Friday, January 18, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, JAN. 18, 2008 – 1:54 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Bush Calls for Tax Rebates, Incentives to Spur Economy
  • Louisiana’s Baker to Leave House Feb. 2
  • Bush Endorses Rep. Gilchrest in Heated Maryland GOP Primary
  • For Some Lawmakers, D.C. Is More Than a Destination
  • Political Trivia for Jan. 18
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; reconvenes at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, with legislative business starting at 2 p.m.

The Senate  is not in session; reconvenes at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 22.

The President makes a statement on the economy at the White House; visits Wright Manufacturing, Inc., in Frederick, Md.

In Washington, the National Policy Alliance, comprising nine major African-American organizations, including the Congressional Black Caucus, National Conference of Black Mayors and Blacks in Government, hosts a summit to produce policy recommendations on key issues for the next U.S. president. 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Renaissance M Street Hotel, 1143 New Hampshire Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Bush Calls for Tax Rebates, Incentives to Spur Economy

President Bush on Friday outlined his plans for a short-term economic stimulus, calling for income tax rebates for individuals and tax breaks for business to give “a shot in the arm” to the faltering economy.  [Read More]

Louisiana’s Baker to Leave House Feb. 2

Rep. Richard H. Baker, R-La., will leave his House seat Feb. 2, paving the way for Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal to promptly schedule a special election in the state’s 6th District in and around Baton Rouge.  [Read More]

Bush Endorses Rep. Gilchrest in Heated Maryland GOP Primary

President Bush on Friday threw his support behind Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, a nine-term moderate Republican from Maryland’s 1st District, who faces the toughest primary battle of his career.  [Read More]

For Some Lawmakers, D.C. Is More Than a Destination

Lots of House members spent years working their way to Washington. But only a few began life here.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Jan. 18

The far inland region of upcoming primary state South Carolina is known by what term?  [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 Newark Star-Ledger reports that Republican state Sen. Joseph Pennacchio kicked off his Senate campaign Thursday in Jersey City by portraying himself as a “red, white and blue ‘Jersey Joe’.” Pennachio is the third Republican to enter the race against Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J. Pennacchio, “who became a state senator this month, is a political conservative who has been a leading critic of Democratic fiscal policies.” He “said he opposes abortion, favors a federal effort to find alternative fuel sources, opposes government intrusion into the healthcare system and wants strict border controls to ease the flow of illegal immigrants into the country.”

The Columbus (Neb.) Telegram reports that Larry Marvin, a longtime party activist, is the first Democrat to announce his candidacy for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. Marvin, an Air Force veteran who lost a 1998 legislative race, said he wants to be “the David who defeats Goliath.” Two other Democrats also are considering running. Former Gov. Mike Johanns, the leading Republican in the race, faces a primary challenge from businessman Pat Flynn. .

The News Journal reports that Alan B. Levin, former chief executive of the Happy Harry’s drugstore chain, announced Thursday that he will not seek to become Delaware’s governor, leaving state GOP leaders scrambling to find a viable candidate. “I like my privacy, I like my home life, I like traveling,” Levin said. Airline pilot Mike Protack is the only Republican who has filed as a candidate against two Democratic heavyweights: Lt. Gov. John C. Carney Jr. and State Treasurer Jack A. Markell. Republican state House Speaker Terry Spence said he plans to file his campaign papers Tuesday.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
SEATTLE: City's Crime Rate Hits 39-Year Low
WISCONSIN: Ports to Experiment with Treating Ballast Water
SAN FRANCISCO: Tab for Mayor's New Bullpen: $139,700
TEXAS: D.A. to Drop Charges Against Justice in Fire
CONNECTICUT: Report Slams DOT on Management

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, JAN. 17, 2008 – 2:43 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Bush, Bernanke Endorse Economic Stimulus Package
  • House Poised to Renew Public Housing Revitalization Program
  • Pentagon to Ask for More F-22 Fighters
  • Leahy Throws Backing to Obama as Endorsement Battle Continues
  • Political Trivia for Jan. 17
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Today in Washington

The House considers an eight-year renewal of HOPE VI, a grant program for repair and replacement of distressed public housing that the administration has repeatedly sought to eliminate.

The Senate  is not in session; returns to work Tuesday, Jan. 22.

The President meets with Richard Williamson, special envoy for Sudan, at the White House.

