Friday, September 12, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, SEPT. 12, 2008 – 2:15 P.M.

In This Issue

  • White House Wary About Loans to U.S. Automakers
  • Senate Leaders Discuss Options on Energy
  • With Earmarks Fight Still Raging, Senate Sets Test Vote on Defense Bill
  • Senate Judiciary Schedules Vote To Subpoena Interrogation Documents
  • Political Trivia for Sept. 12
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate adjourns for the week, to reconvene at 3 p.m. Monday to continue debating amendments to the fiscal 2009 defense authorization bill.

The President visits Oklahoma to participate in a roundtable on Health Savings Accounts; attends a McCain for President reception.

In Washington, the Center for Excellence in Public Leaderships D.C. Neighborhood College at The George Washington University and the Washington Regional Equity Network host a Community Benefits Agreements (CBA) Symposium. 5 p.m., 1957 E St., N.W.

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

Top Stories

White House Wary About Loans to U.S. Automakers

The White House sounded a note of caution Friday on proposed federal loans for automakers as a top executive prepared to make the industry’s case on Capitol Hill.  [Read More]

Senate Leaders Discuss Options on Energy

With a heated floor battle expected next week, Senate leaders came together Friday in a show of bipartisan unity for a day-long summit on energy.  [Read More]

With Earmarks Fight Still Raging, Senate Sets Test Vote on Defense Bill

The Senate adjourned for the weekend Friday with its defense authorization bill still ensnared by several disputes, topped by one over billions of dollars in parochial projects.  [Read More]

Senate Judiciary Schedules Vote To Subpoena Interrogation Documents

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a Sept. 18 vote on whether to authorize a subpoena of the Justice Department to produce internal legal opinions regarding the interrogation of suspected terrorists.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Sept. 12

Who was the last Republican elected to the U.S. House in Maine?  [Read More]

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

"Congressional Dynamics and the Legislative Process"

If your job requires you to understand and follow legislation, or if youa??re new to government affairs, here's your chance to get up to speed in one information-packed day.
WHERE: Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh Street N.W., Washington, D.C.
WHEN: September 18, 2008, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Registration Fee: $595
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 Rocky Mountain News reports that an attorney for Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., has requested that Colorado television stations pull ads of his opponent for a U.S. Senate seat, Republican Bob Schaffer, charging they violate federal law by not having the candidate’s image appear in the final four seconds of the new TV ad on taxes. “Udall’s attorneys asked Colorado’s TV stations on Thursday to enforce a provision of the law that says that requirement must be met for campaigns to get the discount rates that TV stations charge candidates,” the newspaper reports. Schaffer’s campaign manager, Dick Wadhams, called the request “legal bull.” At least one station already has pulled the ad. The candidates are vying for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Wayne Allard.

The Citizens Voice reports Pennsylvania District 11 Democratic incumbent Paul E. Kanjorski “has no plans to cancel a fundraiser featuring Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., despite Rangel’s admission Wednesday that he failed to pay $5,000 in federal taxes on a vacation home in the Dominican Republic,” according to Kanjorski campaign spokesman Ed Mitchell. He said Kanjorski would consider canceling the Sept. 24 Washington D.C., fundraiser only if Republican opponent, Lou Barletta, refunded contributions from convicted cocaine distributors Paul and Neal DeAngelo, indicted landfill and casino owner Louis DeNaples and Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who was indicted in July for false claims on his financial disclosure statements. Mitchell’s comments followed attacks from the National Republican Congressional Committee calling the relationship between Kanjorski and Rangel “damning.”

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

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
TEXAS: Forecasters Fear a Strengthening Ike
ARKANSAS: A.G.: Colleges Can Admit Illegal Immigrants
MARYLAND: New Regs to Target Poultry Manure
THE NATION: NCSL: Legislative Control Could Flip in 10 States
PENNSYLVANIA: Jury Probing House GOP Computer Use
ALASKA/CALIFORNIA: Palin to Schwarzenegger: Veto Cargo Fee

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

Thursday, September 11, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, SEPT. 11, 2008 – 2:24 P.M.

