Friday, March 14, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, MARCH 14, 2008 – 2:36 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Defies Bush on Revised Surveillance Legislation
  • Bush Warns Congress Against Overreacting to Credit Crunch
  • Democrats Use Budget to Underscore Policy Differences With Bush and GOP
  • Bush Sets Deadline for Farm Bill Agreement: One Month
  • Senate Confirms IRS Commissioner
  • Political Trivia for March 14
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Today in Washington

The House  considers electronic surveillance legislation.

The Senate  is not in session; will conduct pro forma sessions during the next two weeks and reconvene for business March 31.

The President  addresses the Economic Club of New York and later attends a Republican National Committee luncheon at a private residence in New York City.

In Washington,  Michael Werner, chief scientist for astronomy and physics at The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, lectures on “The Spitzer Space Telescope: Exploring the Infrared Universe.” 4 p.m., Hannan Hall, Catholic University, 620 Michigan Ave. N.E.

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Top Stories

House Defies Bush on Revised Surveillance Legislation

The House on Friday ignored President Bush’s objections and passed a revised electronic surveillance bill, the last item on the chamber’s agenda before departing for Easter recess.  [Read More]

Bush Warns Congress Against Overreacting to Credit Crunch

President George W. Bush on Friday blasted several cornerstone Democratic proposals for helping the moribund housing market and combating an expanding credit crunch, saying they would do more harm than good.  [Read More]

Democrats Use Budget to Underscore Policy Differences With Bush and GOP

Congressional Democrats, determined to contrast their priorities with those of Republicans in this election year, are using the fiscal 2009 budget resolution to outline their views on spending, taxes and domestic policy.  [Read More]

Bush Sets Deadline for Farm Bill Agreement: One Month

President Bush says he’ll ask Congress to pass a one-year extension of the farm bill if lawmakers cannot negotiate a new law by April 18.  [Read More]

Senate Confirms IRS Commissioner

The Senate on Friday confirmed Douglas H. Shulman as the new commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for March 14

How often in the past 10 elections has Florida backed the winning presidential nominee?  [Read More]

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Registration Fee: $495
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Political Clippings

The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that Republican Randy Wolken has dropped out of the race for the open 25th District House seat in New York, and endorsed Peter Cappuccilli in an effort to unite the GOP behind a single candidate. Wolken said his decision was prompted by Syracuse Mayor Matt Driscoll’s decision not to challenge former congressional staffer Dan Maffei in the Democratic primary. Rep. James T. Walsh, R-N.Y., is retiring at the end of his current term.

The Laconia Citizen reports that Manchester (N.H.) Mayor Frank Guinta appears to be moving toward a run for the Republican nomination for governor. Guinta Thursday addressed the Belknap County Republicans at their monthly meeting, outlining his accomplishments in his two terms as mayor. He said he is considering running, but has not made a formal decision. Democratic Gov. John Lynch is seeking re-election.

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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 13, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2008 – 2:03 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Fiscal 2009 Budget Action Unfolding in Both Chambers
  • Republicans Seek Secret House Session on Surveillance
  • Frank Outlines Proposal for Government to Assist Homeowners
  • Senate Panel Approves Reauthorization of AIDS Funding
  • Democrats Reject Bush’s Cost-Benefit Approach to Pollution Standards
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Today in Washington

The House  considers the fiscal 2009 budget resolution and revised electronic surveillance legislation.

The Senate  votes on dozens of amendments to the budget resolution in what has come to be known as a “vote-a-rama.”

The President  participates in video conference with Afghanistan Provincial Reconstruction Team Leaders and Brigade Combat Commanders; meets with the chairman of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel.

In Washington,  NASA and the National Science Foundation sponsor multimedia presentation “Polar-Palooza: Stories from a Changing Planet.” 7:30 p.m. , National Geographic Society, 16th and M Sts. N.W.

