Heavy-hitters, such as David Corn, Craig Crawford and Richard Whalen, are regular contributors to the site.
  • Utilize interactive tools like the popular CQ Election Map, PolitiFact’s “truth-o-meter” and CQ’s Race Ratings to stay on top of the campaigns.
  • Read the most compelling news stories, handpicked by our editors, from hundreds of sites across the Web.
  • Explore video and photo galleries to consume the news in exciting new ways.

CQ Politics debuted in January 2006 as a free blog-style Web site to provide coverage of every congressional and gubernatorial race for the 2006 cycle. Its success prompted the dramatic expansion of the site’s mission, depth and breadth of coverage, and functionality.

Visit the new CQ Politics at www.cqpolitics.com to see how we’ve made our site bigger, better and more useful than ever. We hope you like it.

Sincerely,

Bruce Drake
General Manager, Consumer Publishing
Congressional Quarterly Inc.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, OCT. 30, 2007 – 2:32 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Bush Warns He Would Veto a Combined Spending Package
  • Congress Clears Seven-Year Ban on Internet Access Taxes
  • Bush Selects Peake as Veterans Affairs Secretary
  • Senate Limits Debate on Amtrak Bill
  • Nation’s Intelligence Budget Hit $43.5 Billion Last Year
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Today in Washington

The House  votes on several measures under suspension of the rules, including a reauthorization of contracting programs at the Small Business Administration, a seven-year extension of the ban on Internet access taxes and a requirement for installation of weather radios in all new mobile homes.

The Senate  continues consideration of a six-year, $11.4 billion Amtrak reauthorization bill.

The President meets with House Republican leaders; later meets with President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni.

In Washington,  Catholic University will host “Crucial Alliance?: The United Kingdom and The United States in 2007,” a lecture presented by British Parliament member Sir Patrick Cormack. 7 p.m., Catholic University, Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, Great Room, 620 Michigan Ave., N.E.

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Top Stories

Bush Warns He Would Veto a Combined Spending Package

President Bush excoriated the Democratic Congress Tuesday for “not getting its work done” and warned that he would veto any fiscal 2008 appropriations package that combines defense and veterans’ spending with domestic funding he considers excessive.  [Read More]

Congress Clears Seven-Year Ban on Internet Access Taxes

The House on Tuesday unanimously passed and sent to the White House a bill that would continue the current moratorium on taxing Internet access for seven more years.  [Read More]

Bush Selects Peake as Veterans Affairs Secretary

President Bush on Tuesday nominated James Peake, a Vietnam veteran and the Army’s former chief doctor, as Veterans Affairs secretary.  [Read More]

Senate Limits Debate on Amtrak Bill

The Senate on Tuesday agreed to limit debate on an $11.4 billion, six-year reauthorization of Amtrak, the nation’s passenger railroad, after rejecting an amendment that would have cut its money-losing food service contracts.  [Read More]

Nation’s Intelligence Budget Hit $43.5 Billion Last Year

The intelligence budget for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 was $43.5 billion, according to the nation’s spy chief, who disclosed the long-secret figure Tuesday because of a new law passed by Congress this year.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Anchorage Daily News reports that former Veco Corp. chief executive Bill Allen revealed in court Monday that his nephew tried to blackmail him over work done on the home of Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska. The remodeling and Veco’s role in it is part of a federal investigation into public corruption in Alaska. Stevens has denied wrongdoing and said he paid what he was billed for the renovations. Allen, who has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, was testifying in the public corruption trial of a former state representative.

The Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown, Pa., reports that William T. Russell, a career Army officer and survivor of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the Pentagon, has moved into Rep. John P. Murtha’s House district to challenge the powerful Democratic lawmaker. Russell, 45, a Republican who left the Army two years short of retirement to run for Congress, told the daily: “I recognize this is an uphill battle. But it’s one that must be fought.” Murtha, 75, a Vietnam veteran, is chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and is legendary for his ability to bring defense money and jobs to the district.

