Friday, January 30, 2009

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, JAN. 30, 2009 – 1:52 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Sen. Gregg Considered for Commerce Post
  • Senate Poised to Confirm Holder But Other Nominees Still Stalled
  • Both Sides Pushing for Changes to Senate’s Stimulus Package
  • Obama Signs Series of Pro-Labor Executive Orders
  • Political Trivia for Jan. 30
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate is in session for speeches only, with no roll call votes expected.

The President meets with senior advisers; issues executive orders on labor matters and, with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., delivers remarks on the Middle Class Working Families Taskforce; meets with senior enlisted officials of the U.S. Armed Forces.

In Washington, the Republican National Committee meets to elect a new chairman. Capital Hilton, 16th and K Sts., NW.

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Top Stories

Sen. Gregg Considered for Commerce Post

New Hampshire Republican Sen. Judd Gregg confirmed Friday that the White House is considering him as a potential Commerce secretary nominee.  [Read More]

Senate Poised to Confirm Holder But Other Nominees Still Stalled

The Senate is expected to move a step closer Monday to filling out President Obama’s Cabinet when it votes on the nomination of Eric H. Holder Jr. to be attorney general.  [Read More]

Both Sides Pushing for Changes to Senate’s Stimulus Package

Senators are gearing up for a wide-ranging floor debate on an $888 billion economic stimulus bill starting Monday, with Republicans and Democrats alike seeking to make changes to the massive package.  [Read More]

Obama Signs Series of Pro-Labor Executive Orders

President Obama on Friday signed a set of executive orders he said would strengthen the rights of employees of federal contractors.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Jan. 30

Which is the most Republican state, according to a Gallup poll?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that former Minnesota GOP Sen. Norm Coleman has dropped his challenge of 171 ballots he said originally should not have been counted in the state’s two-month long recount. The recount found Coleman behind Democrat Al Franken by 225 votes. “Those 171 ballots were found and counted during the hand recount,” the newspaper reports. “Franken picked up a few dozen votes from their counting.” Coleman continues, through the courts, to try and expand the number of absentee ballots that should be recounted.

Long Island Newsday reports that “New York’s newly appointed junior Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has jumped ahead of potential challengers in the 2010 election after filing papers for a Gillibrand for Senate committee and starting to raise campaign funds.” The newspaper reports that “the fast start by the conservative upstate Democrat puts pressure on liberal Democrats such as Rep. Carolyn McCarthy,” weighing a primary fight, and Republicans such as Rep. Peter T. King, who also is “talking about a Senate run.”

The Sarasota Herald Tribune reports that Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., “continues to fuel speculation that he is likely to make a run for the U.S. Senate in 2010. Buchanan on Wednesday met with ...Sen. John Cornyn, [R-Texas], who is the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.” Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., who plans to retire in 2010, also attended the meeting.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW YORK CITY: Mayor to Seek $900 Million Sales-Tax Hike
OAKLAND, Calif.: Mayor Names Longtime Aide as City Administrator
THE NATION: A Broader Role for States under Obama?
PENNSYLVANIA: Auditor: State’s Medicaid Oversight Lax

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, JAN. 29, 2009 – 2:07 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Pelosi Swings Back at Republicans, Defends Handling of Stimulus
  • House Republicans Ready To Take On Obama
  • Health Care Overhaul Likely To Slip to Next Year
  • Bailout Watchdog Calls for Financial System Overhaul, but GOP Dissents
  • Political Trivia for Jan. 29
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; reconvenes at 2 p.m. Monday.

The Senate continues debate on amendments to a bill to reauthorize and expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and may vote on final passage.

