Friday, December 19, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, DEC. 19, 2008 – 2:18 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Bush Announces Loans To GM, Chrysler
  • Paulson Wants OK To Release Remaining Financial Bailout Funds
  • Stimulus Price Tag Keeps Mounting, Alarming GOP and Blue Dogs
  • Obama Chooses Retired Admiral as Intelligence Chief
  • Unfilled Senate Seats Leave Some Inauguration Tickets Up for Grabs
  • Political Trivia for Dec. 19
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Today in Washington

The House  is not in session.

The Senate  meets in pro forma session.

President Bush  announces release of emergency loans to U.S. automakers; with Mrs. Bush, unveils the National Portrait Gallery’s portraits of the president and Mrs. Bush; participates in a photo op with recipients of the 2007 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers.

President-Elect Barack Obama  completes announcements of his Cabinet at a news conference in Chicago; records and videotapes a weekly radio address.

In Washington, National Press Club Speakers Committee hosts a discussion on the economic crisis by Paul Krugman, professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University, New York Times columnist and 2008 winner of the Nobel Prize in economics. 12:30 p.m., National Press Club, 529 14th St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Bush Announces Loans To GM, Chrysler

By acting Friday to send low-interest, short-term loans to General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC in return for concessions and restructuring, President Bush left the toughest questions about the industry’s future to President-elect Barack Obama.  [Read More]

Paulson Wants OK To Release Remaining Financial Bailout Funds

Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said Friday that Congress should release the second half of the $700 billion fund allocated to stabilize the financial sector, but he and other administration officials did not say whether President Bush will formally request the money before leaving office Jan. 20.  [Read More]

Stimulus Price Tag Keeps Mounting, Alarming GOP and Blue Dogs

A rush by competing constituent groups continues to push up the cost of the emerging economic recovery package, prompting alarm among Republicans and some Democrats in Congress.  [Read More]

Obama Chooses Retired Admiral as Intelligence Chief

President-elect Barack Obama will nominate retired Adm. Dennis Blair, former commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, as national intelligence director, congressional sources said Friday.  [Read More]

Unfilled Senate Seats Leave Some Inauguration Tickets Up for Grabs

Hundreds of the hottest tickets in town — for President-elect Barack Obama’s swearing-in at the Capitol — are up for grabs because of the undecided Senate election in Minnesota and the scandal in Illinois that has delayed the selection of Obama’s successor.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Dec. 19

Which former U.S. Labor Secretary never served in Congress?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Rocky Mountain News reports that Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. is getting an “intense” amount of lobbying over the replacement of Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., who was tapped by President-elect Barack Obama to be Interior secretary. “Scores of interest groups and dozens of ordinary Coloradans are weighing in” as the governor announced he was seeking input on the appointment. A poll done Tuesday by Public Opinion Polling shows Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper in the lead with 23 percent, followed by Ken Salazar’s older brother, Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., with 15 percent. Other candidates include state House speaker Andrew Romanoff, with 12 percent and former Denver mayor and Transportation Secretary Federico Pena, with 11 percent.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., intends to seek permission from federal regulators to use his re-election campaign money for a legal defense fund. Two lawsuits allege that businessman Nasser Kazeminy funneled $75,000 to Coleman through an insurance agency that employs the senator’s wife. Campaign finance laws dictate that campaign money cannot be spent for “personal use.” The Coleman campaign is arguing that the allegations are politically motivated, and that the campaign cash can be spent for legal fees.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW YORK CITY: Council OKs $1.2 Billion Property Tax Hike
DENVER: Auditor Slams City’s Emergency Response System
THE NATION: ‘Gross Mismanagement’ Cited in Hazmat Grant Program
MINNESOTA: Audits: Agencies Sloppy with Money

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, DEC. 18, 2008 – 2:21 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Obama Names Top Financial Regulators
  • Looking to 2010, Senate Leader Reid Hopes to Avoid Daschle’s Fate
  • Labor and Green Groups Launch Effort for Stimulus
  • Political Trivia for Dec. 18
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate is not in session.

