Friday, February 08, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, FEB. 8, 2008 – 2:09 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Bush Vows To Veto Fiscal 2009 Spending Bills That Exceed His Request
  • First Stimulus Checks to Arrive in May
  • Reid Files 15-Day Extension of Surveillance Law
  • Task Force Advises Dismissal of Challenge to Florida-13 Election Results
  • Political Trivia for Feb. 8
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House  convenes in pro forma session.

The Senate  debates amendments to a bill overhauling guidelines for electronic surveillance, with no roll call votes.

The President  addresses the 35th Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.; tours tornado damage in Tennessee; flies to Camp David, Md., for the weekend.

In Washington,  the National Education Association Foundation holds its 13th Annual Salute to Excellence in Education gala, honoring former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber and others. 7 p.m., National Building Museum, 401 F St., N.W.

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

Top Stories

Bush Vows To Veto Fiscal 2009 Spending Bills That Exceed His Request

President Bush made clear Friday he is not interested in striking election-year deals with Democrats on federal spending and will veto any appropriations bills that exceed the funding he requested in his fiscal 2009 budget proposal.  [Read More]

First Stimulus Checks to Arrive in May

Rebate checks authorized by the economic stimulus legislation awaiting President Bush’s signature will start going out in early May, the White House said Friday.  [Read More]

Reid Files 15-Day Extension of Surveillance Law

To guard against the expiration of a temporary surveillance law Feb. 16, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has filed a bill that would extend it for 15 days.  [Read More]

Task Force Advises Dismissal of Challenge to Florida-13 Election Results

A bipartisan task force recommended Friday that the House Administration Committee dismiss a challenge to the 2006 election results in Florida’s 13th District.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Feb. 8

Whose presidential hopes were effectively ended by Virginia’s 2004 primary?  [Read More]

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

The President's Budget

This TheCapitol.Net course, held each year in mid-February, focuses on the president's next fiscal year budget proposal. Instructors discuss how Congress will respond to it, referring to released documents, charts and graphs, financial figures and projections. Attendees participate in a comprehensive overview and analysis of the president's budget, trends, congressional response, appropriations and authorizations process reviews.
WHERE: Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh Street, N.W.
WHEN: February 26, 2008, 8:30 am to 4:15 pm
Registration Fee: $595
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.

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

Political Clippings

The Schenectady Gazette reports that Tracy Brooks, a former aide to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., has become the second Democrat to seek the seat being vacated by Rep. Michael R. McNulty, D-N.Y. Brooks is promoting her campaign with a YouTube video release and MySpace and Facebook pages. She also plans online fundraising and volunteer programs. Phil Steck, Colonie Democratic committee chairman, has already announced his candidacy. Schenectady Mayor Brian Stratton, whose father represented the district for 30 years before McNulty, plans to announce next week whether he will also run.

The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that Hazelton (Pa.) Mayor Lou Barletta on Thursday launched his expected GOP challenge to Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski, D-Pa., with an appeal to supporters of his signature issue: a crackdown on illegal immigration. “We need to have a Congress with the guts to call ‘illegal’ illegal when it comes to immigration,” he said. But Barletta, when asked about critics who call him a one-issue candidate, “challenged reporters to tell him what one issue his opponent stands for. He said issues such as the economy, education and health care must be tackled but illegal immigration is equally important and must be addressed.” This is a rematch for the two: Kanjorski beat Barletta in 2002.

The Clarion Ledger reports that Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said he will not further challenge Gov. Haley Barbour’s decision to set Nov. 4 as the date for a special Senate election, after the state Supreme Court sided with the governor in the ongoing political dispute. Hood had won a lower court ruling that the special election should occur on or before March 19, based on former GOP Sen. Trent Lott’s resignation Dec. 18, but the Supreme Court reversed the decision. The dispute centered on the interpretation of state law governing special Senate elections.

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

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
KIRKWOOD, Mo.: 6 Dead in City Hall Shootings
DETROIT: Mayor Approved Text-Message Cover-Up
PORT WENTWORTH, Ga.: 40 Injured in Sugar-Refinery Blast
ARIZONA: Federal Judge Upholds Immigrant-Hiring Law
THE SOUTH: Toddler Found Alive as Tornado Toll Hits 59

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

Thursday, February 07, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, FEB. 7, 2008 – 2:24 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Ready to Move Final Stimulus Package
  • Mukasey Rejects Criminal Probe of Waterboarding
  • Democrats Urge Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to Help Borrowers
  • RNC Attacks Clinton, Obama Over Electronic Surveillance Bill
  • House Passes Extension of Mental Health Benefits Law
  • Political Trivia for Feb. 7
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House  considers a bill that would renew and revamp the principal law governing higher education; votes are expected on a number of amendments before final passage.

