Thursday, July 10, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, JULY 10, 2008 – 2:14 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Byrd Plans Second Supplemental Markup Next Week
  • Senate Expected to Pass Housing Bill Back to House
  • Capitol Visitor Center To Open Dec. 2
  • President Signs Electronic Surveillance Legislation; Lawsuits Expected
  • House Panel Approves Bills to Overhaul Veterans Health Care
  • Political Trivia for July 10
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Today in Washington

The House considers a national historic trail designation bill that has garnered some controversy due to Republican concerns over private property rights.

The Senate takes up a housing package and may also consider a bill to extend foreign AIDS relief.

The President  has no public events scheduled.

In Washington, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim to be elected to the United States Congress, discusses “Muslim American civic engagement and participation in the 2008 presidential election and US politics,” in a speech to the second annual Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) Leadership Summit. 7 p.m., Hyatt Regency, 400 New Jersey Ave, N.W.

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Top Stories

Byrd Plans Second Supplemental Markup Next Week

Senate Appropriations Chairman Robert C. Byrd is expected to announce Thursday that his panel will mark up a second supplemental spending bill July 22.  [Read More]

Senate Expected to Pass Housing Bill Back to House

The Senate appeared ready Thursday to send a massive housing package back to the House, after final Republican holdouts relented.  [Read More]

Capitol Visitor Center To Open Dec. 2

The long-delayed, $621 million Capitol Visitor Center will open Dec. 2, congressional leaders planned to announce Thursday.  [Read More]

President Signs Electronic Surveillance Legislation; Lawsuits Expected

President Bush on Thursday signed a sweeping revision of a 30-year-old law governing electronic spying, putting the finishing touches on one of his final legislative wins and triggering expected lawsuits from privacy advocates.  [Read More]

House Panel Approves Bills to Overhaul Veterans Health Care

A House panel Thursday approved six measures to overhaul health care services administered by the Veterans Affairs Department.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for July 10

What was Jesse Ventura’s professional wrestling nickname?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

Rasmussen Reports says Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., has opened a commanding lead over his Republican opponent, former Rep. Dick Zimmer. In seeking his 5th term, the 84-year-old incumbent leads Zimmer 49 percent to 36 percent, according to the latest Rasmussen survey in New Jersey. “Last month, the two candidates were virtual[ly] tied, with Lautenberg on top by just a single percentage point,” according to Rasmussen. “That poll was taken just days after Lautenberg survived a primary challenge that raised questions about whether he was too old to serve.” Still, the new survey shows that despite his lead, Lautenberg’s support is below 50 percent. “Any incumbent who polls below 50 [percent] is considered potentially vulnerable.”

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that nine-term Rep. William J. Jefferson, D-La., likely will face at least five Democratic challengers in the September primary. Jefferson, who filed for reelection Wednesday, faces federal corruption and bribery charges and is awaiting trial. His “legal troubles will be the ubiquitous thread that binds every aspect of the campaign leading up to the Sept. 6 Democratic primary,” the paper reports. Currently, Jefferson faces former television news anchor Helena Moreno, former New Orleans City Councilman Troy Carter, New Orleans City Councilman James Carter, state Rep. Cedric Richmond, and Jefferson Parish Councilman Byron Lee. The field could expand. Qualifying continues until Friday at 5 p.m.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that University of New Mexico’s men’s basketball coach Steve Alford says his planned appearance at a fundraiser for New Mexico’s 1st District Republican candidate Darren White is being falsely advertised. White’s congressional campaign offered supporters the chance to have their photo taken with Alford for $1,000. “Now, University of New Mexico athletics vice president Paul Krebs — who acknowledges he asked Alford to participate in the event — says Alford could be pulled from the lineup as political controversy roils,” the paper reports. Alford said he agreed to appear at the event in July 16, but he had no intention of endorsing anyone running for the 1st District seat. White blamed Democratic political pressure on the university for the situation. White faces Democrat Martin Heinrich for the seat being vacated by Republican Heather A. Wilson.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW YORK CITY: City to Test Congestion Pricing for Parking Meters
NEW ORLEANS: Census: City Nation's Fastest-Growing
LOS ANGELES: Ex-Mayor Denies Knowledge of City Hall Bribery
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: Mayor: Fast-Track Construction Projects
TEXAS: A.G.: Bible Course in Public Schools Constitutional
MASSACHUSETTS: Audit Slams Motor Vehicles Agency
CALIFORNIA: Fire Toll Tops 675,000 Acres

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