President Bush makes remarks to the American Enterprise Institute.

President-Elect Barack Obama held a press conference in Chicago at the Drake Hotel.

In Washington, The Information Technology Association of America will host a discussion of security policy issues, including security of information on public and commercial systems. 2 p.m., Capitol, HC-8.

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Top Stories

Obama Names Top Financial Regulators

President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday chose veteran regulator Mary Schapiro to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission as he promised a broad overhaul of financial oversight.  [Read More]

Looking to 2010, Senate Leader Reid Hopes to Avoid Daschle’s Fate

As he prepares to seek a fifth Senate term in 2010, Majority Leader Harry Reid is positioning himself to avoid the pitfalls that led to the ouster of the last Senate Democratic leader from a conservative-leaning state.  [Read More]

Labor and Green Groups Launch Effort for Stimulus

A host of national unions and other progressive groups launched an initiative Thursday to lobby for quick passage of a near-trillion-dollar economic stimulus package being proposed by congressional leaders and the Obama administration — no matter what the final product includes.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Dec. 18

Which of these U.S. Interior Secretaries never served in Congress?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that members of Minnesota’s state canvassing board were set to consider charges Thursday that some ballots have been counted twice in the state’s undecided Senate race. “Republican Sen. Norm Coleman’s campaign contends that as many as 150 ballots were counted twice by local elections officials and suggests that many of those extra votes could have gone to Democrat Al Franken. It wants the board to eliminate any double-counting.” The Franken campaign contends that the issue reaches beyond the board’s responsibilities.

The New York Daily News reports that Caroline Kennedy is stepping up her efforts to campaign for Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat with a 160-mile listening tour of upstate New York. Her efforts come as “a new Siena poll of New York voters found that 31 percent think she’s got a lock on the job.” The poll also found that 26 percent prefer state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, with 23 percent who favor Kennedy.

The Denver Post reports that unions appear to be backing Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter in the race to succeed Democrat Sen. Ken Salazar, who was picked by the incoming Obama administration to be Interior secretary. “Colorado’s powerful unions are opposed to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper — who associates said Wednesday is actively seeking the job.” Also named as contenders for the seat are State House Speaker Andrew Romanoff and Tom Strickland, who lost two races against retiring Republican Sen. Wayne Allard.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ILLINOIS: High Court Rejects Effort to Remove Governor
CALIFORNIA: Insider to Head Mammoth Pension Fund
LOS ANGELES: City Tightens Ammo Sales
THE DETROIT REGION: City, Suburbs Reach Deal on Water System
THE NEW YORK CITY REGION: Transit Agency to Cut Services, Raise Fares

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, DEC. 17, 2008 – 2:05 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Inaugural Program Features Star-Studded Cast
  • Northcom Chief Vows to Address Worries About New Homeland Unit
  • Sen. Salazar Named Secretary of Interior
  • Vilsack Joins Obama Team as Secretary of Agriculture
  • Political Trivia for Dec. 17
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate is not in session.

President Bush makes remarks on national security and homeland security at U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.

President-Elect Barack Obama holds a press conference in Chicago to introduce Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., his choice for Interior secretary and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, his nominee for secretary of Agriculture.

In Washington, Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao presides over the Labor Department Hall of Fame induction. 3 p.m., Great Hall, Labor Department.

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Top Stories

Inaugural Program Features Star-Studded Cast

The Queen of Soul, a cello man and a megachurch founder.  [Read More]

Northcom Chief Vows to Address Worries About New Homeland Unit

A senior military official pledged Wednesday to address congressional concerns about a new homeland emergency response task force that is designed to respond to a chemical, biological or nuclear attack.  [Read More]

Sen. Salazar Named Secretary of Interior

President-elect Obama has tapped Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., to be the next secretary of the Interior, where he will oversee a host of contentious issues that range from oil leasing to endangered species.  [Read More]

Vilsack Joins Obama Team as Secretary of Agriculture

President-elect Barack Obama on Wednesday introduced former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack as his nominee for secretary of Agriculture.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Dec. 17

