Friday, May 23, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, MAY 23, 2008 – 1:58 P.M.

In This Issue

  • E.U. Ambassador Blasts Provision in Defense Policy Bill
  • With 2009 in Mind, Senators Plan Health Policy Summit
  • Campaign Reports Reveal More Mishandled Money
  • Political Trivia for May 23
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Today in Washington

The House  is not in session; reconvenes June 3 at 2 p.m.

The Senate meets in a pro forma session; reconvenes for legislative business June 2 at 2 p.m.

The President speaks on World Trade Week at the White House.

In Washington, Rolling Thunder kicks off Memorial Day weekend of events at the evening parade at the Marine Corps barracks, 8th and I Sts. SE, 8:45 p.m., and candlelight vigil at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 9 p.m.

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Top Stories

E.U. Ambassador Blasts Provision in Defense Policy Bill

The European Union’s ambassador to the United States on Friday decried as “dangerous” House-passed legislation to bar Pentagon contracts with certain companies that have foreign ties.  [Read More]

With 2009 in Mind, Senators Plan Health Policy Summit

The Senate Finance Committee, looking ahead to one of the most pressing issues that will face the next president and Congress, announced plans Friday for a bipartisan, bicameral health policy “summit” next month.  [Read More]

Campaign Reports Reveal More Mishandled Money

As the FBI continues its investigation of six-figure losses at the National Republican Congressional Committee, new disclosure reports are shedding light on more widespread wrongdoing.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for May 23

When was the last time New York’s 21st District included part of New York City?  [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 Kingston Daily Freeman reports that former Rep. Joseph DioGuardi, R-N.Y., “is the latest to announce that he wants to challenge incumbent Rep. John Hall,” a freshman Democrat representing the 19th District in November. DioGuardi, who served in Congress from 1985 to 1989, has sent a letter to all 1,100 Republican committee people in the five-county 19th Congressional District announcing that he is a candidate. Two other Republicans want to challenge Hall -- Kieran Lalor and Westchester County Legislator George Oros. “DioGuardi said he will not officially announce his candidacy until all five county committees endorse him as their candidate,” but he has already contributed $50,000 and loaned another $300,000 to his campaign.

The Staten Island Advance reports that “two potential heavyweight candidates in the race to replace” scandal-plagued Rep. Vito J. Fossella, have withdrawn their names from consideration. GOP District Attorney Daniel Donovan and state Sen. Diane Savino announced Thursday they won’t seek their party’s nomination. Both said they preferred to remain in their current positions. Donovan had been seen as one of the GOP’s strongest potential contenders for the seat, the only one in New York City held by a Republican.

According to the Casper Star-Tribune, Democrat Gary Trauner, who narrowly lost to GOP Rep. Barbara Cubin, R-Wyo., in 2006, formally filed Thursday to seek the seat again this year. He is the only Democrat to do so thus far; the filing deadline is May 30. Cubin is retiring. Republicans seeking to succeed her include “former state treasurer and rancher Cynthia Lummis, Sheridan County businessman and rancher Mark Gordon, retired Navy captain Bill Winney of Bondurant and Green River physician Michael Holland.” Trauner voiced confidence he can defeat any of the potential GOP nominees, despite Wyoming’s strong Republican voting history.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
TEXAS: Court: State Had No Right to Seize Sect Children
GEORGIA: State Cuts Employee Health-Care Providers
CHICAGO: Prosecutors: Bribed Building Inspectors Ignored Problems
WASHINGTON, D.C.: A.G. fires 10 Lawyers, Manager
PHOENIX: Police Widen Immigration Enforcement
DETROIT: Budget Plan Omits Tunnel Sale

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, MAY 22, 2008 – 3:03 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Sends Pared-Down War Supplemental Back to the House
  • Congress Enacts Incomplete Farm Bill Over Bush Veto
  • Petraeus Expects More Troop Withdrawals After Summer Assessment
  • White House Threatens Veto of Defense Authorization Bill
  • HUD Nominee Seems Headed for Confirmation
  • Political Trivia for May 22
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Today in Washington

The House will take up some version of the farm bill again under a different number; also considers the defense authorization bill.

The Senate votes on emergency supplemental spending, structured as amendments to a House bill serving as the vehicle; also may vote on farm bill.

The President visits Fort Bragg, N.C.