The Senate  is in a holding pattern, awaiting further action on an economic stimulus package and a bill overhauling the law governing electronic surveillance.

The President  speaks at the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton; speaks at the White House on pending presidential nominations and on “Helping America’s Youth.”

In Washington,  the American Enterprise Institute holds a session with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., on reforms needed to prevent America’s decline. 4 p.m., 12th floor, AEI, 1150 17th St. N.W.

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

Top Stories

Senate Ready to Move Final Stimulus Package

The Senate’s impasse over an economic stimulus appears to be at an end.  [Read More]

Mukasey Rejects Criminal Probe of Waterboarding

Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey said Thursday the Justice Department will not investigate the legality of waterboarding, which the Central Intelligence Agency has acknowledged using on three al Qaeda leaders several years ago.  [Read More]

Democrats Urge Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to Help Borrowers

Senate Democrats on Thursday called on mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help subprime borrowers, while their Republican counterparts continued to push for a stronger regulator for the two companies.  [Read More]

RNC Attacks Clinton, Obama Over Electronic Surveillance Bill

Politics officially entered the Senate debate over a rewrite of electronic surveillance rules Thursday when the Republican National Committee released a web video attacking the leading Democratic presidential candidates for “undermining” an overhaul.  [Read More]

House Passes Extension of Mental Health Benefits Law

The House passed legislation Thursday Wednesday that would extend a mental health benefits law for another year as lawmakers prepare a broader parity measure for floor consideration.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Feb. 7

Who won the District of Columbia’s 2004 non-binding Democratic primary?  [Read More]

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

Political Clippings

The Concord Monitor reports that New Hampshire state Sen. Bob Clegg entered the race Wednesday for the Republican nomination to challenge Rep. Paul W. Hodes, D-N.H. Clegg, a strong supporter of conservative causes, said he “would push for smaller government, better health care for veterans, immigration reform and research toward energy innovation.” He faces lawyer Jim Steiner and radio talk show host Jennifer Horn in the GOP primary.

The Daily Times of Salisbury, Md., reports that out-of-state supporters have given state Sen. Andrew Harris a big fundraising lead over Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, R-Md. As of Jan. 23, Harris had raised about $1.1 million, with only $477,000, or 43 percent, coming from within the state, his campaign said. A Gilchrest spokeswoman said his campaign received about $575,000, with about $406,000, or 71 percent coming from Maryland supporters. Another GOP candidate, state Sen. E.J. Pipkin, has spent at least $800,000, mostly his own money. The GOP primary is Feb. 12

The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said he will not seek the GOP nomination to replace Rep. James T. Walsh, R-N.Y., who is retiring at the end of his current term. Fitzpatrick said he wants to “remain on the job that has been my life’s passion.” The likely Democratic nominee is Dan Maffei, who narrowly lost to Walsh in 2006.

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

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE MINNEAPOLIS REGION: Suburbanites Flocking to Commuter Buses
THE SOUTH: Death Toll from Tornadoes Hits 55
TEXAS: Court Limits Multiple Fines
WISCONSIN: Report Cites Racial Disparities in Drug Arrests

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

FW: Turn to CQ Budget Tracker on budget day

 
This is a reminder that tomorrow, Feb. 8, is the last day to request a free trial to CQ Budget Tracker. Please see below for details.
 
Note: If you have already requested a trial, please disregard this message.

 
CQ Budget Tracker Free Trial
Spacer

Get In-Depth Coverage of the
President's 2009 Budget Proposal


Dear Colleague,

On Monday, February 4, 2008, President Bush will submit his fiscal 2009 budget proposal.

To help you get a complete picture of the budget, as well as drill into the spending initiatives that matter most to you, turn to CQ Budget Tracker.

CQ Budget Tracker organizes the budget by subject area, offers the departments’ and agencies’ responses and provides an in-depth news story on each area.