The President  signs the “Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act of 2009;” meets with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner; meets with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In Washington, Columnist David Brooks and E.J. Dionne of Georgetown Public Policy Institute hold a discussion on Christian realism and American politics. 6:30 p.m., Bunn Center Auditorium, 3700 O St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Pelosi Swings Back at Republicans, Defends Handling of Stimulus

A day after the House passed a $819 billion economic stimulus package without a single Republican “yes” vote, Speaker Nancy Pelosi denounced GOP charges that she had rebuffed their efforts at a bipartisan approach.  [Read More]

House Republicans Ready To Take On Obama

HOT SPRINGS, Va. — House Republicans began a three-day retreat at the Homestead resort here poised to pursue their fight with President Obama over parts of his domestic agenda.  [Read More]

Health Care Overhaul Likely To Slip to Next Year

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer promised Thursday that he would put a health care overhaul to a vote in the 111th Congress, even if the economy continues to falter. But he did not commit to action this year.  [Read More]

Bailout Watchdog Calls for Financial System Overhaul, but GOP Dissents

The panel installed to oversee the $700 billion bailout of the financial industry issued a report Thursday calling for a complete overhaul of the regulatory structure of the nation’s financial system.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Jan. 29

Which is the most strongly Democratic state, according to a Gallup poll?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the decisions by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum and Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Fla., not to run for the seat to be vacated by GOP Sen. Mel Martinez in 2010 “make[s] it virtually assured to be a South Florida-heavy slate of candidates.” The two are just the latest potential Senate candidates to bow out of what is likely to be a costly race at a time when fundraising may be a challenge.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann testified that former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman was less concerned about counting rejected absentee ballots when he held a lead in his incumbent bid against Democrat Al Franken. “After he lost the unofficial lead in Minnesota’s U.S. Senate recount...Coleman called for an exhaustive review of rejected absentee ballots to see whether they should be counted.” The newspaper reports that, “the testimony came on the third day of trial in Coleman’s election lawsuit as lawyers for Democrat Al Franken sought to blunt Coleman’s recent position that he is championing the counting of all valid votes while Franken is fighting to prevent it.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: DHS: Mass-Transit Systems Falling Short on Security
DETROIT: Ex-Mayor to Leave Jail, Head for Texas
THE NATION: Survey: Denver Tops in Desirability
LOS ANGELES: $20.5 Million Settlement Ends Rampart Lawsuits
CALIFORNIA: State Officials: Dump Prison Health-Care Czar
PUGET SOUND: Study: Sewage Plants Major Source of Nitrogen Pollution
THE NATION: Ice Knocks Out Power, Blamed in 23 Deaths

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, JAN. 28, 2009 – 2:13 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Holder Nomination Approved by Senate Judiciary
  • House Sets Stage for Passing Stimulus
  • Senate Rejects GOP Alternative for Children’s Health Insurance Expansion
  • House Republicans Block Immediate Action on Digital TV Delay
  • Political Trivia for Jan. 28
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Today in Washington

The House votes on the $816 billion economic stimulus package and a bill to delay the nationwide digital TV transition.

The Senate continues considering amendments to a bill that would expand children’s health insurance.

The President meets with chief executives to discuss economic recovery legislation; makes remarks on the economy; meets with Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and service chiefs.

In Washington, Georgetown University Law Center holds a discussion on Turkey’s possible admission to the European Union, with Ali Tekin of Harvard University. 3:30 p.m., Hart Auditorium, 600 New Jersey Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Holder Nomination Approved by Senate Judiciary

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved the nomination of Eric H. Holder Jr. as attorney general by a wide, bipartisan vote.  [Read More]

House Sets Stage for Passing Stimulus

The House began debating a massive $816 billion economic stimulus bill Wednesday, in preparation for votes on amendments and final passage of the bill later in the day.  [Read More]

Senate Rejects GOP Alternative for Children’s Health Insurance Expansion

The Senate is moving closer to passage of legislation expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance program, after rejecting a Republican alternative Wednesday. A final vote could come Thursday.  [Read More]

House Republicans Block Immediate Action on Digital TV Delay

House Republicans temporarily delayed final action Wednesday on legislation that would postpone, until mid-June, the nation’s scheduled switch to digital-only television transmission.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Jan. 28

