Friday, November 21, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

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

In This Issue

  • Bush Signs Jobless Benefits Extension as Democrats Prepare Stimulus
  • Pelosi, Reid Outline What They Expect From Auto Executives
  • Concerns About Financial Bailout Haunt Auto Industry Loan
  • Pelosi Renews Markey’s Climate-Change Panel
  • Lawmakers Aware of Laggards in Digital TV Conversion Process
  • Political Trivia for Nov. 21
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Today in Washington

The House is in recess.

The Senate is not in session; will convene for a pro forma session on Nov. 24.

The President Meets with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Lima, Peru.

In Washington, CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour receives the National Press Club’s highest honor for excellence in journalism. 6 p.m., National Press Club, 529 14th St.

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Top Stories

Bush Signs Jobless Benefits Extension as Democrats Prepare Stimulus

President Bush signed an extension of unemployment compensation Friday, as Democratic leaders in Congress said they will start work immediately on a broader economic stimulus package to move in January.  [Read More]

Pelosi, Reid Outline What They Expect From Auto Executives

Congress could take up an auto industry bailout plan within a week of receiving a “viability” blueprint that Democratic leaders have requested from Detroit, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday.  [Read More]

Concerns About Financial Bailout Haunt Auto Industry Loan

When Democratic leaders balked at handing over $25 billion in emergency loans to a flailing U.S. auto industry this week, they signaled some buyer’s remorse about the $700 billion financial industry bailout they approved just weeks ago.  [Read More]

Pelosi Renews Markey’s Climate-Change Panel

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says a special committee on global warming will continue in the new Congress.  [Read More]

Lawmakers Aware of Laggards in Digital TV Conversion Process

Less than 100 days before the scheduled shutdown of analog television broadcasting, government statistics suggest that Western television markets are the least prepared for the Feb. 17 switch to digital transmission.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Nov. 21

When were the most senior GOP senators, come January, first elected?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that “President-elect Barack Obama urges Georgia voters in a new radio ad to return to the polls one more time and elect Democrat Jim Martin to the U.S. Senate on Dec. 2.” Martin is facing incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss in a runoff election because neither man got a majority of votes on Nov. 4. “The 60-second spot will begin airing statewide Friday, Martin’s campaign said late Thursday,” according to the newspaper. Obama has not committed to campaigning in Georgia on Martin’s behalf, but he has “turned more than two dozen field offices over to Martin’s campaign, and many of his former campaign staff and volunteers are now working on the Georgia Democrat’s behalf,” the Journal-Constitution reports.

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the recount process in Minnesota’s Senate race varies from county to county. Some “let onlookers circulate among tables stacked with piles of ballots, while some keep them behind yellow ‘Caution’ tape. Some have campaign representatives sit across the table while elections officials sort ballots, while others allow them to squeeze in closer. And some counters take lunch breaks, while others don’t.” The differences are reminders that the statewide recount “is merely being overseen by the state. The actual work of counting and interpreting ballots — much as with voting on Election Day — is largely being left to local officials,” according to the newspaper. As of Thursday, reports said incumbent Republican Norm Coleman was leading Demcratic challenger Al Franken by fewer than 200 votes.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA: Leaders Scramble for Electric-Car Network
NEW YORK CITY: Transit Agency: Service Cuts, Big Fare Hikes Coming
THE NATION: Prosecutors: Budget Cuts Hampering Crime Fight
CALIFORNIA: State to Stop Stocking Fish in Lakes, Streams
TEXAS: Crusading Former Attorney General Dies

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, NOV. 20, 2008 – 2:37 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Democrats to Auto Industry: Show Us a Plan for Viability
  • Waxman Topples Dingell, Claims Gavel at House Energy and Commerce
  • Towns Likely Choice to Lead House Oversight Panel
  • House GOP Backs Away from Earmark Moratorium
  • Stevens Bids Farewell to Senate After Four Decades
  • Political Trivia for Nov. 20
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Today in Washington

The House Democrats ousted veteran Michigan Democrat John D. Dingell as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, handing the gavel to Henry A. Waxman of California.

The Senate may vote on clearing an extension of unemployment benefits, although prospects for action to provide an emergency loan to U.S. auto companies appear dim.

The President has no public events scheduled.

