Friday, September 19, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, SEPT. 19, 2008 – 2:05 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Paulson Wants Congress to Clear Market Rescue Plan Next Week
  • Senate GOP Concerns Slow Progress of Mental Health Bill in House
  • Senators Ask Reid To Bring Up House-Passed DC-Gun Bill
  • Political Trivia for Sept. 19
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; reconvenes at noon Monday.

The Senate is not in session; reconvenes at 3 p.m. Monday.

The President urges Congress to act swiftly on a financial rescue plan; meets with Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheik Nasser Mohammed al-Ahmed al-Sabah; poses for photos with recipients of the 2008 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award and later with the Boston Celtics.

In Washington, the New America Foundation/American Strategy Program sponsors a discussion on foreign policy challenges facing the United States, featuring national security advisers. 5:30 p.m., 1630 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.

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Top Stories

Paulson Wants Congress to Clear Market Rescue Plan Next Week

Driven by an unrelenting financial crisis, top lawmakers and the Bush administration will work through the weekend to hammer out a plan to help Wall Street unload souring securities that have crippled some of the world’s largest banks.  [Read More]

Senate GOP Concerns Slow Progress of Mental Health Bill in House

House leaders have altered plans to move a stand-alone mental health parity bill early next week because some Senate Republicans dislike the measure’s proposed budgetary offsets.  [Read More]

Senators Ask Reid To Bring Up House-Passed DC-Gun Bill

Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and 46 other senators have asked for Senate floor time for House-passed legislation to roll back District of Columbia gun laws.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Sept. 19

What did President Jimmy Carter call “the moral equivalent of war?”  [Read More]

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"Congressional Oversight and Investigation"

This course teaches both agency and private sector employees how congressional investigations are conducted. We’ll discuss what powers and tools Congress has at its disposal and how you can strategize and prepare a response. You’ll learn about key hearing dynamics and best practice ways to prepare witnesses.
WHERE: DC Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street N.W., Washington, D.C.
WHEN: October 3, 2008, 8:30 a.m. to 1:15 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.

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Political Clippings

PolitickerOR reports that the campaign of Sen. Gordon H. Smith, R-Ore., has given back all the money it received over the past six years -- $20,000 -- from indicted Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, who faces trial next week on seven counts of filing false financial disclosures. Smith campaign manager Brooks Kochvar said the Stevens donations from 2005 and 2006 went to Smith’s former committee, Smith for Senate. Smith faces Democratic state House Speaker Jeff Merkley in an increasingly rancorous race.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the U.S. Senate race in Texas between Democrat Rick Noriega and GOP Sen. John Cornyn “is suddenly about storm victims.” Noriega is on duty as a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard. He flew to southeast Texas, where his unit planned to touch down at several of the hardest-hit areas to ask fellow soldiers whether they had the right equipment or needed to go home for family reasons, the newspaper reports. He also has deployed members of his campaign to do volunteer work. Meanwhile, Cornyn pleaded for aid to storm victims on Capitol Hill.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/politics/state/stories/DN-senate_19pol.ART.State.Edition1.273500f.html

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
DETROIT: Incoming Mayor Taps Prosecutor as Deputy
NEW YORK CITY: Deal Ends 25-Year Fight over Homeless Families
CHATSWORTH, Calif.: Investigators: Engineer Was Texting on Day of Crash
BOSTON: Former Mayor, Battling Cancer, Collapses During Speech
CALIFORNIA: Report: Emissions Cuts Will Boost State Economy
THE NATION: Hurricane Death Toll Tops 50

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CQ's Election Impact Conference: Register Now for Savings

CQ's Election Impact, Nov. 6, 2008
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  • Alice Rivlin - The Brookings Institution
  • Mark Shields - PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

Enter "Impact2008" at checkout for savings. Offer expires Sept. 30th.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, SEPT. 18, 2008 – 1:59 P.M.