Before this week, who was the last Treasury secretary to draw “no” votes in the Senate?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Hendersonville, N.C., Times-News reports that a friendship between Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler and former President Bill Clinton “translated into big bucks for Shuler’s re-election campaign” at a fundraiser in Raleigh, N.C., on Monday. Shuler spokesman Andrew Whalen said the event drew a “six-figure sum,” according to the newspaper. “Clinton recruited Shuler to run for Congress against long-time Republican congressman Charles Taylor,” the Times-News said. “Clinton attended church with Shuler during the Democratic primary in the spring” and Shuler supported Hillary Rodham Clinton after she won the most votes in the Democratic presidential primary in state’s 11th District.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, Tampa, Fla., Mayor Pam Iorio confirmed Tuesday that “she’s taking a serious look at running for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by Republican Mel Martinez.” Iorio stressed that she is just gathering information at this point. “I’m analyzing it. I like to gather a lot of facts before I make decisions,” said Iorio, a 49-year-old Democrat, according to the Times. “The appeal of it is to be able to make a difference on national issues. If I feel I could make a difference and represent the state of Florida well, that’s important to me.” Democratic state Sen. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach formally announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination Tuesday, joining Democratic Rep. Kendrick B. Meek, who had announced earlier this month.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: Madoff Scandal Wipes Out Millions in Corrections Grants
THE NATION: 19 Dead as Storm Moves into Northeast
CALIFORNIA: City Lawsuit: State Allowing Insurance Gender Discrimination
THE WASHINGTON, D.C., REGION: County OKs 16-Mile Light-Rail System
OAKLAND, Calif.: Embattled Police Chief Resigns, Blasts Council
INDIANAPOLIS-MARION COUNTY: Mayor Launches Local-Consolidation Push
CHICAGO: Mayor Under Fire over Choice for Schools Chief

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, JAN. 27, 2009 – 2:22 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Republicans Praise Obama’s Willingness To Tweak Stimulus Plan
  • Treasury, Fed Moves on Bailout Seen as Prelude to Bigger Changes
  • GOP Leader Calls SCHIP Bill a ‘Troubling Precedent’
  • Gates Says Afghanistan Is Biggest Military Challenge
  • Ethics Panel Democrats Split on Contributions From Rangel
  • Political Trivia for Jan. 27
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Today in Washington

The House is expected to clear a wage discrimination bill and legislation delaying until mid-June the deadline for the transition to digital TV.

The Senate  swears in Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand as the junior senator from New York; continues consideration of a bill to expand a joint federal-state children’s health insurance program.

The President meets with the House and Senate Republican Conferences to discuss the economic recovery package.

In Washington,  the Environmental Change and Security Program hosts a discussion titled “The Graying of the Great Powers,” about the aging populations of the United States and other developed nations. 3-5 p.m., Fifth Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center, Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

House Republicans Praise Obama’s Willingness To Tweak Stimulus Plan

House Republican leaders, who earlier blasted the $825 billion stimulus package the House is preparing to tackle, emerged from a meeting Tuesday with President Obama praising his willingness to consider their ideas for changing it.  [Read More]

Treasury, Fed Moves on Bailout Seen as Prelude to Bigger Changes

Federal financial agencies moved on two fronts Tuesday to address congressional complaints about the financial industry bailout, laying the groundwork for broader changes that could also be a prelude to a request for additional funding.  [Read More]

GOP Leader Calls SCHIP Bill a ‘Troubling Precedent’

Senate Republicans have ditched last year’s cooperative tone on an expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, accusing Democrats of abandoning bipartisan agreements and threatening to oppose the bill.  [Read More]

Gates Says Afghanistan Is Biggest Military Challenge

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates says a long-term strategy is being developed to prevent Afghanistan from relapsing into a safe haven for terrorists intent on attacking the United States and allies.  [Read More]

Ethics Panel Democrats Split on Contributions From Rangel

Two Democratic members of the House ethics committee are divided over how to handle campaign contributions they have received from embattled Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Jan. 27

What was Obama’s biggest vote share in any Maryland House district?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Dallas Morning News reports that some of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s largest donors in the past two years are early contributors to the campaign of Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who plans to challenge Perry next year for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. Hutchison “released the names of 600 community leaders and supporters,” the paper said. “Among the luminaries are 58 people who have given more than $1 million to Perry in just the past three years.” The newspaper said that some of the donors have given to both the governor and the senator in recent years, but “some of them clearly have broken for Hutchison.” Her spokesman,Todd Olson, said: “Republicans are genetically loyal. But he is the longest serving governor and some people have a belief that the challenges ahead are so big that it’s time for different leadership.”

