Friday, December 21, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, DEC. 21, 2007 – 2:11 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Editor’s Note
  • Bush Signs Another Stopgap Spending Bill as White House Awaits Omnibus Measure
  • Gates Says ‘Fits and Starts’ War Funding Hurting the Military
  • Mica Calls Inaction on FAA Chief ‘Politics,’ Democrats Cite Fatigue
  • House Democratic Fundraisers Got Extra Helpings in November
  • Political Trivia for Dec. 21
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate  convenes at 9:30 a.m. for a pro forma session.

The President heads to Camp David.

In Washington, a memorial service is held to mark the 19th anniversary of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. 1 p.m. Arlington National Cemetery.

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Top Stories

Editor’s Note

The next edition of the CQ Midday Update will be published Thursday, Jan. 3. All of us at Congressional Quarterly wish you a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy New Year.  [Read More]

Bush Signs Another Stopgap Spending Bill as White House Awaits Omnibus Measure

President Bush signed another stopgap funding bill Friday to keep the federal government running while administration officials await the massive year-end spending bill Congress cleared two days ago.  [Read More]

Gates Says ‘Fits and Starts’ War Funding Hurting the Military

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates warned Friday that the refusal of Congress to provide upfront, consistent funding for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is hurting Pentagon planning and procurement.  [Read More]

Mica Calls Inaction on FAA Chief ‘Politics,’ Democrats Cite Fatigue

A key House Republican has accused Senate Democrats of choosing politics over aviation safety because they postponed a confirmation hearing on a new chief for the Federal Aviation Administration.  [Read More]

House Democratic Fundraisers Got Extra Helpings in November

The House Democrats’ campaign unit last month extended the edge it has been building all year over the National Republican Congressional Committee, giving the majority party real cause for thanksgiving.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Dec. 21

When was the last time New Yorkers won both major party presidential nominations?  [Read More]

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TheCapitol.Net: Update on the 110th Congress, 2008, 2nd Session

Our expert faculty look at the second session of the 110th Congress in terms of leadership, membership, the 2008 elections, and the anticipated legislative agenda. They will also review and analyze the major legislative initiatives and accomplishments of the first session of the 110th Congress
WHERE: Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh Street NW, Washington, D.C.
WHEN: January 29, 2008, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Registration Fee: $395
Full program description and online registration, or call our registrar at 202-678-1600.
This training conference is sponsored by TheCapitol.Net, exclusive provider of Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences.

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Political Clippings

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo said Thursday he would not run for the Senate if he can compete as the Democratic nominee for his old seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives. That seat came open Tuesday when “Democratic Rep. Brandon Spencer abruptly resigned midway through his first term. . . . Stumbo served in the House for 24 years before being elected attorney general in 2003. For most of that time, Stumbo was the House floor leader. . . . Stumbo had been toying with the idea of running against U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell since late last summer but said yesterday that he’d prefer to stay in Kentucky.” Democrats have struggled to find a viable candidate to take on McConnell next year.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Benny Shendo Jr. on Thursday joined a growing field of contenders for the 3rd District seat Democrat Tom Udall is vacating to run for the Senate next year. A member of the Jemez Pueblo, Shendo, 43, resigned last week as state Indian Affairs secretary. He started his announcement “with greetings in his native Towa and went on to speak in Tewa, Keres, Tiwa, Jicarilla, Navajo, Spanish and English.” Candidates seeking to run in the June primary ballot first must get the support of 20 percent of the delegates to a March party convention. Other Democrats in the field include Public Regulation Commission Chairman Ben Ray Luján, Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry Montoya and Santa Fe developer Don Wiviott. Marco Gonzales, a former aide to retiring Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., “might run for the Republican nomination.”

