Friday, February 06, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, February 06, 2009 – 2:25 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Leaders Hope to Complete Work on Stimulus
  • Panetta Hedges on Rendition Remarks
  • Political Trivia for Friday, February 06, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session as Democrats attend their policy retreat in Williamsburg, Va.

The Senate continues debating the economic stimulus package.

The President introduces members of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board; meets with the families of victims of Sept. 11 attacks and USS Cole bombing about issues related to closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

In Washington, The Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) and the Hudson Institute Center for Political-Military Analysis sponsor a roundtable on national security issues presented by possible natural disease outbreaks, emerging infections, and deliberate acts of bioterrorism. 3 p.m., Sixth Floor, Hudson Institute, Betsy and Walter Stern Conference Center, 1015 15th St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate Leaders Hope to Complete Work on Stimulus

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid signaled Friday that he expects moderates searching for a compromise on a massive economic stimulus package to produce something that can be voted on by the end of the day. [Read More]

Panetta Hedges on Rendition Remarks

Leon E. Panetta, the Obama administration's pick to lead the CIA, backed away Friday from earlier remarks that he suspected the United States had transferred terror suspects to other countries so that they could be tortured. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Friday, February 06, 2009

When did a New Jersey governor last lose for re-election? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CALIFORNIA: Furloughs to Begin Shutting Down State Offices
NEW JERSEY: Governor May Try Again on Pension Break for Towns
PHILADELPHIA: City Ends Cable Monopoly
SAN FRANCISCO: City to Convert Cooking Grease to Fuel

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Political Clippings

The Miami Herald reports that fundraising for the 2010 election is just getting underway, "but already there are signs that the tough economic climate is scaring off potential contenders and favoring candidates who can pay their own way." The newspaper notes that since Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., announced that he will retire, more potential candidates have bowed out than have entered the race. "Campaign strategists say the fundraising model pioneered by former President George W. Bush — a circle of deep-pocketed supporters collecting big checks from clients and friends — is giving way to the wider, technology-driven net of small donors built by President Barack Obama," the newspaper reports. Many candidates will have to adjust to the new reality, the experts say.

Long Island Newsday columnist Dan Janison writes, "The chatter of the moment goes that next year's contest for governor could turn into a surprise smackdown between Democrat Andrew Cuomo and Republican Rudy Giuliani." Some Democrats believe that it is possible New York Gov. David A. Paterson, a Democrat, would step aside after his term is over, opening up that side of the field. "On the GOP side, word is circulating that Giuliani, though battered in last year's presidential primary, is gearing up for a bid to break the Democrats' two-year-old grip on the executive branch," Janison writes.

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The New Congress 2009: Understanding the 111th Congress

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, February 05, 2009 – 2:37 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Moves Toward Vote on Stimulus
  • Hearing Focuses on Food Safety Loopholes
  • Overhaul, More Transparency in Bailout Program
  • White House to Bypass Commerce on Census
  • Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg Treated for Pancreatic Cancer
  • Political Trivia for Thursday, February 05, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session for the rest of the week as Democrats attend their policy retreat in Williamsburg, Va.

The Senate continues to debate amendments to the economic stimulus package; committees vote on the nomination of Rep. Hilda L. Solis, D-Calif., as Labor secretary and hold a hearing on the nomination of former Rep. Leon E. Panetta, D-Calif., for director of the CIA.

The President signs an executive order forming the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships; speaks at Department of Energy; meets with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and later with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; speaks at House Democratic retreat.

