Wednesday, November 26, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, NOV. 26, 2008 – 2:03 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Top Earners’ Taxes Likely Won’t Change During 111th Congress
  • State Highway Group Sees Plenty of Room for Stimulus Spending
  • Political Trivia for Nov. 26
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Today in Washington

The House is in recess, subject to the call of the chair.

The Senate is in recess but will hold a number of pro forma sessions through the rest of this year.

The President participates in pardoning the National Thanksgiving Turkey; departs with Mrs. Bush for Camp David, Md.

In Washington, Amnesty International holds a discussion on its report “Routinely Targeted: Attacks on Civilians in Somalia.” 6 p.m., Busboys and Poets, 125 5th St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Top Earners’ Taxes Likely Won’t Change During 111th Congress

Congressional Democrats have spent the past eight years itching for a chance to undo their least favorite Bush-era policies.  [Read More]

State Highway Group Sees Plenty of Room for Stimulus Spending

Highway officials from 27 states estimate they now have close to $32 billion in ready-to-go infrastructure projects to include in economic stimulus legislation — almost twice the $18 billion in a bill the House passed in October.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Nov. 26

Which Democratic senator up for election in 2010 has the most campaign cash?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Chicago Tribune reports that Democratic Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez “told Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Tuesday that he wants to be appointed Illinois’ next U.S. senator but would not seek election to the post — a critical caveat that bucks what many Democratic leaders want from a replacement for President-elect Barack Obama.” Gutierrez said in a statement: “Gov. Blagojevich shared with me today that he was very interested in me as a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat, but that his preference is to appoint someone who will run for a full term in 2010.” Blagojevich, a Democrat, gets to appoint Obama’s replacement, and he says he will make a decision around Christmas.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “a whirlwind of political activity has begun to swirl around Georgia’s closely watched Dec. 2 U.S. Senate runoff” between incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss and Democratic challenger Jim Martin. “Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will fly into town next week. Former Republican New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani showed up Tuesday, as did Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, who urged college students to ‘make history,’” the newspaper reported. The race is key because a Democratic victory would move the party closer to a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate. “The resulting showdown has brought an ongoing parade of political bigshots to Georgia,” along with hundreds of volunteers and millions of dollars in advertisements, according to the Journal-Constitution.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, has no plans to offer a holiday endorsement of any candidates for the state’s 2009 gubernatorial election. “I’m going to be neutral in this race,“ Kaine said Tuesday, according to the newspaper. The top three potential candidates are state Del. Brian J. Moran of Alexandria, state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds of Bath County and former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
SAN FRANCISCO: Zoning Plan Clears Way for Thousands of New Homes
PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md.: Former Schools Chief Sentenced to Six Years
LOS ANGELES COUNTY: County Suspends Bid-Evaluation Process
FLORIDA: Report: Solar Power Costlier than Nuclear, Natural Gas
OHIO: Feds Slam State over Safety Seats for Kids

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, NOV. 25, 2008 – 1:44 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Obama Vows To Impose Budget Discipline
  • Paulson Could Yet Tap Remainder of Bailout Fund
  • House Leaders Back Renzi on Wiretaps
  • Schumer To Step Down from DSCC; Menendez To Take Over
  • Political Trivia for Nov. 25
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Today in Washington

The House is in recess, subject to the call of the chair.

The Senate in recess but will hold pro forma sessions until end of the year.

The President speaks at Fort Campbell, Ky., and has lunch with military personnel there; returns to the White House.

In Washington, the Open Society Institute sponsors “Behind the Cycle: A National Summit to Advance an Integrative Approach to Justice Reform,” aimed at uniting the social justice and criminal justice reform communities to address the underlying risk factors that contribute to entry into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. All day, Bethesda Marriott, 5151 Pooks Hill Rd., Bethesda, Md.

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Top Stories

Obama Vows To Impose Budget Discipline

President-elect Barack Obama said Tuesday that spending restraint and a federal budget overhaul are necessary in the long term, even as he called for a deficit-exploding economic recovery bill at the start of his term.  [Read More]

Paulson Could Yet Tap Remainder of Bailout Fund

Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. on Tuesday left open the possibility that the Bush administration could tap the second half of the $700 billion bailout fund, although he said he had no immediate plans to do so.  [Read More]

House Leaders Back Renzi on Wiretaps

A bipartisan group of House leaders has filed a brief supporting retiring Rep. Rick Renzi’s bid to bar prosecutors from introducing wiretapped phone conversations and other evidence at the congressman’s upcoming federal corruption trial, arguing that the materials are constitutionally protected.  [Read More]

Schumer To Step Down from DSCC; Menendez To Take Over

New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, the architect of consecutive Democratic election gains in the Senate, will step down as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and hand the reins to New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Nov. 25

