Friday, November 09, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, NOV. 9, 2007 – 2:31 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Passes Tax Bill After Procedural Protests
  • Angry Hispanic Democrats Confront House Leaders
  • Stopgap Funding Measure Boosts Veterans’, Disaster Programs
  • Democrats Want TSA to Share ‘Cleared-to-Fly’ List More Widely
  • Boxer Schedules Climate Bill Markup
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Today in Washington

The House passed a tax bill that extends expiring tax provisions and keeps millions of 2007 taxpayers from exposure to the alternative minimum tax.

The Senate met in pro forma session only and reconvenes at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The President welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel to his Crawford, Texas, ranch this afternoon.

In Washington,  the Washington National Cathedral holds its first candle-lit gala to mark its centennial celebration, with speaker Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. 7:30 p.m., Washington National Cathedral.

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Top Stories

House Passes Tax Bill After Procedural Protests

The House on Friday passed an $82.5 billion tax bill that would extend expiring tax breaks for a year and shield millions of Americans from exposure to the alternative minimum tax.  [Read More]

Angry Hispanic Democrats Confront House Leaders

Tensions between Hispanic Democrats and House leaders exploded Friday when a bloc of Hispanic lawmakers voted to derail a major tax bill, relenting only after an angry confrontation on the floor with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md.  [Read More]

Stopgap Funding Measure Boosts Veterans’, Disaster Programs

The continuing resolution that Congress cleared Thursday night for President Bush would keep most of the government funded at current levels through Dec. 14. But a few programs would fare better.  [Read More]

Democrats Want TSA to Share ‘Cleared-to-Fly’ List More Widely

Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee are eyeing a proposal to help travelers avoid being repeatedly mistaken for terrorists.  [Read More]

Boxer Schedules Climate Bill Markup

The Senate’s primary bill to address climate change is set for a committee vote as soon as Congress returns from its Thanksgiving recess.  [Read More]

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Registration Fee: $1295
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Political Clippings

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Democrat Harry Teague has joined the crowded field of hopefuls for New Mexico’s 2nd District House seat. Teague, a former county commissioner who owns several oil-related businesses, said he could work with both parties to “get things done for New Mexico and the nation.” Among his opponents is Do??a Ana County Commissioner Bill McCamley, to whom Teague pledged a $2,500 donation before entering the race. Teague has also donated money to Republican Rep. Steve Pearce, who is vacating the seat to run for the Senate.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that religious leaders in Ohio have started a petition drive to get candidates to run clean and positive campaigns. The group We Believe Ohio says it already has gathered 1,000 signatures and has reached out to the leading candidates to replace Rep. Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio, who is leaving her seat next year. “Some will say that we are looking for a miracle,” said Cantor Jack Chomsky of Congregation Tifereth Israel in Columbus. “Who would work for miracles if not us? We embrace the idea that miracles happen every day.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Authorities: $20 Million Stolen in Tax-Office Scam
LOS ANGELES: Muslim Mapping Program Draws Fire
ALABAMA/MARYLAND: Man Who Shot Governor to Be Freed
CALIFORNIA: State Sues Feds over Emissions Law
WASHINGTON STATE: High Court Voids Tax-Limit Initative

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Political Trivia

After graduating from college, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., started his own construction company with a pickup truck and $8,000 he had saved. By the time he sold the company in 1990, it was operating in 18 states, with projects ranging from strip malls to apartments. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, NOV. 8, 2007 – 2:18 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Veto Override Is First of Bush’s Presidency
  • White House Threatens to Veto House Tax Bill
  • House Advances Final Defense Spending Bill
  • House Passes Bill Implementing Peru Trade Pact
  • House Panel Approves Tighter Standards for Drinking Water
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Today in Washington

The House approves Peru free-trade agreement; adopts conference report for the fiscal 2008 Defense spending bill; considers final Labor-HHS-Education bill.

The Senate overrides President Bush’s veto of the Water Resources Development Act; continues debate on farm bill.

The President attends fundraisers for Sen. John Cornyn, D-Texas, in Houston and San Antonio; visits the Center for the Intrepid at the Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio.

