Friday, March 07, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, MARCH 7, 2008 – 2:18 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Passes One-Month Extension of Higher Education Law
  • Opponents of Immunity for Telecoms Seize on Spying Claims
  • Political Trivia for March 7
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Today in Washington

The House  is not in session.

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

The President  meets with families of Cuban political prisoners at the Oval Office, makes a statement on the economy and later participates in U.S. Department of Defense briefings at the Pentagon.

In Washington,  Busboys and Poets Restaurant hosts a discussion on the future of U.S.-Iran relations with Stephen Kinzer, former New York Times correspondent. Busboys and Poets Restaurant, 14th and V Street N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate Passes One-Month Extension of Higher Education Law

The Senate on Friday passed a one-month extension of the primary law governing colleges, universities and federal financial aid.  [Read More]

Opponents of Immunity for Telecoms Seize on Spying Claims

Democratic leaders of the House Energy and Commerce panel, citing new domestic spying claims, are urging careful examination of surveillance overhaul legislation that may delay progress on the measure.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for March 7

When was the last time a U.S. House district switched in party control because of a special election?  [Read More]

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This training conference is sponsored by TheCapitol.Net, exclusive provider of Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences.

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Political Clippings

The Bloomington Pantagraph reports on speculation about who would fill Barack Obama’s Senate seat if he vacates it after the November election. The Illinois Democrat is seeking his party’s presidential nomination. State law gives Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich the power to pick a replacement to serve until the next congressional election in 2010. Blagojevich could name himself to the seat, but a more likely choice is state Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a possible challenger to Blagojevich in 2010. Reps. Jan Schakowsky, Rahm Emanuel and Jesse Jackson Jr. or state Senate President Emil Jones are also possible choices.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports that former Lt. Gov. Steve Kirby plans to announce Monday whether he will seek the Republican nomination to challenge Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D. National GOP leaders have courted Kirby to enter the race. Three other Republicans are already running: state Rep. Joel Dykstra, the assistant majority leader, businessman Sam Kephart and Bert Tollefson, a former ambassador and an assistant to former Gov. Sig Anderson.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports state Rep. Dave Grimes was to announce Friday that he would seek the House seat being vacated by Rep. Terry Everett, R-Ala. Grimes, a conservative, faces several other Republicans, including state Rep. Jay Love, state Sen. Harri Anne Smith, Montgomery television station executive David Woods and Dothan residents Craig Schmidtke and John W. Martin. Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright is the only Democrat so far in the race.

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World Health Care Congress

Be one of only 2,000 executives to register for the World Health Care Congress, April 21-23, 2008 in Washington, D.C. WHCC is limiting participation to 2,000 decision makers from employers; health plans; providers; healthcare IT; pharmaceutical, biotech & medical device; benefits/HR; and government officials. This is an international gathering to discuss trends driving the global healthcare industry. Do not miss your opportunity to be one of 2,000 to join this exclusive conference!

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2008 – 2:25 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Pelosi Hints Decision May Be Near On Earmark Moratorium
  • Baucus Says TAA Overhaul Legislation Must Advance Before Trade Pacts
  • Ethics Measure Not Likely to See Action Until April
  • House Subcommittee Approves Copyright Law Overhaul
  • Pelosi Won’t Commit to Bringing Up Surveillance Bill Before Easter Recess
  • Panel Approves Measure Opening Federal Courts to Cameras
  • Political Trivia for March 5
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Today in Washington

The House  considers an AmeriCorps reauthorization measure.

The Senate  may vote on final passage on a bill overhauling the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The President  meets with Cpl. Frank Woodruff Buckles, the last living U.S. veteran of World War I, at the Oval Office and later speaks at ceremonies marking the fifth anniversary of the Homeland Security Department.