Which GOP senator up for election in 2010 has the most campaign cash?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Waynesboro News Virginian reports that Terry McAuliffe is not a declared candidate for Virginia’s gubernatorial race in 2009, “but he sure sounded like it” during an appearance Monday night at a pancake house in Waynesboro, Va. “The stop was part of a 60-day tour that will end in early January when McAuliffe decides whether to oppose fellow Democrats, Sen. Creigh Deeds and Del. Brian Moran, for the party’s nomination for governor in next June’s primary,” the newspaper reported. “If I do this I will offer big, bold ideas,” said the 51-year-old millionaire businessman, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and head of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential bid.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman’s advantage over Democrat Al Franken stood at 210 votes on Monday night, according to a compilation of results reported to the secretary of state and gathered by the newspaper. Before the recount, Coleman led Franken by 215 votes out of about 2.9 million cast, a margin that has fluctuated over the past week. “Each candidate’s vote total has fallen by more than 1,100 since the recount began, and the bulk of the drop apparently is the result of ballot challenges by the other side, which may or may not be upheld by the state Canvassing Board next month,” the Star Tribune reported. “Each campaign has challenged more than 1,500 ballots.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that “President-elect Barack Obama has become even more involved in Georgia’s bitter U.S. Senate runoff, recording a so-called ‘robo call’ urging voters to elect Democrat Jim Martin in his Dec. 2 runoff battle with incumbent U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.” According to the newspaper, “The recorded calls were being placed to Georgia voters on Monday, but Martin’s campaign declined to specify when they started or how many calls were being made.” The runoff is set for Dec. 2.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: New Orleans Tops Crime-Rate Rankings
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.: County Freezes Hiring, Moves to Cut $60 Million
NEVADA: Lieutenant Governor Says He’s Indictment Target
CALIFORNIA: Court Limits Access to Medical Marijuana

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Monday, November 24, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, NOV. 24, 2008 – 2 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Obama Promises Early Stimulus ‘Jolt’ to Revive Economy
  • Six-Party Talks On Hold Until Obama Takes Office
  • Napolitano Resignation Would Be Costly for Arizona Democrats
  • Political Trivia for Nov. 24
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Today in Washington

The House is in recess, subject to the call of the chair.

The Senate is in recess but will hold a number of pro forma sessions throughout the rest of this year.

The President meets with Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., and discusses Citigroup bailout; holds a photo op with recipients of the 2008 Nobel awards; meets with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel.

In Washington, Georgetown University Law School hosts Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, who will discuss “Public Interest Litigation in Pakistan.” 5:30 p.m., 550 First St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Obama Promises Early Stimulus ‘Jolt’ to Revive Economy

After formally unveiling his economic team on Monday, President-elect Barack Obama said their first order of business will be helping him draft an economic recovery plan.  [Read More]

Six-Party Talks On Hold Until Obama Takes Office

The nuclear crisis in Northeast Asia has reached a critical juncture as six Pacific countries wait for President-elect Barack Obama to restart the delicate negotiations aimed at closing one of the last chapters of the Cold War.  [Read More]

Napolitano Resignation Would Be Costly for Arizona Democrats

If Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano resigns to become Barack Obama’s Homeland Security secretary, it would have far-reaching ramifications for politics in her state.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Nov. 24

How many vice presidents were older than the presidents they served under?  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
VIRGINIA: State Moving to Soften Illegal-Immigrant Policies
COLORADO: EPA Slams Plan for Massive Water-Storage Project
GEORGIA: State Schools Chief Files for Bankruptcy
SAN FRANCISCO: Congestion-Pricing Push Faces High Hurdles
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.: Ex-Council President Pleads Guilty in Blackmail Scheme

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Political Clippings

The Atlanta Journal-Consitution reports former Vice President Al Gore urged about 600 cheering people in Atlanta on Sunday night to vote for U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Jim Martin on Dec. 2 to help bring about “historic change” in Georgia and the nation. Martin is locked in a tight runoff with incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss. “It’s time for him to go,” Gore said of the Chambliss. “The Bush-Cheney-Chambliss philosophy has been tried and has not only found out to be wanting, it has been found out to be a catastrophe.”

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that “with Republican Senator Norm Coleman clinging to a reed-thin lead over [Democratic] challenger Al Franken — 180 votes as of Saturday night — the issue of how and when absentee ballots should be counted has election law experts everywhere closely tracking the Minnesota recount drama. In a race this tight, the difference could come down to clerical errors on absentee ballots or even a challenge of Minnesota’s law governing such ballots.” Both sides will appear before the state Canvassing Board Wednesday when there could be a ruling on whether the rejected absentee ballots will be considered. It is unclear how many rejected absentee ballots there are, but they number in the thousands.

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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.
MEDICAID: Congress adjourns without taking action on additional Medicaid funding for states.
HEALTH CARE REFORM: Senators meet to discuss roadmap for health care reform action early next year.
ENERGY AND COMMERCE CHAIRMANSHIP: Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., ousts Rep. John D. Dingell to serve as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee next year.
HHS SECRETARY: Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle choice to serve as Department of Health and Human Services Secretary in the Obama administration.
Read the online report | Health on the Hill audio links

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