Friday, June 06, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, JUNE 6, 2008 – 1:51 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Jobless Rate Brings Calls for Inclusion of Extended Benefits in Supplemental
  • Senate’s Global Warming Debate Blocked
  • Senators Want Probe of SBA Lender Oversight
  • Feinstein Hosts Obama-Clinton Peacemaking Session
  • Political Trivia for June 6
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Today in Washington

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

The Senate fails to limit debate on a climate change bill.

The President participates in a meeting on China earthquake relief efforts at the American Red Cross National Headquarters; participates in the ceremonial swearing in for new HUD Secretary Steven C. Preston.

In Washington, the American Association of University Women continues the 2008 National Conference for College women Student Leaders. All day, various locations on the Georgetown University campus.

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Top Stories

Jobless Rate Brings Calls for Inclusion of Extended Benefits in Supplemental

The worsening unemployment picture Friday intensified debate over whether Democrats should challenge President Bush by including an extension of jobless benefits in the war spending bill.  [Read More]

Senate’s Global Warming Debate Blocked

The Senate’s long-touted debate over legislation to combat global warming fizzled Friday before it ever really got started.  [Read More]

Senators Want Probe of SBA Lender Oversight

Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine, are calling for an investigation of lender oversight at the Small Business Administration after an inspector general’s report showed poor oversight led to a loss of $329 million.  [Read More]

Feinstein Hosts Obama-Clinton Peacemaking Session

Democratic rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama met for an hour Thursday night in Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s home in Washington, in what the hostess described as a chance to decompress and discuss unifying the party for November.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for June 6

When did Maine voters last elect an all-Republican congressional delegation?  [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 Houston Chronicle reports that Vice President Dick Cheney is scheduled to attend a fundraiser in River Oaks today for Republican Pete Olson of Sugar Land and the Texas Republican Party. Olson is seeking to oust Democratic Rep. Nick Lampson, who in 2006 captured the 22nd District seat previously held by Rep. Tom DeLay. Olson has a big money gap to close. “At the end of March, the last period for which records are available, Olson’s campaign was technically in debt, with almost $128,000 on hand and a debt to the candidate, who provided a personal loan of $175,000. Lampson had $1 million in the bank.”

The Staten Island Advance reports that “Staten Island Conservatives want Democratic City Councilman Michael McMahon. State party chairman Michael Long and Brooklyn Conservatives want Republican Frank Powers.” Because the party is split, Conservatives left their county convention last night without endorsing a candidate to replace scandal-scarred Republican Rep. Vito Fossella, who is retiring. “The Conservatives have provided the margin of victory for a number of Island candidates, Republicans and Democrats alike, over the years, and the party endorsement is seen as crucial in this year’s congressional campaign.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: High Asphalt Costs Detour Road Work
CALIFORNIA: State to Fight Ruling on Medical Marijuana
MAINE: Rx Drug Mail-Back Program to Expand
MICHIGAN: Canada Proposes Refinery, Dump
KING COUNTY, Wash.: Budget Crisis Leads to Court, Law Enforcement Cuts
DENVER: Crime Down Second Consecutive Year
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla.: Parade-Permit Rule Struck Down

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, JUNE 5, 2008 – 2:04 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Adopts Budget Resolution That Defers Big Decisions
  • Senate Panel Releases Iraq Report; GOP Calls it Partisan Politics
  • Byrd Released From Hospital
  • Farm Bill Fix Will Get Roll Call Vote in Senate
  • Political Trivia for June 5
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Today in Washington

The House is expected to finalize the fiscal 2009 budget resolution and vote on a bill to reauthorize a Chesapeake Bay water trails program.

The Senate resumes consideration of a motion to proceed to a consumer energy bill and later votes on a new version of the five-year farm bill to replace an incomplete measure that became law last month.

The President speaks at the ceremonial groundbreaking of the U.S. Institute of Peace; participates in a photo opportunity with the Houston Dynamo; meets with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Jan Peter Balkenende.