In Washington,  The Radio and Television News Directors Foundation holds its 18th annual First Amendment Awards Dinner. Awards will be presented to AP chief executive Tom Curley, former FCC Chairman Richard Wiley, and CBS News correspondent Bob Schieffer. 6:30 p.m., Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 1150 22nd St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Pelosi Hints Decision May Be Near On Earmark Moratorium

Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated Thursday that a decision may be near on imposing an moratorium on appropriations earmarks.  [Read More]

Baucus Says TAA Overhaul Legislation Must Advance Before Trade Pacts

Congress must consider legislation overhauling a program that helps workers who lose their jobs because of foreign competition before taking up pending trade agreements, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said Thursday.  [Read More]

Ethics Measure Not Likely to See Action Until April

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to commit Thursday to bringing up a controversial ethics measure for a vote next week, raising the possibility that it may be at least April before the House addresses the issue again.  [Read More]

House Subcommittee Approves Copyright Law Overhaul

A House Judiciary subcommittee Thursday approved legislation to revamp federal copyright law.  [Read More]

Pelosi Won’t Commit to Bringing Up Surveillance Bill Before Easter Recess

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated Thursday that new legislation regulating electronic surveillance may come to the House floor next week, but would not commit to a vote before the Easter recess.  [Read More]

Panel Approves Measure Opening Federal Courts to Cameras

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill Thursday that would open federal courts, including the Supreme Court, to cameras.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for March 5

When did John Kerry ask John Edwards to be his running mate?  [Read More]

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

Political Clippings

The Des Moines Register reports former state Rep. George Eichhorn has become the second Republican vying for the right to challenge Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, this year. Seen as a social and fiscal conservative during his three terms in the Iowa House, Eichhorn lost his seat in 2006. Also running in the June 3 Republican primary is Cedar Rapids construction company executive Steve Rathje.

The Daily Times Salisbury, Md., reports that disgruntled Republican supporters of Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, R-Md., have lined up behind the Democratic nominee for the 1st District House seat, Queen Anne’s County State’s Attorney Frank Kratovil. Among them are longtime Gilchrest aide Karen Willis, who said: “I’m just trying to get behind Mr. Kratovil to continue to have 1st District representation from a thinking person.” Gilchrest, a moderate, was ousted in a Feb. 12 primary by conservative state Sen. Andy Harris.

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

World Health Care Congress

Be one of only 2,000 executives to register for the World Health Care Congress, April 21-23, 2008 in Washington, D.C. WHCC is limiting participation to 2,000 decision makers from employers; health plans; providers; healthcare IT; pharmaceutical, biotech & medical device; benefits/HR; and government officials. This is an international gathering to discuss trends driving the global healthcare industry. Do not miss your opportunity to be one of 2,000 to join this exclusive conference!

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

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5, 2008 – 2:33 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Earmark Fight Takes Center Stage in House Budget Markup
  • House Democrats Considering New Effort to Slow Foreclosures
  • House Defense Appropriations Panel Jumps Into Tanker Dispute
  • Dispute Over Penalties Delays Higher Education Bill
  • Hoyer Says Democrats Will Call for Ethics Vote This Week
  • Political Trivia for March 5
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Today in Washington

The House  passed a bill to create a corps of experts for emergency reconstruction and development overseas; considers mental health parity legislation.

The Senate  continues work on a Consumer Product Safety Commission overhaul bill.

The President  speaks before the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference; endorses Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona for president.

In Washington,  members of Congress, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Department of Defense officials will join 200 wounded troops from Walter Reed Army Hospital and Bethesda National Naval Medical Center at the 4th Annual Armed Forces Foundation Congressional Gala, 6 p.m., Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 1330 Maryland Ave. S.W.

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Top Stories

Earmark Fight Takes Center Stage in House Budget Markup

House Democrats released a budget blueprint Wednesday that reprises fights with Republicans over taxes and spending and showcases tensions with the Senate over how to deal with the alternative minimum tax.  [Read More]

House Democrats Considering New Effort to Slow Foreclosures

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., is crafting legislation under which the federal government would step in to buy certain troubled mortgages, but only if the lenders are willing to take the losses on the loans and write down the mortgages.  [Read More]

House Defense Appropriations Panel Jumps Into Tanker Dispute

A bipartisan chorus of House defense appropriators Wednesday assailed an Air Force decision to pick a team of companies that includes a Europe-based firm to build the U.S. military’s next generation of midair refueling tankers.  [Read More]

Dispute Over Penalties Delays Higher Education Bill

A renewal of the primary law governing colleges, universities and federal financial aid will not come to the floor in either chamber until after the March recess.  [Read More]