In This Issue

  • GOP Leaders Criticize Market Intervention, As Pelosi Opens Door to Action This Year
  • Senate Could Start Voting on Tax Package Thursday
  • Sen. Stevens Wins Ruling on Subpoena
  • Sen. Kennedy Starts Planning Health Initiative
  • Political Trivia for Sept. 18
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Today in Washington

The House is scheduled to consider legislation intended to curb energy futures speculation.

The Senate may take up a bill to renew expiring tax provisions, block an escalation of the alternative minimum tax, and provide tax relief to victims of natural disasters.

The President cancels his travel plans to remain in Washington and monitor the crisis in the financial markets.

In Washington, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce holds a panel discussion on business involvement in the reconstruction effort after China’s massive earthquake earlier this year, with Xie Feng of the Chinese Embassy, Carolyn Brehm of Procter and Gamble, Ellen Lambert of the Merck Co. Foundation; Tom Buckmaster of Honeywell Hometown Solutions, others. 3:15 p.m., 1615 H St. N.W.

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Top Stories

GOP Leaders Criticize Market Intervention, As Pelosi Opens Door to Action This Year

A Republican backlash against the Bush administration’s unprecedented intervention in the financial market grew Thursday as GOP leaders complained that officials refused to brief them on the situation and a group of conservatives called for halting further bailouts.  [Read More]

Senate Could Start Voting on Tax Package Thursday

Votes on the year’s most significant tax bill could occur as early as Thursday, with Senate leaders nearing an agreement on procedures, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said this morning.  [Read More]

Sen. Stevens Wins Ruling on Subpoena

A federal judge in Washington Thursday granted Sen. Ted Stevens’ request to allow his defense team to subpoena certain medical records of a key government witness, former VECO Corp. chief executive Bill Allen.  [Read More]

Sen. Kennedy Starts Planning Health Initiative

Senate Democrats have started planning for a sweeping health care overhaul bill next year, led by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who strategized Thursday with key Democratic players by video conference.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Sept. 18

What designation was accorded those who collected the most money for President Bush’s 2004 campaign?  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
DETROIT: Incoming Mayor Taps Prosecutor as Deputy
NEW YORK CITY: Deal Ends 25-Year Fight over Homeless Families
CHATSWORTH, Calif.: Investigators: Engineer Was Texting on Day of Crash
BOSTON: Former Mayor, Battling Cancer, Collapses During Speech
CALIFORNIA: Report: Emissions Cuts Will Boost State Economy
THE NATION: Hurricane Death Toll Tops 50

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 17, 2008 – 2:04 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Will Stay in Session To Keep Eye on Financial Crisis
  • House Clears Measure to Clarify Disability Law
  • Auto Industry Loan Likely To Hitch Ride on Year-End Funding Bill
  • House Passes Rollback of D.C. Gun Laws
  • Adoption Incentives Bill Passes in House, Heads to Senate for Final Vote
  • Political Trivia for Sept. 17
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Today in Washington

The House passed a bill rolling back District of Columbia gun laws and another to broaden the scope of disability law.

The Senate continues consideration of the fiscal 2009 defense authorization bill. Votes on amendments are expected.

The President meets with Gen. David H. Petraeus, incoming U.S. Central Command chief and former commander of U.S. troops in Iraq; meets with Panama President Martin Torrijos; attends an iftaar dinner with Muslim leaders.

In Washington, the U.S. Helsinki Commission holds a hearing on the role of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in advancing human rights and democracy. 3 p.m., 2325 Rayburn House Office Building.

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Top Stories

Senate Will Stay in Session To Keep Eye on Financial Crisis

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday he would keep the chamber in pro forma session after it finishes other work for the year so it is ready to address the nation’s worsening financial crisis.  [Read More]

House Clears Measure to Clarify Disability Law

The House Wednesday cleared by voice vote a bill designed to reverse a decade’s worth of Supreme Court decisions that have narrowed the scope of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.  [Read More]

Auto Industry Loan Likely To Hitch Ride on Year-End Funding Bill

Funding for low-interest government loans for automakers will likely be attached to a year-end stopgap spending measure, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday.  [Read More]