In Washington, The School of Advanced International Studies holds a discussion on the current situation in Kosovo, with Lulzim Peci of the Kosovar Institute for Policy Research and Development. 3 p.m., 1717 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate Moves Toward Vote on Stimulus

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday afternoon that he believes Democrats will have the 60 votes needed to end debate and pass a huge economic stimulus package, as frustrated conservatives claimed that public opinion is turning against the bill. [Read More]

Hearing Focuses on Food Safety Loopholes

Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, complained about what he called a “gaping loophole” in the food inspection process that could allow a self-inspecting company to withhold from the Food and Drug Administration test results reflecting the presence of salmonella. [Read More]

Overhaul, More Transparency in Bailout Program

Key lawmakers and government watchdogs Thursday renewed calls for a complete overhaul of the government’s financial industry bailout efforts, while also demanding more transparency for the program’s inner workings. [Read More]

White House to Bypass Commerce on Census

The director of the Census Bureau will report directly to the White House and not the secretary of Commerce, according to a senior White House official. [Read More]

Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg Treated for Pancreatic Cancer

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent surgery Thursday for early-stage pancreatic cancer, the court said in a statement. Ginsburg, who will turn 76 next month, was treated at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Thursday, February 05, 2009

When was the last Senate race in Ohio that was decided by less than 5 points? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ILLINOIS: New Governor Faces Ballooning Deficit
TEXAS: Departing Speaker's Computer Files Deleted
MICHIGAN: Auto Insurance Reforms Pushed
VIRGINIA: In Reversal, Speaker Backs Smoking Ban

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Political Clippings

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that if Florida Gov. Charlie Crist seeks the Republican Senate nomination, former state House Speaker Marco Rubio is ready to go after the governor's old job. For now, Rubio is a GOP candidate for the seat being vacated by Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla. But if Crist declines to seek re-election and instead go for the Senate seat in 2010, Rubio says he'll switch gears. “What people have really missed the boat on is if the governor leaves early to run for Senate, or he leaves to run for Senate [when his term expires], that just sets off a governor's race, which is equally enticing to a whole host of other people,” Rubio said. “I've always been interested in statewide office, whether it's U.S. Senate or governor, but right now the opportunity appears to be U.S. Senate, and that's what I'm examining.”

The Lakeland Ledger reports that Florida state Rep. Seth McKeel has decided not to seek the House seat being vacated by close friend Adam H. Putnam, R-Fla. McKeel cited family concerns and the state's precarious economic situation as reasons for his decision not to seek the Republican nomination. McKeel's decision leaves former state Rep. Dennis Ross as the only announced GOP candidate.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, February 04, 2009 – 2:35 p.m.

In This Issue

  • House Sends Children’s Health Bill to White House
  • Caps on Executive Pay Seen as Precursor to Further Bailout Moves
  • Senate GOP Wants to Shift Stimulus Focus to Housing Woes
  • Political Trivia for Wednesday, February 04, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House clears legislation expanding a children’s health insurance program and is expected to do the same for a bill that would delay the digital TV transition to mid-June.

The Senate continues work on the economic stimulus package, with roll call votes on amendments expected into the evening.

The President meets with senior advisers; with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, announces caps on executive compensation for many banks taking financial bailout money; meets with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Ambassador George J. Mitchell; attends the Senate Democrats’ retreat; signs State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) legislation; meets with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar; with the first lady, attends a caucus leadership cocktail reception.

In Washington, the World Affairs Council hosts a Distinguished Speaker Series event with Professor Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who will discuss bringing Grameen America’s microfinance model to the Washington, D.C., area and promoting Grameen Health’s vision for sustainable healthcare. 5:30 p.m., NAHB Auditorium, 1201 15th St., N.W.

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Top Stories

House Sends Children’s Health Bill to White House

The bill would provide $32.8 billion extra over the next four and a half years for the program, an amount estimated to allow coverage of an additional 4.1 million children. The program covered about 7 million in 2008. [Read More]

Caps on Executive Pay Seen as Precursor to Further Bailout Moves

President Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner see the restrictions as the first step in what is expected to be a major overhaul of how the second half of the $700 billion bailout fund is allocated. [Read More]

Senate GOP Wants to Shift Stimulus Focus to Housing Woes

GOP senators came to the floor Wednesday to argue that lowering interest rates on mortgages and providing tax credits for buying new homes will do more to help the ailing economy than the Democratic-crafted bill on the floor. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Which is the least religious state, according to a Gallup poll? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MILWAUKEE COUNTY: State Taking Over County Welfare Programs
PHOENIX: New Budget Slashes $270 Million
THE NATION: Transit Dilemma: Surging Ridership, Costs
MICHIGAN: Governor: Slash Reliance on Coal Energy

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Political Clippings

The Palm Beach Post reported that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist plans to wait until the state legislative session ends in May to decide whether he will seek the Republican nomination for the Senate seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Mel Martinez. “When the session is over, I'll have a long discussion with my wife, Carole, and make a decision,” Crist said. National Republicans have been pushing Crist to run in hopes of keeping the seat in GOP hands.