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Top Stories

Fiscal 2009 Budget Action Unfolding in Both Chambers

The House and Senate moved toward adoption of their annual budget blueprints Thursday, with the Senate expected to vote into the night on a string of amendments on tax policy, earmarks and other policy matters.  [Read More]

Republicans Seek Secret House Session on Surveillance

House Republicans planned to seek a rare closed session Thursday to debate a Democratic leadership-backed rewrite of electronic surveillance law.  [Read More]

Frank Outlines Proposal for Government to Assist Homeowners

House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., on Thursday proposed the federal government step up efforts to help struggling homeowner.  [Read More]

Senate Panel Approves Reauthorization of AIDS Funding

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday approved a five-year, $50 billion reauthorization of a global AIDS plan after members agreed to hold amendments until floor consideration.  [Read More]

Democrats Reject Bush’s Cost-Benefit Approach to Pollution Standards

Democrats on Thursday flatly rejected a new proposal from the Bush administration to amend the Clean Air Act to factor economic costs into decisions on air pollution standards.  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW YORK STATE: Will Spitzer's Fall Bring Harmony to Albany?
THE GREAT LAKES REGION: Feds to Referee Lakes Pollution Dispute
DETROIT: A.G.: Mayor Should Resign
SEATTLE: Mayor: Mandate Taxi Fuel Efficiency

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Political Clippings

The Asbury Park Press reports that New Jersey state Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman said he will not seek the Republican Senate nomination in the June 3 primary. Bateman, a moderate, had been mentioned as a possible replacement for Anne Evans Estabrook, who dropped out last week after suffering a minor stroke. State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio and Ramapo College professor Murray Sabrin — the two GOP candidates remaining in the race for a challenger to Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J. — are both seen as more conservative than Bateman or Estabrook.

The Indianapolis Star reports that Rep.-elect Andre Carson, D-Ind., is likely to have little time to rest after winning Tuesday’s special election to replace his late grandmother, former Rep. Julia Carson, D-Ind. Carson, who was to be sworn in Thursday, has vowed not to miss any votes while he campaigns for the nomination to a full two-year term in May’s Democratic primary. Meanwhile, state Rep. David Orentlicher and former state health commissioner Woodrow Myers kicked off their campaigns for the nomination Wednesday. The winner of the primary faces Republican state Rep. Jon Elrod in November.

The Detroit Free Press reports that assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian plans next week to run as an independent candidate to challenge Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Mich. Kevorkian, nicknamed “Dr. Death,” was paroled in June after serving more than eight years in prison on second-degree murder charges. Political observers expect Knollenberg to face a more serious challenge from Democrat Gary Peters, a former state senator and lottery commissioner.

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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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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12, 2008 – 1:54 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Delay Likely in Appointment of Outside Ethics Panel
  • Senate to Consider Climate Change Legislation in June
  • Deal on FHA Modernization Likely to Slip Past Recess
  • Pelosi Wants House to Consider Infrastructure Bank Bill
  • Senate Passes 30-Day Farm Bill Extension
  • Political Trivia for March 12
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Today in Washington

The House  considers the fiscal 2009 budget resolution.

The Senate  considers the fiscal 2009 budget resolution.

The President  addresses U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at the Reagan Trade Center, speaks at the National Republican Congressional Committee dinner at the Washington Hilton and at the Kuwait-America Foundations Stand for Africa Gala Dinner at the residence of Kuwait’s ambassador.

In Washington,  Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., speaks to the National Newspaper Publishers Association. 7 p.m., Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Delay Likely in Appointment of Outside Ethics Panel

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner made clear Wednesday that he sees little likelihood of joining Speaker Nancy Pelosi anytime soon to name members of a new outside ethics board the House has reluctantly agreed to create.  [Read More]

Senate to Consider Climate Change Legislation in June

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has agreed to bring up global warming legislation after the Memorial Day recess, setting the stage for a floor battle that could influence the November elections.  [Read More]

Deal on FHA Modernization Likely to Slip Past Recess

A bill to modernize the mortgage insurance programs of the Federal Housing Administration is a top White House priority and has bipartisan support, but it is unlikely to clear before the spring recess.  [Read More]

Pelosi Wants House to Consider Infrastructure Bank Bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she wants the House to take up a Senate bill to create a national infrastructure bank to develop public-private investments into large transportation projects.  [Read More]

Senate Passes 30-Day Farm Bill Extension

The Senate on Wednesday passed a 30-day extension of the nation’s farm law to give bicameral negotiators more time to hammer out a deal on a long-term agriculture policy overhaul.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for March 12

