Tuesday, September 15, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, September 15, 2009 2:10 p.m.

In This Issue

  • Obama Unveils New Clean Air and Fuel-Economy Standards
  • Blair Says Annual Intelligence Community Spending is $75 Billion
  • Mullen Bolsters Lawmakers Calling for More U.S. Troops in Afghanistan
  • Massachusetts Field Narrows Fast
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Today in Washington

The House is expected to vote on a bill that would affect funding of Postal Service retiree health benefits.

The Senate resumes consideration of the fiscal 2010 Transportation-HUD spending bill. Votes on amendments are likely.

The President travels to Lordstown, Ohio, to meet with workers at the GM plant, then travels to Pittsburgh to address the AFL-CIO national convention and later attends a fundraiser for Sen. Arlen Specter in Philadelphia before returning to the White House in the evening.

In Washington, Experts discuss U.S. children forced into the sex trade and the Meridian Foundation's effort to combat it, with former Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Project Meridian founder Nathan Wilson and Gary Reynolds, retired police chief and the executive director for the Safe Surfin' Foundation. 6:30 p.m., National Press Club.

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Top Stories

Obama Unveils New Clean Air and Fuel-Economy Standards

Under the proposal, the fleetwide Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard will rise to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, accelerating the timetable for federal standards set in a 2007 energy law, which would have required that standard to be met by 2020. The current standard is 27.5 miles per gallon. [Read More]

Blair Says Annual Intelligence Community Spending is $75 Billion

The disclosure came during a press conference in which Dennis C. Blair, director of national intelligence, unveiled a new National Intelligence Strategy, which is the "blueprint" for the intelligence community. It reflects shifting threats since the last such strategy in 2005, and the priorities of the Obama administration. [Read More]

Mullen Bolsters Lawmakers Calling for More U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

Adm. Mike Mullen , President Obama's top military adviser, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, would in all likelihood ask for more U.S. forces in the region within weeks -- a request that Mullen suggested he would support. [Read More]

Massachusetts Field Narrows Fast

The field for the upcoming Senate special election in Massachusetts has quickly taken shape with three candidates prepared to battle for the Democratic nomination and state Sen. Scott P. Brown the strong favorite for the Republican nod. [Read More]
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Political Clippings

The Denver Post reports that Colorado "Gov. Bill Ritter says he would have been better off politically if he had picked former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Democrat Ken Salazar. But the governor...said he is sticking by his appointment of Michael Bennet to the seat." Romanoff is expected to formally announce Wednesday in Pueblo that he will run against Bennet in the Democratic Senate primary next year.

The Boston Globe reports that "House and Senate lawmakers are deeply divided over whether to give Governor Deval Patrick the authority to appoint an interim U.S. senator to the late Edward M. Kennedy's seat, even as top Democrats ramp up their lobbying for a measure that could come up for a vote as early as Thursday."

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports that "Sean Mahoney, publisher of Business New Hampshire magazine and one of the state's three representatives on the Republican National Committee, said...he is 'taking the next step in exploring' a candidacy for" the seat of GOP Sen. Judd Gregg, who is retiring in 2010.

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