Friday, June 13, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2008 – 2:16 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Appropriations Announces Markups
  • Judge Denies Jefferson’s Request to Move Corruption, Bribery Trial
  • Farm Bill: Handle With Care
  • Political Trivia for June 13
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House convenes 10 a.m. in pro forma session.

The Senate  is not in session

The President meets with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican; addresses an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development meeting in Paris; dines with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni.

In Washington, the Hudson Institute holds a roundtable discussion on U.S. interagency efforts to combat international terrorism, 3 p.m., 1015 15th St. N.W.

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

Top Stories

Senate Appropriations Announces Markups

Appropriators in both chambers will be busy next week, as the Senate begins marking up individual fiscal 2009 spending bills and the House continues moving its own.  [Read More]

Judge Denies Jefferson’s Request to Move Corruption, Bribery Trial

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A federal judge Friday denied indicted Rep. William J. Jefferson’s request to relocate the Louisiana Democrat’s postponed corruption and bribery trial from Alexandria, Va.  [Read More]

Farm Bill: Handle With Care

Congress is being a bit more careful with the farm bill this time around.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for June 13

What was the highest GOP presidential vote share ever in the District of Columbia?  [Read More]

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

"Research Skills for the Real World: Going Beyond Google"

This course helps anyone responsible for research at any Washington-area organization, whether an agency, association, business, elected official or nonprofit. It is designed for anyone who wants to improve their research skills.
WHERE: Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh Street N.W.
WHEN: June 25, 2008, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Registration Fee: $395
Full program description and secure online registration, or call our registrar at 202-678-1600.
This training conference is sponsored by TheCapitol.Net, exclusive provider of Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences.

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

Political Clippings

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utah Republican Rep. Chris Cannon “has easily outraised challenger Jason Chaffetz, but the six-term incumbent congressman has less than $10,000 to carry him down the home stretch of the primary election race.” According to the newspaper, the Cannon campaign says it has raised $70,000 since the June 4 cut off for the report to the Federal Elections Commission. “Campaign reports from the two candidates show that Cannon has burned through nearly $662,000 during his re-election bid, compared with Chaffetz’ $98,664,” the Tribune reports. But Chaffetz, a Democrat, “had $65,165 left in his campaign account, while Cannon has just $9,259 left, according to pre-primary reports filed Thursday by the candidates.” Cannon is heavily favored to win re-election.

The Concord Monitor reports that Democratic New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch “made his quest for a third term official yesterday, touting himself as a nonpartisan problem-solver and citing achievements such as raising the minimum wage and increasing the school dropout age.” Lynch has rejected a call from Republican opponent Joe Kenney, a state senator, to cap the amount of spending on the race at $1.2 million per candidate. “Lynch entered his second term with the strongest endorsement ever won by a governor in New Hampshire: 74 percent of the vote and a 48-point margin of victory,” the newspaper reports. “His popularity numbers have hovered near the mid-70s through last month, seeming to indicate that this year’s struggles have taken little toll on Lynch.”

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

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa: Surging River Floods City
OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich.: County OKs 4-Day Work Week for Some
CALIFORNIA: Governor Orders More Water for Farmers
TEXAS: ACLU Charges Youth-Prison Agency with Abusing Girls

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

Thursday, June 12, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, JUNE 12, 2008 – 2:44 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Supreme Court Lets Guantánamo Detainees File Court Challenges
  • House Passes Extension of Unemployment Benefits
  • War Supplemental Could Be Sent to Bush Before July Recess
  • Extra Census Money Does Not Appear in Spending Bill
  • Committee Aide Fills Slate of FEC Nominees
  • Political Trivia for June 12
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House will make a second attempt at passing an extension of unemployment benefits, which narrowly failed Wednesday. It also will take up a NASA authorization bill.

The Senate considers a motion to proceed to a Medicare physician payment bill.

The President spends the day in Rome, Italy where he will participate in a roundtable on business exchanges, and meets with both Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

In Washington, NASA holds a teleconference on its Constellation spacesuit contract award. 4:30 p.m., U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1615 H St. N.W.