In Washington,  the World Affairs Council hosts an event with Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark, authors of “Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons,” 6:30 p.m., Charles Sumner School, 1201 17th St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Veto Override Is First of Bush’s Presidency

The Senate overrode President Bush’s veto of a massive water resources bill Thursday, marking the first time since he took office that Congress has enacted a law over his objections.  [Read More]

White House Threatens to Veto House Tax Bill

The Bush administration has threatened to veto a tax bill expected to go to the House floor on Friday. The measure would prevent the alternative minimum tax from hitting millions more Americans in the 2007 tax year.  [Read More]

House Advances Final Defense Spending Bill

The House and Senate were pushing Thursday to send the fiscal 2008 Defense spending bill to President Bush, allowing the House to begin considering a $55 billion emergency war funding bill that would demand but not require a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.  [Read More]

House Passes Bill Implementing Peru Trade Pact

The House passed legislation Thursday that would implement a free-trade agreement with Peru, even though fewer than half the Democrats on hand voted for the measure.  [Read More]

House Panel Approves Tighter Standards for Drinking Water

A bill that would limit the levels of perchlorate in drinking water was approved Thursday by a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that former Republican Rep. Jim Ryun “welcomed volunteers back to the political fray Wednesday as he officially opened a campaign office for his bid to regain” the 2nd District House seat. Ryun lost the seat, which he had held for 10 years, to Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., in 2006, and said in March he would seek a rematch.

The Albuquerque Tribune reports that New Mexico Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, who earlier this year declined to seek the Democratic Senate nomination, revealed that she has more than $1 million in the bank for her run for governor in 2010. No one else has yet announced an interest in the seat, and University of New Mexico political science professor Lonna Atkeson suggested Denish released the information to keep it that way. “That should scare off potential opponents,” Atkeson said. “War chests are good because they scare off people.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Prosecutors: Tax Workers Stole $16 Million
NEW YORK CITY: Indictment Sought for Ex-Police Commissioner
SAN FRANCISCO: Re-Elected Mayor Vows Quick City Hall Shakeup
WISCONSIN: State to Offer Insurance for All Children
ILLINOIS: Former Governor Reports to Prison

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Political Trivia

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., said his first recollection of politics was when he was a “pop runner” — fetching soft drinks for poll workers. His mother was a Democrat, but Wilson, recalling his admiration for President Dwight Eisenhower, always thought he might be a Republican. He made the transition from working on Democratic races to Republican ones in 1960. He met his wife at a camp for Republican teenagers, where she was a camper and he was a counselor. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, NOV. 7, 2007 – 1:59 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Children’s Health Bill Talks Near Make-or-Break Point
  • Panel Approves Expanded Education Benefits for Reservists
  • Panel Moves to Overhaul SBA Contracting Practices
  • Latta Wins GOP Nomination in Ohio House Primary
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Today in Washington

The House considers a bill banning employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and legislation implementing a free trade agreement with Peru.

The Senate begins consideration of a fiscal 2008 spending package combining funds for health, education and labor programs with those for military construction and veterans’ programs.

The President tours George Washington’s estate at Mount Vernon with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In Washington,  the Benjamin Banneker Institute holds its 2nd annual Legacy Awards Gala, with keynote speaker Bill Cosby. 7:30 p.m., JW Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W.

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Top Stories

Children’s Health Bill Talks Near Make-or-Break Point

A bipartisan group of lawmakers from both chambers met past midnight in search of a deal expanding a children’s health insurance program, but they still had reached no agreement as of Wednesday morning, aides said.  [Read More]

Panel Approves Expanded Education Benefits for Reservists

A House panel approved a bill Wednesday to make more National Guard and reserve troops eligible for G.I. Bill benefits by easing the requirements to receive them.  [Read More]

Panel Moves to Overhaul SBA Contracting Practices

Legislation that would overhaul the Small Business Administration’s contracting practices was approved Wednesday by a Senate committee.  [Read More]

Latta Wins GOP Nomination in Ohio House Primary

State Rep. Robert Latta narrowly won the Republican nomination Tuesday in a special election primary in northwestern Ohio’s vacant 5th Congressional District.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

Newsday reports that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg denied a report that he will run for governor in 2010, but didn’t ease speculation he might seek the White House next year as an independent. “I’m not a candidate for president, but I will say I’m tired, and I think the American public is tired, of Congress being split down the middle and this partisanship that’s just frozen them,” Bloomberg told MSNBC. One analyst was skeptical, however. “Forget governor — he ain’t running for governor. It’s too small a job,” said Douglas Muzzio, a political science professor at Baruch College. “But I don’t think he’s running for president either. The number you’ve got to worry about isn’t a billion dollars, it’s 270, and how does Mike Bloomberg win 270 electoral votes?”