Which constitutional amendment granted electoral votes to the District of Columbia?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Hutchinson News reports that Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., will announce Thursday that he will not seek re-election to the Senate in 2010. Brownback, first elected in a 1996 special election, “pledged to serve only two full terms in office when he first ran for the Senate. ... Brownback has said he’s mulling a run for Kansas governor in 2010, although his office indicated Tuesday that he wouldn’t be ‘making any announcements about his future at this time.’” Among the Republicans eyeing his Senate seat are 1st District Rep. Jerry Moran and 4th District Rep. Todd Tiahrt. “Gov. Kathleen Sebelius also has been mentioned as a potential Democratic candidate for Brownback’s seat, although she has yet to publicly indicate whether she’s interested in running.”

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports, “Even as challenged ballots took center stage in the U.S. Senate race, three of Minnesota’s biggest counties continued to grapple with absentee ballots, the other outstanding issue that could finally settle the contest between Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken. In Hennepin and St. Louis counties, officials are waiting for guidance from the state Supreme Court before they go ahead with the counting of hundreds of improperly rejected absentee ballots.” Meanwhile, Franken’s campaign went to court Tuesday to try to force Olmsted County officials to count 27 absentee ballots “accepted by elections officials but mistakenly not tallied because of what the campaign called an ‘administrative error.’’’

The Martinsville (Va.) Bulletin reports that a “recount Tuesday of ballots cast by Henry County and Martinsville voters in the 5th District congressional race did not find major changes in the vote totals, local election officials reported.” A three-judge panel of the Albermarle Circuit Court is scheduled to hold a hearing today on whether Democrat Tom Perriello’s lead of 745 votes over GOP Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr. will stand. “Goode requested the recount after the state Board of Elections declared Perriello the winner in the Nov. 4 election.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CALIFORNIA: State to List Products’ ‘Environmental Footprint’
THE NATION: States Seeing Surge in Welfare Rolls
DETROIT: Finances Leave City Projects in Limbo
WASHINGTON, D.C.: City to Re-Bid Controversial Lottery Contract

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CQ Weekly's Annual Report: 2008 Key Votes & Vote Studies | Order your copies today

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CQ Weekly

Dear Colleague,

CQ Weekly’s Annual Report: 2008 Key Votes & Vote Studies is now available.

This invaluable annual report analyzes the voting behavior of members of Congress. It shows how often lawmakers side with members of their own party and how often they support the president on votes where he has a clear position. The information is organized by members, states and parties—serving as an indispensible reference guide to the “yeas” and “nays” of each congressional session.

The Vote Studies adhere to a specific and consistent methodology to deliver conclusive findings. The findings are unique because CQ’s approach is quantitative, unlike other vote studies that rely largely on the judgment of their reporters and editors.

Order today to ensure you receive this important publication. Each copy is only $50, and multi-copy discounts are available by completing this order form or calling 202-419-8621. Pre-payment is required and supply is limited. This offer expires Wednesday, Dec. 31st.

The 2008 edition reports increases in the average party unity scores across both parties and chambers, the lowest presidential support scores in Congress of the Bush presidency, and decreases in member voting participation in both the House and Senate.

This sought-after annual study of the voting patterns in Congress includes insight into:

  • Party Unity. An in-depth review of all roll-call votes where an absolute majority of one party voted against an absolute majority of the other party, providing detail on how members voted along party lines on the critical issues that matter to you.
  • Presidential Support. An analysis of members’ voting support and opposition to President Bush’s position, when it was clearly known—and the percentage of the selected votes on which the president prevailed—offering a clear picture of the political climate on Capitol Hill.
  • Voting Participation. A report on the percentage of votes each member actually cast (missing a vote doesn’t penalize a member by lowering his or her score), clearly depicting the effects of an election year on member attendance.

Click here to visit the CQ Store and place your order by Wednesday, Dec. 31st. We will mail your copies to you right away.

I hope you find CQ Weekly’s Annual Report: 2008 Key Votes & Vote Studies valuable to your work.

Sincerely,

Keith White
Publisher
Congressional Quarterly Inc.