House Passes Rollback of D.C. Gun Laws

In a victory for guns rights advocates, the House passed legislation Wednesday to broadly roll back District of Columbia gun laws.  [Read More]

Adoption Incentives Bill Passes in House, Heads to Senate for Final Vote

The House passed a compromise bill Wednesday to renew and expand incentives for adoption, with the Senate expected to clear the legislation within days.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Sept. 17

How many presidents were born in September?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Rapid City Journal reports that Democratic “Sen. Tim Johnson’s re-election campaign said it has booked more than $1.1 million of air time in a strategy to expose a voter to 280 television ads before Election Day.” That will be far more than his Republican challenger, Joel Dykstra, can afford. “We knew going in that we’d have a campaign that would have to compete doing a lot more with a lot less money,” Dykstra told the paper. “We’ve focused on lots and lots of personal contact, lots of physical presence in areas across the state and building over a long period of time the awareness and the familiarity that people have with me as a candidate because they’ve seen me in their town,” he said.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Georgia Democrat Jim Martin accused incumbent Senator Saxby Chambliss of ignoring the excesses that led to the current financial crisis. “He’s been part of a system that’s been broken in Washington, where it’s been the Wild West in terms of financial interests and special interests and that needs to change,” Martin said. Michelle Hitt Grasso, a Chambliss aide, accused Martin of using the crisis for political gain. “Our economy is in turmoil and Jim Martin uses that to call a press conference to get headlines at the expense of other people’s misery,” Grasso said. Martin’s attack comes in the wake of the launch of an $856,000 ad campaign in which Martin attempts to link Chambliss with President Bush’s economic policies.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that Nebraska U.S. Senate hopefuls, Republican Mike Johanns and Democrat Scott Kleeb, sparred over campaign tactics, leadership in Washington D.C., and the crisis on Wall Street in a lively debate Tuesday night. “Kleeb frequently tried to link Johanns to failed policies in Washington and Lincoln,” the newspaper reports. “‘The greatest risk we have is that nothing will change,’ said Kleeb”, who blamed the nation’s budget deficit, energy troubles and economic woes on the Bush administration, in which Johanns served as secretary of agriculture. Johanns said he has spent less time in Washington than Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee. The two candidates are vying for the seat of retiring Republican Senator Chuck Hagel.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: 47 Dead, Millions Without Power in Ike’s Wake
FLORIDA: Investigators Slam Mortgage-Industry Regulators
CALIFORNIA: A.G.: Reject Seizure of $8 Billion for Prison Health Care
WASHINGTON, D.C.: City, Congress Wrestle over Gun Controls
NEW YORK CITY: Lawmaker: Yankees Stadium Deal May Have Broken Law

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, SEPT. 16, 2008 – 2 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House To Take Up Energy Bill Expanding Offshore Drilling
  • House Leaders Cool to Any Quick Action on Financial Markets
  • Senate May Turn Next to Tax Extenders
  • Hoyer Says Rangel Need Not Step Down at Ways and Means
  • House Panel to Consider Impeachment of Federal Judge
  • Political Trivia for Sept. 16
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Today in Washington

The House is set to begin debate on a new energy bill that would allow additional offshore drilling if states want it.

The Senate may vote on ending debate on the defense authorization bill, with Iraq-related amendments possible.

The President attends a briefing and participates in an aerial tour of Hurricane Ike damage in Houston; attends a briefing at Galveston Emergency Operations Center; returns to the White House and meets with the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets.