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Illinois state Sen. Debbie Halvorson was the only Democrat to file for the 11th House District seat by the filing deadline Monday. The lack of a primary challenge boosts Democrats’ hopes for capturing the seat being vacated by Rep. Jerry Weller, R-Ill. On the Republican side, three candidates — Tim Balderman, Jimmy Lee and Terry Heenan — face off in the primary. Green Party hopeful Jason Wallace is also in the race.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.: Sheriff Steps Down to Face Corruption Charges
ILLINOIS: Former Governor Heads for Prison
TEXAS: Court Creates E-Mail Death Penalty Appeal System

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Political Trivia

Before being elected to the House in 2004 to succeed his father, Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., had not only worked on numerous Illinois campaigns, he also had served as a congressional aide to Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and had had a fellowship in the office of House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, NOV. 6, 2007 – 2:17 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Mukasey Nomination Approved by Senate Committee
  • Defense Bill Carries Stopgap Funding for Entire Government
  • Spending Bill Carries More Than 2,200 Earmarks
  • Iraq War Funding to Move Separately From Defense Spending
  • House Panel Considering Mortgage Regulation Overhaul
  • White House Threatens Veto of Senate Farm Bill
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Today in Washington

The House considers measures under suspension of the rules; votes on combined Labor-HHS-Education and Military Construction-VA appropriations package; votes on overriding the president’s veto of the Water Resources Development Act, which authorizes hundreds of projects nationwide.

The Senate resumes debate on a five-year, comprehensive $283 billion overhaul of farm programs.

The President makes remarks at White House forum on international trade and investment; meets with the Import Safety Working Group and makes a statement on import safety; with First Lady Laura Bush, welcomes French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In Washington,  Martha Joynt Kumar discusses her new book, “Managing the President’s Message.” Participants include Hearst newspaper columnist Helen Thomas; former Clinton White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry; former Bush press advisor Dan Bartlett; and Ken Herman, White House correspondent for Cox Newspapers. 6:30 - 7:45 p.m., National Press Club, Murrow-White Rooms, 529 14th Street, N.W.

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Top Stories

Mukasey Nomination Approved by Senate Committee

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved the nomination of Michael Mukasey to be attorney general. The 11-8 vote sets up a confirmation vote by the full Senate next week.  [Read More]

Defense Bill Carries Stopgap Funding for Entire Government

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday he wants Congress to clear the fiscal 2008 Defense spending bill by the end of this week. The measure carries funds to keep the entire government operating after the current stopgap measure expires Nov. 16,  [Read More]

Spending Bill Carries More Than 2,200 Earmarks

If Congress’ appetite for earmarks has been greatly reduced by recent scandals and public pressure, it is not especially evident in the nation’s largest domestic spending bill.  [Read More]

Iraq War Funding to Move Separately From Defense Spending

House and Senate conferees on Tuesday approved a fiscal 2008 spending bill for the Defense Department that does not include funding for operations in Iraq or Afghanistan.  [Read More]

House Panel Considering Mortgage Regulation Overhaul

The House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday moved toward approving a bill to overhaul the nation’s mortgage regulations, despite objections from the lending industry.  [Read More]

White House Threatens Veto of Senate Farm Bill

The White House on Tuesday threatened to veto the Senate version of a five-year farm bill, but it isn’t likely to receive a final measure anytime soon.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

Phoenix radio station KTAR reports on its Web site that Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano may challenge Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in 2010 if he is not elected president next year and decides to seek re-election. “Is McCain going to run again? If he does, will Janet Napolitano run against him? I think that she clearly will,” Arizona State University pollster Bruce Merrill said. He told the station there were positive signs for Napolitano, a Democrat. “There’s been two or three early polls that show the governor actually leading Senator McCain in heads-to-heads,” he said.