In Washington, National Geographic hosts a gala event celebrating the 2008 Adventurers of the Year, as named by National Geographic Adventure magazine, and other outstanding accomplishments in the world of adventure, exploration, conservation and humanitarian work over the past year. 6:45 p.m., National Geographic Society, 1600 M St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Democrats to Auto Industry: Show Us a Plan for Viability

Democratic leaders of Congress slammed the brakes on efforts by Rust Belt senators to push an auto industry loan through Congress this week, saying they first need to see a plan to make the industry viable going forward.  [Read More]

Waxman Topples Dingell, Claims Gavel at House Energy and Commerce

House Democrats on Thursday handed Henry A. Waxman of California the gavel of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, toppling veteran Chairman John D. Dingell of Michigan.  [Read More]

Towns Likely Choice to Lead House Oversight Panel

Rep. Edolphus Towns of New York emerged Thursday as the leading candidate to replace outgoing Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman of California.  [Read More]

House GOP Backs Away from Earmark Moratorium

For the second year in a row, the House GOP caucus Thursday rejected an effort to limit its members’ requests for special projects, or earmarks, in this case a short-term moratorium.  [Read More]

Stevens Bids Farewell to Senate After Four Decades

The felony conviction that was Sen. Ted Stevens’ undoing was barely a footnote Thursday when his colleagues on both sides of the aisle bade an emotional farewell to the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Nov. 20

How many states will have all-Republican congressional delegations (Senate and House seats) when the 111th Congress begins?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that former President Bill Clinton said that Georgia U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Jim Martin is “the kind of guy we ought to have in public life. His opponent was elected on a false premise six years ago and is running on a false premise today.” Martin is in a runoff against incumbent Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss. Neither candidate was able to win the required 50 percent of the vote. The vote is scheduled for Dec. 2. Clinton challenged Chambliss’s claim that he represents “a firewall” against Democratic power. “This guy’s trying to give you chapter two of a song that wasn’t worth a flip when he sang it the first time,” Clinton said. “This country doesn’t need a firewall against the future. It needs a bridge to the future.”

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman’s lead over Democratic candidate Al Franken has narrowed to 174 votes out of 2.9 million cast, with about 18 percent of the recount completed. The gap before the recount began was 215 votes. “Franken’s gain owed much to a swing of 23 votes in the Democratic stronghold of St. Louis County — the result of faintly marked ballots and older optical scanners that failed to read the marks,” the newspaper reports.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE MIDWEST: Ethanol Production Moving from Boom to Bust
CALIFORNIA: Study: Fish Species Face Extinction
THE NATION: Three Top Airports Opening New Runways
LOS ANGELES: City May Pay $13 Million to Injured Protesters, Bystanders
HOUSTON: Auto Registrations at Risk for Red-Light Camera Scofflaws

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, NOV. 19, 2008 – 2:13 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Jockeying Continues Over Aid to U.S. Auto Industry
  • Democratic Steering Panel Chooses Waxman Over Dingell
  • Congress May Act To Ease Pension Rules Temporarily
  • Boehner Wins Second Term as House GOP Leader
  • Orszag is Leading White House Budget Office Contender
  • Political Trivia for Nov. 19
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Today in Washington

The House convenes at 1 p.m. with no votes expected.

The Senate considers a motion to proceed to legislation to make available emergency loans to domestic automobile companies.

The President speaks in honor of the reopening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, on the Mall.

In Washington, Anthony S. Bryk, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, delibers a policy address on the future of education research. 4 p.m., Wohlstetter Conference Center, 1150 17th St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Jockeying Continues Over Aid to U.S. Auto Industry

Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., said Wednesday that leaders are trying to determine whether a compromise auto industry aid proposal floated by Republicans could win Senate passage this week.  [Read More]

Democratic Steering Panel Chooses Waxman Over Dingell

The House Democratic Steering Committee Wednesday nominated Henry A. Waxman to be chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee next year — a stinging rebuke of the sitting chairman, John D. Dingell.  [Read More]

Congress May Act To Ease Pension Rules Temporarily

Lawmakers are considering fast-tracking a pension bill that would allow cash-strapped companies to avoid making sharply increased mandatory payments into their defined-benefit pension plans.  [Read More]

Boehner Wins Second Term as House GOP Leader

Minority Leader John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, won a second term Wednesday as the top House Republican by defeating Dan Lungren of California.  [Read More]

Orszag is Leading White House Budget Office Contender

Congressional Budget Office Director Peter R. Orszag has been approached by President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team about becoming Office of Management and Budget director in the new administration and is the leading candidate for the job, sources on and off Capitol Hill said Wednesday.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Nov. 19