Click Here for Free Trial

Throughout the week of February 4, CQ Budget Tracker will offer:

  • The entire budget proposal and the complete package of original-source documents within hours of their release.
  • Agency statements about their sections of the budget.
  • Congressional reactions from key members to the budget proposal.
  • Transcripts of hearings with the OMB director and original reporting on all major agency proposals.

Further, in the coming weeks, CQ Budget Tracker will cover appearances by administration officials as they visit Capitol Hill to defend their agency’s budget.

Use CQ Budget Tracker to guide you through the budget season and appropriations process—and what it means for your interests. Request your free trial to CQ Budget Tracker today!

Sincerely,

Keith White
Publisher


Spacer

1255 22nd Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: 202-419-8599
WWW.CQ.COM

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, FEB. 6, 2008 – 2:23 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Hoyer Sounds Warning Note as Senate Nears Showdown on Stimulus Bill
  • Manufacturers’ Group Challenges Lobby Law Requirement
  • Gates Pressed for War Cost Estimate
  • Mukasey Urges Legislative Response to Crack Cocaine Sentencing Decision
  • Hoyer Assails White House Refusal to Provide Surveillance Documents
  • Dancing With the Candidate?
  • Political Trivia for Feb. 6
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House  considers several measures under suspension of the rules, including a one-year extension of a law that bans health insurers that offer medical and surgical benefits from setting different lifetime or annual limits for mental health coverage.

The Senate  continues work on an electronic surveillance overhaul and an economic stimulus package.

The President  attends ceremonial swearing in of Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer at the Agriculture Department; receives the 2006-2007 National Hockey League champion Anaheim Ducks at the White House.

In Washington,  American University’s Washington College of Law continues its Founders Celebration 2008 with “Moving From the Past in the Legal Profession, a panel of distinguished lawyers and judges talking about their experiences as minorities in the legal profession. 5-7 p.m., Room 603, American University Washington College of Law, 4801 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.

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

Top Stories

Hoyer Sounds Warning Note as Senate Nears Showdown on Stimulus Bill

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., warned the Senate Wednesday not to load up its stimulus legislation with so many extras that President Bush would veto the package.  [Read More]

Manufacturers’ Group Challenges Lobby Law Requirement

The National Association of Manufacturers on Wednesday filed suit in federal court challenging a new disclosure requirement for lobbying groups.  [Read More]

Gates Pressed for War Cost Estimate

Pressed by lawmakers, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Wednesday that military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan would cost about $170 billion in fiscal 2009, bringing the total cost to about $1 trillion.  [Read More]

Mukasey Urges Legislative Response to Crack Cocaine Sentencing Decision

Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey on Wednesday urged Congress to pass legislation by March 3 addressing criminal sentencing guidelines for cocaine drug offenses to blunt the possibility that hundreds or thousands of offenders could suddenly be released from prison.  [Read More]

Hoyer Assails White House Refusal to Provide Surveillance Documents

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer attacked the Bush administration Wednesday for its continued refusal to turn over to House leaders documents about how telecommunications companies did or did not cooperate with federal requests for their customers’ records after Sept. 11, 2001.  [Read More]

Dancing With the Candidate?

Entertainment Tonight reports that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., has been approached by “Dancing With the Stars,” to join one of their tour dates.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Feb. 6

How many times have Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama disagreed on key Senate votes?  [Read More]

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

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE ATLANTA REGION: Water-War Ruling a Setback for Region
DETROIT: Mayor Under Fire from Judge, Council in Scandal
SALT LAKE CITY: Partnership Registry Faces Legislative Resistance
THE SOUTH: Two Dozen Dead as Tornadoes Rip Four States

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

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, FEB. 5, 2008 – 2:07 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Party Leaders Battle Over Amendment Process for Stimulus Measure
  • Electronic Surveillance Bill Held Up in Senate
  • CIA Director Confirms Waterboarding of Al Qaeda Suspects
  • Bush Budget Gets Chilly Reception From Senators
  • Political Trivia for Feb. 5
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House  is not in session; reconvenes at 2 p.m. Wednesday

The Senate  continues work on an electronic surveillance overhaul and an economic stimulus package.

The President  meets with 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson.

