Friday, March 13, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, March 13, 2009 – 2:16 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Obama Adviser: Too Soon To Judge Stimulus Impact
  • Annual Budget Process Ramps Up With Many Questions Unanswered
  • Political Trivia for Friday, March 13, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate is not in session.

The President meets with Economic Recovery Advisory Board Chairman Paul Volcker; delivers brief remarks with his economic advisers; has lunch with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

In Washington, the seventh international Ecumenical Advocacy Days Conference takes place to discuss the impact of climate change on poverty and migration. March 13 - 16, Hilton Alexandria at Mark Center, 5000 Seminary Rd., Alexandria.

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Top Stories

Obama Adviser: Too Soon To Judge Stimulus Impact

National Economic Council Director Lawrence H. Summers said it was too early to assess how well the recently enacted stimulus law is working, and that it's impossible to know when the crisis will end. [Read More]

Annual Budget Process Ramps Up With Many Questions Unanswered

House and Senate leaders say they want to adopt their respective Budget resolutions before the spring recess, which begins April 4. That means the Budget committees will likely mark up their blueprints the week of March 23. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Friday, March 13, 2009

McCain topped 60 percent in how many districts won by House Democrats? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CALIFORNIA | Court Backs Governor's Furlough Power
THE SOUTHWEST | Border Violence to Bring Bolstered U.S. Forces
OAKLAND, Calif. | City Sues Banks, Brokers over Evictions
DETROIT | Struggling Schools to Probe Financial Wrongdoing

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Political Clippings

A new poll out from Rasmussen Reports says "Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer leads two potential Republican challengers in an early look at California's 2010 race for the U.S. Senate." Boxer leads California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger 50 percent to 34 percent. She also leads former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina 47 percent to 38 percent.

The South Florida Times reports that State Sen. Frederica Wilson said she will seek the District 17 seat that Democratic Rep. Kendrick B. Meek is vacating to run for the U.S. Senate. "Wilson said in a prepared statement that she succeeded Meek in the Florida House of Representatives and then the Florida Senate, and now hopes to succeed him in Congress," the newspaper reports.

The Lynchburg News and Advance reports that former Virginia District 5 GOP Congressman Virgil Goode has filed a statement of candidacy form with the Federal Election Commission. Goode, who served five-terms, lost his seat last year to Democrat Tom Perriello. The move means Goode is keeping his options open for a run in the 2010 election. "It enables one to look at the situation and to raise money and spend money. But I haven't decided whether I'll run," Goode said.

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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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Thursday, March 12, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, March 12, 2009 – 2:24 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Pelosi Backs Away from Second Stimulus Comments
  • Baucus Unveils Proposal To Combat Offshore Tax Evasion
  • Duncan Grilled About Obama's Student Loan Proposals
  • House Panel Votes to Give Bailout Watchdog Broader Authority
  • Bill To Tighten Anti-Corruption Laws Wins Panel's Approval
  • Political Trivia for Thursday, March 12, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House votes on a $3.8 billion wastewater treatment bill.

The Senate votes on nominations, including David W. Ogden to be deputy attorney general and Thomas J. Perrelli to be associate attorney general.

The President addresses state officials about implementation of the economic stimulus package; speaks at the dedication of Abraham Lincoln Hall at the National Defense University; with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi; speaks at a Business Roundtable event; with Biden, meets with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In Washington, DC Environmental Film Festival screens public TV documentary, "HOTSPOTS: The Race to Reverse Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction." 7 p.m., National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Pelosi Backs Away from Second Stimulus Comments

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that she wanted to see how the first $787 billion stimulus package and the $410 omnibus spending law signed Wednesday play out before moving toward a new stimulus. [Read More]

Baucus Unveils Proposal To Combat Offshore Tax Evasion

The Senate's top tax writer released draft legislation Thursday designed to crack down on offshore tax evasion, an opening gambit in a broader effort backed by the Obama administration. [Read More]

Duncan Grilled About Obama's Student Loan Proposals

Education Secretary Arne Duncan ran into some pointed questions on Capitol Hill Thursday about much of President Obama's higher education agenda. [Read More]