According to the Rocky Mountain News,the political consulting company running the congressional campaign of Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman, a Republican seeking the 6th District seat of retiring GOP Rep. Tom Tancredo, “also was working for a voting machine manufacturer when Coffman gave that company’s devices his seal of approval on Monday. Premier Election Solutions, formerly Diebold, was the only one of four voting machine companies to have all of its equipment conditionally approved for use in 2008 elections. Premier hired Phase Line Strategies, a Highlands Ranch consulting firm, in September to lobby on its behalf, records show. Phase Line also is running Coffman’s campaign” for Congress. “Coffman and a Phase Line official both deny that Premier got any special consideration in the lengthy review of Colorado’s electronic voting systems.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW ORLEANS: 22,000 City Workers Get Pay Raises
SEATTLE: Audit: Port's Shoddy Management Wasted $97 Million
THE WASHINGTON, D.C. REGION: Deal Set to Add HOT Lanes to Beltway
LOS ANGELES COUNTY: Panel: Deputies Broke Rules in Actor's Arrest
CALIFORNIA: Early Release of 22,000 Inmates on the Table
THE NATION: Other States Back California in Federal Emissions Fight
COLORADO: Governor Won't Fight Federal Gas-Drilling Plan

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, DEC. 20, 2007 – 2:14 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Bush Demands Action on Surveillance, Pledges Tough Line on Spending in 2008
  • Democrats Take Aim at Fuel Economy Rule
  • Blunt Handicaps GOP Prospects Next Year
  • Political Trivia for Dec. 20
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Today in Washington

The House  has adjourned sine die, closing its first session of the 110th Congress.

The Senate  is not in session, will convene in a pro forma session Friday at 9:30 a.m.

The President  administers the oath of office to Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake and signs HR 3648, a bill to remove tax liability on mortgage debt forgiven through foreclosure, sale or loan restructuring.

In Washington,  the Asia Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center, in conjunction with the U.S.-Korea Institute at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, host a presentation, “South Korea’s Presidential Elections: Growing Pains of a Young Democracy.” 3:30 p.m., Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Bush Demands Action on Surveillance, Pledges Tough Line on Spending in 2008

President Bush got the first word in Thursday on the session-opening priorities for 2008 by telling Congress it must pass an overhaul of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and warned Democrats he would continue to draw a hard line on opposing tax increases.  [Read More]

Democrats Take Aim at Fuel Economy Rule

Congressional Democrats may try to overturn the Bush administration’s decision to block states from setting new fuel economy standards for vehicles, which came just after the president signed a law establishing national mileage standards.  [Read More]

Blunt Handicaps GOP Prospects Next Year

Looking toward the 2008 elections, House Minority Whip Roy Blunt was optimistic Thursday about Republican prospects for retaking control of Congress.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Dec. 20

Until 2008, what was the earliest date for the Iowa caucuses?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Indianapolis Star reports that Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, who lost his bid for re-election in November, said he would not seek the House seat left vacant by the death Saturday of Rep. Julia Carson. One possible Democratic candidate is Carson’s grandson, Andre Carson, a City-County Council member backed by former Rep. Andy Jacobs, who helped Julia Carson win his old seat in 1996. Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels has not yet set a date for a special election to choose a successor to Carson.

The Schenectady Gazette reports that Phil Steck, an Albany County legislator and local Democratic Party chairman said Wednesday he will seek the House seat being vacated by Rep. Michael R. McNulty, D-N.Y. He is one of many Democrats looking at the race in the 21st District, including Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings and Ron Canestrari, majority leader in the state Assembly. On the Republican side, J. Christopher Callaghan, who ran for state comptroller last year, is a potential candidate.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
LOS ANGELES: 22,000 City Workers Get Pay Raises
BOSTON: Legendary Councilor Dapper O'Neil Dies
THE NATION: EPA: States Can't Limit Greenhouse Emissions
MICHIGAN: State Grabs Heart-Research Center from New York
THE NATION: D.C., Territories Get Their Two Bits

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, DEC. 19, 2007 – 2:47 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Typo Nearly Delays Consideration of Omnibus In the House
  • House Task Force Endorses Independent Ethics Panel
  • House Clears Court Security Measure
  • Senate Passes Overhaul of Coast Guard Modernization Program
  • Senate Passes Bill to Aid Small Businesses Owned by Veterans
  • Political Trivia for Dec. 19
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Today in Washington

The House  is set to vote on the omnibus fiscal 2008 spending bill, a “patch” to the alternative minimum tax and consumer product safety legislation.

The Senate  is in a period of morning business with no votes scheduled.

The President  signs legislation boosting fuel economy standards and a bill to shield victims of the April 16 massacre at Virginia Tech and their families from income taxes on payments they received from a university memorial fund.

