Wednesday, March 25, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, March 25, 2009 – 2:11 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Panel Wants Fast-Track Approach for Obama Priorities
  • Obama Sets Up Task Force to Prepare for 2010 Tax Code Overhaul
  • Bill Would Require Some Paid Leave for Federal Workers
  • House Panel Approves Bill to Aid Disposal of Unwanted Electronics
  • Kerry, Lugar Push for Confirmation of Iraq Ambassador
  • Political Trivia for Wednesday, March 25, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House is expected to clear an omnibus lands package for the president's signature; also is set to pass a bill expanding the authority of the special inspector general who oversees the federal financial bailout program.

The Senate is set to pass a bill to expand national volunteer service programs.

The President meets with the NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer; meets with the Senate Democratic Caucus about his budget priorities; with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., hosts an event to commemorate Greek Independence Day; delivers remarks at Democratic fundraisers tonight at the National Women in the Arts Museum and at the Warner Theater.

In Washington, the Alzheimer's Association hosts the Sixth Annual National Alzheimer's Gala, co-chaired by George Vradenburg, president of the Vradenburg Foundation; Trish Vradenburg, playwright, journalist and author; and Thomas C. Nelson, chief operating officer of AARP. 7:30 p.m., National Building Museum, 401 F St. N.W.

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Top Stories

House Panel Wants Fast-Track Approach for Obama Priorities

The House is taking a more aggressive approach than the Senate to implementing President Obama's proposals for overhauling the health care system and federal student aid programs. [Read More]

Obama Sets Up Task Force to Prepare for 2010 Tax Code Overhaul

The group will be an offshoot of the president's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, which is led by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and staffed by Austan Goolsbee, a University of Chicago economist who advised Obama's campaign. [Read More]

Bill Would Require Some Paid Leave for Federal Workers

Legislation approved today would guarantee that federal workers receive their regular salary for four of the 12 weeks of leave they are entitled to under the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to tend to the birth or adoption of a child. [Read More]

House Panel Approves Bill to Aid Disposal of Unwanted Electronics

The bill, approved by the Science and Technology Committee, would fund research intended to reduce electronic waste and mitigate its impact on the environment. [Read More]

Kerry, Lugar Push for Confirmation of Iraq Ambassador

Leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee strongly warned their colleagues Wednesday against delaying the nomination of Christopher Hill to be ambassador to Iraq. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Four of McCain's strongest House district showings were in which state? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. | 78-Month Prison Sentence Sought for Ex-Sheriff
MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. | County's Homeless Population Surges
CALIFORNIA | Judge: Prison Health-Care Czar Stays
NEW YORK STATE | I.G.: Civil Service Exams Were Rigged

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Political Clippings

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Sen. Jim Bunning criticized fellow Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for trying to stock his own campaign war chest in the midst of Bunning's fundraising efforts for a 2010 race. "My senior senator also sent out his first mailing for 2014. Just as I refrained from doing it for two years, he sent out his, so you know where he stands," Bunning told reporters Tuesday during a telephone news conference, according to the Herald-Leader. "For the past few months, Bunning has had increasingly testy exchanges with members of the Republican leadership and the news media as both questioned whether the senator can mount a strong bid for a third term," the newspaper reports. "As a key campaign finance reporting period draws closer, the tension has grown palpable."

A new Quinnipiac poll shows Republican former Rep. Pat Toomey crushing Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Arlen Specter in a Republican primary, 41% to 27% with 28% still undecided.

Sam Stein reports President Obama "is flexing his electoral muscle" urging supporters to organize and vote for Democrat Scott Murphy in next Tuesday's special election in New York's 20th District.

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