Correction: The Savannah Morning News reported that Georgia Republican Ray McKinney has decided to challenge Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga., next year. Barrow currently has $944,892 in campaign funds, and McKinney, a vice president of Continental Field Systems, “hopes to raise $1.5 million for his campaign” to face off against Barrow. Chris Edenfield of Savannah is also seeking the GOP nomination for the seat.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.: Sheriff Indicted on Corruption Charges
PITTSBURGH: Teachers Vote to Authorize Strike
SAN FRANCISCO: Environmentalists Sue over Mothballed Ships
COLORADO: Auditors Slam Energy Grant Program

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Political Trivia

Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., is the youngest of four children of an executive salesman for Uniroyal and a stay-at-home mother who, in search of a more bucolic life, moved from Bergen County’s rapidly building suburbs to a 100-acre farm in Wantage, where they grew greenhouse tomatoes, Yorkshire pigs and Christmas trees. Garrett’s older brother still raises Christmas trees there. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Monday, October 29, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, OCT. 29, 2007 – 2:02 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Grassley Seeks House GOP Votes for Revised Children’s Health Bill
  • Congress Awaits Bush Veto of Water Resources Bill
  • Tancredo Bets on Longshot GOP Presidential Bid
  • New York’s McNulty Becomes First House Democrat to Retire
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Today in Washington

The House considers 13 non-controversial measures, including one authorizing grants to states for the rehabilitation of publicly owned deficient dams; a measure easing requirements for assistance to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; and a bill to promote the research, development, and demonstration of systems to track and communicate with miners trapped underground.

The Senate continues debate on amendments to an Amtrak reauthorization bill.

The President attends GOP fundraising events in Bryn Mawr, Pa., and Cincinnati, Ohio.

In Washington,  the Navy Memorial Foundation holds its Lone Sailor Awards Dinner, with honorees including New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, Sen. John W. Warner, R-Va., and Baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial. 6 p.m., Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1000 H St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Grassley Seeks House GOP Votes for Revised Children’s Health Bill

Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, is trying to boost Republican support for a new children’s health insurance bill that appeared doomed when the House passed it last week.  [Read More]

Congress Awaits Bush Veto of Water Resources Bill

By the end of this week, President Bush will have to decide whether to veto a water resources bill that enjoys wide support from both parties in Congress.  [Read More]

Tancredo Bets on Longshot GOP Presidential Bid

It’s the White House or bust for Rep. Tom Tancredo, the long-shot Republican presidential candidate who has decided to forgo a bid for re-election next year in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District.  [Read More]

New York’s McNulty Becomes First House Democrat to Retire

Rep. Michael R. McNulty, D-N.Y., confirmed Monday that he will not run for re-election in 2008, saying he wants to spend time with his family after 10 terms in Congress.  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
LAREDO, Texas: Ex-Police Chief Pleads Guilty to Bribery
NEW ORLEANS: Mayor: State Takeover of DA's Office Likely
THE NATION: ABA: Put Executions on Hold
CONNECTICUT: Attorney General Probing Debt-Rating Agencies
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Governor: Cut Red Tape for Fire Victims

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Political Clippings

The Savannah Morning News reported that Georgia Republican Ray McKinney has decided to challenge Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga., and abandon his long-shot presidential bid. McKinney, a vice president of Continental Field Systems, has “spent much of the year campaigning for president” and “finished seventh out of 12 candidates and beat U.S. Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Sam Brownback of Kansas” during the Sept. 1 Texas straw poll. McKinney currently has $944,892 in campaign funds, but “hopes to raise $1.5 million for his campaign” to face off with Barrow. Chris Edenfield of Savannah is also seeking the GOP nomination for the seat.

Albuquerque television station KOB reports that Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., will formally announce his candidacy for the Republican Nomination to succeed U.S. Senator Pete Domenici on November 2nd in his home town of Hobbs. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., is facing increasing pressure to enter the race, including a “Draft Udall” Web site. Asked about a possible Udall bid, spokeswoman Marissa Padilla said, “Nothing has changed, and Tom Udall is not reconsidering.”

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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.
: : :
SCHIP: Senate set to act on children’s health bill after second House vote.
LABOR-HHS: Fiscal 2008 spending bill headed to House-Senate conference.
HEALTH IT: House panel approves legislation to encourage development of health information technology standards in federal government. | Read the online report | Health on the Hill audio links

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Political Trivia

Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, D-Ariz, still lives in the working-class, heavily Latino section of south Tucson where he was born and raised. He attended the University of Arizona, but quit to get married. Grijalva and his school librarian wife, Mona, had three daughters, and he became a social worker and community activist. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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