Friday, February 13, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, February 13, 2009 – 2:20 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Editors Note
  • Congress Moving Toward Final Votes on Stimulus Package
  • Lawmakers Blanch at Presidential Helicopter's Rising Cost
  • Conyers Summons Former White House Advisor Karl Rove, Again
  • Ginsburg Home, May Soon Be Back at Work
  • Political Trivia for Friday, February 13, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House votes on the final economic stimulus package.

The Senate is likely to vote on the final economic stimulus package.

The President addresses members of Business Council at the White House; lunches with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; departs Washington for Chicago, where he will remain for the weekend.

In Washington, former Sen. George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic presidential nominee, addresses a National Press Club book event, "Abraham Lincoln: The American Presidents Series, The 16th President, 1861-1865." 6:30 p.m., National Press Club, 14th and F Sts., N.W.

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Top Stories

Editors Note

Since Monday is a holiday, the next edition of the Midday Update will be Tuesday, Feb. 17. [Read More]

Congress Moving Toward Final Votes on Stimulus Package

The House and Senate are poised to vote Friday to send a $787.2 billion economic stimulus package to President Obama, completing an urgent legislative process that saw the massive measure go from concept to final votes in about six weeks. [Read More]

Lawmakers Blanch at Presidential Helicopter's Rising Cost

Senior defense appropriators and other lawmakers are souring on a program to build a new presidential helicopter because it could wind up costing nearly twice as much as originally advertised. [Read More]

Conyers Summons Former White House Advisor Karl Rove, Again

House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers Jr. subpoenaed for Bush White House adviser Karl Rove to appear for a Feb. 23 deposition as part of the committee's ongoing probe into allegations of Justice Department politicization in the Bush administration. [Read More]

Ginsburg Home, May Soon Be Back at Work

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is back home recuperating from surgery for pancreatic cancer and is expected to be in court Feb. 23 for an oral argument. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Friday, February 13, 2009

How many presidents since Lincoln were born outside the original 13 states? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CLARENCE CENTER, N.Y.: Air Crash Near Buffalo Kills 49
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Report on Lead in City Water Probed
WISCONSIN: Judge Voids State's 1939 Gas-Markup Mandate
WASHINGTON STATE: Court Backs Governor's Shelving of Union Contracts

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Political Clippings

The Oxford Press in Ohio reports that former Rep. Rob Portman is calling on Republicans to get "back to basics" as he campaigns for the Senate seat being vacated by fellow Republican George V. Voinovich . Portman told local party activists at a dinner that the GOP needs to reshape itself to be successful in future elections, citing a lack of focus on ethics and fiscal responsibility. "People haven’t changed their views," Portman said. "People have changed their minds about us, and we need to reach out to them and remind them that we are good stewards."

The Dallas Morning News reports that Democrats see the Texas Senate race as a possible pickup opportunity next year. Sen. Robert Menendez , D-N.J., chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said Republican retirements have given Democrats several opportunities to capture seats. "No place is a bridge too far for Democrats," Menedez said, though he noted that Texas, where GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is leaving to run for governor, was not on his list of top opportunities. "I didn't mention Texas because until we have an opening, we don’t have an opening," Menendez told reporters. "But I take Kay Bailey Hutchison at her word, which is that she intends to run for governor and that she intends to resign her seat. If that happens we will have a great candidate in Texas."

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"The President's Budget"

Our faculty discuss the policy initiatives of the President and how Congress will respond to them. Attendees participate in a comprehensive overview and analysis of the President's most current budget, Congressional response, and appropriations and authorizations process reviews.
WHERE: Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St., N.W., Washington, DC. WHEN: February 24, 2009, 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Registration Fee: $595
Full program description and secure online registration or call our registrar at 202-678-1600.
This training conference is sponsored by TheCapitol.Net,exclusive provider of Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences.
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, February 11, 2009 – 2:05 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Democrats See Progress as Stimulus Conferees Prepare to Meet
  • Financial Crisis Brings Spike in Fraud Cases
  • Peanut Company Executives Take the 5th
  • Offshore Drilling Ban is Probably Gone for Good, Rahall Says
  • House Panel Approves Bill to Protect At-Risk Teens
  • Political Trivia for Wednesday, February 11, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House votes on a nanotechnology bill, two water resources bills and a measure intended to prevent abuse of the elderly.

The Senate votes on the nomination of William Lynn as deputy secretary of Defense.