Hoyer Says Democrats Will Call for Ethics Vote This Week

Democrats intend to bring up their revised ethics plan for a House vote Thursday, even though they don’t yet know whether there’s enough support to adopt the changes, Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for March 5

When did John McCain exit the race for the Republican nomination in 2000?  [Read More]

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

Forum on Diabetes

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

Political Clippings

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports that two new Web sites could fuel speculation that former Lt. Gov. Steve Kirby will seek the Republican nomination to challenge Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D. The daily said KirbyforSenate.com was registered Saturday, and SteveKirbyforSenate.com was registered Feb. 25. Kirby, who has been flirting with the idea of challenging Johnson for weeks, said he thought one of his advisers registered the Web sites. Democrats had created a Web site questioning Kirby’s business and political dealings and raising funds for Johnson, but Johnson asked that it be suspended.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and other national GOP operatives met in Walnut Creek, Calif., recently to formulate strategy. Among the topics discussed is how Republican presidential nominee John McCain could help Republicans unseat Democrats in conservative districts such as the one represented by Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif. “They definitely think McCain will bring out conservative Democrats and independents who could tip close congressional races,” said John Herrington, a past chairman of the state GOP and owner of Vic Stewart’s Steak House, where the meeting took place.

The San Antonio Express-News reports that Bexar County Commissioner Lyle Larson, fresh from his GOP primary victory Tuesday over San Antonio lawyer Francisco “Quico” Canseco, is turning his attention to Rep. Ciro D. Rodriguez, D-Texas. “We’re going to fight Ciro for every vote in this district: Democrat, Republican and independent,” Larson said.

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

World Health Care Congress

Be one of only 2,000 executives to register for the World Health Care Congress, April 21-23, 2008 in Washington, D.C. WHCC is limiting participation to 2,000 decision makers from employers; health plans; providers; healthcare IT; pharmaceutical, biotech & medical device; benefits/HR; and government officials. This is an international gathering to discuss trends driving the global healthcare industry. Do not miss your opportunity to be one of 2,000 to join this exclusive conference!

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CQ Today Midday Update

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, MARCH 4, 2008 – 2:35 P.M.

In This Issue

  • GOP Hits Obama Spending Proposals in Runup to Budget Markup
  • Medicare Advantage Providers Propose Giving Up Marketing Tactics
  • No Plan Yet For Vote on Amended Ethics Proposal
  • Senate Democrats Question Iraq, Pakistan Funding
  • Political Trivia for March 4
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Today in Washington

The House  considers a number of measures under suspension of the rules.

The Senate  continues work on a bill to overhaul the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The President  meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan.

In Washington,  Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Customs and Border Protection Commissioner W. Ralph Basham will join National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen M. Kelley and Rep. Chris Carney, D-Pa., for the union’s annual Vigil of Lights honoring Bureau of Customs and Border Protection officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. 6 p.m., National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, E Street N.W., between 4th and 5th Streets

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Top Stories

GOP Hits Obama Spending Proposals in Runup to Budget Markup

If there was any doubt this month’s debate over the annual budget resolution would be flavored with presidential politics, get ready for Senate Republicans’ critique of the “Obama-Spend-O-Rama.”  [Read More]

Medicare Advantage Providers Propose Giving Up Marketing Tactics

Private health insurers offered to sacrifice some of the aggressive marketing tactics they use to sell private Medicare plans to seniors, asking a Senate committee Tuesday to shape new regulations.  [Read More]

No Plan Yet For Vote on Amended Ethics Proposal

The sponsor of legislation overhauling the House’s ethics process said Tuesday he lacks a commitment from Democratic leaders for a vote this week on his amended proposal.  [Read More]

Senate Democrats Question Iraq, Pakistan Funding

Senate Armed Services Committee Democrats on Tuesday questioned whether billions of dollars in aid for Iraq and Pakistan are being spent unnecessarily or are being diverted to purposes other than the ones Congress intended.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for March 4

When were Democratic presidential primaries in Ohio and Texas last decided by single digits?  [Read More]

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

Forum on Diabetes

Avalere Health’s Forum on Diabetes is fast approaching. Join this event, focused on the intersection of health policy and business strategy in diabetes, to help craft political solutions to this burgeoning public health issue. Space is limited for March 12-13. Register now!