In This Issue

  • New Package Would Extend Tax Breaks For Renewable Energy
  • Senate Panel Votes to Permit National Park Visitors to Carry Guns
  • Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Takeover Takes Toll on K Street
  • Senate Panel Approves Alaska Road Opposed by Environmentalists
  • House Panel Postpones Effort To Grill Miers, Cite Mukasey
  • Political Trivia for Sept. 11
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House is expected to clear an $8 billion fund transfer to replenish the depleted Highway Trust Fund.

The Senate resumes consideration of amendments to the fiscal 2009 defense authorization bill.

The President and Mrs. Bush participate in a dedication of 9/11 Pentagon Memorial.

In Washington, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and Israeli Ambassador Sallai Meridor participate in the signing ceremony for the Virginia-Israel Cooperation Agreement. 4 p.m., Embassy of Israel, 3514 International Dr. N.W.

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

Top Stories

New Package Would Extend Tax Breaks For Renewable Energy

The leaders of the Senate Finance Committee are trying yet again to extend tax breaks for renewable energy, revealing on Thursday another attempt to break a long-standing logjam.  [Read More]

Senate Panel Votes to Permit National Park Visitors to Carry Guns

With solid bipartisan support, a Senate panel approved legislation on Thursday to allow loaded guns in national parks.  [Read More]

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Takeover Takes Toll on K Street

For many who work in government and finance, the Treasury Department’s takeover of mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac means a change in the way they do business. But for the army of lobbyists that represent the companies, it means an end to business — period.  [Read More]

Senate Panel Approves Alaska Road Opposed by Environmentalists

A Senate panel approved legislation on Thursday to allow a new road in a remote corner of Alaska, despite objections from environmentalists that it would run through sensitive wetlands.  [Read More]

House Panel Postpones Effort To Grill Miers, Cite Mukasey

The House Judiciary Committee postponed the scheduled Thursday appearance of former White House Counsel Harriet Miers regarding the firing of nine U.S. attorneys in 2006.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Sept. 11

The New York City primary postponed because of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was moved to what date?  [Read More]

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

Political Clippings

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that “a computer server was among several items missing from the campaign headquarters” of Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., after an overnight break-in. “Also missing are a jump drive, wireless computer network cards, office supplies and food items, according to campaign spokesman Christopher Hartman, who said a door to the office at 900 E. Market St. was found open yesterday morning.” Hartman said that many other valuable items that were out in the open were not touched. Yarmuth “is defending his congressional seat against former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup, whom he defeated two years ago.”
---------------------------------

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
TEXAS: Ike Takes Aim at Texas Coast
MARYLAND: State Cuts Road Spending by $1.1 Billion
ARIZONA: Millions from Unclaimed-Property Sales Target Foreclosures
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Passage Expected for Bill Ending City's Gun Controls
SAN FRANCISCO: Parks Chief Quits after Harassment Charge

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

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 10, 2008 – 2:17 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Pentagon Halts Tanker Competition, Defers to Next Administration
  • Rangel Refuses To Step Down as Ways and Means Chairman
  • Senate Panel Approves $487.7 Billion Defense Spending Bill
  • Tobacco Regulation Bill Likely Dead In Senate This Year
  • Judge Rebuffs Stevens’ Bid for Dismissal of Charges
  • Political Trivia for Sept. 10
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House votes on bills to curb illegal tobacco trafficking, to adjust reservist pay for House employees, grant veterans a cost-of-living adjustment and allow veterans in rural areas far from VA facilities to obtain health care from outside providers.

The Senate debates the fiscal 2009 defense authorization bill, with amendments pending.

The President  participates in a photo op with Big Sister of the Year, Miriam Mills; meets with the president of Iraq, Jalal Talabani.