In Washington,  The National Research Council is hosting a symposium on “Future Directions in Physical and Life Sciences,” through 5:45 p.m. and all day Thursday, 2100 C St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Typo Nearly Delays Consideration of Omnibus In the House

The House was on track to clear an omnibus spending package for President Bush’s signature Wednesday after a minor technical hiccup.  [Read More]

House Task Force Endorses Independent Ethics Panel

A task force appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi has formally endorsed a proposal to create an independent ethics commission to vet complaints against House members.  [Read More]

House Clears Court Security Measure

The House cleared legislation by voice vote Wednesday that aims to combat violence against judges, other courthouse officials and witnesses in legal proceedings.  [Read More]

Senate Passes Overhaul of Coast Guard Modernization Program

The Senate passed a bill Wednesday to overhaul the Coast Guard’s troubled $24 billion Deepwater modernization program.  [Read More]

Senate Passes Bill to Aid Small Businesses Owned by Veterans

The Senate passed legislation Wednesday to expand Small Business Administration programs for veterans and military reservists.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Dec. 19

Who did John F. Kennedy defeat in a pair of critical one-on-one primaries in 1960?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Suburban News in Willowbrook, Ill., reports that state Republican leaders have endorsed Steve Sauerberg for the Senate nomination next year. The state party usually avoids endorsing primary candidates, but party leaders are seeking to boost Sauerberg’s name recognition against Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill. Chicago journalist Andy Martin and Chicago truck driver Mike Psak are also seeking the GOP nomination.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Ray McMurrey, a Corpus Christi teacher, became a candidate Tuesday for the Democratic Senate nomination in Texas. McMurrey blasted the “Democratic Party establishment” for what he said were efforts to “anoint” state Rep. Rick Noriega as the nominee to face Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. Democratic Party spokeswoman Amber Moon said the state party will support whoever wins the primary. “The Democratic Party does not take sides in Democratic primaries,” she said.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CHICAGO: Mayor: Son's Firm's Contract 'a Lapse in Judgment'
PHILADELPHIA: Computer Firm Returning to City
INDIANAPOLIS-MARION COUNTY: Mayor-Elect Won't Push to Rescind Tax Hike
THE NATION: Executions in U.S. at 13-Year Low
THE NATION: Scorecard: States Vary in Preparedness for Health Disasters

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FW: CQ's Politics in America --- The Professional's Guide to Politics


Don't forget to order Politics in America in 2007 --- order now and get 25% off --- offer ends Friday!   
 
25% Off
Politics in America 2008 Order your copy today and receive 25% off with promotional code L7CQEMAIL

"An absolutely invaluable reference for anyone who cares about Congress" -- Cokie Roberts, ABC

Free Preview: Speaker Pelosi's PIA profile
AN INSIDER'S GUIDE TO CONGRESS
Boasting the largest press corps on Capitol Hill, CQ is the only publisher that can provide not only facts and figures, but also detail the subtle nuances that drive politics and policy in Washington. Politics in America synthesizes this information into detailed profiles of every Member of Congress, providing the most objective and thorough analysis available anywhere.


In every member profile Politics in America provides:

-- Detailed biographical and district information

-- CQ's proprietary Party Unity and Presidential Support rankings

-- Ratings from selected interest groups

-- How the Member voted on the most crucial issues in the previous Congress


SPECIAL SECTION IN 2008: CQ explains the political impacts of Hurricane Katrina with unparalleled depth and precision, including a county-by-county population analysis of all affected regions

Order online and don't forget to use your promotion code (L7CQEMAIL) to save 25% on the paperback version when you order by Friday, December 21st.

To order by phone, call 1-866-427-7737

CQ Press, 1255 22nd Street, NW Suite 400,
Washington, DC 20037, (202)729-1800

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, DEC. 18, 2007 – 2:23 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Clears Energy Bill Boosting Fuel Efficiency Standards
  • Democrats Plan One Final Bid to Alter Iraq Policy in Spending Bill
  • Senate’s Medicare-Child Health Package Ready to Go
  • House Chairman Ready to Accept AMT Patch
  • Political Trivia for Dec. 18
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House  clears an energy bill increasing motor vehicle fuel efficiency standards, and is expected to clear a seven-year extension of terrorism risk insurance.

