Friday, May 09, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, MAY 9, 2008 – 1:43 P.M.

In This Issue

  • War Supplemental, Farm Bill Top Next Week’s Agenda
  • Senate GOP Wants Health Care Provisions Dropped from Supplemental
  • Regula May Be Leaving, but McKinley Won’t Be Going with Him
  • Political Trivia for May 9
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; reconvenes for legislative business at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The Senate is not in session; reconvenes Monday at 2 p.m.

The President is in Crawford, Texas preparing for the wedding of his daughter, Jenna, to Henry Hager of Virginia on Saturday evening.

In Washington, The School of Advanced International Studies holds a discussion on “Imagining India,” with Nandan Nilekana, co-chairman of the board of Infosys Technologies Limited. 5 p.m., Kenney Auditorium, 1740 Masachusetts Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

War Supplemental, Farm Bill Top Next Week’s Agenda

House Democratic leaders will try again next week to move a war supplemental spending package that their own conservative Blue Dogs have stalled.  [Read More]

Senate GOP Wants Health Care Provisions Dropped from Supplemental

Senate Republicans are pushing to remove Medicare and Medicaid provisions from a supplemental war spending bill, but so far they have been rebuffed by Democrats.  [Read More]

Regula May Be Leaving, but McKinley Won’t Be Going with Him

Congress’ leading defender of President William McKinley is retiring, but he has recruited another lawmaker to carry on his effort to keep America’s tallest mountain named after the 25th president.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for May 9

Which presidential candidate got a key primary win in West Virginia?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that six-term Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, “is staring down the barrel of the most serious challenge of his political career” as Utah Republicans convene tomorrow to pick their favorite in the 3rd Congressional District. Cannon is being challenged by David Leavitt, the former Juab County attorney and brother of Mike Leavitt, former Utah governor and current Health and Human Services secretary; and Jason Chaffetz, the former chief of staff to Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. It is the first time that Cannon has been confronted with well-financed and politically experienced candidates. If no candidate wins 60 percent of the delegates after two ballots, the top two will square off in a June primary election.

The Lafayette Daily Advertiser reports that three black Louisiana state lawmakers “say they are weighing whether to run” for three U.S. House seats this fall as independents, a move that could splinter Democratic support in the races. State Sens. Don Cravins Jr. and Lydia Jackson and state Rep. Michael Jackson say the state and national Democratic parties have failed to recruit and support black candidates to run for federal and statewide offices.” Cravins said he might run as an independent in the 7th Distrct, now held by GOP Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. Michael Jackson, a Baton Rouge Democrat, might challenge newly elected Democrat Don Cazayoux in the 6th District, while Lydia Jackson of Shreveport said she is weighing a run for the 4th District seat of retiring GOP Rep. Jim McCrery.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE WEST: Eight States Block Nuclear Waste from Italy
NEW YORK STATE: A.G.: Close Public Colleges to Illegal Immigrants
WASHINGTON, D.C., Region: Transit Chief: Delay Upgrades for Urgent Fixes
COOK COUNTY, Ill.: Judge Orders Private Guards for Juvenile Jail
CHARLESTON, S.C.: Lack of Water Cited in Deaths of 9 Firefighters
ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa.: Former Coroner's Retrial on Hold

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, MAY 8, 2008 – 1:48 P.M.

In This Issue

  • With Democrats Divided, Senate Panel Delays Vote on War Supplemental
  • Obama Seeks Superdelegate Votes on House Floor
  • House Passes Housing Bill, Moves To Debate On Larger Housing Package
  • House Authorizes Use of Cheaper Metals in Coins
  • Rep. Fossella Faces Growing Pressure to Resign
  • Political Trivia for May 8
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Today in Washington

The House considers two bills to address the mortgage crisis and housing slump.

The Senate continues work on a bill to overhaul the federal flood insurance program.

The President departs for his ranch at Crawford, Texas, to prepare for Saturday evening’s wedding of his daughter Jenna to Henry Hager, son of the chairman of the Virginia Republican Party.