In Washington, the Enough Project hosts a special film screening of Academy Award-winning actor Javier Bardem’s new documentary, “Invisibles.” The screening will be preceded by a reception and panel discussion, featuring actress Robin Wright Penn and journalist Jimmie Briggs, on the Congo crisis. 6:15 p.m., East Hall, Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Ave. N.E.

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

Top Stories

Pentagon Halts Tanker Competition, Defers to Next Administration

Members of Congress were stunned Wednesday by the Pentagon’s decision to cancel a competition to build new midair refueling tankers, a program ultimately worth as much as $100 billion.  [Read More]

Rangel Refuses To Step Down as Ways and Means Chairman

House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel on Wednesday resisted calls to relinquish his chairmanship, insisting that he will fight off three separate ethics inquiries.  [Read More]

Senate Panel Approves $487.7 Billion Defense Spending Bill

The Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee approved a $487.7 billion draft spending bill for fiscal 2009 Tuesday, as senators expressed hope that the bill could be completed this month.  [Read More]

Tobacco Regulation Bill Likely Dead In Senate This Year

It appears unlikely that a bill to give the Food and Drug Administration power to regulate tobacco products will make it through Congress before the elections.  [Read More]

Judge Rebuffs Stevens’ Bid for Dismissal of Charges

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday dealt several blows to the Sen. Ted Stevens’ attempt to clear his name of charges that he illegally concealed gifts.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Sept. 10

What was the vote percentage for the last Republican elected governor of Delaware?  [Read More]

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

Political Clippings

The Spokane Spokesman-Review reports that “three independent or third-party candidates for Larry Craig’s U.S. Senate seat are reacting angrily to GOP efforts to push them out of the race. In addition to Republican Jim Risch, Idaho’s current lieutenant governor, and Democrat Larry LaRocco, a former two-term 1st District congressman, the race includes two independents and one Libertarian.” The Idaho GOP lost a lawsuit aimed at forcing Rex Rammell, a former Republican running as an independent, out of the race. And Rep. Bill Sali, R-Idaho, “personally called at least two of the candidates in the Senate race and urged them to drop out, to steer more votes to Risch,” the paper said. All of the candidates refused to bow out, saying they intend to stay in the race.

According to the Newark Star-Ledger and Associated Press, a new Fairleigh Dickinson-PublicMind poll “shows incumbent U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg enjoys a comfortable lead over Republican challenger Dick Zimmer heading into the fall election season.” The latest survey shows the Democratic senator leading Zimmer, a former congressman, by 11 percentages points. Some 41 percent of those surveyed said they hadn’t heard of the GOP challenger. “Poll director Peter Woolley said Zimmer’s name recognition may be suffering because of the attention given to presidential election drama.” Lautenberg was known to nine in 10 of those queried but viewed favorably by only four in 10, the poll found.

The Hazelton Standard Speaker reports that Republican Lou Barletta, who is seeking to oust Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski, D-Pa., in the 11th District, “said Tuesday he won’t endorse John McCain for president. ‘I’m not endorsing anybody. I’m running my own race right now,’ Hazleton’s mayor said.” Barletta gained political prominence for his vehement opposition to illegal immigration and efforts to punish local landlords and employers who housed or employed illegal immigrants. McCain previously supported a path to legalization, although he has since backed away from that proposal. “Efforts to obtain comment from the McCain campaign were unsuccessful,” the paper said.