In Washington, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Robert Borosage, Campaign for America’s Future co-director, discuss populist uprisings and the presidential elections, with author David Sirota, Arlene Holt Baker of the AFL-CIO, and CWA President Larry Cohen. 5:30 p.m., NEA Auditorium, 1201 16th St. N.W.

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Top Stories

House Adopts Budget Resolution That Defers Big Decisions

The House gave final approval Thursday to the fiscal 2009 budget resolution, as the two parties traded jabs over whose fiscal policies were better for the country.  [Read More]

Senate Panel Releases Iraq Report; GOP Calls it Partisan Politics

Bush administration officials, in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, made several public statements about the danger of Saddam Hussein’s regime that were contradicted by available intelligence at the time, according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report released Thursday.  [Read More]

Byrd Released From Hospital

Senate Appropriations Chairman Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., was released from the hospital Thursday morning but will not immediately return to Congress.  [Read More]

Farm Bill Fix Will Get Roll Call Vote in Senate

Senate leaders will move Thursday to pass a farm bill that includes the trade-related portion accidentally left out of the version Congress sent to President Bush in May.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for June 5

When did North Dakota voters last elect a Republican to Congress?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Des Moines Register reports, “A recount appears likely in a Republican congressional primary in southeast Iowa’s 2nd District, where Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa claimed the nomination Tuesday by a 109-vote margin. Peter Teahen of Cedar Rapids, who placed second in the race, is not conceding defeat and is leaning ‘very heavily’ toward requesting a recount, said Wes Enos, Teahen’s campaign manager.” The GOP nominee will take on freshman Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack, who ousted veteran Republican Rep. Jim Leach two years ago. “Secretary of State Michael Mauro said Wednesday that county officials will canvass the election results either Monday or Tuesday. Requests for recounts are accepted for three days after the canvass.”

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Democrat Al Franken “got a welcome boost” for his Senate bid Wednesday with an endorsement from former Vice President Al Gore. “Gore said the entertainer/author ‘definitely won’t be your typical Washington politician . . . . Al will be passionate and principled and wonky and honest and, yes, funny — sometimes all at once.’” But Franken is struggling to overcome several stumbles as he heads into this weekend’s state convention, which will choose between him and college professor Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer for the Senate nomination to take on GOP Sen. Norm Coleman. “Both candidates have promised to abide by the endorsement and avoid a primary.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CALIFORNIA: Governor Declares Statewide Drought
GEORGIA: Mental Hospital Cited As ‘Critically Deficient’
TEXAS: State sets Up Watchdog Unit for Criminal Justice System
CALIFORNIA: Ruling Favors Governor on Prison Transfers
CHICAGO: City Among Finalists for 2016 Olympics
NEW YORK CITY: Plan to Improve Safety at Construction Sites Unveiled
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Police to Set Up Checkpoints In Violent Neighborhoods
HOUSTON: City to Hire 'Tele-Nurses' As Alternative to Ambulances

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CQ Politics | VP Madness - Pick Obama's Running Mate

CQ Politics

Dear Friend:

CQ Politics launched a fun, new interactive game this morning called VP Madness (Democratic Edition) at http://www.cqpolitics.com/vpmadness.

Following on the heels of last month’s popular GOP Edition, this new edition of VP Madness lets you select Barack Obama’s running mate from a competitive field of potential democratic vice presidential candidates.

VP Madness is modeled after the NCAA college basketball tournament. It combines “bracketology” with everyone’s favorite parlor game of speculating on VP candidates.

CQ's reporters and editors narrowed the field to 32 potential running mates, handicapped the races, pitted the candidates in head-to-head matchups and provided the scoop on who might have the inside track.

Contenders include Democratic party heavyweights, like Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, as well as newer arrivals to the national scene, such as Jim Webb and Kathleen Sebelius.

Make your first-round picks today! Visit VP Madness and return to make additional picks based on the results of each subsequent round. The winner will be chosen on July 1st.