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

Top Stories

Supreme Court Lets Guantánamo Detainees File Court Challenges

The Supreme Court dealt a severe blow to the Bush administration Thursday, ruling that suspected terrorists held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have a constitutional right to challenge their detentions in federal court.  [Read More]

House Passes Extension of Unemployment Benefits

The House Thursday passed an extension of unemployment insurance that has served as a platform for an election-year debate on the economy.  [Read More]

War Supplemental Could Be Sent to Bush Before July Recess

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Democrats plan to clear a supplemental war spending bill for the president’s signature before the July Fourth recess.  [Read More]

Extra Census Money Does Not Appear in Spending Bill

The fiscal 2009 Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill approved by a House panel does not include the extra $540 million requested at the last minute for the Census Bureau.  [Read More]

Committee Aide Fills Slate of FEC Nominees

The White House Thursday formally nominated Matthew S. Petersen for the Federal Election Commission, completing a full slate of members for Senate consideration.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for June 12

Percentage-wise, which state had the closest outcome in the 2004 presidential race?  [Read More]

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

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
COLORADO: 22,500 State Workers to Unionize
GEORGIA: Report: State Top Source for Crime Guns
MISSISSIPPI: State Farm Dropping Coverage on Coast
LITTLE SIOUX, Iowa: Tornado Kills Four Boy Scouts

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

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11, 2008 – 2:09 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Democrats Looking at Second Stimulus Package
  • House Appropriators Begin Work on Spending Bills
  • House Works on Amtrak Amendments
  • House Panels Approves Ban on Shark Finning
  • Energy Debate Continues, Largely for Show
  • Political Trivia for June 11
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House is expected to pass an extension of unemployment benefits and may vote on sending articles of impeachment against President Bush to the Judiciary Committee.

The Senate resumes consideration of whether to take up an energy bill addressing oil profits.

The President meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Meseberg, Germany.

In Washington, the Army unveils first in family of Future Combat System Manned Ground Vehicles now being developed. 3:15 p.m. National Mall between 3rd and 4th Streets N.W.

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

Top Stories

Democrats Looking at Second Stimulus Package

Democratic leaders have identified the “broad outlines” of a new bill aimed at stimulating the U.S. economy, but the proposal won’t begin moving at least until July, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday.  [Read More]

House Appropriators Begin Work on Spending Bills

House appropriators began marking up their fiscal 2009 spending bills Wednesday, starting with two measures that are generally among the easiest to move.  [Read More]

House Works on Amtrak Amendments

The House continued debate Wednesday on an Amtrak bill to authorize a boost in funding for the rail company.  [Read More]

House Panels Approves Ban on Shark Finning

A bill intended to crack down on the harvest of sharks for their fins was approved by voice vote Wednesday by the House Natural Resources Committee.  [Read More]

Energy Debate Continues, Largely for Show

The Senate was considering energy legislation Wednesday, but the debate will serve primarily as a chance for members to speak about the issue while leaders sort out the chamber’s schedule.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for June 11

When was the only previous major party national convention in Denver?  [Read More]

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

Political Clippings

The Rocky Mountain News reports that “Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall, accused of ‘blowing off’ debates with Republican challenger Bob Schaffer, on Tuesday proposed holding at least eight debates statewide between July and November.” The announcement came several hours after Schaffer’s campaign manager, Dick Wadhams, asked why Udall’s campaign was dragging its feet on scheduling debates. “They’ve been screwing around for a month, hemming and hawing,” Wadhams said, according to the News. “They’ve been blowing off people.” Wadhams later called Udall’s offer a “joke.” The two campaigns have been tussling over debate formats for a few weeks. At one point, Schaffer proposed a “series of debates modeled after the 1858 debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas,” the newspaper reports. Udall rejected the idea.

According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Senate candidate Christopher Reed appears to have received just enough votes in last week’s Iowa Republican primary to avoid sending the decision to a party convention. Reed, who owns a telephone answering service, received 35.26 percent of the ballots cast, according to unofficial county canvass results issued by the Iowa secretary of state on Tuesday. Former state legislator George Eichhorn received 34.52 percent. Iowa Republican rules demand that a primary candidate receive at least 35 percent to avoid a convention re-vote. The canvass probably will be completed next week, officials told the newspaper. The winner of the GOP primary will face Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, a heavy favorite.

The Stamford Advocate reports that substitute teacher Lee Whitnum has filed to run as a Democrat in the race for Connecticut’s 4th District seat, a move that may force a primary against Jim Himes, the candidate officially endorsed by the party. “Whitnum needs to get signatures from 2,459 — or 2 percent — of the registered Democrats in the district” in order to be on the primary ballot Aug. 12, the newspaper reports. The incumbent in the 4th District, Republican Christopher Shays, is a slight favorite to win re-election.