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

Political Clippings

The Oregonian reports that former Gov. John Kitzhaber has endorsed Steve Novick over Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley in the Democratic Senate primary. Kitzhaber said he is siding with Novick because of his “willingness to ‘face the facts’ about what’s wrong with the country” and his recognition that sacrifices must be made. Merkley has received endorsements from Gov. Theodore R. Kulongoski and former Gov. Barbara Roberts in his bid to be the nominee to challenge Republican Sen. Gordon H. Smith.

The Syracuse Post Standard reports that New York state Assemblyman Bob Oaks said he won’t seek the Republican nomination for the House seat being vacated by Rep. James T. Walsh, R-N.Y. Oaks told the daily he didn’t expect to have a good chance of being nominated. The two candidates in the race, former state fair Director Peter Cappuccilli and Randy Wolken, president of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York, are both from Onondaga County, where most of the district’s voters live.

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

World Health Care Congress

Be one of only 2,000 executives to register for the World Health Care Congress, April 21-23, 2008 in Washington, D.C. WHCC is limiting participation to 2,000 decision makers from employers; health plans; providers; healthcare IT; pharmaceutical, biotech & medical device; benefits/HR; and government officials. This is an international gathering to discuss trends driving the global healthcare industry. Do not miss your opportunity to be one of 2,000 to join this exclusive conference!

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

Monday, March 03, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2008 – 1:58 P.M.

In This Issue

  • CBO Predicts Higher Deficits From Bush’s Fiscal 2009 Budget
  • New Medicaid Rules Would Shift Burden to States, Report Says
  • Political Trivia for March 3
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Today in Washington

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Top Stories

CBO Predicts Higher Deficits From Bush’s Fiscal 2009 Budget

The Congressional Budget Office on Monday projected that President Bush’s budget proposal would lead to slightly higher deficits over five years than the White House has estimated, yet still balance the budget by fiscal 2012.  [Read More]

New Medicaid Rules Would Shift Burden to States, Report Says

New rules for Medicaid would reduce federal payments to states by nearly $50 billion over five years — more than three times earlier government estimates, according to a report released Monday by a House committee.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for March 3

How many presidents were born in Ohio?  [Read More]

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

Forum on Diabetes

Avalere Health’s Forum on Diabetes is fast approaching. Join this event, focused on the intersection of health policy and business strategy in diabetes, to help craft political solutions to this burgeoning public health issue. Space is limited for March 12-13. Register now!

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

Political Clippings

Topeka, Kan., television station WIBW reports that former state Rep. Jim Slattery has expressed interest in running for the Senate seat being held by Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan. Slattery would face Lee Jones, an Overland Park railroad engineer, in a Democratic primary. Roberts, who is seeking a third term, started the year with more than $2.7 million in campaign funds.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports that Democrats have targeted former Lt. Gov. Steve Kirby, who is expected soon to announce that he will seek the Republican nomination for the Senate seat held by Sen. Tim Johnson, R-S.D. Johnson’s campaign Friday sent out an e-mail saying Kirby cares little about the nation’s problems. The e-mail follows the creation of a Web site critical of the Sioux Falls businessman. University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato suggested that Democrats could be trying to scare Kirby out of the race because they are concerned about him being a viable challenger to Johnson, who suffered a brain hemorrhage in December 2006.

Waterloo, Iowa, television station KWWL reports, “A chaplain at one of Iowa’s prisons has announced his plans to seek the Republican nomination” for the 2nd House District seat in eastern Iowa. Lee Harder, a chaplain at the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility, is vying to challenge Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, in November. Harder wants to focus on making the nation more energy-efficient, reduce the national debt and taxes for the middle class, and withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.

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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.
MENTAL HEALTH PARITY: House vote scheduled on mental health parity legislation.
INDIAN HEALTH: Senate reauthorizes Indian health measure.
AIDS: House panel approves reauthorization of President Busha??s global AIDS programs. | Read the online report | Health on the Hill audio links

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