Sincerely,

Bruce Drake
General Manager, Consumer Publishing
Congressional Quarterly Inc.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4, 2008 – 2:17 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Obama Reaches Out to Jewish Group as He Shifts to November Strategy
  • Senate Superdelegates Poised to Back Obama
  • Senate Adopts Budget, Kicking Off Appropriations Season
  • House Action on War Supplemental May Slip Again
  • Senate Republicans Outline Their Own Medicare Physician Payment Plan
  • Political Trivia for June 4
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Today in Washington

The House considers a bill on eco-friendly schools that would help states recoup property taxes lost on federal lands, and a nanotechnology bill.

The Senate adopts the fiscal 2009 budget resolution and considers amendments to climate change bill that would cap greenhouse gas emissions.

The President meets with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

In Washington, the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies hosts a discussion entitled “WTO Accession: Kazakhstan’s Prospects, Kyrgyztan’s Reality.” 5 p.m., Rome Building, 1619 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Obama Reaches Out to Jewish Group as He Shifts to November Strategy

Sen. Barack Obama, in his first big test as presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, assured the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that he will be an unwavering ally of the Jewish state if elected in November.  [Read More]

Senate Superdelegates Poised to Back Obama

Most of Barack Obama’s fence-sitting Senate colleagues appeared poised Wednesday to endorse the Illinois Democrat, even though rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has not yet done so.  [Read More]

Senate Adopts Budget, Kicking Off Appropriations Season

The Senate adopted a final version of the fiscal 2009 budget resolution Wednesday, and the House was expected to follow a day later. That will pave the way for the start of the annual appropriations process.  [Read More]

House Action on War Supplemental May Slip Again

The House might consider a pared down version of the supplemental war-spending bill June 6, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Wednesday, but senior Democratic aides were skeptical of that timeline.  [Read More]

Senate Republicans Outline Their Own Medicare Physician Payment Plan

Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday outlined their own plan to halt scheduled July 1 cuts in Medicare payments to doctors, competing with panel Democrats for support from the physician lobby groups calling for a bill.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for June 4

When did a major party last hold its presidential nominating convention in June?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Boston Globe reports that Jim Ogonowski, the Republican hierarchy’s favored candidate to challenge Sen. John Kerry in the fall, failed Tuesday by a razor-thin margin to qualify for the GOP primary ballot. “The stunning blunder leaves only a little-known Army veteran and security specialist from Harwich, Jeff Beatty, on the GOP ballot,” the newspaper reports. Ogonowski’s campaign delivered 9,970 certified voter signatures to election officials; it needed 10,000. “Ogonowski’s campaign blamed its failure on several town clerks, who it said failed to properly certify and sign nomination papers,” according to the Globe. His only option is to take the issue to court, where he can argue that some officials lost signatures.

According to the Schenectady Gazette, the race for the Democratic nomination for the seat of retiring Rep. Michael R. McNulty, D-N.Y., keeps growing. Joseph P. Sullivan, who switched parties two years ago, becomes the 11th candidate total to declare for the 21st District seat. With Sullivan in the race, there are now nine Democrats and two Republicans campaigning. “Sullivan faces an uphill battle for the congressional seat,” the newspaper reports, because many of the other Democrats already have received endorsements from party committees or are linked to prominent politicians. Those potential frontrunners include well-known former state legislator Paul Tonko, Albany County legislator Phillip Steck and Tracey Brooks, the former regional director for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
TEXAS: State Had Secret Plan to Separate Sect Children, Mothers
MINNESOTA: Auditor: No Probe of Attorney Generala??s Office
PHILADELPHIA: Judge Voids Two City Gun Laws
DETROIT: Mayor's Budget Veto Overridden
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.: County Looks Elsewhere for New Sheriff

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, JUNE 3, 2008 – 2:10 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Rep. Clyburn Endorses Obama as Other Superdelegates Prepare to Follow
  • Sen. Byrd to Remain in Hospital
  • Kennedy ‘Recuperating Well’ Following Brain Surgery
  • New Probe Into Cotton Trading Revealed After Congressional Pressure
  • Congressional Primaries Heat Up as Presidential Race Winds Down
  • Political Trivia for June 3
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Today in Washington

The House considers several bills under suspension of the rules, including a measure that would require disclosure of drug pricing information to Congress.