The Senate considers the omnibus spending package, with plans to add Iraq War funding.

The President  visits Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington and attends the designation of the Great Hall of the Capitol Visitor Center as Emancipation Hall.

In Washington,  actor Morgan Freeman joins volunteers from the National Institutes of Health to hand out bags of food to seniors living in poverty. 2:15 p.m., Capital Area Food Bank, 645 Taylor St. NE.

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Top Stories

House Clears Energy Bill Boosting Fuel Efficiency Standards

The House on Tuesday sent President Bush a streamlined energy bill that would make the first statutory increase in fuel economy standards in 32 years and require billions more gallons of biofuels to be blended into gasoline over the next 15 years.  [Read More]

Democrats Plan One Final Bid to Alter Iraq Policy in Spending Bill

Senate Republicans were expected to prevail in their bid Tuesday to provide $70 billion in unrestricted war funding in the fiscal 2008 omnibus spending package, but not before Democrats made a last-ditch effort to attach Iraq policy prescriptions to the bill.  [Read More]

Senate’s Medicare-Child Health Package Ready to Go

Senate negotiators have put the final touches on a bill that would temporarily shield physicians from a 10 percent cut in their Medicare payments while extending funding for a children’s health insurance program through March 2009.  [Read More]

House Chairman Ready to Accept AMT Patch

House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel said Tuesday he cares more about “patching” the alternative minimum tax than following the pay-as-you-go budget rule, signaling an end to a months-long standoff over a year-end tax bill.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Dec. 18

What fast food slogan was once used as a zinger in a presidential debate?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that top state and national Republican leaders are rallying around Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, R-Md., in his re-election campaign against a well-funded conservative challenger. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele and House colleague Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R-Md., are scheduled to attend a Jan. 10 fundraiser for Gilchrest in Annapolis, Md. State Sen. Andy Harris is challenging Gilchrest with the backing of conservative groups, and state Sen. E.J. Pipkin is also running.

The Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader reports that accountant and business consultant Paul Swiderski said Monday he would challenge Rep. Christopher Carney, D-Pa., in the Democratic primary next year. He is the fourth candidate to challenge the freshman House member. Swiderski said he is the only candidate who can relate to the people in the district. “I am merely a small business owner . . . who has the same concerns as most of the people in the district. The need for affordable quality health insurance, lower gas prices and home heating costs, lower taxes, and accountability in government top the list of concerns,” he said.

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

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Council Likely to OK Powers for Schools Chief
KING COUNTY, Wash.: Smoking Banned in Public-Housing Apartments
THE NATION: Report: State Pensions Underfunded by $731 Billion
ALABAMA/FLORIDA/GEORGIA: Governors Reach Truce in 17-Year Water War
THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Frustrated Attorney General Resigns
WISCONSIN: Couple’s $175 Million Gift Funds State-College Scholarships

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

Monday, December 17, 2007

CQ's Politics in America --- The Professional's Guide to Politics

 
25% Off
Politics in America 2008 Order your copy today and receive 25% off with promotional code L7CQEMAIL

"An absolutely invaluable reference for anyone who cares about Congress" -- Cokie Roberts, ABC

Free Preview: Speaker Pelosi's PIA profile
AN INSIDER'S GUIDE TO CONGRESS
Boasting the largest press corps on Capitol Hill, CQ is the only publisher that can provide not only facts and figures, but also detail the subtle nuances that drive politics and policy in Washington. Politics in America synthesizes this information into detailed profiles of every Member of Congress, providing the most objective and thorough analysis available anywhere.


In every member profile Politics in America provides:

-- Detailed biographical and district information

-- CQ's proprietary Party Unity and Presidential Support rankings

-- Ratings from selected interest groups

-- How the Member voted on the most crucial issues in the previous Congress


SPECIAL SECTION IN 2008: CQ explains the political impacts of Hurricane Katrina with unparalleled depth and precision, including a county-by-county population analysis of all affected regions

Order online and don't forget to use your promotion code (L7CQEMAIL) to save 25% on the paperback version when you order by Friday, December 21st.

To order by phone, call 1-866-427-7737

CQ Press, 1255 22nd Street, NW Suite 400,
Washington, DC 20037, (202)729-1800

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, DEC. 17, 2007 – 2:33 P.M.

