Friday, April 04, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2008 – 1:58 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate May Add Extension of Renewable Energy Tax Credits to Housing Bill
  • Democrats Criticize Administration on Economy
  • Veto Threat Leveled at Bill to Overturn FCC Media Concentration Rule
  • Senate May Duck Gun Rights Issue on Public Lands Bill
  • Political Trivia for April 4
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Today in Washington

The House  reconvenes for legislative business at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, when it will consider a number of non-controversial bills.

The Senate  continues work on housing and mortgage legislation, with a vote scheduled Tuesday on limiting debate.

The President  meets with Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu in Bucharest, then travels to Croatia to attend dinner in Zagreb with the president of Croatia.

In Washington,  Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., is honored as Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Calif. and former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta attend the National Japanese American Memorial Fund’s dinner to celebrate the 20th anniversary of enactment of a law apologizing and offering reparations for the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. 6 p.m., Capitol Hilton, 1001 16th Street N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate May Add Extension of Renewable Energy Tax Credits to Housing Bill

The Senate on Friday began debating whether to add a long-stalled extension of renewable energy tax credits to its bipartisan housing package, a move that could threaten the bill’s progress in the House.  [Read More]

Democrats Criticize Administration on Economy

Democratic lawmakers had sharp words for the administration Friday following the release of government figures showing the labor force lost jobs for a third consecutive month, another sign that the economy may be in a recession.  [Read More]

Veto Threat Leveled at Bill to Overturn FCC Media Concentration Rule

The administration leveled a veto threat Thursday against a Senate bill that would nullify a Federal Communications Commission rule allowing more media consolidation.  [Read More]

Senate May Duck Gun Rights Issue on Public Lands Bill

The Senate is poised to take up an omnibus public lands bill late next week, but it may duck a fight over a gun rights amendment one Republican wants to offer.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for April 4

How many people have voted in every November Pennsylvania election for the past 50 years?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Arizona Republic reports that former state Senate President Ken Bennett is reconsidering his decision not to seek the House seat being vacated by Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., after meeting with senior GOP donors and members of the state’s congressional delegation. “I agreed to reconsider,” said Bennett, who announced in September that he would not seek the seat. The daily said “some prominent GOP figures view Bennett as the party’s best shot in the November general election.” Bennett, who has a reputation as “a conservative with a light touch” reportedly intends to decide by the end of next week whether he would run.

The Record and Herald News reports on new movement in the New Jersey Senate race. Associates of businessman Andy Unanue denied rumors that he was considering dropping his bid for the Republican nomination. Meanwhile, another millionaire businessman, John Crowley, was reconsidering his decision Monday not to run, as a result of phone calls from Republicans “both in and out of the state,” friend and adviser Bill Spadea said. On the Democratic side, Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg faces a primary challenge from Rep. Robert E. Andrews.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
PITTSBURGH/ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa.: City, County Leaders Push Merger Plan
NEW YORK CITY: Millions Earmarked for Phony Organizations
TEXAS: Study: 'Dead Zones' Recurring along Coast
WEST VIRGINIA: Court Reaffirms Coal Verdict after Justices' Recusals

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 2008 – 2:13 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Inspectors Suggest FAA Slipping on Airline Safety
  • Lawmakers Differ on Farm Bill Financing
  • Senate Republicans Push Quicker Action on Judicial Nominees
  • House Votes to Reauthorize Fire Safety Agency
  • Democrats Scramble To Find Replacement Candidate For Andrews
  • Political Trivia for April 3
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Today in Washington

The House  considers a bill reauthorizing the U.S. Fire Administration.

The Senate  continues work on housing and mortgage legislation.

The President   attending NATO summit in Bucharest.

In Washington,  Catholic University holds a teach-in on the civil rights movement and Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy. Until 5:30 p.m., Columbus School of Law, 2nd floor, 3600 McCormack Rd. N.E.