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

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
FLORIDA: Court Rules Against Ban on Gay Adoption
RHODE ISLAND: A Deal for Jailed Illegal Immigrants
MISSOURI | NORTH CAROLINA | ARIZONA: States Win Top Innovation Awards
FLORIDA: Insurer to Refund Homeowners $120 Million
MINNEAPOLIS: I-35W Bridge to Reopen
BERGEN COUNTY, N.J.: County Leaders to Surrender to FBI
MILWAUKEE: City Homicides At 22-Year Low
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla.: Judge Oks Marlins Baseball Stadium

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

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, SEPT. 9, 2008 – 2:18 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Hoyer Says House May Soon Take Up Stimulus Package
  • CBO Forecasts $407 Billion Fiscal 2008 Deficit
  • White House Threatens Veto of Senate Defense Bill
  • Democrats: Withdrawal of Troops From Iraq Overdue/Insufficient
  • Abortion Issue Prompts Meeting Between Pelosi, Archbishop
  • Lieberman to Skip Democratic Caucus Lunches for Now
  • Political Trivia for Sept. 9
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House votes on several bills, including a veterans’ cost-of-living adjustment, a bill addressing reservist pay for House employees and a GAO employees’ cost-of-living adjustment.

The Senate resumes consideration of the defense authorization bill.

The President  meets with Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne, for lunch; visits wounded military personnel at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

In Washington, five former secretaries of state join a bipartisan roundtable discussion to assess the U.S. foreign policy challenges that confront the next administration. Participant include James A. Baker III, Warren Christopher, Henry A. Kissinger, and Colin L. Powell. George Washington University, Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. N.W., at 4:30 p.m.

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

Top Stories

Hoyer Says House May Soon Take Up Stimulus Package

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer ruled out a second round of taxpayer rebate checks in outlining his ideas for an economic stimulus package he wants the House to address in the next week or so.  [Read More]

CBO Forecasts $407 Billion Fiscal 2008 Deficit

This year’s federal budget deficit will hit $407 billion and will increase to $438 billion in fiscal 2009, according to new projections released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office.  [Read More]

White House Threatens Veto of Senate Defense Bill

The White House on Tuesday threatened a veto of the fiscal 2009 defense authorization bill that the Senate was expected to take up later in the day.  [Read More]

Democrats: Withdrawal of Troops From Iraq Overdue/Insufficient

Democrats reacted cautiously and critically to President Bush’s Tuesday announcement that he would recommend limited Iraq troop withdrawals at the beginning of 2009.  [Read More]

Abortion Issue Prompts Meeting Between Pelosi, Archbishop

Under fire from the nation’s Roman Catholic hierarchy for recent comments they say misstated the church’s anti-abortion teaching, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has accepted the invitation of San Francisco’s archbishop for a face-to-face meeting to discuss whether she should continue to receive communion.  [Read More]

Lieberman to Skip Democratic Caucus Lunches for Now

Connecticut Independent Joseph I. Lieberman has informed Majority Leader Harry Reid that he will longer attend the Senate Democrats’ weekly policy lunches, according to a senior Democratic aide.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Sept. 9

New York’s Albany-based House district has an open-seat race for the first time in how many years?  [Read More]

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

Political Clippings

The Anchorage Daily News reports that embattled Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, has widened his lead over GOP primary rival Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell to 239 votes, up from 151 votes after the Aug. 26 primary, with “fewer overseas absentee ballots to be counted than the gap in votes” between the two, the Division of Elections said Monday. Elections Director Gail Fenumiai said “her office could receive at most 237 overseas absentee ballots, the last of the race to be counted.” However, since both candidates “have said they will request a recount if they lose, definitive results for the primary could still be weeks away.” The winner will face Democratic challenger Ethan Berkowitz in the November general election.

According to a new Survey USA poll conducted for KING-TV in Seattle and KATU-TV in Portland, Ore., “the women of Washington state are moving to Republican John McCain in the race for president and moving to Republican Dino Rossi in the race for governor. ... For the 6th time in 6 tracking polls, the rematch contest between Rossi and incumbent Democrat Christine Gregoire is inside of the SurveyUSA poll’s margin of sampling error. But, for the 1st time in 6 times, Rossi is nominally ahead, 48% to 47%,” the survey found. In May, Gregoire led among women by 24 points; today, the candidates are tied.