House Panel Votes to Give Bailout Watchdog Broader Authority

The House Financial Services Committee approved legislation Thursday to broaden the authority of the special inspector general for the financial bailout program created by Congress in October. [Read More]

Bill To Tighten Anti-Corruption Laws Wins Panel's Approval

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation Thursday to tighten public corruption laws, despite concerns expressed by the panel's top Republican. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Thursday, March 12, 2009

In how many districts did Obama and a GOP House nominee win with the same percentage? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION | States, Feds Targeting Home-Loan Fraud
MASSACHUSETTS | State Bans Companies' Gifts to Doctors
CALIFORNIA | Climate Team Forecasts Dire Impact from Warming
OHIO | Lottery Vendor Loses Court Bid to Keep Contract

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Political Clippings

The Wilmington (DE) News Journal reports that "U.S. Rep. Mike Castle has more support...than Attorney General Beau Biden, should the two run in 2010 for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Beau's father, [Joseph R. Biden Jr.], just before he was sworn in as vice president." The North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling survey found that of the 782 people questioned, 44 percent support Castle while 36 percent favor the younger Biden. The poll found 20 percent undecided.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that "for the second time in less than three weeks, Sen. Jim Bunning has apologized for something he says he shouldn't have said. The Kentucky Republican said...that he was sorry for swearing at reporters when he was asked in a conference call about the results of a campaign poll he had commissioned." Viewed by many as one of the most vulnerable Republicans in 2010, Bunning has faced pressure from his party leaders to retire.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that former "Republican Norm Coleman's case in the U.S. Senate trial, once built on the prospects of counting thousands of rejected absentee ballots, is now down to 1,360 ballots or fewer." Coleman's attorney hopes from that number of ballots enough votes may be gleaned to overcome the 225-vote lead of Democrat Al Franken.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, March 11, 2009 – 2:03 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Leaders, Obama Tighten Earmark Process
  • Bailout Chief Says Government Shouldn't Dictate Bank Lending
  • GOP Launches United Attack on Obama's Budget
  • Omnibus Public Lands Bill Falls Short in House
  • Panama Has Work To Do Before Trade Deal Can Pass, Rep. Levin Says
  • Political Trivia for Wednesday, March 11, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House fell short on an effort to pass a long-delayed omnibus public lands bill; considers non-controversial measures under suspension of the rules.

The Senate considers the nomination of David W. Ogden to be deputy attorney general, but no votes are expected.

The President announces proposed earmarks process changes; with Mrs. Obama and Jill Biden in attendance, delivers remarks and signs an executive order creating the White House Council on Women and Girls; meets separately with Democrats on the Senate and House Budget committees.

In Washington, the Black Economic Council holds a reception marking women's History Month, with honorees Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis and Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez, D-N.Y. 6 p.m., Capital Hilton, 16th and K Sts., N.W.

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Top Stories

House Leaders, Obama Tighten Earmark Process

President Obama laid out his principles for overhauling the earmark process Wednesday as he agreed to sign into law a $410 billion spending bill that has fanned the flames in the debate over the way members of Congress go about securing funding for parochial projects. [Read More]

Bailout Chief Says Government Shouldn't Dictate Bank Lending

Neel Kashkari, the Treasury Department's interim assistant secretary for financial stabilization, is answering lawmakers who have have been angered by reports that banks that received government money have used the cash to shore up their balance sheets and have shrunk their loan portfolios. [Read More]

GOP Launches United Attack on Obama's Budget

Republican leaders in the House and Senate launched an unusual joint effort Wednesday to criticize President Obama's proposed budget and offer alternative ideas. [Read More]

Omnibus Public Lands Bill Falls Short in House

Advocates of the 1,200-page measure now must decide whether to try again under the expedited procedure or take the legislation through the House Rules Committee. [Read More]

Panama Has Work To Do Before Trade Deal Can Pass, Rep. Levin Says

Rep. Sander M. Levin, a key player on congressional trade policy, said Wednesday labor and offshore tax issues must be resolved before Congress can consider a stalled free trade agreement with Panama. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How many districts favored McCain but elected House Democrats with no formal opposition? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE LOS ANGELES REGION | Cities Want to Swap Stimulus Road Funds
ALABAMA | At least 10 Dead in Shooting Rampage
DETROIT | Ex-Mayor Must Pay City $6,000 a Month
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. | County Ends Planned Parenthood Contract