Come January, Democrats will hold at least half the House seats in how many of the 28 states carried by Barack Obama?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that the campaigns of Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken are closely watching as Minnesota officials conduct a recount of Senate votes. The campaigns have hired dozens of lawyers and filed a “blizzard” of legal memos with the state canvassing board. The process of counting all 2.9 million ballots by hand is expected to take weeks. Going in, Coleman led Franken by only 215 votes.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Georgia voters aren’t likely to see GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss and Democratic challenger Jim Martin meet in another debate before the Dec. 2 runoff election. The daily said “PBS’ Judy Woodruff has agreed to come to town Sunday for a proposed Chambliss-Martin debate. But both candidates were balking at the idea on Tuesday,” claiming scheduling conflicts. The two met in six debates in advance of the Nov. 4 vote, in which neither candidate won a majority.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: Report: Massachusetts Leads in Transition to New Economy
FLORIDA: Financial Adviser: State Paying Too Much for Everglades Land
CALIFORNIA: State Unready for Warming’s Impact, Report Says
WASHINGTON STATE: State to Track Hospital Infections
MARYLAND: State Police Labeled Environmental Activists as Terrorists
THE NATION: Home Prices Down 9 Percent from a Year Ago
SAN FRANCISCO: Ex-Supervisor Pleads Guilty to Lying
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Firefighters Making Headway in Calmed Winds

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CQ Weekly
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This is a reminder that Friday, Nov. 21st is the last day to take advantage of this special offer. Please see below for details.

Note: If you have already purchased your copies of CQ Weekly's "Election 2008" special report, please disregard this message.

Dear Colleague,

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, NOV. 18, 2008 – 1:41 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Lieberman Keeps Homeland Security Gavel
  • Auto Bailout Hopes Fade as Hoyer Raises Prospect of December Session
  • Frank Presses Treasury To Use Bailout Fund To Stave Off Foreclosures
  • Transit Agencies Seek Default Shelter From Congress
  • Republicans Delay Vote on Stevens’ Fate
  • Political Trivia for Nov. 18
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate is not in session.

The President speaks at the Department of Transportation on aviation congestion and transportation safety and announces new holiday air travel and consumer protection measures.

In Washington, the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Africa program, Global Witness and the Bank Information Center host an event, “Transparency in the Oil, Gas and Mining Sectors in Resource-Rich Countries: A Policy Discussion on the Role of the IMF and World Bank.” 3 p.m., Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Lieberman Keeps Homeland Security Gavel

Joseph I. Lieberman’s drama is over.  [Read More]

Auto Bailout Hopes Fade as Hoyer Raises Prospect of December Session

Top Senate Republicans said Tuesday that an Energy Department loan program approved last year – not this fall’s $700 billion financial industry bailout program — should be the source of aid for struggling domestic automakers.  [Read More]

Frank Presses Treasury To Use Bailout Fund To Stave Off Foreclosures

The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday pressed the Treasury Department to use money from the financial rescue program enacted last month to reduce home foreclosures.  [Read More]

Transit Agencies Seek Default Shelter From Congress

Officials of the nation’s largest public transit agencies came to Capitol Hill Tuesday seeking legislation designed to save them from imminent default.  [Read More]

Republicans Delay Vote on Stevens’ Fate

Senate Republicans decided Tuesday to wait for the results of Alaska’s squeaky close Senate election before deciding the fate of Ted Stevens, convicted last month on seven felony counts.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Nov. 18

The first name of which incoming House freshman is the same as the last name of the candidate he defeated?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that former President Bill Clinton will campaign Wednesday for Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jim Martin, who is locked in a runoff against Sen. Saxby Chambliss. “Clinton, who helped Martin raise money in the general election, will rally supporters at Clark Atlanta University,” the newspaper reports. “And Martin’s bid will get a further boost from veteran Democratic consultant Donna Brazile.” The runoff will take place Dec. 2.