In Washington,  the School of Advanced International Studies holds an analysis session on the Super Tuesday results. 7 p.m., Kenney Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

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

Top Stories

Party Leaders Battle Over Amendment Process for Stimulus Measure

Even as Senate Republicans embraced some of the changes Democrats have proposed to the House-passed economic stimulus bill, Democrats on Tuesday were pushing for a take-it-or-leave-it vote on their entire substitute version.  [Read More]

Electronic Surveillance Bill Held Up in Senate

Legislation to overhaul the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act remained stalled in the Senate Tuesday, held hostage by partisan wrangling over procedures for consideration of an unrelated economic stimulus package.  [Read More]

CIA Director Confirms Waterboarding of Al Qaeda Suspects

Democratic senators clashed with intelligence officials Tuesday over interrogation techniques, questioning the need for harsh tactics, as the nation’s top intelligence chiefs defended their legality and said they wanted to keep the authority to use them.  [Read More]

Bush Budget Gets Chilly Reception From Senators

Senate Democrats sparred Tuesday with administration officials over what they described as unrealistic assumptions in the president’s fiscal 2009 budget.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Feb. 5

When was the biggest single day of presidential nominating events before Super Tuesday 2008?  [Read More]

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

Political Clippings

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports that state Sen. Bob Clegg is expected to announce he will seek the Republican nomination for the 2nd District House seat. The daily said Clegg would not confirm his plans, but reported that “a Clegg candidacy is virtually certain.” Other Republican candidates are attorney James Steiner and radio talk show host Jennifer Horn. On the Democratic side, Rep. Paul W. Hodes, D-N.H., is seeking reelection.

The Billings Gazette reports that Sen. Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., said he’s “more than ready — and looking forward — to the challenges to come” in response to speculation that he might not run for re-election this year. However he refused to say whether he will run. Enzi’s silence, along with his relatively slow fundraising pace and the decision by GOP leaders to pass him over a second time for a coveted Senate Finance Committee seat, has led many to speculate that he will retire.

The Denver Post reports that peace activist Bob Kinsey says he’ll run for the Senate as a Green Party candidate. Kinsey, who was able to win significant support in a 2004 House race, could be a factor in what is shaping up to be a close contest between Republican former Rep. Bob Schaffer and Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo. Kinsey said he would focus on an immediate withdrawal from Iraq and the impeachment of President Bush, issues that might draw some potential Udall voters to him. Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., is not seeking re-election to the seat.

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

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
COOK COUNTY, Ill.: $40 Car Stickers Pushed to Plug Deficit
PITTSBURGH: Former Councilwoman Gets Jail for Kickbacks
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Judge Overrules Feds on Navy Sonar

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

Monday, February 04, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, FEB. 4, 2008 – 2:15 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Budget Fight Looms on Capitol Hill
  • Baucus Optimistic Lobbying Push Will Expand Stimulus Package
  • President Presses Congress to Make His Tax Cuts Permanent
  • Record-Breaking Defense Request Could Go Higher With War Costs
  • Medicare, Medicaid Spending Targeted But Child Health Program Would Get Boost
  • Political Trivia for Feb. 4
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House  is not in session; reconvenes at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6.

The Senate  resumes consideration of an electronic surveillance bill (S 2248); holds cloture vote on the motion to proceed to the economic stimulus package (HR 5140).

The President  meets with his Cabinet; submits his fiscal 2009 budget to Congress.

In Washington,  Stephen J. Hadley, President Bush’s national security adviser, delivers remarks at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 5:45 p.m., Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

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

Top Stories

Budget Fight Looms on Capitol Hill

President Bush unveiled a budget Monday that calls on Congress to continue robust spending increases for defense but proposes cuts or minimal growth for a variety of domestic programs favored by Democrats.  [Read More]

Baucus Optimistic Lobbying Push Will Expand Stimulus Package

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said Monday he expects to garner the 60 votes needed to pass his panel’s version of an economic stimulus bill.  [Read More]

President Presses Congress to Make His Tax Cuts Permanent

As Democratic leaders urged action on an economic stimulus measure in the Senate, they wasted no time Monday in pouring cold water President Bush’s budget plea for a permanent extension of his 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.  [Read More]

Record-Breaking Defense Request Could Go Higher With War Costs

President Bush on Monday continued his record-breaking defense buildup by requesting $585.4 billion in discretionary budget authority for the Pentagon in fiscal 2009, a figure that contains only a fraction of the expected costs of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.  [Read More]