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Political Clippings

McClatchy reports that Kentucky GOP "Sen. Jim Bunning cursed at reporters during a telephone press call and refused to release the results of an internal political poll on Tuesday." For weeks, reporters have asked for and Bunning promised to release the results of a campaign poll taken late in February.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the Senate election trial to determine the winner of Minnesota's open seat could go to a three-judge panel next week and conclude soon. Democrat Al Franken holds a 225-vote lead over Norm Coleman, the former incumbent. Coleman has the burden of proving that he, not Franken, is the rightful winner, and his side took more than five weeks to present its case. If Franken's side wraps up its case Wednesday, it will have taken only seven days.

CurrentlyOK.com reports that shortly after Oklahoma District 5 Republican Mary Fallin announced she would not seek reelection in 2010, former GOP State Rep. Kevin Calvey said he would seek his party's nomination. "Calvey, who ran against Fallin in 2006, is perhaps best known for his service in the Iraq war during the 2007 troop surge, where he was awarded the Bronze Service Medal," the student news service reports.

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Reminder: CQ Today | Monitor tax policy changes and other critical congressional action

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After nearly a decade of federal tax policy focused on cutting marginal tax rates, expanding tax incentives and reducing the business community's tax burden, the Obama administration is taking a dramatically different course.

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Turn to CQ Today and CQ Schedules for timely, ongoing coverage of tax policy, other hot-button legislative issues and the political events that matter to you.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, March 10, 2009 – 2:18 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Pelosi Raises Prospect of Second Economic Stimulus Package This Year
  • Obama Calls for Ambitious Education Policy Agenda
  • Senate Finance Chairman Sets 'Summer' Deadline for Health Care Overhaul
  • Democrats Will Not Seat Franken Until Minnesota Courts Are Done
  • Political Trivia for Tuesday, March 10, 2009
---------------------------------

Today in Washington

The House votes on non-controversial measures under suspension of the rules.

The Senate votes on the remaining amendments to the fiscal 2009 omnibus appropriations package, with a goal of passing the bill late in the day.

The President speaks on education reform at the 19th annual legislative conference of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; meets with members of the New Democrat Coalition; meets with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In Washington, the American Medical Association begins a two-day conference focused on health care reform. Participants include House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif.; Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., leaders of insurance and hospital trade associations; academic experts. All day, Independence A Ballroom, Grand Hyatt Washington, 1000 H St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Pelosi Raises Prospect of Second Economic Stimulus Package This Year

Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened the door to the possibility of another stimulus plan — or bank rescue — following a Tuesday meeting with dozens of Democratic members that was attended by a panel of four prominent economists. [Read More]

Obama Calls for Ambitious Education Policy Agenda

Speaking before a gathering of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Obama asked Congress to become a partner with him on a range of policy proposals, from providing early education grants to states to supporting performance pay for teachers. [Read More]

Senate Finance Chairman Sets 'Summer' Deadline for Health Care Overhaul

Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., doubled down on his own self-imposed time line, promising earlier action than the president has asked for. [Read More]

Democrats Will Not Seat Franken Until Minnesota Courts Are Done

There will not be an attempt to seat Democrat Al Franken in the Senate until all legal challenges to his slim 250-vote lead over Republican incumbent Norm Coleman have been exhausted in Minnesota, Franken said Tuesday. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Which GOP House incumbent overcame the strongest pro-Obama vote in 2008? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW YORK CITY | Supreme Court Ends City's Suit Against Gun Makers
PONTIAC, Mich. | Schools Laying Off 700 Union Employees
SEATTLE | City Moving to Dump the Dumpsters
LOS ANGELES REGION | Counties Expect First Drop in Property-Tax Collections