The Dayton Daily News reported that Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland said Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher “is the ‘best qualified’ Democrat among those considering a run for U.S. Senate in 2010.” In an interview, Strickland said he and Fisher had discussed the race Monday. Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, also are said to be interested in the Democratic nomination for the seat being vacated by GOP Sen. George V. Voinovich.

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LIVE ONLINE

Is President Obama’s honeymoon over? Join a discussion with Politics Editor Bob Benenson about the Daschle nomination, the partisan fighting on Capitol Hill and more, tomorrow at 2 p.m. Or, submit your questions now.
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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, February 03, 2009 – 2:42 p.m.

In This Issue

  • Daschle Withdraws as HHS Pick
  • Amendment To Boost Highway Spending In Stimulus Bill Falls Short
  • Talk of Bipartisanship in House Continues to Yield Partisan Swipes
  • Boxer Wants to Move ‘Straightforward’ Climate Bill This Year
  • GOP Challenges House Democrats to Release Omnibus Details
  • Political Trivia for Tuesday, February 03, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House votes on legislation to help people clear their names from government terrorist watch lists and databases, along with two other homeland security bills.

The Senate begins voting on amendments to the economic stimulus package.

President Obama meets with senior advisers; announces his nomination of Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., to be Commerce secretary.

In Washington, the American Enterprise Institute hosts a discussion, “The Gas Wars: Causes, Forecasts, and Solutions for Russia, Ukraine, and the EU.” Panelists include Anders Eslund, of the Peterson Institute for International Economics; Angelos Pangratis of the European Commission to the USA; Steven Pifer of the Brookings Institution; and Gary J. Schmitt of AEI. 3:30 p.m., Wohlstetter Conference Center, 1150 17th St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Daschle Withdraws as HHS Pick

Former Sen. Tom Daschle withdrew as President Obama’s nominee to be Health and Human Services Secretary following his admission that he had to repay $140,127 in back taxes because he had failed to report the value of car and driver services provided to him by a California company. Obama said he accepted Daschle’s decision with “sadness and regret.” [Read More]

Amendment To Boost Highway Spending In Stimulus Bill Falls Short

The 58-39 vote sends a strong signal that Republicans will be able to hold ranks on preventing the package from getting bigger. [Read More]

Talk of Bipartisanship in House Continues to Yield Partisan Swipes

House Democratic and Republican leaders fired new charges across the aisle Tuesday about which party is stonewalling President Obama’s call for more bipartisanship, in the process showing how difficult meeting that aim will be. [Read More]

Boxer Wants to Move ‘Straightforward’ Climate Bill This Year

The leader of the Senate’s environment committee said Tuesday that she expects to move a global warming bill this year, but possibly on a slower schedule than her counterpart in the House. [Read More]

GOP Challenges House Democrats to Release Omnibus Details

House Republican leaders on Tuesday called for public release of the proposed omnibus legislation that would encompass the nine unfinished spending bills for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Tuesday, February 03, 2009

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

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MILWAUKEE COUNTY: County Seeks State Takeover of Welfare Programs
DETROIT: Ex-Mayor Released from Jail
THE NATION: Study: Corn Ethanol May Be Worst for Air Quality
MARYLAND: Bidding for Slots Licenses Falls Short

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Political Clippings

The Dallas Morning News reports that Republican Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry in his GOP primary race against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, called Perry the “true conservative” in the Republican race. “Her endorsement appeared aimed at undercutting Hutchison’s appeal with GOP women,” as well as social conservatives, according to the newspaper. “Both groups will be important in picking the party’s nominee in next year’s Republican primary.”