In Washington, John Updike, Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist and critic, will deliver the 37th National Endowment for the Humanities 2008 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities: “The Clarity of Things: What Is American About American Art?” 7:30 p.m., 1299 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate Sends Pared-Down War Supplemental Back to the House

The Senate sent a supplemental war-spending bill back to the House on Thursday with more than $165 billion in war spending, expanded veterans education benefits and a host of domestic spending.  [Read More]

Congress Enacts Incomplete Farm Bill Over Bush Veto

The Senate on Thursday overrode President Bush’s veto of what turned out to be an incomplete five-year farm bill, enacting the measure into law.  [Read More]

Petraeus Expects More Troop Withdrawals After Summer Assessment

The top U.S. commander in Iraq said Thursday he is likely to call for further troop reductions after a 45-day pause at the end of July.  [Read More]

White House Threatens Veto of Defense Authorization Bill

The House was moving toward passage of a $601.4 billion defense authorization bill Thursday, brushing aside a veto threat that targeted 10 separate provisions.  [Read More]

HUD Nominee Seems Headed for Confirmation

Just two days after approving landmark legislation aimed at easing the housing crisis, a Senate panel gave every indication that it will act quickly on President Bush’s pick to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for May 22

What member of Congress is a direct descendent of Benjamin Franklin?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Long Beach Press-Telegram reports that Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Calif., who won a House special election last year, “lost her Sacramento home in a foreclosure auction two weeks ago, and left behind nearly $9,000 in unpaid property taxes.” The congresswoman, the paper said, “appears to have made only a few payments on the house, which she bought in January 2007 for $535,000.” During her campaign for the House, Richardson made “$77,500 in personal loans to her own campaign. Around the same time, she stopped making payments on the Sacramento house.” In a statement, Richardson denied that the home was seized by the bank, saying she was working to renegotiate her mortgage.

According to the Deseret News, Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, “is in a fight for his political life, a new poll shows.” Cannon leads his GOP primary opponent, Jason Chaffetz, by just 39 percent to 37 percent, according to a survey conducted for the Deseret News and KSL-TV on May 13-19. “Those results are within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 7 percent.” However, when only likely 3rd District GOP voters were counted, “Cannon leads Chaffetz 49-34 percent,” the paper said.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
OREGON: Court Upholds Gay-Marriage Ban
ALASKA: State to Sue over Polar Bear Protection
TEXAS: Child Agency Tries to Search Polygamist Ranch
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA: Air Regulators Impose CO2 Fees
CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio: 56 Auditor's Hires Skipped Felony Question
MINNEAPOLIS: Study: State Missed Chances to Fix Bridge before Collapse
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Bank Manager Pleads Guilty in Tax-Office Scam

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 2008 – 2:02 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House to Vote First on Override of Farm Bill Veto
  • House Moving to Extend Tax Breaks for Individuals, Businesses
  • Senate Democrats Will Move Their Own Medicare Payment Bill in June
  • Boehner To Take More Active Role in House GOP Campaign Efforts
  • Sen. Kennedy Released From Hospital
  • Political Trivia for May 21
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Today in Washington

The House considers a bill to extend expired and expiring tax provisions, the conference report on the fiscal 2009 budget resolution and the annual defense authorization bill.

The Senate continues debate on the war supplemental spending bill; may consider the budget resolution.

The President meets with the national commander in chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars; makes remarks on Cuba, meets with the Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon, and signs the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.

In Washington, the U.S. Dream Academy holds its 10th Anniversary Gala featuring Grammy and Tony Award-winning Broadway performer Jennifer Holliday, comedian and actor Chris Tucker, Grammy Award-winning singer Peabo Bryson, Grammy Award-nominated Hip Hop artist Keyshia Cole, and U.S. Dream Academy founder and Grammy Award-nominated Gospel singer Wintley Phipps. 7:15 p.m., Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 1150 22nd St. N.W.

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Top Stories

House to Vote First on Override of Farm Bill Veto

The House is likely to make an effort Wednesday to override President Bush’s veto of the farm bill.  [Read More]

House Moving to Extend Tax Breaks for Individuals, Businesses

The House was moving toward passage Wednesday of a bill that would revive or extend about $55.5 billion in tax breaks for individuals and businesses for one year.  [Read More]

Senate Democrats Will Move Their Own Medicare Payment Bill in June

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., unable to nail down a bipartisan bill to block a scheduled reduction in Medicare payments to physicians, has decided to proceed without GOP support.  [Read More]

Boehner To Take More Active Role in House GOP Campaign Efforts

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, reacting to unrest within his caucus over a string of special election losses and tough prospects for November, said Wednesday he will name two members to conduct a “performance audit’’ of the party’s recent losing campaigns.  [Read More]

Sen. Kennedy Released From Hospital

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was released from a Boston hospital Wednesday morning, one day after doctors announced that he has a malignant brain tumor.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for May 21

What year produced the highest turnout in presidential primaries?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that most Minnesotans — 54 percent — approve of the job GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty is doing and “wont be influenced one way or another in their presidential voting if he ends up as John McCain’s running mate.” Pawlenty’s approval rating is in “the same general range” it has been since he started his first term in 2003, the paper said. But it’s down 5 percentage points from last fall, and “his current 37 percent disapproval rating is the highest ever.” The poll of 1,203 adults was taken last week, at a time when Pawlenty was often being mentioned as a potential McCain running mate.