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1255 22nd Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: 202-419-8621
WWW.CQ.COM

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, DEC. 16, 2008 – 2:12 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Educators, Lawmakers Praise Obama’s Choice of Duncan
  • White House Tries to Calm Auto Bailout Speculation
  • Bailout Season Has Republicans Choosing Sides
  • Becerra Likely To Remain in House
  • Political Trivia for Dec. 16
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate meets in pro forma session.

President Bush meets with Antonio Saca, president of El Salvador.

President-Elect Barack Obama  introduces Arne Duncan, his choice for Education secretary, at a news conference in Chicago; meets with key members of his economic team.

In Washington, the School of Advanced International Studies holds a discussion, “Turkey and NATO: In the Caucasus, Central Asia and Afghanistan,” with Vahit Erdem, head of the Turkish delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and a member of the Turkish parliament. 5 p.m., 1619 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Educators, Lawmakers Praise Obama’s Choice of Duncan

President-elect Barack Obama’s selection of Chicago public schools chief Arne Duncan to be his Education secretary is winning praise from disparate segments of the education community, who call Duncan a pragmatic choice.  [Read More]

White House Tries to Calm Auto Bailout Speculation

The Bush administration tried Tuesday to tamp down expectations about how fast an auto industry bailout would be announced.  [Read More]

Bailout Season Has Republicans Choosing Sides

The Bush administration’s push to develop an aid package for the Big Three automakers has stoked conflict within Republican ranks over the best approach to dealing with economic pain and the political fallout the party might face in the nation’s industrial heartland.  [Read More]

Becerra Likely To Remain in House

Rep. Xavier Becerra, President-elect Barack Obama’s choice to become U.S. trade representative, is likely to remain in the House instead, according to Democratic sources.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Dec. 16

Which two-term president had both the warmest and coldest January inauguration days?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports that a spokesman for Rep. Paul W. Hodes, D-N.H., said he is “seriously considering” a run against Republican Sen. Judd Gregg in 2010. “He has been approached about the race,” Hodes spokesman Mark Bergman told the newspaper on Monday. “In the past several days, there have been unconfirmed reports that Hodes’ 1st District colleague, U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, is also interested,” the Union Leader reported. “Sources close to Hodes say that any public announcement about 2010 probably would not come until after the first 100 days of Barack Obama’s administration.”

According to the Arizona Daily Star, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., says she will not run for governor — an idea that “has been floated by some as an alternative to the normal list of Democratic candidates: Attorney General Terry Goddard, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and millionaire developer Jim Pederson.” One of the big reasons for opting out, Giffords says, is that she doesn’t want to move to Phoenix. “I’m a native Southern Arizonan, and wouldn’t be interested in relocating to the state capital,” she told the newspaper. Giffords represents part of Tucson and a large swath of southeastern Arizona.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the campaigns of Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken “resumed their verbal jousting” on Monday, “jockeying for position on the eve of a potentially decisive meeting of the state’s Canvassing Board.” The board will meet to consider hundreds of challenged ballots in the race, which Coleman currently leads by 192 votes out of 2.9 million cast, according to official results. Coleman’s campaign told the newspaper that it probably would present fewer than 1,000 challenged ballots, while Franken’s campaign said it would submit fewer than 500.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ARIZONA: Governor to Give Unions New Powers
CALIFORNIA: Federal Limits Could Halve Water Transfers
ALASKA: Arson Accelerants Found at Governor’s Church
NEW ENGLAND: Hundreds of Thousands Still Without Power
WASHINGTON, D.C.: ‘Culture of Apathy’ Cited in Tax-Embezzlement Scandal
DETROIT: Schools Chief Fired after 18 Months on Job

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Monday, December 15, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, DEC. 15, 2008 – 1:53 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Energy and Climate Front and Center For Obama Administration
  • Court Says Group Can Sue Altria for Fraud in ‘Light’ Cigarette Advertising
  • Rep. Hoekstra Won’t Seek Re-Election in 2010
  • Michigan’s Levin Expects White House Auto Aid This Week
  • Political Trivia for Dec. 15
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate is not in session.