According to the Miami Herald, Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist did not “quell the hype” on Monday about a potential run for the Senate in 2010. But he is “likely to keep everybody guessing” until Florida’s annual legislative session ends May 1, the newspaper reports. Crist has talked with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which recruits GOP candidates for Senate races. “The latest Quinnipiac University poll found Crist as popular in Florida as President Barack Obama, with 67 percent viewing him favorably despite the state’s economic woes,’ the Herald reports. Florida’s Senate seat will be up for grabs in 2010 because incumbent Republican Mel Martinez has decided to retire.

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CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, February 03, 2009 – 2:42 p.m.

In This Issue

  • Daschle Withdraws as HHS Pick
  • Amendment To Boost Highway Spending In Stimulus Bill Falls Short
  • Talk of Bipartisanship in House Continues to Yield Partisan Swipes
  • Boxer Wants to Move ‘Straightforward’ Climate Bill This Year
  • GOP Challenges House Democrats to Release Omnibus Details
  • Political Trivia for Tuesday, February 03, 2009
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House votes on legislation to help people clear their names from government terrorist watch lists and databases, along with two other homeland security bills.

The Senate begins voting on amendments to the economic stimulus package.

President Obama meets with senior advisers; announces his nomination of Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., to be Commerce secretary.

In Washington, the American Enterprise Institute hosts a discussion, “The Gas Wars: Causes, Forecasts, and Solutions for Russia, Ukraine, and the EU.” Panelists include Anders Eslund, of the Peterson Institute for International Economics; Angelos Pangratis of the European Commission to the USA; Steven Pifer of the Brookings Institution; and Gary J. Schmitt of AEI. 3:30 p.m., Wohlstetter Conference Center, 1150 17th St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Daschle Withdraws as HHS Pick

Former Sen. Tom Daschle withdrew as President Obama’s nominee to be Health and Human Services Secretary following his admission that he had to repay $140,127 in back taxes because he had failed to report the value of car and driver services provided to him by a California company. Obama said he accepted Daschle’s decision with “sadness and regret.” [Read More]

Amendment To Boost Highway Spending In Stimulus Bill Falls Short

The 58-39 vote sends a strong signal that Republicans will be able to hold ranks on preventing the package from getting bigger. [Read More]

Talk of Bipartisanship in House Continues to Yield Partisan Swipes

House Democratic and Republican leaders fired new charges across the aisle Tuesday about which party is stonewalling President Obama’s call for more bipartisanship, in the process showing how difficult meeting that aim will be. [Read More]

Boxer Wants to Move ‘Straightforward’ Climate Bill This Year

The leader of the Senate’s environment committee said Tuesday that she expects to move a global warming bill this year, but possibly on a slower schedule than her counterpart in the House. [Read More]

GOP Challenges House Democrats to Release Omnibus Details

House Republican leaders on Tuesday called for public release of the proposed omnibus legislation that would encompass the nine unfinished spending bills for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Tuesday, February 03, 2009

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

---------------------------------

Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MILWAUKEE COUNTY: County Seeks State Takeover of Welfare Programs
DETROIT: Ex-Mayor Released from Jail
THE NATION: Study: Corn Ethanol May Be Worst for Air Quality
MARYLAND: Bidding for Slots Licenses Falls Short

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Political Clippings

The Dallas Morning News reports that Republican Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry in his GOP primary race against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, called Perry the “true conservative” in the Republican race. “Her endorsement appeared aimed at undercutting Hutchison’s appeal with GOP women,” as well as social conservatives, according to the newspaper. “Both groups will be important in picking the party’s nominee in next year’s Republican primary.”