The Denver Post reports that the campaign of Democrat Betsy Markey conducted a poll of 400 likely district voters between May 13-15 and found her leading 4th District Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., 43 percent to 36 percent. The internal poll had a margin of error of 4.9 percent. Markey is a former aide to Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo. Democrats have been heartened by recent GOP setbacks in three special elections. Musgrave was first elected to serve the GOP stronghold in 2002. In 2006 she won re-election by only 3 percentage points. But Musgrave supporters challenged the poll’s results. “Guy Short, Musgrave’s chief of staff, said a poll done by the Musgrave camp in March showed her leading 47 percent to 42 percent,” the newspaper reports.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: Dozens of Cities Losing Air Service
ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa.: Drink Tax, Streamlining Cited in Debt Upgrade
INDIANAPOLIS: City Wins 2012 Super Bowl
CHICAGO: City Sues to Collect Ticket Tax from Online Sellers
VIRGINIA: Late-Term Abortion Ban Again Ruled Unconstitutional
CALIFORNIA: Governor: Gay Marriage Can Help State's Economy
NEW YORK STATE: Governor Has Eye Surgery

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, MAY 20, 2008 – 2:06 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Sen. Kennedy Has Malignant Brain Tumor
  • House-Senate Disputes Still Hang Over Housing Package
  • War Funding Extension Likely To Be Needed as Debate Rages on Supplemental
  • New Global Warming Measure Would Provide Tax Relief to Consumers
  • NASA Reauthorization Approved by House Panel
  • Fossella to Retire at End of This Congress
  • Political Trivia for May 20
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Today in Washington

The House  considers several veterans’ bills, measures to extend the Small Business Administration’s authorization and the Higher Education Act, and legislation to grant tax breaks to military personnel.

The Senate votes on confirmation of G. Steven Agee, nominated for a seat on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and begins consideration of the war supplemental spending bill.

The President speaks at World Trade Week.

In Washington, the World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C., presents an Author Series Event with Sir Lawrence Freedman, who discusses his new book, “A Choice of Enemies: America Confronts the Middle East.” 6:30 p.m., 1800 K St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Sen. Kennedy Has Malignant Brain Tumor

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., hospitalized Saturday after suffering a seizure at his home on Cape Cod, has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.  [Read More]

House-Senate Disputes Still Hang Over Housing Package

As a sweeping housing measure was approved by a Senate committee Tuesday, key House and Senate lawmakers were already preparing to continue negotiations over a provision that divides the chambers.  [Read More]

War Funding Extension Likely To Be Needed as Debate Rages on Supplemental

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that Congress likely would need to pass a one-month extension of war spending as the Senate and House wrestle to come up with a longer-term spending bill that both will support.  [Read More]

New Global Warming Measure Would Provide Tax Relief to Consumers

A new version of Senate global warming legislation would provide billions of dollars in tax relief to help consumers pay their energy bills, in an apparent attempt to blunt criticism that the bill would harm the economy.  [Read More]

NASA Reauthorization Approved by House Panel

A bill that would continue the Bush administration’s plan to retire the space shuttle fleet by 2010 and build a new spaceship to carry astronauts beyond Earth’s orbit was approved Tuesday by a House panel.  [Read More]

Fossella to Retire at End of This Congress

Embattled Rep. Vito J. Fossella, R-N.Y., whose personal conduct plunged him into scandal this month, has decided to retire rather than seek re-election this year.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for May 20

How many states, combined, did Democratic nominees Humphrey, McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis and Kerry win?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Evansville Courier & Press reports that Greg Goode — the 35-year-old Republican who is challenging freshman incumbent Democrat Brad Ellsworth for Indiana’s 8th District seat — is seriously behind in the fundraising race. “Federal Election Commission reports indicate Goode’s campaign had just $43,480 on hand as of April 16, compared to Ellsworth’s $715,526,” the paper reports. “At the same point in his successful 2006 campaign to unseat then-Rep. John Hostettler, R-Ind., Ellsworth had $533,481 to spend.” The district has been known as the “Bloody Eighth” for its aggressive and close congressional races.