The Senate begins debating the climate change bill aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The President holds a photo opportunity with the 2008 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions, the Kansas Jayhawks.

In Washington, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and HGTV host the 2008 Restore America Gala. Preservationists, members of Congress and various corporate and philanthropic leaders honor those who revitalize communities and aid in preserving America’s diverse historic places. 6:30 p.m., Library of Congress, 10 First St., S.E.

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Top Stories

Rep. Clyburn Endorses Obama as Other Superdelegates Prepare to Follow

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn on Tuesday officially threw his support to Sen. Barack Obama, and other superdelegates were preparing to declare their choices.  [Read More]

Sen. Byrd to Remain in Hospital

Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., will remain hospitalized for several days after being admitted with a fever, his spokesman said Tuesday.  [Read More]

Kennedy ‘Recuperating Well’ Following Brain Surgery

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy “had a restful night’s sleep and is recuperating well” at a North Carolina hospital one day after surgery to remove a malignant brain tumor, his office announced Tuesday.  [Read More]

New Probe Into Cotton Trading Revealed After Congressional Pressure

Bowing to pressure from Democratic lawmakers, federal regulators announced Tuesday that a probe is under way into cotton trading this past winter.  [Read More]

Congressional Primaries Heat Up as Presidential Race Winds Down

Several Senate seats and nearly one-fifth of the House membership will be up for grabs Tuesday in congressional primaries that have been overshadowed by the end of the 2008 presidential nominating contest  [Read More]

Political Trivia for June 3

How many states held contests the last time presidential primaries ended on June 3?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that two GOP women state legislators on Monday released a list of jokes and writings by Al Franken they say demean women and mock “Minnesota values.” That came just days before Democratic-Farmer-Labor party delegates gather Friday to endorse a U.S. Senate candidate. Franken’s campaign said that the “anecdotes cited were satire,” and that Republicans were using them “to distract voters from ‘the mess’ created by President Bush and U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman.” The female lawmakers earlier asked Franken, a long-time comedian, to apologize for a fantasy he wrote for Playboy in 2000 about a Minnesota-based virtual reality sex laboratory. Franken and Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, a college professor, are leading contenders for the DFL endorsement.

According to the Bangor Daily News,Chellie Pingree, former president of Common Cause, is leading the money race and ranked by most pundits as the frontrunner in the six-candidate fight for the Democratic nomination in Maine’s 1st District. The primary is June 10. The incumbent, Rep. Tom Allen, D-Maine, is challenging U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. Pingree, who served in the state senate and challenged Collins in 2002, is the only woman among the Democratic candidates. As of the most recent reporting deadline, she had raised more than $1.1 million for her campaign, about twice the amount reported by her nearest opponent.

The Poughkeepsie Journal reports that George Oros, a Republican state legislator from Westchester, has dropped out of the race for the House seat held by freshman Rep. John Hall, D-N.Y. That should leave “political newcomer Kieran Michael Lalor with a clear path for taking on the Democratic incumbent.” Lalor welcomed the chance to concentrate on the general election. Oros was endorsed by former U.S. Rep. Sue Kelly, but had trouble gaining backing from GOP committee members. Hall defeated Kelly with 51 percent of the vote in 2006.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW YORK CITY: Pension-Bill Costs Underestimated by $500 Million
NORTH MIAMI, Fla.: Longtime Mayor-Lawmaker Dies
MASSACHUSETTS: Study: Number of Uninsured Halved
TEXAS: Polygamist Sect Vows to End Underage Marriages

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Monday, June 02, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

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

In This Issue

  • Bush Threatens to Veto Climate Change Bill
  • Kennedy’s Brain Surgery ‘Successful,’ Doctor Says
  • McCain Goes Before AIPAC to Assail Obama on Foreign Policy
  • Political Trivia for June 2
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; reconvenes tomorrow at 2 p.m. to consider minor bills under suspension of the rules.