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Political Clippings

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that "Sen. Roland Burris' statewide support seemingly has dwindled as criticism over his appointment grows — a sentiment highlighted by a poll...that showed Burris pulling about five percent of the vote. [A] Zogby International poll suggested Burris could face overwhelming odds if he chooses to defend his seat." While only 5.3 percent of likely Democratic voters said they would support Burris, state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and Comptroller Dan Hynes would collect 28.1 percent and 26.8 percent, respectively.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that former GOP Sen. "Norm Coleman had hoped an inspection of hundreds of secrecy envelopes holding rejected absentee ballots would yield enough additional votes to help him cut into [Democrat] Al Franken's 225-vote lead. But it turned out that only 89 of them had valid registrations." Of the 1,725 ballots that Coleman said should be counted, it is likely several hundred will be discarded. "After the secretary of state's office identified the 89 as having valid registration forms, Franken lawyer Marc Elias said the number was well below the threshold that 'might have opened up' the contest," the newspaper reports.

Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., "thought to be strongly considering a run for U.S. Senate, will not challenge Sen. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C. in 2010," the Asheville Citizen-Times reports. "I was flattered to have been asked by so many people across North Carolina to run for the U.S. Senate in 2010. However, with our nation facing the most difficult economic times in generations, I feel my efforts are better utilized focusing on solutions to these challenges rather than campaigning across the state," Shuler said.

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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.
HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL: Health care reform gets momentum on the Hill as Congress and the president set the agenda for action.
FDA REGULATION OF TOBACCO: A bill that stalled in the Senate last year is back and would give the FDA the power to regulate tobacco products.
Read the online report | Health on the Hill audio links
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Monday, March 09, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, March 09, 2009 – 2:00 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Obama Lifts Restrictions on Stem Cell Research; Wants Congress To Do More
  • Nearly Three Dozen GOP House Winners Dodged Obama's Coattails
  • Political Trivia for Monday, March 09, 2009
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Today in Washington

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

The Senate votes in the evening on amendments to the fiscal 2009 omnibus spending package, with a new goal of finishing the bill by Tuesday.

The President delivers remarks and signs an executive order to overturn the Bush administration's funding curbs on embryonic stem cell research and a presidential memorandum on scientific integrity; meets with finalists of the Intel Science Talent Search, a science research competition for high school seniors.

In Washington, George Washington University hosts a symposium on the humanities in a civil society with speakers David H. Souter, Associate Justice, United States Supreme Court; Patricia Stonesifer, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Smithsonian; Don Randel, The Mellon Foundation; Edward Ayers, University of Richmond; Francis Oakly, Williams College, and Steven Knapp, GW. 5 p.m., Jack Morton Auditorium, 805 21 St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Obama Lifts Restrictions on Stem Cell Research; Wants Congress To Do More

By lifting former President George W. Bush's restrictions on funding embryonic stem cell research, President Obama creates an opportunity for Congress to write new rules assuring expanded government support for the fast-growing field. [Read More]

Nearly Three Dozen GOP House Winners Dodged Obama's Coattails

Some of the most competitive congressional races of 2010 will be in districts where voters split their ballots between Republicans for the House of Representatives and Democrat Barack Obama for the White House. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Monday, March 09, 2009

How many GOP House freshmen were elected in districts that favored Obama for president? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ALABAMA: Appeals Court Upholds Former Governor's Bribery Conviction
THE WEST COAST: Three Governors Envision Eco-Friendly I-5
DETROIT: Troubled School System to Get $530 Million from Stimulus
LOS ANGELES COUNTY: Former Bus Driver to Head Huge Transit Agency

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Political Clippings

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the state Supreme Court said the U.S. Senate can seat Al Franken without state certification of the election results, but indicated the Democrat was not entitled to be certified as the election winner until the legal contest has made its way through the state courts. Former Sen. Norm Coleman is disputing Franken's 225-vote lead in the Senate election trial.

McClatchy reports that "within days after Washington Rep. Dave Reichert joined 177 other House Republicans in voting against a massive stimulus package, the Democratic hit machine cranked up...Democrats launched a "major grassroots campaign" against Reichert and the others using radio ads, phone calls, e-mails and text messages." President Obama won Reichert's District 8 last year by 15 percentage points.

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