In Washington, the American Bird Conservancy hosts a forum to examine potential negative impacts of wind energy on wildlife, as well as possible solutions. 3 p.m., Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

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Top Stories

Bush, Bernanke Endorse Economic Stimulus Package

President Bush and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke on Thursday endorsed the idea of an economic stimulus package to boost the flagging economy.  [Read More]

House Poised to Renew Public Housing Revitalization Program

The House on Wednesday passed an eight-year renewal of a program designed to rehabilitate or replace dilapidated public housing, despite Bush administration assertions that the program is inefficient and obsolete.  [Read More]

Pentagon to Ask for More F-22 Fighters

The administration is set to request emergency funding for more F-22A Raptor fighter jets next month as part of its fiscal 2009 war funding request.  [Read More]

Leahy Throws Backing to Obama as Endorsement Battle Continues

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy on Thursday became the seventh Democratic senator to pledge his support for Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential bid.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Jan. 17

What vote share did Pat Robertson get in the 1988 South Carolina GOP primary?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Arizona Republic reports that state Senate President Tim Bee, a Republican, will announce Saturday in Tucson that he will challenge freshman Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., ending months of speculation. Bee, who said he has raised $300,000 since starting to explore a run in August, said support from people in the 8th District encouraged him to become the first Republican in the race. “I’ve just had a tremendous amount of support from the district,” he said. Giffords however has raised nearly $1.2 million by the end of September and had $1 million cash on hand, according to campaign finance reports. “There’s no question it will be challenging,” Bee said. “But I love challenges.”

The Tallahassee Democrat reports that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is meeting today with GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, fueling speculation that Republican Crist will endorse the former New York mayor. Crist’s official schedule says the two will discuss “issues important to Floridians including establishing a national catastrophe fund, Everglades restoration, and property tax cuts.” The daily said an endorsement by Crist, who “remains frustratingly aloof,“ could bolster Giuliani’s chances in Florida after losses in other states.

The Honolulu Advertiser reports that Hawaii Democrats have decided against filing a lawsuit challenging the state’s open primary system. Delegates voted to challenge the primary system at the party’s 2006 state convention, but many top leaders, elected officials and labor union supporters opposed a lawsuit, arguing that it was a public-relations mistake. Lawsuit supporters were angered by Wednesday’s vote not to pursue the challenge. Former chairman Richard Port said the vote essentially means the party is ignoring the will of convention delegates.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
EAGLE PASS, Texas: City Ordered to Give Up Land for Border Fence
THE WASHINGTON, D.C., REGION: Feds Leery of Airport Rail Project
HOUSTON: Corruption Probe of Ex-Mayora??s Administration Expands
FLORIDA: State Suspends Allstate in Rates Probe
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Bush Moves to Reverse Navy Sonar Limits

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, JAN. 16, 2008 – 2:13 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Democrats Vow to Speed Economic Stimulus Package to Bush
  • U.S. Sugar Growers Look to Farm Bill for Protection
  • Defying Veto Threat, House Moving to Pass Mine Safety Bill
  • House Seeks to Expand SBA Programs for Veterans
  • Political Trivia for Jan. 16
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Today in Washington

The House considers a resolution condemning the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, as well as bills to bolster mine safety regulation and expand Small Business Administration programs for veterans and military reservists. May also vote on a revised fiscal 2008 defense authorization bill.

The Senate  is not in session; returns to work Tuesday, Jan. 22.

The President meets with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at Sharm el-Sheik before flying home to the White House.

In Washington, a court hearing on a motion to suppress evidence is scheduled in the case of Rep. William J. Jefferson, D-La., who is under indictment for bribery, racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice. 2 p.m., U.S. District Court, Alexandria

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Top Stories

Democrats Vow to Speed Economic Stimulus Package to Bush

Democratic leaders plan to clear an economic stimulus package as quickly as possible this year, hoping to act before the economy worsens, lawmakers said Wednesday.  [Read More]

U.S. Sugar Growers Look to Farm Bill for Protection

Legislative language that would upend a long-standing trade agreement with Mexico to favor U.S. sugar growers is being circulated between House and Senate lawmakers involved in writing the 2007 farm bill.  [Read More]

Defying Veto Threat, House Moving to Pass Mine Safety Bill

Ignoring a White House veto threat, the House on Wednesday was moving toward passage of a bill designed to tighten mine safety enforcement in the wake of several deadly accidents over the past two years.  [Read More]

House Seeks to Expand SBA Programs for Veterans

The House on Wednesday sent the Senate a revised version of legislation to expand Small Business Administration programs for veterans and military reservists.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Jan. 16

In what year since 1980 was the smallest margin of victory in a South Carolina Republican primary?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Nashua Telegraph reports that radio talk show host Jennifer Horn is running for Congress as a Republican against Rep. Paul W. Hodes, D-N.H. Horn, who planned a formal announcement Wednesday on her radio show, called Hodes “a do-nothing representative in a do-nothing Congress.” A Hodes spokesman responded that Hodes “is working to bring honesty and accountability back to Congress.” Horn, who has never held political office, said raising money and organizing for a House campaign is “a huge first step, and I’m very excited about it.” The Telegraph said it will suspend the column she writes for the newspaper during her campaign.