How often in the past 10 elections has Michigan backed the winning presidential nominee?  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW YORK STATE: Aides: Governor to Resign Today
THE PACIFIC COAST: Salmon-Fishing Season May Be Canceled
PENNSYLVANIA: Jury Awards $28 Million in Boy's Shooting by Troopers
LOS ANGELES: Mayor Vows to Keep Adding Police
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Council Pushed to End Landlords' 'Vacancy Exemptions'

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Political Clippings

The Deseret Morning News reports that Utah Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. filed for re-election Tuesday. Challenging him on the Democratic side is Bob Springmeyer, an urban planner and longtime Democratic activist. Springmeyer was realistic about his chances, the daily noted. “I probably would have more luck in winning the lottery,” he said. Huntsman said he expects to spend less than $1 million on the race, making it “one of the least expensive gubernatorial campaigns by a serious, major-party candidate in recent state history.”

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that both Democrats and Republicans believe Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, is vulnerable this year because of federal investigations into his earmarks, fundraising activities and ties to lobbyists. State Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux is challenging him in the Republican primary, and more candidates might jump into the race. Three Democrats are seeking their party’s nomination: former state Rep. Ethan Berkowitz, former Alaska Democratic Party head Jake Metcalfe and Diane Benson, who challenged Young in 2006.

The Arizona Republic reports Arizona Corporation Commissioner Jeff Hatch-Miller dropped his bid for the Republican nomination in the 5th District House race following the sudden death of a campaign staffer. “The difficulties of the past week have caused me to reflect and review my priorities,” he said. Four Republicans remain as candidates in the Sept. 2 primary. The winner will face Rep. Harry E. Mitchell, D-Ariz.

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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!

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

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, MARCH 11, 2008 – 1:39 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Leaders Optimistic About Adoption of Ethics Proposal
  • Senate Democratic Leaders Oppose Earmark Moratorium
  • House Republicans Seek to Force Floor Vote on Immigration Enforcement Bill
  • Farm Bill Extension Likely This Week
  • Senate Panel Considers Public-Private Partnership for Infrastructure Funding
  • Political Trivia for March 11
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Today in Washington

The House  works on a measure that would establish an outside Office of Congressional Ethics to conduct preliminary probes of ethics complaints against House members.

The Senate  considers proposed amendments to the fiscal 2009 budget resolution.

The President  speaks to the National Religious Broadcasters 2008 Convention at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tenn.

In Washington,  Georgetown Law School hosts a panel discussion on the “Accountability of Private Security Contractors.” 6 p.m., 120 F St. N.W.

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Top Stories

House Leaders Optimistic About Adoption of Ethics Proposal

House Democratic leaders are cautiously optimistic that they have finally rounded up enough votes to create a new outside ethics panel when the House votes this afternoon.  [Read More]

Senate Democratic Leaders Oppose Earmark Moratorium

Senate Democratic leaders are opposing efforts to use the fiscal 2009 budget resolution to impose a one-year moratorium on member earmarks, a plan that may face procedural obstacles that would be hard to surmount.  [Read More]

House Republicans Seek to Force Floor Vote on Immigration Enforcement Bill

House Republicans planned to begin collecting signatures Tuesday on a petition to force a floor vote on a tough immigration enforcement bill sponsored by a conservative Democrat.  [Read More]

Farm Bill Extension Likely This Week

Both parties in the House have agreed to move a 30-day extension of the farm policy law this week as negotiations continue on a five-year rewrite.  [Read More]

Senate Panel Considers Public-Private Partnership for Infrastructure Funding

The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing Tuesday on legislation to create a public-private partnership to finance needed improvements in the nation’s infrastructure.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for March 11

Who was the last Arkansas senator to run without an opponent from the other major party?  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW YORK STATE: Governor Weighs Resignation in Prostitution Scandal
VIRGINIA: State Banning Phosphates from Dishwasher Detergents
TEXAS: Governor Suspends Unemployment Levy
MINNESOTA: State Chief Justice Stepping Down
NEW YORK CITY: Financier Gives Library $100 Million
DETROIT: Residency Rule Blocks Funding for Nonprofits
NEWARK, N.J.: Police Chief Suspended in Personnel Dispute

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Political Clippings

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports that former Lt. Gov. Steve Kirby has decided he will not seek the Republican nomination to challenge Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D. Kirby cited concerns for how the race would affect his family in announcing his decision Monday and ending weeks of speculation. The daily notes that “although three other Republicans already are in the race, the Sioux Falls businessman would have been an early favorite to capture the nomination because of his statewide name recognition and wealth.”