In This Issue

  • White House ‘Encouraged’ as House Plans Vote on Spending Bill
  • House Offers $31 Billion, But Senate Will Add More War Funds
  • Democrats Shift Funds to Boost Their Education, Health Priorities
  • Surveillance Overhaul Gets Past First Senate Hurdle
  • Deal Reached on Medicare Pay Cuts, Children’s Health Insurance
  • Political Trivia for Dec. 17
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House  considers several measures under suspension of the rules and the omnibus fiscal 2008 appropriations package.

The Senate  debates moving to legislation overhauling the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The President  speaks about the economy at an event in Fredericksburg, Va. .

In Washington,  More than 150 objects from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History are on view at the National Air and Space Museum while American History is closed for renovation. The objects range from Dorothy’s ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” to Lewis and Clark’s compass, Custer’s buckskin coat and Edison’s light bulb. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., 6th St. and Independence Ave. SW.

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Top Stories

White House ‘Encouraged’ as House Plans Vote on Spending Bill

The House is moving toward a floor vote Monday night on a massive year-end spending bill, as the White House said it was “encouraged” by what Democrats had produced.  [Read More]

House Offers $31 Billion, But Senate Will Add More War Funds

The omnibus spending package headed for a House floor vote Monday night contains $31 billion for the war in Afghanistan and U.S. force protection but no money for war operations in Iraq. That will be added in the Senate.  [Read More]

Democrats Shift Funds to Boost Their Education, Health Priorities

Defying heavy pressure from the White House, Democrats released a new fiscal 2008 spending plan for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education that would still exceed President Bush’s budget request by $3.9 billion.  [Read More]

Surveillance Overhaul Gets Past First Senate Hurdle

The Senate on Monday voted 76-10 to move forward with legislation overhauling the rules of electronic surveillance, although it may take awhile to resolve policy disputes over the bill.  [Read More]

Deal Reached on Medicare Pay Cuts, Children’s Health Insurance

Senate Finance Committee leaders have reached a deal to delay for six months a 10 percent cut to Medicare physician pay rates and extend funding for children’s health insurance, a Republican committee aide said Monday.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Dec. 17

How many races did current Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland lose as a Democratic House nominee?  [Read More]

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

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
LOS ANGELES: Carcinogen Closes Two Reservoirs
LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va.: New Supervisors to Shift Focus from Immigration
KANSAS: Attorney General Resigns in Wake of Scandal
ILLINOIS: Ex-Prisons Chief Admits Taking Kickbacks
MICHIGAN: First New Mine in Decades Approved

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Political Clippings

The Westchester Journal News reports that New York GOP Assemblyman Greg Ball, a freshman state legislator, is talking with party leaders about a possible bid to challenge freshman Rep. John Hall, D-N.Y., in the 19th District. Ball said he plans to decide by the first of the year which office to seek. “I do intend to run for the congressional seat. The question is when,” said Ball, adding that he was ‘waiting for the national party to make a (financial) commitment’ to his congressional candidacy. For now, Kieran Michael Lalor, a 31-year-old Iraq War vet, is the only declared Republican candidate.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Minerreports that Alaska Republicans are reluctant to challenge two of the state’s GOP powerhouses, Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young, even though both are caught up in a federal corrpution probe and appear vulnerable for the first time in years. State Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux is challenging Young in the GOP primary for his at-large district, but that’s about all. The Democrats however have seen no shortage of potential challengers to young, though Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, the party’s preferred Senate contender, has not yet decided whether to challenge Stevens.

The Sarasota Herald Tribune reports that Democrat Christine Jennings is changing her style for an expected rematch with Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla. Jennings, who is still disputing her 369-vote loss to Buchanan in 2006, has gone on the attack and hired a former professional wrestler, Mitch Kates, as campaign manager. National Democrats are encouraging her new approach. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee head Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., was in Clearwater on Monday to host a fundraiser for Jennings and promote her candidacy. “This race is a priority for the DCCC,” he said.

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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.
MEDICARE: Senate Finance leaders developing scaled-back bill.
SCHIP: President Bush vetoes second measure from Congress to reauthorize and expand the State Childrena??s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
VETERANS: Senate confirms administration nominee to head Department of Veterans Affairs. | Read the online report | Health on the Hill audio links

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