The Senate debates a motion to take up legislation to cap greenhouse gas emissions in order to combat global warming.

The President presents the Medal of Honor posthumously to Ross McGinnis of Knox, Pa., for heroism in Iraq; participates in a meeting touting the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and their impact on the economy.

In Washington, George Washington University recognizes 10 federal employees for outstanding service in applied science; engineering and mathematics; basic science; and managerial or legal achievement. GWU President Steven Knapp delivers keynote address at the 59th Annual Awards Ceremony. 6-8 p.m., George Washington University’s Marvin Center Ballroom, 800 21st N.W.

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Top Stories

Bush Threatens to Veto Climate Change Bill

The White House said Monday that President Bush would veto a major climate-change bill the Senate is expected to take up later in the day.  [Read More]

Kennedy’s Brain Surgery ‘Successful,’ Doctor Says

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., underwent “targeted surgery” Monday for a malignant brain tumor diagnosed last month after he suffered a seizure May 17 at his Cape Cod home.  [Read More]

McCain Goes Before AIPAC to Assail Obama on Foreign Policy

Likely Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain hammered Sen. Barack Obama, his probable Democratic rival, Monday for what he said was a naive approach to ending Iran’s nuclear ambitions.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for June 2

When did Puerto Rico first vote at the major parties’ national conventions?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Staten Island Advance reports that the decision of local GOP leaders to endorse “a relatively unknown former Wall Street financier in the race to replace disgraced GOP Rep. Vito Fossella may prove a fatal blow to the Republican Party’s chances to retain Staten Island’s lone congressional seat.” The candidate, Frank Powers, mostly operated behind the scenes as a political fundraiser, and his relative obscurity could hurt him as he runs for New York’s 13th District seat, the newspaper reports. Many Democrats see a prime opportunity to take over the seat, “and many of their Republican counterparts are fretting over the lack of a top-tier candidate,” according to the paper. Well-known City Councilman Michael McMahon is the Democratic candidate. Fossella goes to trial June 27 in Virginia on a charge of driving while intoxicated.

According to the Rapid City Journal, Republican Joel Dykstra will have a short time “to enjoy his role as perceived leader of the political pack” in the race for South Dakota’s Senate seat, but then “he’ll either be a loser or an underdog” against incumbent Democrat Tim Johnson. Dykstra is favored to win Tuesday’s GOP primary against “even-lesser-known Sam Kephart and almost-unheard-of Charles Lyonel Gonyo,” according to the newspaper. Johnson, meanwhile, has barely begun his campaign. “But regardless of his Republican opponent, he will start the general-election race with the lead, the name, the money and the powers of incumbency,” the newspaper reports. Johnson also enjoys widespread public sympathy for his comeback from the near-fatal brain hemorrhage he suffered in December 2006.

The Seattle Times reports that the campaign of Democrat Darcy Burner claims Republican Rep. Dave Reichert is overusing his “franking” priveleges as a House member to mail information to voters in Washington’s 8th District. “According to federal records, Reichert sent out nearly 475,000 mailers to constituents last year at a cost of almost $90,000 in postage alone,” at taxpayer expense, the paper reports. The mailers are legal and were reviewed by a bipartisan committee to ensure they did not violate rules, according to the Times. Reichert has been one of the Washington delegation’s biggest users of franked mail, the paper reports.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: 10 States Seek Delay for California Gay Marriages
ALABAMA: 54 Ex-AGs Back Former Governor in Appeal
CALIFORNIA: State Gets Reprieve on Prison Overcrowding
NEW JERSEY: Judge: Governor's E-Mails Are Public Documents
TEXAS: Plan to Return Sect Children Hits Courtroom Snag
INDIANAPOLIS: Hundreds Homeless in Tornadoa??s Wake
NEW YORK CITY: Criminal Probe Launched in Crane Collapse
DETROIT: City Drops Incinerator Operator

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