The Montgomery Advertiserreports that attention in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District, where GOP Rep. Terry Everett is retiring, is focused on whether Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright will seek the seat and whether he’ll run as a Democrat or Republican. “I am seriously, seriously considering (running), and I am taking my time,” Bright said. “I will have an announcement to make in the very near future. This is very important ... and I am giving it all the consideration.” The newspaper noted that the race “is a rare opportunity for a newcomer or lesser-known politician to win a seat in Congress without going through an incumbent, and is expected to be both hotly contested and expensive.”

The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Delaware County Republicans have endorsed W. Craig Williams, who resigned this week as a federal prosecutor in Philadelphia, to challenge Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa. Williams, a veteran of the first Gulf War, criticized Sestak’s demand for a deadline to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. “That’s defeatist talk. I don’t buy into it, and I don’t think you do either,” he said. “This war is turning around.” Experts say Williams faces a tough challenge to beat Sestak, a retired Navy admiral serving his first term in Congress who has said he expected to close out 2007 with $1.7 million cash on hand.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CHICAGO: Olympics Fund-Raising Pegged at $2.5 Billion
MINNEAPOLIS: Contract Gives Principals More Hiring Power
MARYLAND: State Moves to Comply with Real ID
CALIFORNIA/OREGON: Proposal Would Remove Klamath River Dams

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, JAN. 15, 2008 – 2:16 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Pelosi Stresses Need to Avoid Harm With Stimulus Package
  • Recommendation for Boost in Gas Tax Faces Tough Reception on Hill
  • House Panel Keeps Up Pressure on Baseball Over Steroid Use
  • House Financial Services Republican Resigns to Take Industry Job
  • Political Trivia for Jan. 15
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Today in Washington

The House holds quorum call at 6:30 p.m. establishing a quorum for the second session of the 110th Congress and disposes of President Bush’s veto of the fiscal 2008 defense authorization bill.

The Senate  convenes in pro forma session at 11 a.m.; returns Jan. 22 for legislative business.

The President continues his visit to Saudi Arabia, participating in a roundtable discussion with Saudi entrepreneurs and visiting the al Murabba Palace, the National History Museum and the Al Janadriyah Ranch.

In Washington, Samuel Zbogar, ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to the United States, addresses a National Press Club afternoon newsmaker. Topic: “Slovenia’s Priorities for It’s First EU Presidency.” 3 p.m., National Press Club, Zenger Room

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Top Stories

Pelosi Stresses Need to Avoid Harm With Stimulus Package

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday she hopes that congressional leaders and President Bush can reach a speedy agreement on an economic stimulus package and said the first rule of such a proposal will be to do no harm.  [Read More]

Recommendation for Boost in Gas Tax Faces Tough Reception on Hill

A bipartisan commission created under the 2005 highway law released its long-awaited report Tuesday, recommending an increase of up to 40 cents per gallon in the federal gasoline tax and renewing a contentious debate in Congress.  [Read More]

House Panel Keeps Up Pressure on Baseball Over Steroid Use

With baseball’s barons before them Tuesday, lawmakers called for a Justice Department investigation into whether a player lied to the panel when it last investigated Major League Baseball steroid abuse in 2005.  [Read More]

House Financial Services Republican Resigns to Take Industry Job

Rep. Richard H. Baker, R-La., will resign from the House within weeks to head the Managed Funds Association, the trade group for the hedge fund industry.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Jan. 15

How many current members of Congress were born in the 1970s?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

Newsday reports that “Republican Lee Zeldin yesterday became the first Long Island candidate to officially declare he is running for Congress.” Zeldin, 27, is seeking the GOP nod to challenge three-term Rep. Tim Bishop, D-N.Y. Zeldin “opened a campaign headquarters in his hometown of Shirley and last night held a fundraiser in Nassau featuring former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato. . . . He said that going into last night’s fundraiser, he had raised $100,000 and had nearly $50,000 on hand after expenses. Bishop has about $750,000 on hand, nearly twice what he had two years ago at this time.”