President Bush  meets with Jewish leaders; with Mrs. Bush, makes remarks at a Hanukkah reception.

President-Elect Barack Obama  holds a national security meeting in Chicago with Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., Secretary of State designee Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Attorney General designee Eric Holder, Secretary of Homeland Security designee Janet Napolitano, and White House Chief of Staff designee Rahm Emanuel; holds news conference to discuss energy and environmental nominations, policy.

In Washington, the Embassy of Austria hosts a lecture titled “The Internationalization of Science — What’s in the Future for U.S. Science and Science Policy?” with Norman Neureiter, director of the Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and moderator Warren E. Leary, science writer and former science correspondent for the New York Times. 7 p.m., Embassy of Austria, 3524 International Court, N.W.

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Top Stories

Energy and Climate Front and Center For Obama Administration

With the creation of a new White House position and the appointment of a Nobel-prize winner to run the Energy Department, President-elect Barack Obama is signaling that energy and climate policy will be elevated to top priorities in his administration.  [Read More]

Court Says Group Can Sue Altria for Fraud in ‘Light’ Cigarette Advertising

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a federal law regulating tobacco product labeling does not bar a group of Maine smokers from using a state consumer protection law sue a major tobacco company.  [Read More]

Rep. Hoekstra Won’t Seek Re-Election in 2010

Rep. Pete Hoekstra said Monday he will not seek a 10th term in 2010, clearing the way for a possible run for Michigan governor.  [Read More]

Michigan’s Levin Expects White House Auto Aid This Week

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said Monday that he expects the Bush administration to announce an aid package for the auto industry by midweek and that it will likely resemble a plan passed by the House.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Dec. 15

Which president was inaugurated the day after a heavy snowfall in Washington?  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ILLINOIS: Governor Meets with Attorney, Mulls Resignation Calls
CALIFORNIA: Strict Emissions Limits OK’d for Diesel Trucks, Buses
NEW ENGLAND: Ice-Storm Power Outages May Last for Days
LOS ANGELES: Mayor Moves to Offer Voluntary Retirements
THE NEW YORK CITY REGION: Port Hikes Infrastructure Spending
FULTON COUNTY, Ga.: Federal Death Penalty Eyed for Courthouse Killer
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Charter School Boards Rife with Conflicts of Interest

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Political Clippings

New Orleans City Business reports that Democrats are looking for a centrist to conservative candidate to challenge David Vitter, R-La., and some of the potential candidates include Shaw Group Chairman and CEO Jim Bernhard, former Gov. Kathleen Blanco and District 3 Democratic Rep. Charlie Melancon. “The senator admitted to a ‘serious sin’ regarding his involvement with the Washington, D.C., call girl operation,” the publication reports. “Since the scandal broke in July 2007, Vitter has tried mightily to regain his political footing and prepare for re-election.” Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, has made several trips to Louisiana to talk to party leaders about recruiting a candidate.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that “the two campaigns in Minnesota’s Senate race have vowed to withdraw even more of the ballots they’re challenging in the state recount.” Democrat Al Franken’s campaign announced Sunday that it expects another 500 challenged ballots to be dropped by Tuesday, when review of the challenged ballots begins. “Republican Sen. Norm Coleman’s campaign announced later Sunday that it would ask the state Canvassing Board to review fewer than 1,000 ballots,” the newspaper reports. Both campaigns had challenged 6,600 ballots at the start of the recount. With new reductions on both sides, the board now must review 3,400 challenged ballots.

The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin reports that Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., could be in trouble in his 2010 reelection bid as “whispers continue to percolate that his age and health make him vulnerable.” Republicans also have more than 1 million fewer registered voters than Democrats in the state.

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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.
ECONOMIC STIMULUS: Funding for Medicaid, health information technology, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, are likely candidates for economic stimulus package.
HHS: Daschle named to head HHS, White House health reform efforts.
HEALTH REFORM: Sen. Baucus to introduce health reform legislation early next year.
Read the online report | Health on the Hill audio links

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