In Washington, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. speaks to the International Conference on Financial Education. 5:30 p.m., Organization of American States, 17th St. and Constitution Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

With Democrats Divided, Senate Panel Delays Vote on War Supplemental

The Senate Appropriations Committee postponed its scheduled Thursday markup of this year’s war supplemental spending bill, after the House delayed floor consideration of the legislation until next week.  [Read More]

Obama Seeks Superdelegate Votes on House Floor

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., took his campaign for presidential superdelegate votes to the House floor Thursday, triggering complaints from some supporters of rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.  [Read More]

House Passes Housing Bill, Moves To Debate On Larger Housing Package

The House passed a bill Thursday aimed at easing the foreclosure burden on cities and states, while a much larger housing package was expected to move later in the day.  [Read More]

House Authorizes Use of Cheaper Metals in Coins

The House passed legislation Thursday to change the composition of pennies and nickels, addressing dramatic rises in metal prices that have made the coins more expensive to produce than their face value.  [Read More]

Rep. Fossella Faces Growing Pressure to Resign

Embattled Rep. Vito J. Fossella, R-N.Y., was under growing pressure Thursday to resign after admitting he had fathered a 3-year-old daughter out of wedlock.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for May 8

When was the last time Massachusetts elected a Republican senator?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Albany Times Union reports that Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings made clear Wednesday that he has no interest in seeking the House seat being vacated by Rep. Michael R. McNulty, D-N.Y. “Am I considering a run for Congress? No. I sleep faster than they work there,” Jennings, a Democrat said. At least seven other Democrats and two Republicans have entered the race.

The Savannah Morning News reports that Republican House candidate John Stone’s residency has become an issue in the race for the party’s nomination in Georgia’s 12th District. Stone has been registered to vote since 1997 in Warrenton, Va., where he lived while working as a congressional aide, and lives four blocks from the district line in Augusta, Ga. Stone’s GOP rival, Ray McKinney, raised the issue. The two men are vying for the right to challenge Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MICHIIGAN: Court Prohibits Benefits for Gay Public Employees' Partners
NORTH CAROLINA: A.G.: Close Public Colleges to Illegal Immigrants
WASHINGTON STATE: Tree-Farm Purchase to Conserve 1,000 Acres
DENVER: Supporters: School Pension Merger Would Save Millions
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Deal Conserves Wilderness, Allows 26,000 Homes

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, MAY 7, 2008 – 1:51 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Bush Says He Would Veto House Bill Aimed at Easing Mortgage Crisis
  • Bipartisan War Funding Plan Breaks With President’s Request
  • Bush Huddles With Agriculture Secretary on Farm Programs
  • House Panels Tweak Bush Defense Priorities
  • Flood Bill Debate Starts, Stalls In Senate
  • Political Trivia for May 7
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Today in Washington

The House considers two measures intended to alleviate the mortgage crisis and housing slump.

The Senate considers legislation to overhaul the national flood insurance program.

The President signs legislation to shore up the student loan market; meets with House Republicans; makes remarks to the Council of the Americas.

In Washington, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation holds its 11th Annual Spirit of Democracy Awards Dinner honoring Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y.; Roland S. Martin, radio host and commentator; Sheryl Lee Ralph, actress; Bev Smith, host of American Urban Radio Network’s “The Bev Smith Show,” and others. 6:30 p.m., Renaissance Washington Hotel, 999 9th St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Bush Says He Would Veto House Bill Aimed at Easing Mortgage Crisis

President Bush on Wednesday underscored his threat to veto major legislation designed to address the housing and mortgage crisis, even as the House was working to pass the measure later in the day.  [Read More]

Bipartisan War Funding Plan Breaks With President’s Request

The House’s version of the supplemental spending bill contains military funding for fiscal 2008 and 2009 that diverges sharply from the administration’s request, according to the office of John P. Murtha, D-Pa.  [Read More]

Bush Huddles With Agriculture Secretary on Farm Programs

President Bush and Agriculture Department Secretary Ed Schafer were discussing the farm bill Wednesday, as lawmakers sought to nail down a final deal.  [Read More]

House Panels Tweak Bush Defense Priorities

House Armed Services subcommittees Wednesday voted to propose a significant pay raise for U.S. troops and made drastic modifications to President Bush’s final budget for investing in Army and Air Force weapons.  [Read More]

Flood Bill Debate Starts, Stalls In Senate

The Senate began debate on an overhaul of the national flood insurance program Wednesday — but then immediately veered off topic.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for May 7

In a May 2000 poll by the New York Times/CBS, what was the gap between George W. Bush and Al Gore?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Idaho Statesman reports that for more than an hour Tuesday motorists lined up at a Boise gas station to buy cheap fuel subsidized by 1st District Democratic congressional candidate Walt Minnick’s campaign. “Minnick...said he was bringing attention to high gas prices. His Republican rivals panned the event as a “publicity stunt,” the newspaper reports. For an hour, Minnick offered motorists gas for $2.26 per gallon, $1.33 less than the posted price. “I’m trying to get the attention of the media to let them know that Idahoans are extremely unhappy” about gas prices, Minnick said. Republican incumbent Rep. Bill Sali’s spokesman Wayne Hoffman said, “Radical environmentalists like Walt Minnick are directly responsible for the environmental policies that have given us high gas prices.” Minnick’s plan for improving gas prices is to invest more in alternative energy like wind, solar, and biofuels that don’t drive up food prices.