According to the Miami Herald, Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist did not “quell the hype” on Monday about a potential run for the Senate in 2010. But he is “likely to keep everybody guessing” until Florida’s annual legislative session ends May 1, the newspaper reports. Crist has talked with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which recruits GOP candidates for Senate races. “The latest Quinnipiac University poll found Crist as popular in Florida as President Barack Obama, with 67 percent viewing him favorably despite the state’s economic woes,’ the Herald reports. Florida’s Senate seat will be up for grabs in 2010 because incumbent Republican Mel Martinez has decided to retire.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, February 02, 2009 – MD_TIME

In This Issue

  • Daschle Apologizes as Senate Panel Prepares to Discuss His Tax Problems
  • Senate Republicans Seeking More Tax Cuts, Less Spending in Stimulus
  • White House Draws Line on Defense Budget
  • Political Trivia for Monday, February 02, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House meets in pro forma session; reconvenes for legislative business at 2 p.m. Tuesday, with no roll call votes before 6:30 p.m.

The Senate begins debate on the economic stimulus package; votes on the confirmation of Eric H. Holder Jr. to be attorney general.

President Obama meets with senior advisers; meets with Vermont Republican Gov. Jim Douglas to discuss the economic stimulus package; with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., meets with Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, and later with congressional leadership.

In Washington, at its 2009 annual meeting, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities examines the impact on higher education of the economic downturn, the 2008 elections and other developments, with an evening speech by former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, president and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. 5 p.m., Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Daschle Apologizes as Senate Panel Prepares to Discuss His Tax Problems

Tom Daschle, President Obama's nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, spent the weekend doing damage control in preparation for what is certain to be a difficult confirmation process after his tax troubles came to light last week. [Read More]

Senate Republicans Seeking More Tax Cuts, Less Spending in Stimulus

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged inclusion of more tax cuts and housing relief in the economic stimulus bill as the Senate prepared to open debate on the huge package Monday. [Read More]

White House Draws Line on Defense Budget

The Obama administration has given the Pentagon a $527 billion limit, excluding war costs, for its fiscal 2010 defense budget, an official with the White House's Office of Management and Budget said Monday. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Monday, February 02, 2009

Which team has won the most Super Bowls when a Democrat held the White House? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ALASKA: Restless Volcano Signals Possible Eruption
THE NATION: Despite Sour Economy, Many States Cut Welfare Rolls
PENNSYLVANIA: Judge Voids Power-Plant Mercury-Emission Limits
ALABAMA: Governor Who Was Forced from Office Dies

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Political Clippings

The Pensacola News Journal reports that the Florida Senate race is still wide open, with many of the state’s major players having opted out. So far, only Rep. Kendrick B. Meek and state Sen. Dan Gelber, both Democrats, are seeking to replace GOP Sen. Mel Martinez when he retires next year. Some Republicans have put their hopes on Gov. Charlie Crist , who has not filed to run and will only say “I’m focused on Florida.” Former Sen. Bob Graham, a Democrat who held the seat Martinez won in 2004, says, “I think this may be a little bit like the 1970s, where some people who were not highly regarded, starting out, to the surprise of many, got elected,” said Graham. “Maybe this is a generational shift, where we’re moving to a new group of leaders.”

Long Island Newsday quotes experts as saying that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand , D-N.Y., will have to re-brand herself if she plans to win re-election in 2010. Gillibrand, appointed Jan. 23 by Gov. David A. Paterson to replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton “has to reposition herself geographically and ideologically,” said pollster Lee M. Miringoff of Marist College. “Being pro-gun and anti-immigrant is not the way to go.” Gillibrand kicked off a statewide “listening tour” in Harlem and Queens a week ago. “This senator will work hard to talk to those constituencies,” said Gillibrand aide Rachel McEneny, referring to activists for gun control and immigrant rights. “I think they’re going to be very pleased with her response and acceptability.”

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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.

SCHIP: Senate passes legislation to expand State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
ECONOMIC STIMULUS: Senate readies for debate on economic stimulus package.
HHS SECRETARY: Tax issues could complicate the nomination of former Sen. Tom Daschle to head the Department of Health and Human Services.
Read the online report | Health on the Hill audio links

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