The President meets with senior advisers; visits a construction site in Springfield, Va., with Gov. Tim Kaine to promote his economic recovery package; meets with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

In Washington, Ford's Theatre Society hosts an invitation-only Grand Reopening Celebration, with presentation of Lincoln Medals to filmmaker George Lucas by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif., and to actor Sidney Poitier by actor James Earl Jones. Includes appearances by CBS News' Katie Couric, actor Kelsey Grammer, actor Ben Vereen, and singer Audra McDonald. 7:30 p.m., Ford's Theater, 511 10th St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Democrats See Progress as Stimulus Conferees Prepare to Meet

Many of the discrepancies between the $838 billion Senate bill and its $819 billion House counterpart have been resolved, but there are still a few issues remaining, said Rep. John B. Larson, D-Conn., chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. [Read More]

Financial Crisis Brings Spike in Fraud Cases

FBI officials Wednesday asked lawmakers for more resources to combat financial fraud, which has soared amid the meltdown of financial markets. [Read More]

Peanut Company Executives Take the 5th

Executives of the peanut company blamed for a deadly salmonella outbreak refused to testify on Wednesday at a House committee hearing, citing their rights to avoid possible self-incrimination. [Read More]

Offshore Drilling Ban is Probably Gone for Good, Rahall Says

There is little chance Congress will reinstate an offshore oil drilling ban that expired last year, the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee told environmentalists Wednesday. [Read More]

House Panel Approves Bill to Protect At-Risk Teens

The House Education and Labor Committee voted 32-10 to approve legislation which establishes minimum safety, protection and disclosure standards for both public and private teen residential programs. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How many presidents were born in February? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
SAN FRANCISCO: City Expands Reach of Universal Health Care Program
SEATTLE: Police Chief Tapped for Federal Post
DETROIT: Mayor Vows Overhaul for City Contracting
STOCKTON, Calif.: Magazine: City is 'Most Miserable'

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Political Clippings

The Kansas City Star reports that Republican former Sen. Jim Talent announced Tuesday that he had decided to withdraw his name from consideration as a replacement for Sen. Christopher S. Bond , R-Mo., who will not seek re-election in 2010. "First, there are other qualified Republicans who are seriously investigating the race, and it is vital to prevent the kind of dissension that hurt my party's ticket so greatly in 2008," said Talent, who represented Missouri in the Senate from 2002 to 2007. He added: "I have family and public obligations which this unexpected race would disrupt. Chief among the latter is my work as vice chairman of the Commission on WMD Proliferation and Terrorism, which is working to prevent a nuclear or biological attack on the United States."

According to the Portsmouth Herald News, Retired New Hampshire Supreme Court Justice Joseph Nadeau confirmed that he is considering a run for the Senate seat that Republican Judd Gregg will vacate if confirmed as Commerce secretary. Republican Bonnie Newman is the expected appointee to fill the seat in the short term, but she says she will not run for re-election in 2010, when the current term is up. "I'm thinking about it," Nadeau told the newspaper. "I have been doing work in International judicial reform since I retired in December of 2005. . . . President Obama asked us all to look at what we can do to contribute, so I'm thinking about it as a possibility."

The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Joseph M. Torsella, former president of the National Constitution Center, has filed papers to begin raising money to run as a Democrat in 2010 for the seat held by Sen. Arlen Specter , R-Pa. "I intend to be a candidate . . . in 2010," Torsella said in a news release, "and I am taking all the necessary steps for my candidacy, including raising money, hiring staff and traveling around the state." The center is a museum in Philadelphia devoted to the story of the U.S. Constitution.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, February 10, 2009 – 2:20 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Passes Stimulus, Setting Up Tough Conference With House
  • Congress Expected to Watch New Treasury Bailout Plan Closely
  • Path Seems Clear for Solicitor General Nominee, Other Top Justice Pick
  • Political Trivia for Tuesday, February 10, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House considers a number of measures under suspension of the rules.

The Senate passes by 61-37 its version of the economic stimulus package; also is expected to confirm the nomination of William Lynn as deputy Defense secretary.

The President visits Fort Myers, Fla. to rally support for the stimulus.

In Washington, The Center for Strategic & International Studies co-sponsors a discussion on "Supporting Democracy Abroad: Congress and the New Administration." Participants include Reps. David E. Price , D-N.C. and David Dreier , R-Calif.; Lorne W. Craner, President of the International Republican Institute; Kenneth Wollack, President, National Democratic Institute; and Alexander T.J. Lennon, editor in chief, The Washington Quarterly and senior fellow, CSIS International Security Program. 3 p.m., 1800 K St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate Passes Stimulus, Setting Up Tough Conference With House

The Senate has passed a $838 billion package of tax cuts and federal spending &emdash; its version of the jolt for the nation's economy that President Obama wants Congress to finish by week's end. [Read More]

Congress Expected to Watch New Treasury Bailout Plan Closely

While generally welcoming the plan, Democratic lawmakers said the Treasury Department's plan to stabilize the banking system lacks specificity in several areas. Republicans questioned whether the plan really changes the department's widely criticized approach to the crisis [Read More]

Path Seems Clear for Solicitor General Nominee, Other Top Justice Pick

The nominees for two top Justice Department jobs sailed through a Senate Judiciary confirmation hearing Tuesday, despite having drawn fire from socially conservative activists. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Who was president when Abraham Lincoln was born? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CALIFORNIA: Court May Order Release of 57,000 Inmates
NEW JERSEY: Utility Plans Major Solar Power Project
JACKSON, Miss.: Mayor Accused of Witness Tampering
DETROIT: Development Agency Records Were Subpoenaed in Probe