In Washington, the Angels in Adoption Program holds a gala honoring adoptive parents and celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Honorees include CBS for its commitment to raising awareness on adoption issues; and Ashley Rhodes-Courter, foster youth, member of All-USA Academic Team, and one of Glamour’s Top Ten College Women. 6 p.m., Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

House To Take Up Energy Bill Expanding Offshore Drilling

The House struggled Tuesday to take up new energy legislation over protests from Republicans angered because they did not have time to review the bill.  [Read More]

House Leaders Cool to Any Quick Action on Financial Markets

Ideas for addressing the turmoil on Wall Street continued to float around Capitol Hill on Tuesday, as lawmakers kept a wary eye on the financial markets.  [Read More]

Senate May Turn Next to Tax Extenders

Hotly contested tax legislation could be next up on the Senate’s agenda, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Tuesday.  [Read More]

Hoyer Says Rangel Need Not Step Down at Ways and Means

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Tuesday that there is no need for embattled Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel to step aside, as Republican leaders have demanded, while he is investigated for possible ethics violations.  [Read More]

House Panel to Consider Impeachment of Federal Judge

The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to form a task force to consider the impeachment of a Louisiana federal judge.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Sept. 16

Which president was a lifelong bachelor?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Oregonian reports that Oregon Democratic House Speaker Jeff Merkley is fighting back against ads issued by incumbent Sen. Gordon H. Smith, R-Ore., that charges Merkley opposed bills to mandate life sentences for serial rapists and to increase the time limits for bringing charges in sex crimes. The Democrat, however, has supported both measures. One ad features a rape victim who says Merkley “should have voted to protect victims, not rapists.” Merkley has criticized Smith for running a “sleazy campaign.” Former Gov. Barbara Roberts came to Merkley’s defense saying that Smith is guilty of lying about the Oregon House speaker’s record,” the newspaper reports. “The ads are simply lies.” Merkley said “he has indeed supported life sentences for repeat serious sex offenders as well as an increase in the statute of limitations for sex crimes,” the newspaper reports. Smith’s campaign refused to back off its ad.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports that Republican Senate candidate Joel Dykstra released his first ad, focusing on his ongoing call for a campaign dialogue with South Dakota incumbent Democratic Senator Tim Johnson. “The Dykstra spot comes as Johnson, who enjoyed a 10-to-1 campaign funding advantage in the most recent report, has half a dozen spots in play, with a new offering on energy policy unveiled Monday,” the newspaper reports. Johnson announced last month that he would not publicly debate Dykstra. “The senator said his speech has been slow to recover after a brain hemorrhage late in 2006,” the newspaper reports. Johnson’ campaign issued a statement deriding Dykstra’s ad, saying that Johnson has attended more than 400 meetings over 114 days in the state, with 119 media availabilities since he returned from his brain injury a year ago.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NORTHEAST: Carbon Cap-and-Trade System Poised for Launch
THE TEXAS COAST: Searchers Comb Coast for Ike Survivors
CALIFORNIA: Inmate Deaths Down 29 Percent
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Key Figure in $48.1 Million Tax Scam Faces Prison
CHATSWORTH, Calif.: Investigators: Commuter-Train Signals Were Working
SEATTLE: Voters to Decide on Plastic-Bag Fee
MINNEAPOLIS: Target Wins Naming Rights for New Ballpark

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Monday, September 15, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, SEPT. 15, 2008 – 1:55 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Wall Street Turmoil Likely to Spur Regulatory Overhaul Next Year
  • Energy Picture Grows More Complex In Wake Of Ike
  • Upfront Cost of U.S. Loan to Auto Industry Has Grown, CBO Says
  • House To Consider ‘Silver Alert’ System for Missing Seniors
  • Political Trivia for Sept. 15
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Today in Washington

The House takes up a number of measures under suspension of the rules, including a bill focusing on identity theft, protecting former vice presidents and other issues; legislation to boost school safety grants; and a bill to allow former POWs to sue the Iraqi government for torture or abuse they suffered during the 1991 Gulf War.

The Senate continues its consideration of the fiscal 2009 defense authorization bill.

The President meets with the Ghana President John Agyekum Kufuor; receives a briefing on Hurricane Ike damage; participates in a photo op with 2008 Boys and Girls Clubs of America Youth of the Year and regional finalists; with Mrs. Bush, hosts a state dinner for president of Ghana and his wife.