The Boston Globe reports that Republican Jim Ogonowski, who has the support of key Massachusetts GOP figures in his bid to challenge Democratic Sen. John Kerry, “could be in danger of stumbling on his first crucial test: collecting 10,000 voter signatures to secure a spot on the GOP primary ballot.” Another Republican, Jeff Beatty, has more than 17,000 signatures, the newspaper reports. “With all the signatures submitted by the campaigns and the exhaustive certification process winding down, Ogonowski still needs at least 259 certified signatures to qualify for the September primary,” the paper says. Ogonowski’s supporters include former Govs. Mitt Romney and Paul Cellucci.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
DETROIT: Tunnel Sale Looks Dead for Now
LAFAYETTE, La.: Residents Return After Acid Spill
NEW YORK CITY Region: Feds Move to Ease Air Congestion
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Police to Get Semiautomatic Rifles
NEW ENGLAND: Red Tide Spreading Along Coast
FLORIDA: State Lifts Brief Allstate Ban

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Monday, May 19, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, MAY 19, 2008 – 2:06 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Drops Labor Bill, Turns to War Spending Measure
  • Spending Bill Would Boost Aid for Digital TV Transition
  • House Takes Aim at OPEC in Latest Effort To Curb Oil Prices
  • Political Trivia for May 19
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Today in Washington

The House considers dozens of measures under suspension of the rules, including a bill to allow the federal government to bring antitrust suits against OPEC.

The Senate is preparing to begin debate on the war supplemental spending bill; speeches only today.

The President meets with Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.

In Washington, the Wildlife Conservation Society holds a panel discussion on the role of conservation as diplomacy, with Steven Sanderson of the society, others. 6 p.m., Pew Charitable Trusts, 1025 F St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate Drops Labor Bill, Turns to War Spending Measure

The Senate is slated to start work on an emergency war supplemental spending bill Tuesday, after setting aside a labor bill that dominated floor action for three days last week.  [Read More]

Spending Bill Would Boost Aid for Digital TV Transition

Federal plans for the 2009 transition to digital television would be slightly tweaked under language affixed to the Senate version of the war supplemental spending bill.  [Read More]

House Takes Aim at OPEC in Latest Effort To Curb Oil Prices

With oil prices hitting new highs almost daily, the House was scheduled to take up legislation Monday intended to make cartels such as OPEC illegal.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for May 19

When did Kentucky hold its first presidential primary?  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
DETROIT: Tunnel Sale Looks Dead for Now
LAFAYETTE, La.: Residents Return After Acid Spill
NEW YORK CITY Region: Feds Move to Ease Air Congestion
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Police to Get Semiautomatic Rifles
NEW ENGLAND: Red Tide Spreading Along Coast
FLORIDA: State Lifts Brief Allstate Ban

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Political Clippings

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Republican Sen. Norm Coleman holds a 51 percent to 44 percent lead over comedian Al Franken, his Democratic challenger, “who appears to have been weakened by his recent tax problems.” The paper’s new poll also shows trial lawyer Mike Ciresi, who dropped out in March due to lack of support from Democratic delegates, “runs just about as strong against Coleman as Franken does.” But Coleman holds a 15-point lead over lesser-known Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, Franken’s competitor at the party’s June endorsing convention. Coleman “still shows some potential vulnerabilities, with a 45 percent overall job approval rating among all Minnesota adults in the poll.”

According to the Stockton Record, “San Joaquin County and the Mother Lode will see congressional races ranging from spectacular to soporific this fall. None of the candidates have opposition in the June 3 primary, and Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif., has no Republican opponent for November. But incumbent Rep. Dan Lungren, a Republican, and Jerry McNerny, a Democrat, face competitive challengers in the fall. Democrat Bill Durston, “lost handily to Lungren in 2006, but the 3rd District ... has been trending toward the Democrats ever since.” McNerny upset former GOP Rep. Richard Pombo in 2006 but now faces of “one of the toughest re-election contests in the nation,” against Lincoln School Board member Dean Andal of Stockton. Both candidates are well-funded and outside groups are jumping in as well. The 11th District leans Republican.

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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.
SCHIP: Government agencies criticize administration’s prior guidance governing state expansion of coverage under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: Deal reached on privacy language in Senate health information technology measure.
FDA: Food and Drug Administration chief tells Congress how much funding the agency needs to better protect the nation’s health.| Read the online report | Health on the Hill audio links

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