The Charlotte Observer quotes House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., as saying Democrats don’t plan to repeat their “mistake” in not supporting Larry Kissell’s 2006 challenge to Rep. Robin Hayes, R-N.C. Kissell lost to Hayes by only 329 votes and now he’s back for a rematch. “Quite frankly we didn’t focus on this race as much as we should have,” said Hoyer, who appeared with Kissell at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport on Monday before attending a fundraiser for Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW YORK CITY: New Grading System Flunks 50 Schools
SEATTLE: City Greenlights Aggressive Bike Plan
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.: Sheriff Pleads Not Guilty to Corruption Charges
COLORADO: Climate Plan Targets Cars, Farms, Utilities
KENTUCKY: Ruling Allows Commandments in Capitol

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Political Trivia

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., got her political start in Marin County, where she moved when she was 27 with her husband, Stewart, an Oakland labor lawyer. She was elected to the county board of supervisors in 1976, on her second try, and won a House seat in 1982. A decade later, Boxer beat out fellow House Democrat Mel Levine and Lt. Gov. Leo T. McCarthy to claim the Senate nomination. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Monday, November 05, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, NOV. 5, 2007 – 1:58 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Chairman Makes New Offer on U.S. Attorney Documents
  • Key Lawmakers to Review Pakistan Aid After Crackdown
  • House Chairman Urges Bush to Bend on Spending Levels
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Today in Washington

The House considers bills to protect the credit ratings of military personnel, authorize additional funding for the global fight against tuberculosis and provide annual grants to the Eurasia Foundation.

The Senate begins to debate a five-year, comprehensive $283 billion overhaul of farm programs.

The President awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 2007 recipients; meets with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In Washington,  the American Association for the Advancement of Science holds the first in a series of climate change discussions, with William Hooke of the American Meteorological Society. 6 p.m., AAAS Auditorium, 12th and H Sts. N.W.

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Top Stories

Chairman Makes New Offer on U.S. Attorney Documents

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee made a last-ditch proposal to the White House Monday on gaining access to documents and testimony related to the firings of nine U.S. attorneys last year.  [Read More]

Key Lawmakers to Review Pakistan Aid After Crackdown

Key members of Congress said they will scrutinize U.S. aid to Pakistan aid in light of President Pervez Musharraf’s weekend crackdown on his political opposition, but they did not immediately propose a cutoff or reduction.  [Read More]

House Chairman Urges Bush to Bend on Spending Levels

House Appropriations Chairman David R. Obey on Monday called on President Bush to begin working with congressional Democrats on a compromise over their spending differences, arguing the public voted for a “new set of priorities at home” in the 2006 elections.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Ohio State Sen. Steve Stivers, a Republican who for two months resisted entreaties to run for Congress next year, has changed his mind and this afternoon plans to “announce his candidacy for the 15th Congressional District seat, likely setting up a showdown with Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy in what could be the nation’s premier congressional race in 2008. . . . Stivers, 42, a member of the state Senate for five years, was the first potential candidate whom U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner” called after GOP Rep. Deborah Pryce announced in August she would retire. Pryce beat Kilroy, a Franklin County commissioner, by one percentage point in 2006 after a recount. “In 2006, Kilroy repeatedly attacked Pryce for voting to authorize the war in Iraq. . . . But Stivers offers a new challenge, because as a lieutenant colonel in the Ohio Army National Guard, he has led troops in the Iraq war.”

According to the Concord Monitor, “another Republican may run for Democrat Paul Hodes’s Second District congressional seat. Rick Perkins, a Hopkinton resident and longtime member of the U.S. Marine Forces Reserve, is considering a run.” Perkins is a veteran Marine, now in “his 26th year in the Marine Forces Reserve. In recent years, he’s been deployed twice to Afghanistan and once to Iraq with the Marines’ Special Operations Command. In his civilian life, Perkins is a pilot for FedEx. . . . Last week, Jim Steiner, a Republican lawyer from Concord, announced his own intention to run for the Second District seat.”

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that North Carolina Democrats seeking to upset GOP Sen. Elizabeth Dole next year have a major streak working against them. It has been 40 years since a N.C. Democrat won a Senate seat in a presidential election year. But some Democrats “say they believe that 2008 is the year it can happen again.” Last week, state Sen. Kay Hagan “became the most recent and most formidable candidate to enter the race against Dole.” A poll released last week “by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm, showed Dole leading Hagan 46 percent to 33 percent. . . . Despite the wide margin, Democrats see hope in the fact that Dole did not reach 50 percent support.”

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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. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., had a hardscrabble upbringing in the mountain hollows of western North Carolina. She is the granddaughter of Italian immigrants, and the family struggled to get by. She grew up in a house that did not have running water or electricity until she was 14 years old. “There’s no reason why somebody with my background should make it to Congress,” she says. “I believe I’ve lived the American dream.” (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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