Medicare, Medicaid Spending Targeted But Child Health Program Would Get Boost

A proposed $19.3 billion expansion of children’s health care may offer the only silver lining for congressional Democrats in the president’s fiscal 2009 budget.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Feb. 4

In which of these Western states do Democrats have more presidential convention delegates than Republicans?  [Read More]

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

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.: City Recovers Failed $13.9 Million Investment
HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn.: Sheriff Charged with Extortion
LOS ANGELES: Council to Mandate Pet Sterilization
NEW YORK CITY: Counterterror Teams to Patrol Subways
SAN FRANCISCO BAY: Alert-System Failure Brings Sewage Overflow
OREGON: Judge Clears Way for Domestic Partnerships
MASSACHUSETTS: Costs Soaring for Health-Care Initiative
COLORADO: Tax Supervisor Pleads Guilty in $11 Million Theft
MICHIGAN: Prisoners Awarded $15.4 Million in Sex-Abuse Suit

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

Political Clippings

The Poughkeepsie Journal reports that attorney George Oros, the minority leader of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, says he may challenge 19th District Rep. John Hall, D-N.Y., who defeated six-term GOP Rep. Sue Kelly in 2006. “Oros, a 13-year county lawmaker, said he expects to make a formal announcement in March. If so, he would be the second Republican to formally step forward to take on the freshman Democratic congressman.” Republicans targeted Hall from the day he took office, but their leading choice, multimillionaire Katonah businessman Andrew Saul, pulled out. Currently the only Republican in the field is Kieran Michael Lalor of Peekskill, a 32-year-old Iraq war veteran.

According to the Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice, “a group of area Republicans is helping Lou Barletta get on the ballot for a run” against veteran Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., “even though the Hazleton mayor has not yet declared whether he will be a candidate.” Barletta says “he plans to make an announcement ‘very soon.’” Barletta, who drew national attention as a proponent of tough, anti-illegal immigration legislation in Hazleton, has until Feb. 12 to collect the 1,000 Republican signatures needed to get on the ballot.

The Fort Collins Coloradoan reports, “A political consultant who worked in 2006 with Fort Collins philanthropist Pat Stryker and other wealthy donors has outlined a $2.7 million plan to once again use so-called ‘527’ money this year to unseat Republican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, according to recently disclosed plans.” With Democrats in control of the House, “Musgrave has not matched her previous fundraising success. She raised just over $1 million in 2007, FEC records show, down from $1.7 million in 2005 and $1.25 million in 2003.” Democrat Betsy Markey, who entered the race in June, raised about $337,000 in 2007, 37 percent more than” the 2006 Democratic nominee raised in 2005.

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

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.
BUDGET: President Bush's fiscal 2009 budget expected to cut spending on federal health care programs.
MEDICARE PLANS: Senate panel examines Medicare private fee-for-service plans.
DRUG SAFETY: House panel votes to subpoena HHS' Leavitt, FDA employees as part of investigation into drug approval. | Read the online report | Health on the Hill audio links

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

Turn to CQ Budget Tracker on budget day

 
CQ Budget Tracker Free Trial
Spacer

Get In-Depth Coverage of the
President's 2009 Budget Proposal


Dear Colleague,

On Monday, February 4, 2008, President Bush will submit his fiscal 2009 budget proposal.

To help you get a complete picture of the budget, as well as drill into the spending initiatives that matter most to you, turn to CQ Budget Tracker.

CQ Budget Tracker organizes the budget by subject area, offers the departments’ and agencies’ responses and provides an in-depth news story on each area.


Click Here for Free Trial

Throughout the week of February 4, CQ Budget Tracker will offer:

  • The entire budget proposal and the complete package of original-source documents within hours of their release.
  • Agency statements about their sections of the budget.
  • Congressional reactions from key members to the budget proposal.
  • Transcripts of hearings with the OMB director and original reporting on all major agency proposals.

Further, in the coming weeks, CQ Budget Tracker will cover appearances by administration officials as they visit Capitol Hill to defend their agency’s budget.

Use CQ Budget Tracker to guide you through the budget season and appropriations process—and what it means for your interests. Request your free trial to CQ Budget Tracker today!

Sincerely,

Keith White
Publisher


Spacer

1255 22nd Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: 202-419-8599
WWW.CQ.COM