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, “The first Kentucky Democrat stepped forward Monday to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, who is widely thought to be the most vulnerable incumbent senator in the nation.” Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo plans to run again against Bunning after losing narrowly to him in 2004. “Meanwhile, two other statewide Democratic officials — Auditor Crit Luallen and Attorney General Jack Conway — said they continue to consider a run for Bunning’s seat,” the newspaper reports.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., “is not popular in his home state as he heads into his next re-election battle, according to a new poll commissioned by a conservative political action group.” According to the newspaper, “Reid was viewed favorably by 47 percent and unfavorably by 47 percent of Nevadans surveyed by the Salt Lake City-based polling firm NSON Opinion Research for the Legacy PAC, a California-based activist group that hopes to target Reid for defeat in 2010.” Legacy commissioned the poll to determine whether a challenge to Reid might succeed.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa.: Two Judges Face Prison for Payoffs
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Study Finds High Lead Levels in Kids’ Blood
BOSTON: Hiring Freeze Falls Short on Savings
NEW YORK STATE: I.G.: Former Health Commissioner Abused Staff

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Monday, January 26, 2009

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, JAN. 26, 2009 – 2:03 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Obama Orders Review of California’s Bid To Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Geithner Vote Could Pave Way for More Bailout Action
  • Political Trivia for Jan. 26
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Today in Washington

The House considers two measures under suspension of the rules, including one honoring the crew of US Airways Flight 1549, which crash-landed in the Hudson River on Jan. 15.

The Senate votes on nomination of Timothy F. Geithner to be Treasury secretary, and possibly on other Cabinet nominations.

The President receives his daily economic briefing; makes remarks on jobs, energy independence and climate change.

In Washington, Johns Hopkins University sponsors a panel discussion on “Internet Technology in the Obama Age: Helping People Change Government?” with political consultant Joe Trippi, Adam Conner of Facebook, Ellen Miller of the Sunlight Foundation, others. 7 p.m., 1717 Massachusetts Ave. NW.

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Top Stories

Obama Orders Review of California’s Bid To Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

President Obama on Monday ordered federal regulators to review California’s bid to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks — a move widely expected to lead to tougher clean air and fuel-economy standards.  [Read More]

Geithner Vote Could Pave Way for More Bailout Action

The Senate was expected to confirm Timothy F. Geithner as Treasury secretary Monday, despite pointed criticism of his failure to pay all the taxes he owed earlier this decade.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Jan. 26

How many women preceded new appointee Kirsten Gillibrand as U.S. senator from New York?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Palm Beach Post reports that Rep. Ron Klein, D-Fla., “is continuing to coolly and methodically size up the race” for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Mel Martinez. “We’re still in that discussion stage,” Klein told the newspaper. “We’re talking to fundraising people, talking to people that are leaders around the state, talking to professionals who run campaigns.” Klein went through a similar process before deciding in early 2005 to challenge veteran Republican Rep. Clay Shaw for the 22nd District seat. “Klein ran a well-financed, never-off-message campaign and toppled Shaw in a nationally watched 2006 race,” according to the newspaper.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, more than 200 Republicans showed “on a cold morning for a pancake breakfast and a chance to cheer on a hometown favorite they believe will help bring the GOP back next year after two straight dismal elections.” Former Ohio Rep. Rob Portman (1993-2005) was the featured attraction at the event in northeast Hamilton County. “The Ohio GOP establishment seems to be rallying around his candidacy” for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. George V. Voinovich, the newspaper reports. Although Portman worked as a top official in the Bush administration, he is “virtually unknown in Ohio” outside of the 2nd District he once represented. “Still, there are signs he might be a formidable candidate,” the Enquirer reports, including a poll released last week that showed him faring well against potential Democratic opponents.

The Allentown, Pa., Morning Call reports that former Republican Rep. Patrick J. Toomey (1999-2005) “has decided against a repeat run for Senate in 2010, turning instead toward a possible bid for governor as he reaches out to Republicans statewide to assess his potential candidacy next year.” Toomey, president of the anti-tax group The Club for Growth, “is scheduled to sit down with several influential and deep-pocketed Lehigh Valley Republicans in early February” to discuss a run, the newspaper reports. Toomey lost in Pennsylvania’s 2004 Republican Senate primary to incumbent Arlen Specter.

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