Wednesday, April 09, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2008 – 2:10 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Pelosi to Delay House Vote on Colombia Trade Pact
  • Student Loan Legislation Approved by House Panel
  • Administration, Lawmakers Offer FHA Expansion Plans
  • Skelton Fears Iraq Leaves U.S. Vulnerable to Attack
  • Senate Judiciary Democrats Query Mukasey on Reassignment
  • Political Trivia for April 9
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Today in Washington

The House  considers several bills under suspension of the rules, including a measure on a land conservation program established under the Clinton administration.

The Senate  continues to consider amendments to housing and mortgage legislation, with final passage possible tonight.

The President  participates in a commemorative tree planting at The White House; signs the Second Chance Act of 2007, to help ex-convicts; meets with senior minister of Singapore; meets with congressional leaders on Iraq and other topics.

In Washington,  Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao and Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez meet with Colombian labor leaders to discuss the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. 3 p.m., U.S. Department of Labor Briefing Room, 200 Constitution Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Pelosi to Delay House Vote on Colombia Trade Pact

House Democratic leaders plan to seek a floor vote Thursday to delay consideration of the newly submitted Colombia free trade agreement, countering President Bush’s effort to force a speedy decision on the deal.  [Read More]

Student Loan Legislation Approved by House Panel

A House panel Wednesday approved by voice vote legislation intended to increase the availability of student loans funded directly by the government.  [Read More]

Administration, Lawmakers Offer FHA Expansion Plans

The Bush administration will expand a program designed to help struggling homeowners refinance their mortgages into government-backed loans, but congressional Democrats consider the plan inadequate.  [Read More]

Skelton Fears Iraq Leaves U.S. Vulnerable to Attack

House Democrats and Republicans each sought Wednesday to frame the latest reports from the top U.S. officials in Iraq to advance their policy goals, with the chairman of the Armed Services Committee saying the war was leaving the nation vulnerable to attack.  [Read More]

Senate Judiciary Democrats Query Mukasey on Reassignment

Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats are pressing Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey to respond to allegations a Justice Department lawyer was reassigned due to her sexual orientation.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for April 9

Who was the most recent House Democrat from New England who lost a race for re-election?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

Indianapolis television station WTHR reports that Indiana Democratic Party leaders have endorsed Rep. Andre Carson in the May 7 primary, but that hasn’t stopped the seven challengers from mounting strong campaigns. “The good news is there are more voters coming out than ever before. The challenging thing is we have to find a way to attract them not just to the presidential race but the other races as well,” said Woody Myers, a former state health commissioner who is seeking the seat. He and two state representatives, Carolene Mays and David Orentlicher, plan radio and TV ads to attract voter attention, as does Carson, who has less time to campaign at home than his challengers.

The Troy Record reports that Democrat John Aretakis, an attorney who gained fame by representing victims of sexual abuse by priests, announced Tuesday his bid to succeed Rep. Michael R. McNulty, D-N.Y. Aretakis joins “five Democrats and two Republicans in the race,” the paper reports. During his announcement, Aretakis “stressed his signature issue, the ongoing epidemic surrounding the sexual abuse of children -- an issue he believes is ignored by federal officials.” Aretakis “said he would also focus on pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq and instituting a change in social security as well as the development of strategies to put an end to increasing property taxes, the economic crisis and pork barrel spending.”

Other Democratic candidates include Phillip Steck, an Albany County legislator, former aide to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., Tracey Brooks, former Plug Power CEO Gary Mittleman, Albany’s Equal Opportunity Coordinator Lester Freeman and former aide to U.S. Rep Kirsten Gillibrand Darius Shahinfar.

Republicans Jim Buhrmaster, a Schenectady County legislator, and Steven Vasquez, a Ballston Spa businessman, are also vying for the seat.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: Nation's Aging Water Pipelines are Breaking
SAN DIEGO: Mayor: Halt Legal Expenses for Accused City Officials
HOUSTON: Ad firm agrees to tear down 831 billboards in city
DELAWARE: Growing Pains for a Deep-Sea Home Built of Subway Cars

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