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

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.: Woman to Lead Troubled Sheriff's Department
CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio: County Faces Cuts, Layoffs over Voting Costs
CALIFORNIA Two Counties Vow to Halt All Weddings
NEW YORK STATE: Governor's State Police Unit to Be Overhauled
RHODE ISLAND: Federal Backlog to Delay Immigration Crackdown
OHIO: County Judge: Lethal Injection Method Unconstitutional

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

Monday, June 09, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, JUNE 9, 2008 – 2:10 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Kennedy Returns Home to Recuperate From Brain Surgery
  • Gas Hits $4 Per Gallon; Senate Turns to Familiar Territory
  • Political Trivia for June 9
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House considers bills under suspension of the rules, including a measure on the Government Accountability Office and one to provide Secret Service protection for former vice presidents.

The Senate debates a motion to proceed to legislation addressing oil company profits and gas prices.

The President and Mrs. Bush depart Washington on the first leg of a European trip.

In Washington, the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation holds its 10th Annual Service to America Gala, with Quincy Jones, Deborah Norville, Miss America Kristin Haglund, singer Randy Owen and members of Congress and the Federal Communications Commission at 6 p.m., in the National Building Museum, 401 F St. N.W.

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

Top Stories

Kennedy Returns Home to Recuperate From Brain Surgery

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was released from a North Carolina hospital Monday after recovering for a week following brain surgery.  [Read More]

Gas Hits $4 Per Gallon; Senate Turns to Familiar Territory

With gasoline prices averaging $4 a gallon nationwide, Senate Democrats will try this week to pass legislation targeted at oil company profits and energy price gouging.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for June 9

What was John Kerry’s lowest vote share in a Senate race?  [Read More]

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

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
TEXAS: Arson Probed in Fire at Governor's Mansion
THE MIDWEST: Heavy Rain, Tornadoes Slam Region, Kill 7
NEW YORK CITY: Top City Crane Inspector Charged with Taking Bribes
SAN FRANCISCO: Zoo Chief Quits in Wake of Tiger Attack
CAMDEN, N.J.: Drug-Turf War Could Bring Homicide Record

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

Political Clippings

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that a recent poll “shows Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich leading incumbent Ted Stevens in the U.S. Senate race.” The poll, conducted May 6-10 by Anchorage firm Hellenthal and Associates, “found 51 percent of those responding would vote for Begich in November’s general election, compared to 44 percent who said they would back Stevens,” the newspaper reports. Stevens’ bid to win a seventh full term in the Senate has been overshadowed by an ongoing corruption investigation by the Justice Department. Stevens, who remains popular in the state, has not been charged with any wrongdoing. But the poll “indicates Begich is gaining name recognition across the state,” according to the Daily News-Miner.

According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, more of Rep. Laura Richardson’s financial problems have been exposed. This time, they are car-related: A mechanic and a body shop told the newspaper that she stiffed them in 2005. And afterward, she “began using a city-owned vehicle — putting almost 31,000 miles on it in about a year — and continued driving the car five days after she had left the council to serve in the state Assembly,” the Press-Telegram reports, citing city records. “Last month, it was reported that Richardson’s Sacramento home, where she had lived during her brief Assembly stint before moving on to Congress, had fallen into foreclosure and been sold at auction,” according to the paper. “Further investigation revealed she had defaulted on that house and two others in Long Beach and San Pedro a total of eight times since 2004.” Richardson is unchallenged in her bid to retain her 37th District seat.

The Boston Globe reports that Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., will face “his first Democratic primary challenge in 24 years.” At the state Democratic convention on Sunday, Gloucester lawyer Ed O’Reilly “got 22.5 percent of the 2,574 ballots cast, more than the 15 percent he needed to secure a spot on the primary ballot,” according to the Globe. Kerry’s has not had a Democratic primary challenge since 1984, when he and three others ran for a seat vacated by Democrat Paul Tsongas.

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

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.
MEDICARE: Senate Democrats, Republicans Unveil Medicare Proposals
MENTAL HEALTH:Senate passes veteransa?? mental health legislation.
HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: House bill urging broader adoption of electronic medical records faces privacy concerns. | Read the online report | Health on the Hill audio links

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