Friday, January 16, 2009

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, JAN. 16, 2009 – 2:06 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Obama’s Push for Bipartisan Stimulus Plan Vexes Some Democrats
  • Weapons Makers Using Jobs Pitch To Lobby for Their Projects
  • Interior Releases Plan for New Offshore Drilling
  • Senate Will Vote Jan. 20 on First Obama Nominees
  • Senate Judiciary Sets Jan. 21 Vote on Holder Nomination
  • Political Trivia for Jan. 16
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Today in Washington

The House meets in pro forma session.

The Senate swears in Democrat Ted Kaufman as the junior senator from Delaware, replacing Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.

President Bush departs for Camp David.

President-Elect Barack Obama tours a factory and meets with workers in Bedford Heights, Ohio, to discuss his economic recovery plan.

In Washington, “Women in Mourning” march to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and demand an immediate ceasefire and an end to the Israeli occupation. 5:15 p.m., Obama Transition Headquarters, 451 6th St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Obama’s Push for Bipartisan Stimulus Plan Vexes Some Democrats

As President-elect Barack Obama urges Congress to advance an economic stimulus plan that will win Republican votes, Democratic leaders writing the legislation face a question: How bipartisan is bipartisan enough?  [Read More]

Weapons Makers Using Jobs Pitch To Lobby for Their Projects

When lobbyists for Lockheed Martin Corp. visited congressional offices in recent weeks to brief members or staff on the merits of their F-22 fighter, the top item on their agenda had nothing to do with the plane’s military attributes.  [Read More]

Interior Releases Plan for New Offshore Drilling

The Interior Department on Friday released a draft five-year plan for offshore oil drilling on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, in one of a flurry of last-minute moves the White House has made to expand oil production and repeal environmental regulations before President Bush leaves office.  [Read More]

Senate Will Vote Jan. 20 on First Obama Nominees

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Friday that the Senate would begin confirming President-elect Barack Obama’s nominees to various executive posts as soon as Obama is sworn in next week.  [Read More]

Senate Judiciary Sets Jan. 21 Vote on Holder Nomination

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote Jan. 21 on the nomination of Eric H. Holder Jr. as attorney general, Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., said Friday.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Jan. 16

Whose record as longest-serving Kentucky senator did Mitch McConnell break?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports, “More than a week into the start of the 111th Congress, Sen. Jim Bunning is missing in action. Kentucky’s junior senator, a Republican who repeatedly has said he is running for re-election next year, has missed several Senate floor votes,” plus “at least three committee confirmation hearings and one party strategy session since the Senate convened Jan. 6.” Bunning, 77, told the paper he was fulfilling “a family commitment six months ago to do certain things, and I’m doing them.” He said he’d told Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., of his plans and “he said there is not going to be a close vote this week.” Bunning said he “would return to Washington on Sunday and will attend Monday night’s Bluegrass Ball, sponsored by the Kentucky Society of Washington on the eve of Obama’s inauguration.”

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, asked about his level of interest in running for the Senate seat of retiring Republican Mel Martinez in 2010, responded Thursday “not much.” Crist, a Republican, said “he has been giving most of his attention to the state’s budget crisis and a review of the Legislature’s recent $2 billion-plus in cuts and borrowing.” According to the paper, “Crist, and those closest to him, have all but ruled out a run.”

The Norman (Okla.) Transcript reports that Lt. Gov. Jari Askins, a Democrat, on Thursday became the first candidate to officially announce a bid for governor in 2010. “If elected, she would be the first woman to serve as Oklahoma’s governor.” She had already sent out fundraising letters earlier this month, and said “she expected the campaign to cost ‘several million dollars.”’ The field could be crowded: “Other candidates considering the race include Democratic Attorney General Drew Edmondson and state Treasurer Scott Meacham, also a Democrat. Republicans Mary Fallin and Tom Cole — both members of Congress — also are said to be rumored to be possible candidates.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NORTHWEST: EPA: Toxic Contaminants Plague Columbia River Basin
THE NATION: Seven States Sue Feds over Abortion Rule
MINNESOTA: Former State Worker Admits Stealing $1 Million
NEW YORK CITY: ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ after Jetliner Ditches
PITTSBURGH: Mayor: Lease Parking Lots to Shore Up Pension
DETROIT: Schools Must Return Unspent $16.3 Million to Feds
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. County Assessor Arrested on Meth Charges

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