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Top Stories

Inspectors Suggest FAA Slipping on Airline Safety

Federal Aviation Administration inspectors and managers told lawmakers Thursday that the agency’s top officials endangered passenger safety by being too cozy with the airlines they oversee.  [Read More]

Lawmakers Differ on Farm Bill Financing

With a little more than two weeks to finish the farm bill, lawmakers were still at odds Thursday over a financing package for the measure.  [Read More]

Senate Republicans Push Quicker Action on Judicial Nominees

Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans launched an attack Thursday against the slow pace of approving appellate court nominations, warning that they were contemplating more substantive retaliation.  [Read More]

House Votes to Reauthorize Fire Safety Agency

The House Thursday passed a bill to reauthorize the federal agency in charge of mitigating health and economic losses from fires.  [Read More]

Democrats Scramble To Find Replacement Candidate For Andrews

Democratic Rep. Robert E. Andrews’ primary challenge against longtime Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg leaves local officials with barely five days to find a successor for New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for April 3

When was a U.S. senator from New Jersey last defeated for re-election in a primary?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Corydon Democrat reports Indiana 9th District Congressman Baron P. Hill faces three challengers this spring. “But the Democrat is expected to get his party’s nomination, setting up a fourth showdown with New Albany’s Mike Sodrel, who is unopposed in the Republican Primary,” the paper reports. Hill has won two races and lost one to Sodrel. Hill defeated Sodrel in 2002 and then lost in 2004 as a three-term incumbent. Hill then recaptured the seat in 2006. “Each of those races was decided by 5 percentage points or less, and local chairs of both parties don’t expect a potential fourth race to be any different,” the paper reported. “I think this will be a very close race,” Crawford County GOP Chair Daniel Crecelius said.

Seven term Republican incumbent Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo of New Jersey could face a challenge in the 2nd District from Cape May City Councilman and businessman David Kurkowski, the Press of Atlantic City reported Tuesday. He must file by April 7. Kurkowski runs Kurkowski Market Research, a Cape May firm specializing in health-care research, focus groups, consumer research, fundraising and jury research. He won election to the Cape May City Council in 2006 and holds master’s and doctorate degrees in political science. State Democratic leaders have been trying to find a candidate to take on LoBiondo for some time. Former Fairfield Township Deputy Mayor Viola Thomas-Hughes and Bridgeton City Councilwoman Celeste Riley had both expressed interest in running. But Thomas-Hughes, who ran unsuccessfully against LoBiondo in 2006, said she would support whoever party leaders nominate. Riley pledged the same, according to Assemblyman Doug Fisher, D-Cumberland, Salem, Gloucester, after ruling out a run, the paper reported.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
DETROIT: Mayor: Tap Casino Revenues to Rebuild Infrastructure
BERKELEY, Calif.: City's Wide-Ranging Policy Forays Costly
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas: Lawyer's Fee in D.A. Case: $4.4 Million
CALIFORNIA: Governor Limits Managers' Raises, Orders Audit
MARYLAND: State Settles 'Driving While Black' Suit
NORTH CAROLINA: Probation Managers Ousted after Student Leader Slaying

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2008 – 2:12 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Negotiators Reach ‘Agreement in Principle’ on Bipartisan Housing Bill
  • House GOP Seeks Earmarks Timeout But Republicans Top List of Winners
  • House Panel Subpoenas EPA for Climate Change Documents
  • Senators Grill Homeland Security Chief on Immigration
  • Boxer Blasts Interior Secretary for Skipping Hearing on Polar Bears
  • Political Trivia for April 2
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Today in Washington

The House  considers legislation to reauthorize global AIDS programs.

The Senate  awaits compromise version of legislation to address the housing crisis.

The President   meets in Neptun, Romania, with the president of Romania; later meets with NATO Secretary General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer in Bucharest.

In Washington,  the Consumer Electronics Association begins a two-day Washington forum. JW Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate Negotiators Reach ‘Agreement in Principle’ on Bipartisan Housing Bill

Senate negotiators reached an agreement in principle Wednesday on a compromise package to address the housing crisis.  [Read More]

House GOP Seeks Earmarks Timeout But Republicans Top List of Winners

House Republicans failed Wednesday to force a floor vote on an earmark moratorium and creation of a joint select committee to study the member projects.  [Read More]

House Panel Subpoenas EPA for Climate Change Documents

A House panel voted Wednesday to subpoena EPA documents related to a 2007 Supreme Court decision on global warming.  [Read More]

Senators Grill Homeland Security Chief on Immigration

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff faced a skeptical audience Wednesday as he defended his agency’s immigration policies before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  [Read More]

Boxer Blasts Interior Secretary for Skipping Hearing on Polar Bears

California Democrat Barbara Boxer blasted Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne for failing to show up Wednesday at a hearing on polar bears and global warming.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for April 2

When did a U.S. senator last lose a primary to a U.S. House member?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Detroit Free Press reports that Thomas Athans, husband of Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., admitted he paid a prostitute $150 for sex at a Troy, Mich., hotel in late February, according to a police report. The report said Athans, 46, co-founder of the liberal TalkUSA Radio network, was not arrested or charged, but agreed to fully cooperate with police in their investigation of Internet-based prostitution at hotels in the city. A spokesman for Stabenow, who married Athans in 2003, said the senator had no immediate comment. The daily said Stabenow did not show up for a news conference Wednesday at the Capitol.