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

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: States’ Jobless Funds Shrink
THE EAST: I-95 Coalition Urges Doubling Highway Spendings
THE GULF COAST: As Ike Approaches, ‘Evacuation Fatigue’ a Concern
HOUSTON: Audit: Police More Likely to Taser Blacks
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla.: Schools Chief to Leave
ATLANTA: City Seeks to Recoup Taxes from Online Travel Companies

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

Monday, September 08, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, SEPT. 8, 2008 – 2:20 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Bush Pulls U.S.-Russia Nuclear Deal From Congressional Agenda
  • GOP To Drop Filibuster of Defense Authorization Bill
  • Kennedy Plans January Return To Senate
  • Political Trivia for Sept. 8
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House votes on bills under suspension of the rules, including legislation to curb illegal trafficking in tobacco products.

The Senate holds a procedural vote on the fiscal 2009 defense authorization bill.

The President makes remarks on volunteerism.

In Washington, the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) holds a forum on “After the War: Nation-Building From FDR to George W. Bush,” featuring James Dobbins, director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation and former assistant secretary of State for Europe. 5 p.m., Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, 1740 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.

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

Top Stories

Bush Pulls U.S.-Russia Nuclear Deal From Congressional Agenda

The Bush administration Monday withdrew a civilian nuclear agreement with Russia from congressional consideration, in response to Moscow’s ongoing occupation of neighboring Georgia.  [Read More]

GOP To Drop Filibuster of Defense Authorization Bill

Senate Republicans were expected Monday to drop their filibuster of the defense authorization bill over unrelated energy issues, setting up what could be at least a week of debate on national security, a senior GOP aide said.  [Read More]

Kennedy Plans January Return To Senate

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who made a brief return to the national stage during last month’s Democratic convention, will not return to the Senate this year as he battles a brain tumor, his office has announced.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Sept. 8

How many states will hold primary elections on Tuesday?  [Read More]

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

Political Clippings

The Lawrence (KS) Journal World reports that Kansas 2nd District Democratic Rep. Nancy Boyda and Republican rival Lynn Jenkins have agreed to meet in five debates before the Nov. 4 election. “The candidates ...will hold their first debate on Sept. 27 at Pittsburg State University,” the newspaper reports. “That will be followed in later weeks by two meetings in Topeka and one each in Lawrence and Leavenworth. Boyda is seeking a second term in office after defeating former GOP Rep. Jim Ryun in 2006.”

The Sioux Falls Argus-Leader reports South Dakota Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson is pulling in fewer campaign dollars from banks that were among his major contributors the last time around, according to Federal Election Commission records. “Johnson nonetheless has raised $3.6 million over the last two years, compared with the $380,131 that his Republican challenger, Joel Dykstra, has raised,” the newspaper reports. “The apparent drop-off in donations could be a consequence of the lack of excitement in the race this year between Johnson and Dykstra, Johnson’s campaign manager Steve Jarding said.” Johnson narrowly won re-election six years ago over Republican John Thune, who went on to defeat former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle in 2004.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports that “Republican Party officials are bringing in President Bush for a Friday fundraiser on behalf of Republican candidate Tom Rooney, who is challenging” freshman Rep. Tim Mahoney, D-Fla., in hopes of wresting back the 16th District House seat formerly held by GOP Rep. Mark Foley, who resigned two years ago after a sex scandal involving male congressional pages. The fundraiser carries a suggested $5,000 per person tab.

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

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE GULF COAST: Hurricane Ike Batters Cuba, Heads for Gulf Coast
WISCONSIN: State Lags in Restaurant Inspections
MASSACHUSETTS: Governor: No Casino Talks Yet
DETROIT: Incoming Mayor Begins Transition
ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa.: Court: Ex-Coroner Can Be Retried
KIRKWOOD, Mo.: Mayor Wounded in Shooting Rampage Dies
LOS ANGELES: Task Force Cracks Down On Trash Dumpers

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