The Albany Times Union reports that Republican House candidate Alexander “Sandy” Treadwell, one of three seeking the nomination to challenge Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., in November, is pouring so much of his own money into his campaign that he has triggered the “millionaire’s amendment.” But the daily notes he can also count on his personal connections to help finance his campaign — “close to half of the nearly $1.24 million he raised last year came from connections established as a member of the Republican National Committee, state GOP chairman from 2001 to 2004, Gov. George Pataki’s secretary of state and a director of several charitable foundations and cultural institutions.”

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

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 10, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2008 – 1:43 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Panel Files Lawsuit in Subpoena Spat With White House
  • House to Try Override of Intelligence Authorization Veto
  • Waxman Expands Probe of Security Contractor Blackwater Worldwide
  • Rangel Still In Hospital, May Not Return To Capitol This Week
  • Newest House Democrat Will Be Sworn In Thursday
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Today in Washington

The House  considers several measures under suspension of the rules.

The Senate  begins consideration of the fiscal 2009 budget resolution.

The President  meets with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

In Washington,  The School of Advanced International Studies hosts a discussion titled “The Failing Policy on Sudan: The Need for Oil Sanctions and a Trust Fund,” with Richard Goldstone, former justice on the Constitutional Court of South Africa, a former chief prosecutor for the U.N. Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and former panel member on the Volcker Commission to Investigate the U.N.-Iraqi Oil-for-Food Program. 4:30 p.m., 1619 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

House Panel Files Lawsuit in Subpoena Spat With White House

The House Judiciary Committee filed a lawsuit Monday against White House chief of staff Joshua B. Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers in a bid to force them to testify about the dismissals in 2006 of nine U.S. attorneys.  [Read More]

House to Try Override of Intelligence Authorization Veto

The House will try Tuesday to override President Bush’s March 8 veto of intelligence authorization legislation, Democratic aides said Monday.  [Read More]

Waxman Expands Probe of Security Contractor Blackwater Worldwide

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., asked federal regulators Monday to investigate whether security contractor Blackwater Worldwide violated federal tax, small business and labor laws.  [Read More]

Rangel Still In Hospital, May Not Return To Capitol This Week

House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel remains hospitalized in New York and is not expected to return to Washington this week.  [Read More]

Newest House Democrat Will Be Sworn In Thursday

Physicist Bill Foster, the Democrat who won former Republican Speaker J. Dennis Hastert’s seat in Illinois on Saturday, likely will be sworn in Thursday, senior Democratic aides said Monday.  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: States Eye Missouri Youth-Offender Program
ALABAMA/FLORIDA/GEORGIA: Legal Fights Loom in Tri-State Water War
DETROIT: Mayor Helped Friend Win Millions in City Contracts
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Pollution Agency Limits Use of Wood-Burning Fireplaces
NEW YORK CITY: Ex-City Union Leader Admits Racketeering
HOUSTON: HUD to City: Pay Back $15.5 Million
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Schools Chief Fires 98 Administrators

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Political Clippings

The Denver Post reports that both major-party candidates for Colorado’s open Senate seat may have a problem pitching themselves to moderate voters based on analyses of their voting records. Former GOP Rep. Bob Schaffer comes across as more conservative and Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., as more liberal than each likes to portray himself in the race to replace Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo. “You can’t purge your record. No matter what you do to try and place yourself, you still have that issue there, and how that record will be viewed is what counts,” said Norman Provizer, a political scientist at Metropolitan State College of Denver. But both campaigns say their candidate’s record is more nuanced than what comes across in several vote studies.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Rep. Bobby L. Rush, D-Ill., is recovering at home after surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his salivary gland. Rush, 62, is expected to begin post-operative treatments in about three to five weeks, when he is fully recovered from the March 1 surgery at the University of Chicago Medical Center, his office said. Rush is in his eighth term representing Illinois’ 1st District in the southern part of Chicago and several southwestern suburbs.

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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 approves mental health parity legislation.
MEDICARE: Medicare Advantage insurers seek regulation from Congress.
BUDGET: House and Senate budget panels pass fiscal 2009 budget resolutions. | Read the online report | Health on the Hill audio links

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