The South Jersey News Online reports that Democratic New Jersey state Sen. Jeff Van Drew has said he will not challenge Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo, R-N.J., this year, quelling rumors that he was considering a run. In a statement, Van Drew said he wanted to concentrate on state business. “At this time I feel that my efforts need to be concentrated on our current budget. I will run for Congress one day, but this is not the right time to announce. I owe it to my constituents to focus on this current budget,” he said.

The Wyoming County Press Examiner reports that Republican House candidate Dan Meuser has moved into the 10th District. Meuser, who is seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Rep. Christopher Carney, D-Pa., had lived just outside the district, in the neighboring 11th District. He said he had changed his residency to keep it from becoming an issue in the primary race against Chris Hackett.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
VIRGINIA: Governor Halts Executions Until High Court Rules
ALABAMA: Ex-Colleges Chief Pleads Guilty to Kickbacks
MINNEAPOLIS Region: More Counties OK Transit Sales Tax
SAN FRANCISCO: Plans Unveiled for $887 Million Hospital Renovation
TAMPA, Fla.: Ex-Mayor, Family Sued over Insurance-Fund Diversions
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Law's Repeal Tightens Condo Conversions

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, APRIL 1, 2008 – 2:09 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Still Stalled Over Housing Package
  • Republicans Launch Salvo in Message War Over Iraq
  • Pelosi Endorses Olympic Warning to China Over Tibet, Human Rights
  • Hoyer Says White House Might Negotiate Surveillance Compromise
  • Court Orders Rep. McDermott to Pay Boehner More Than $1 Million
  • Political Trivia for April 1
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Today in Washington

The House  considers several measures under suspension of the rules, including one aimed at speeding visas for foreign artists invited to perform in the United States.

The Senate  holds a procedural vote on whether to call up legislation that would carry a housing and mortgage crisis package.

The President  meets with top officials in Kiev, Ukraine.

In Washington,  New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson addresses the Organization of American States on immigration and hemispheric affairs. 3 p.m., OAS, 17th St. and Constitution Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate Still Stalled Over Housing Package

Senate leaders remained at an impasse Tuesday over Democratic housing legislation that includes a controversial change to bankruptcy law, suggesting the bill could fail for a second time to reach the floor for formal consideration.  [Read More]

Republicans Launch Salvo in Message War Over Iraq

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner on Tuesday launched the Republican version of the message war over Iraq, saying Democrats were seeking to gain politically from the United States’ struggles there.  [Read More]

Pelosi Endorses Olympic Warning to China Over Tibet, Human Rights

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday endorsed the idea of a House resolution warning China of possible ramifications for the 2008 Summer Olympics if Beijing’s human rights record doesn’t improve by the opening ceremonies in August.  [Read More]

Hoyer Says White House Might Negotiate Surveillance Compromise

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., said Tuesday he has received indications the Bush administration is interested in negotiating a compromise extension of stalled electronic surveillance legislation.  [Read More]

Court Orders Rep. McDermott to Pay Boehner More Than $1 Million

A federal judge in Washington has ordered Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott to pay more than $1 million in attorney’s fees awarded to Minority Leader John A. Boehner as part of a protracted lawsuit involving an illegally taped cell phone call.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for April 1

What occurred on March 31, 1968, or 40 years ago Monday?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Newark Star-Ledger reports that Rep. Robert E. Andrews, D-N.J., is considering a primary challenge to Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J. Andrews’ chief of staff, Bill Caruso, said in a statement: “Over the last few days, Congressman Andrews has been approached by many leaders of the Democratic Party who have urged him to step forward and run for the Senate because they think that 2008 is a year where voters are seeking a change in government.” Caruso did not identify the leaders who had approached Andrews.