According to the Albuquerque Tribune, Robert Pidcock, a local lawyer, “has announced he is seeking the Democratic nomination in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District.” GOP Rep. Heather Wilson is vacating the seat to run for Senate. “Also running for the Democratic nomination in the 1st District are Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich and former state Health Secretary Michelle Lujan Grisham. Seeking the Republican nomination in the district are Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White and state Sen. Joe Carraro.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MINNEAPOLIS: Investigators Blame Faulty Design in Bridge Collapse
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.: Embattled Sheriff Quits, Names Interim Successor
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Mayor Fires 6 Workers in Deaths of 4 Girls
MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz.: Hiring Freeze Affects 900 Positions
WEST VIRGINIA: Chief Justice Vacationed with Energy Company CEO
MASSACHUSETTS: Offshore Wind Farm Gets Federal OK

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Monday, January 14, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, JAN. 14, 2008 – 2:33 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Democrats Jump Out Front This Week on Economic Situation
  • Short Work Weeks, Light Load Mark Start of Second Session
  • House Leaders Undecided on Defense Veto Action
  • Jindal Becomes Governor, Triggering Special Election in Louisiana’s 1st District
  • Political Trivia for Jan. 14
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; reconvenes for business tomorrow, Jan. 15, with a live quorum call set for 6:30 p.m.

The Senate  is not in session; reconvenes for business on Jan. 22.

The President visits Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates; travels to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Abdullah in Riyadh.

In Washington, the Woodrow Wilson International Center hosts a seminar on “The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday: How Did it Happen?” Participants include Rep. John Conyers, Jr., D-Mich.; Elsie L. Scott, President and CEO, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation; Don Wolfensberger, director, The Congress Project, Woodrow Wilson Center (moderator); and others. 3-5 p.m., Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Sixth Floor auditorium, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Democrats Jump Out Front This Week on Economic Situation

Democratic leaders who last week urged President Bush to work with them on an economic stimulus package aren’t waiting for Bush to return from the Middle East to showcase their concerns.  [Read More]

Short Work Weeks, Light Load Mark Start of Second Session

The second session of the 110th Congress gets under way Tuesday, when the House returns to work after its holiday recess. But neither chamber is likely to get much done this month.  [Read More]

House Leaders Undecided on Defense Veto Action

Although they have scheduled floor action Tuesday “disposing of” President Bush’s veto of a massive defense authorization bill, House Democratic leaders haven’t decided just what that action will be.  [Read More]

Jindal Becomes Governor, Triggering Special Election in Louisiana’s 1st District

Rep. Bobby Jindal, R-La., formally resigned from Congress on Monday to take the oath as governor of the Bayou State, creating a vacancy in the House that will be filled this spring.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Jan. 14

What was John McCain’s margin of victory over George W. Bush in the 2000 Republican primary in Michigan?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Boston Globereports, “A day after announcing he is mulling a run for the U.S. Senate this year, Republican Jim Ogonowski criticized incumbent Democratic Senator John F. Kerry as a Washington insider who is out of touch with average Massachusetts residents.” Ogonowski, who narrowly lost to Democrat Niki Tsongas last fall in a special election in the 5th District, said that “party leaders and activists in Massachusetts have urged him to challenge the Democratic incumbent and 2004 presidential nominee.” Other Republicans who’ve declared their candidacies include Jeff Beatty, who ran unsuccessfully in 2006 against Democratic Rep. Bill Delahunt, and businessman Kevin Scott, who lost the 2006 GOP primary for Senate to Kenneth Chase.

According to the Charlotte Observer, “Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory is expected to announce his run for governor Tuesday at the public library in Jamestown where he grew up.” In his seventh term as mayor, McCrory would face Republican primary competition from Salisbury lawyer Bill Graham, former N.C. Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr and state Sen. Fred Smith of Raleigh. Announced Democratic contenders are state Treasurer Richard Moore and Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue. “A new poll released last week showed McCrory with a slim lead in the race for the Republican nomination,” although 43 percent of 978 likely GOP primary voters were undecided.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
FLORIDA: Troubled City Investment Pool Gets Bailout
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Feds: Send Gun-Ban Case Back to Lower Courts
MARYLAND: Panel: Push Utilities, Homeowners to Cut Energy Use

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