In Washington, the Center for Strategic and International Studies holds a panel discussion on the outcomes of the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. With Craig McClure, International AIDS Society; Kevin Fenton, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; J. Stephen Morrison, CSIS Global Health Policy Center, and others. 3 p.m., 1800 K St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Wall Street Turmoil Likely to Spur Regulatory Overhaul Next Year

The turmoil on Wall Street and its impact on the broader economy is likely to move regulatory changes higher on the agenda for the new Congress and the next president.  [Read More]

Energy Picture Grows More Complex In Wake Of Ike

With Gulf Coast oil refineries and drilling operations still assessing the damage wrought by Hurricane Ike over the weekend, lawmakers returned Monday to an even more tumultuous energy picture than the one they left behind.  [Read More]

Upfront Cost of U.S. Loan to Auto Industry Has Grown, CBO Says

Proposals to lend struggling automakers billions of dollars just got more expensive, the Congressional Budget Office says.  [Read More]

House To Consider ‘Silver Alert’ System for Missing Seniors

The House was scheduled to take up legislation Monday that would create a nationwide “Silver Alert” system to help find missing senior citizens.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Sept. 15

What year did Mississippi last hold a U.S. Senate special election?  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
SOUTHEAST TEXAS: Ike-Battered Region Confronts Devastation
WASHINGTON STATE: Union Deal Sets 2% Annual Raises
PENNSYLVANIA: All Smoking Banned at State Colleges
THE NATION: In Hard Times, Lotteries Are Booming
CHATSWORTH, Calif.: Train-Crash Investigators Focus on Track Signal
THE NORTHEAST: Cities in Four States Challenge New FAA Flight Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Eyeing Congress, City Moves to Ease Gun Controls
FAIRFIELD, Calif.: Two Arrested in Slaying of City Councilman

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Political Clippings

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that its latest Minnesota Poll shows both Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken are losing support, as their constant sniping “is paying off big time: for Independence Party nominee Dean Barkley,” who actually held the Senate seat briefly following the 2002 death in a plane crash of Democratic Sen. Paul Wellstone. Coleman’s “lead over Franken has narrowed from seven percentage points in the spring to four now — 41 percent to 37 percent.” Barkley drew 13 percent among the 1,106 likely voters polled. “Since the May poll, Franken’s level of support has dropped seven percentage points, while Coleman’s has fallen by 10 points,” the paper said. Barkley “said the poll results confirmed that voters are tired of negative campaigning.”

The Idaho Statesman reports, “No Idaho Republican candidate has benefited from [Sarah] Palin’s bump more than 1st Congressional District Rep. Bill Sali. Sali’s Democratic challenger, Walt Minnick, was raising more money than Sali. And GOP leaders like Gov. Butch Otter were still unhappy about Sali’s role in ousting state party Chairman Kirk Sullivan in June. But Palin, a University of Idaho graduate, shares Sali’s social agenda and appeals to his strongest supporters.” Minnick, a former Republican, had “planned to woo Republicans and independents to win the election.” But John McCain’s vice presidential pick is energizing the voters most likely to back Sali, who won the in 2006 by just five points. And the district is heavily Republican. “President Bush won the district in 2004 with 69 percent of the vote.”

The San Antonio Express-News reports, “Once one of the most liberal lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Rep. Ciro Rodriguez has taken a substantial shift to the political center and heads into the November election as a moderate in a Democratic district with strong conservative enclaves. ‘I’m responding to needs,” Rodriguez said of his political metamorphosis. “Part of it is looking at your district and who you represent.’” Rodriguez earlier this decade represented “the heavily Democratic 28th Congressional District,” but lost that seat in the 2004 primary to Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas. In 2006, Rodriguez defeated GOP Rep. Henry Bonilla “in a special runoff election after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the 23rd Congressional District redrawn to include more minority voters.” His new district includes areas with more conservative voters than his old one, and is considered a swing district.

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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: Another vote unlikely this year on expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
TOBACCO: Measure that would give the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate tobacco may not see further action in the Senate.
VETERANS: House passes bill to improve health care for veterans living in rural areas.
Read the online report | Health on the Hill audio links

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