The Annapolis Capital (MD) reports that political action committees (PACs) played a large financial role in the February primary election defeat of nine-term U.S. Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, R-Md. About $1 million was used by PACs for independent expenditures in the 1st District, according to Federal Election Commission records. “For perspective, that number is equivalent to a quarter of the $4 million raised by the seven Republicans and the four Democrats on their own,” the newspaper reports. “The money helps illustrate a quirk in federal campaign laws that allows such groups - which don’t have to be based in the district of a race - to spend unlimited cash for or against candidates as long their activities are not directly coordinated with the politicians.” More than $720,000 was spent by the Club for Growth in support of Republican nominee and State Sen. Andy Harris. “We were pretty influential,” said Nachama Soloveichik, the communications director for the Club for Growth. “What makes it amazing is incumbents are hard to unseat.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
VALLEJO, Calif.: City to Declare Bankruptcy
LOS ANGELES: New Rules Limit 'Mansionization'
DETROIT: City Water Chief Leaving for Florida
WASHINGTON State: 'Flawed' Child-Welfare Agency Closes
GEORGIA: Execution Ends Lethal-Injection Moratorium
CALIFORNIA: $227 Million in Stem Cell Grants to Be Awarded

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, MAY 6, 2008 – 2:35 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Democrats Unveil War Supplemental Plans
  • Farm Bill Conferees Resume Closed-Door Talks
  • Immigration Tensions Evident at Hearing Called to Ease Them
  • FAA Bill Likely to Fall Victim to Partisan Impasse
  • Political Trivia for May 6
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Today in Washington

The House considers several measures under suspension of the rules, including bills on coins, immigration, copyrights and the African National Congress.

The Senate holds votes seeking to limit debate on the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization measure and a flood insurance bill.

The President makes remarks commemorating Military Spouse Day; later meets with the Panamanian President Martin Torrijos.

In Washington,  the Peterson Institute for International Economics hosts a presention on “The U.S. Trade Agenda” by U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab. 4 p.m., 1750 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Democrats Unveil War Supplemental Plans

House Democratic leaders outlined a war supplemental spending plan to their rank and file Tuesday that will give members a chance to vote separately on Iraq policy riders and various spending add-ons.  [Read More]

Farm Bill Conferees Resume Closed-Door Talks

Conferees planned to meet behind closed doors Tuesday in an effort to hash out the remaining controversial provisions in their five-year farm bill.  [Read More]

Immigration Tensions Evident at Hearing Called to Ease Them

A House hearing Tuesday did little to relieve the tension between lawmakers on both sides of the immigration debate, merely spotlighting differences over a system to verify the legal status of workers and job applicants.  [Read More]

FAA Bill Likely to Fall Victim to Partisan Impasse

A major aviation policy overhaul was likely to be pulled from the Senate floor Tuesday if an attempt to limit debate on it fails.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for May 6

North Carolina’s Web site doesn’t claim credit for which of the following?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., “ripped into” Rep. Robert E. Andrews, D-N.J., Monday “saying he won’t take much pleasure in debating Andrews because his Democratic primary opponent’s behavior is ‘contemptuous’.” Lautenberg told the daily’s editorial board that Andrews “isn’t someone, in my view, who likes to keep his word,” after Andrews decided to run against him after pledging his support for Lautenberg’s campaign. The daily said Andrews’ supporters are “wondering aloud” if Lautenberg “is dodging the debate issue” until the June 3 primary election is over.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that some observers are skeptical of a new Rasmussen Reports poll showing Democratic state Rep. Rick Noriega within striking distance of incumbent Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. The poll of 500 likely voters found that 47 percent chose Cornyn and 43 percent chose Noriega, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Rasmussen said on its website that an “incumbent who polls below 50 percent is considered potentially vulnerable.”

The Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C., reports that two Democrats have ignored long odds and are seeking their party’s nomination for the Senate. The daily said lawyer Michael Cone and flight trainer Bob Conley “can be considered really, really long shots” who have little money or name recognition. Incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also faces a primary challenge from Buddy Witherspoon.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
DETROIT: Report: Council Can Remove Mayor
BOSTON Region: 'Scary' Gas Prices Bring Transit-Rider Surge
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas: Sheriff: Send 1,130 Inmates to Louisiana
FLORIDA: University to Lay Off Faculty, Cut Enrollment

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Monday, May 05, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, MAY 5, 2008 – 2:15 P.M.

In This Issue

  • GOP Senators Want Waiver of Biofuels Mandate
  • Lawmakers Seek Time for Final Push on Higher Education Act Overhaul
  • Waxman Raises Concerns Over Medicaid Cuts
  • Court Hears Appeal of Campaign Finance Rules
  • House To Pass Home Leave in U.S. Territories For Foreign Service Officers
  • Political Trivia for May 5
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Today in Washington

The House considers a number of measures under suspension of the rules, including an extension through May 31 of the Higher Education Act.

The Senate is not in session; reconvenes at 10 a.m. Tuesday to resume consideration of an aviation policy bill.

The President hosts a social dinner for the Cinco de Mayo holiday honoring Mexico’s traditions and heritage.

In Washington, the Center for Community Change holds its 40th anniversary gala marking the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy’s legacy and honoring former Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, D-Md., Maryland 4th District Democratic candidate Donna Edwards and others. 6:30 p.m., Mellon Auditorium, 1301 Constitution Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

GOP Senators Want Waiver of Biofuels Mandate

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee John McCain of Arizona and 23 other Republican senators have asked EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson to consider waiving a requirement in last year’s energy law mandating a fivefold increase in U.S. biofuel production.  [Read More]

Lawmakers Seek Time for Final Push on Higher Education Act Overhaul

Now that they’ve sent President Bush a bill to shore up the imperiled student loan system, lawmakers are ready to return their attention to a long-delayed overhaul of the entire Higher Education Act.  [Read More]

Waxman Raises Concerns Over Medicaid Cuts

New Bush administration Medicaid regulations could degrade the ability of hospitals to respond to a terrorist attack, the chairman of a House panel said Monday.  [Read More]

Court Hears Appeal of Campaign Finance Rules

Election lawyers tangled in a federal appeals court Monday over a handful of regulations that remain incomplete six years after Congress approved a landmark campaign-law overhaul.  [Read More]

House To Pass Home Leave in U.S. Territories For Foreign Service Officers

The House on Monday was expected to pass legislation to allow Foreign Service personnel to take a break from overseas postings in the U.S. territories as well as the United States proper.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for May 5

Before Saturday, when was the Democrats’ last Southern House special election takeover?  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
SAN DIEGO: Bombing Targets Federal Courthouse
VALLEJO, Calif.: City Manager: Declare Bankruptcy
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Convention Chief Quits after Stormy Tenure
HOUSTON: State Backs Plants in City Air-Pollution Fight
OHIO: A.G. Refuses to Resign in Sex Scandal
THE NATION: Executions to Resume in Six States
MINNESOTA: State Footed Bills for Game Wardens' Conference
MICHIGAN: New Tax Incentives Reeling in Film Projects

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Political Clippings

The Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader reports that the number of registered Republicans in Pennsylvania’s 10th District “has dropped below the 50 per cent mark for the first time in decades,” to 48.7 percent. “The shift, reflected in the latest registration totals for the district, is significant since the district was redrawn in 2000 to heavily favor Republicans who have held the seat for 54 of the last 58 years.” Democratic registration has climbed by about 2 percent since 2006, to 40.5 percent of the registered voters. Third-party or independent voters also increased by nearly 2 percent, to 10.8 percent. The latest registration figures are good news for freshman. Rep. Christopher Carney, D-Pa., who will face Republican Chris Hackett in November, the paper noted.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that with just a month to go before the state party convention, Minnesota Democrats “are closely scrutinizing the electability” of comedian Al Franken versus college professor Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer. Franken has “money and name power but has been nicked by stories about insurance and tax mistakes involving his business interests.” Nelson-Pallmeyer’s “popularity exceeds his resources.”

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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.
GENETIC DISCRIMINATION: House clears measure that would prevent discrimination based on genetic information.
MEDICAID: Battle continues over legislation to place moratorium on Bush Administration’s proposed Medicaid regulations.
VETERANS: House panel approves veterans’ substance abuse treatment legislation. | Read the online report | Health on the Hill audio links

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