The New York Times reports that Rep. Peter T. King, R-N.Y., is considering a run for New York governor in 2010. The daily says King has already talked with fund-raisers and local party leaders, but said last week he would not decide until after the November elections. King said he was considering a run because of what he called a leadership vacuum in the state party that had left rank-and-file Republicans demoralized and ideologically adrift. “We have to get our act together as a party,” he said. “We have to stand for more. We have to come up with an agenda.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
INDIANA: Tolls to Double without Electronic Passes
ARIZONA/FLORIDA: States, Cities Slug it Out for Spring-Training Bounty
NEW YORK STATE: Prosecutors Considered Indicting Spitzer
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala.: County Gets Breather on $53 Million Payment
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas: Ex-D.A. Found in Contempt for E-Mail Deletions

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Monday, March 31, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2008 – 2:04 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Treasury Secretary Outlines Blueprint for Regulatory Overhaul
  • Supreme Court Refuses to Review Documents Fight in Rep. Jefferson’s Case
  • HUD Secretary Jackson Resigns Amid Allegations of Cronyism
  • Senators Want Emergency Money for State and Local Cops
  • Comment Period on Farm Worker Visa Proposal Is Extended
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Today in Washington

The House  reconvenes after two-week recess; considers wildlife and land-use bills under suspension of the rules.

The Senate  reconvenes after two-week recess, for speeches only.

The President  departs for Ukraine, first stop on a trip built around the NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania.

In Washington,  Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters and Australian Ambassador to the U.S. Dennis Richardson sign a landmark open-skies aviation agreement that will eliminate restrictions on U.S.-Australia air services for carriers from both countries. The signing will be witnessed by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Michael Rudd. 3:30 p.m., Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. S.E.

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Top Stories

Treasury Secretary Outlines Blueprint for Regulatory Overhaul

Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. on Monday launched the administration’s efforts to transform the financial regulatory system, declaring the current approach outdated and ripe for change.  [Read More]

Supreme Court Refuses to Review Documents Fight in Rep. Jefferson’s Case

The Supreme Court on Monday let stand an appeals court ruling ordering federal prosecutors to return documents seized in an FBI raid on the Capitol Hill office of Rep. William J. Jefferson, D-La.  [Read More]

HUD Secretary Jackson Resigns Amid Allegations of Cronyism

Under pressure from key congressional leaders, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson resigned Monday, saying he needed to attend to “personal and family matters.”  [Read More]

Senators Want Emergency Money for State and Local Cops

A bipartisan group of senators Monday proposed adding $489.6 million to the next supplemental spending bill for assistance to state and local law enforcement agencies.  [Read More]

Comment Period on Farm Worker Visa Proposal Is Extended

The Labor Department on Monday granted a two-week extension in the comment period for a proposed overhaul of the migrant farm worker visa program.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Newark Star-Ledger reports that Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., was to announce his re-election bid Monday as two potential Democratic primary challengers emerged. Former Democratic state Chairman Tom Byrne, son of former governor Brendan Byrne, said last week he is considering entering the race. “The question in my mind is whether people want a change,” Byrne said. And supporters of Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello were gathering petition signatures to get him on the ballot. Meanwhile, John Crowley, president of Amicus Therapeutics, said he would not seek the Republican nomination, leaving three candidates in the race: state Sen. Joseph Pennacchio, Ramapo College professor Murray Sabrin and businessman Andy Unanue.

The Indianapolis Star reports that Rep. Andre Carson’s Muslim faith could be an obstacle as he seeks support in the May 6 Democratic primary for a full two-year term in Indiana’s 7th District. Many black ministers who once unified behind Carson’s grandmother, former Rep. Julia Carson, are holding back on endorsements or have endorsed other candidates. And Carson’s primary opponents are aggressively courting black churches and their members. “Generally, you are able to determine long before this stage in the campaign where many of the black churches are coming down,” said Rozelle Boyd, a former City-County Council member and longtime leader among black Democrats. “But that has not been the case in this situation.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
INDIANA: Tolls to Double without Electronic Passes
ARIZONA/FLORIDA: States, Cities Slug it Out for Spring-Training Bounty
NEW YORK STATE: Prosecutors Considered Indicting Spitzer
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala.: County Gets Breather on $53 Million Payment
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas: Ex-D.A. Found in Contempt for E-Mail Deletions

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