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Political Clippings

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that television host Joe Scarborough "has a new radio show and is feeling good about the influence he's having on politics. But the former congressman from Pensacola said he may run for office again, maybe even the U.S. Senate in 2010." The MSNBC host represented Florida's 1st District in the House from 1995-2001. "I haven't closed it off," Scarborough told columnist Jeremy Wallace about the 2010 race. "I've been getting some calls from some fundraisers in Florida." Scarborough said one of his concerns is that being a senator might not give him as much national influence as his "Morning Joe" program already does.

According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, "Porn star and Baton Rouge native Stormy Daniels said Monday that she wants to give voters a voice by starting a 'listening tour' in Louisiana. However, Daniels said she doubts she will actually seek public office despite an Internet drive aimed at persuading her to run against first-term Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter next year." Daniels noted that her current career pays better than politics would. "I don't think I'm willing to take the pay decrease," Daniels said. The organizers of the "Draft Stormy" campaign say the effort is not a stunt, and is a legitimate attempt to challenge Vitter. The senator apologized - but was not charged - after his phone number showed up in connection with the "D.C. Madam" investigation in 2007. Daniels criticized Vitter's muted response to the case. "I might be a slut and a whore," Daniels said Monday. ". . . but I'm not a criminal, and I've never been a hypocrite."

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Monday, February 09, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, February 09, 2009 – 2:20 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Obama Visits Indiana to Tout Stimulus as Senate Moves Toward Key Vote
  • Leahy Wants 'Truth Commission' To Examine Bush Administration
  • 'Use It Or Lose It' Provisions Could Be Hurdle in Stimulus Conference
  • Political Trivia for Monday, February 09, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House considers a number of measures under suspension of the rules.

The Senate votes on a key substitute amendment to the economic stimulus package.

The President visits Elkhart, Ind., to discuss the economic stimulus package with local residents; holds an 8 p.m. news conference at the White House.

In Washington, Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., co-chair of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, discusses his personal perspective on Lincoln's life and legacy at a dinner. 6 p.m., Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Obama Visits Indiana to Tout Stimulus as Senate Moves Toward Key Vote

As the Senate moved toward a key procedural vote on Monday on its version of an economic stimulus package, President Obama tried to drum up public support for the plan on a visit to an Indiana city hit hard by the slumping economy. [Read More]

Leahy Wants 'Truth Commission' To Examine Bush Administration

In a speech at Georgetown University, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., gave few details about what form such a commission might take, but proposed investigating everything from the Bush administration's detainee and interrogation policies to the war in Iraq and the firing of U.S. Attorneys. [Read More]

'Use It Or Lose It' Provisions Could Be Hurdle in Stimulus Conference

The House bill would require states to obligate at least half of the stimulus highway funding within 90 days, while the Senate would give them 180 days. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Monday, February 09, 2009

What was the last full year in Alabama Democrats held both Senate seats and the governor's office? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: Sex-Offender-Tracking Mandate Meeting State Resistance
ILLINOIS: Court: Imprisoned Ex-Governor Can Get $65,000 Pension
MINNESOTA: State to Probe Firefighting Foam for Water Pollution
MILWAUKEE: Judge Halts Voter-Approved Paid-Sick-Day Mandate

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Political Clippings

The Dallas Morning News reports that with the Texas gubernatorial primary a year away, "the politics of government intervention in the economy have emerged as the first clear flashpoint" between Gov. Rick Perry and his GOP rival, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison . "Perry has declared his independence from Washington by opposing stimulus packages in virtually any form - and chiding Hutchison for voting for the initial $700 billion bailout pushed by the Bush administration," the newspaper reports. "Hutchison aides fire back that Perry has been hypocritical on the issue."

According to the Chicago Tribune, Sen. Roland W. Burris , D-Ill., "rarely discusses one milestone in his long public career: a record $800,000 campaign loan he received in his 2002 run for governor. Nor is he quick to mention the man who made the loan, businessman Joseph Stroud, who provided most of Burris' financial support - $1.57 million in all - for that failed bid. But court documents in an obscure civil case shine light on that relationship and raise questions about how much influence flowed from such a large loan, none of which Burris has repaid." The newspaper reports: "Shortly after the 2002 campaign ended, Burris phoned prosecutors and local police about criminal charges Stroud wanted filed against a former employee who had sued him, claiming wrongful termination, records show."

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This Week in Health Policy on the Hill

SCHIP: President Obama signs SCHIP legislation into law.
ECONOMIC STIMULUS: Senate continues work on an economic stimulus package that includes health care funding.
HHS SECRETARY: Former Sen. Tom Daschle, President Obama’s choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services, withdraws from consideration.

Read the online report | Health on the Hill audio links

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