WLS-TV Chicago reports Illinois District 4 Democrat Luis V. Gutierrez expressed an interest in replacing President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate. “Unlike other members of Chicago’s congressional delegation who covet the job, Gutierrez says he’ll take the low-profile approach,” the television station reports. “If he calls me to serve, I will serve,” Gutierrez said. Governor Rod Blagojevich must appoint the new senator. “This is a campaign about convincing one voter, the governor of the State of Illinois, and I have a meeting scheduled” with him, said Gutierrez. Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Jesse L. Jackson Jr. have also said they are interested in the job.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the Minnesota attorney general’s office issued an opinion that effectively blocked Senate Democratic candidate Al Franken’s attempt to have rejected absentee ballots be considered in the election results , which are to be certified Tuesday. The opinion called for the issue to be left with the courts and not the state Canvassing Board. The opinion stated that “the board’s job today is purely administrative, not to determine the eligibility of a voter or whether absentee ballots were properly accepted.” Republican Sen. Norm Coleman leads Franken by 215 votes out of more than 2.9 million cast. “The difference is well within the one-half percentage point required to trigger an automatic hand recount, which Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said he was ‘absolutely’ certain will begin Wednesday morning despite the last-minute challenge,” the newspaper reports.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CALIFORNIA: Governor Accelerates Push for Renewable Energy
TEXAS: A.G.: Step Up Fight Against Human Trafficking
NEW YORK CITY: Mayor Can’t Halt Tax Rebates
WASHINGTON, D.C.: City Shuts Down 23 Used-Car Dealerships
MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz.: $86 Million in Projects Shelved to Build Court Tower
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Firefighters Gaining Control in Calmer Winds

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Monday, November 17, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, NOV. 17, 2008 – 2:22 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Democrats Face Uphill Climb on Stimulus, Auto Industry Bailout
  • Feinstein Seeks Vote This Week To Ban Sale of Inaugural Tickets
  • Senate Democrats Get Serious About Health Care System Overhaul
  • Freshmen Face Big Decisions This Week
  • Senate Puts Off Lands Bill Until Next Year
  • Political Trivia for Nov. 17
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate reconvenes at noon and is expected to take up a measure to provide assistance to the struggling domestic auto industry.

The President and Mrs. Bush present the 2008 National Medals of Arts and National Humanities Medals; the president holds a photo op with the 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup Team.

In Washington, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. discusses the economy and financial markets at a meeting of the Wall Street Journal CEO Council. 6:30 p.m., Four Seasons Hotel, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Democrats Face Uphill Climb on Stimulus, Auto Industry Bailout

Senate Democrats will try to put a broad economic stimulus bill on the floor Monday but Republicans are expected to object to considering the package, leaving the issue for January when Democrats plan to push a more expensive plan.  [Read More]

Feinstein Seeks Vote This Week To Ban Sale of Inaugural Tickets

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Monday she will seek passage this week of legislation to outlaw the sale or counterfeiting of tickets to Barack Obama’s inauguration.  [Read More]

Senate Democrats Get Serious About Health Care System Overhaul

Rather than waiting for President-elect Barack Obama to take office next year or for the 111th Congress to convene, Senate Democratic leaders this week are escalating discussions about an ambitious overhaul of the health care system.  [Read More]

Freshmen Face Big Decisions This Week

Incoming freshmen are not yet official members of Congress, but many of them will be casting their first tough votes this week as both parties in both chambers organize for the 111th Congress.  [Read More]

Senate Puts Off Lands Bill Until Next Year

The Senate will not take up an omnibus public lands bill this year, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday, because there isn’t enough time to overcome procedural obstacles from an opponent of the legislation.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Nov. 17

In how many states will Democrats hold all congressional seats (Senate and House) based on the Nov. 4 elections?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that candidate Al Franken will meet with Democratic leadership in the Senate Tuesday to update them on the recount in Minnesota. Franken is locked in a tight race with Republican incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman. The Senate leaders and the candidate also will talk about upcoming legislation, said Franken spokeswoman Colleen Murray. “If he should win this election, it would be irresponsible for him not to get ready to take office,” she said. “Minnesota deserves a senator who is ready to take office on day one.”

The Shreveport Times reports that “Vice President Dick Cheney will be guest of honor Friday at a fundraiser” for Louisiana District 4 GOP candidate John Fleming, who will face Democrat Paul Carmouche and independent candidates Gerard Bowen Jr. and Chester T. ‘Catfish’ Kelley in a winner-take-all general election Dec. 6. The invitation-only fundraiser will be held at a private residence in Shreveport.

The Anchorage Daily News reports that the state will count the final 24,000 absentee and questioned ballots Tuesday. Hanging in the balance is the seat of incumbent Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, who fell further behind Mark Begich — about 1,022 votes — late last week.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE LOS ANGELES REGION: With 900 Homes in Ashes, Winds Relent
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Schools’ ‘State of Emergency’ Would End-Run Union
THE NATION: Transit Agencies Eye Federal Protection on Finance Deals
THE NATION: Minneapolis Bridge Collapse May Bring New Rules
FLORIDA: Public-Funds Account Plummets by $65 Billion
TEXAS: Plan for Statewide License Checkpoints Abandoned
COLORADO: Capitol’s Gold Dome Gets Touch of Green

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