Friday, April 24, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, April 24, 2009 – 2:23 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Baucus Lays Out Health Care Overhaul Details
  • House, Senate Reach Tentative Budget Deal
  • Blocked Nomination Shows Weakness of Anti-Abortion Groups
  • Minnesota Court to Hear Coleman Appeal June 1
  • Political Trivia for Friday, April 24, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate has no roll call votes expected.

The President has lunch with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; speaks on the federal student loan program.

In Washington, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates will host a ceremony to welcome new Pentagon officials. 4 p.m., Pentagon auditorium.

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Top Stories

Baucus Lays Out Health Care Overhaul Details

Sen. Max Baucus' vision would make substantial changes to the insurance market, but with the goal of letting those who have insurance that they like keep it. [Read More]

House, Senate Reach Tentative Budget Deal

The negotiators plan to formally hold a conference committee meeting April 27, as details of their tentative deal began to emerge late Thursday. They intend to continue working Friday and through the weekend, and until all details are finalized the initial agreements could fall apart. [Read More]

Blocked Nomination Shows Weakness of Anti-Abortion Groups

The campaign to thwart Dawn Johnsen's appointment based on her abortion-rights record may actually betray the weakness, not the strength, of social conservative movements. [Read More]

Minnesota Court to Hear Coleman Appeal June 1

The state Supreme Court on Friday set a June 1 date for arguments on Republican Norm Coleman who is seeking to reverse a lower court ruling that named Democrat Al Franken the winner of the 2008 Senate race. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Friday, April 24, 2009

Which freshman House Democrat raised the most campaign money in this year's first quarter? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN REGION | State First to Mandate Low-Carbon Fuels
CONNECTICUT | GAO: State Must Speed Up Stimulus Tracking
WASHINGTON STATE | Ethics Panel Ends Probe of Treasurer
THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA | Plan Seeks 800 Miles of Express Toll Lanes

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Political Clippings

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pittsburgh city Controller Michael Lamb is considering a Senate bid next year. "I don't call myself a candidate at this point ... this is something I'm in the very preliminary stage of considering," said Lamb, who was elected to his city post in 2007. He is one of several Democrats considering a run for the seat, now held by GOP Sen. Arlen Specter, who is expected to face a strong primary challenge and may be vulnerable.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., was the top fundraiser among the Florida congressional delegation in the first three months of 2009, fueling speculation that he may run for Senate or governor. Buchanan took in $526,000, more than $140,000 beyond that raised by the next best fundraiser, Rep. Ron Klein, D-Fla. The daily said: "Though Buchanan lacks the statewide name recognition of other statewide office holders, he has a fundraising ability (coupled with an ability to self-fund) that can help him buy the television advertising necessary to compete statewide."

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, April 23, 2009 – 2:15 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Key Senators Urge Freeze on Some Credit Card Rates
  • Senate Refuses To Curb Whistleblower Awards in Fraud Cases
  • GOP Leaders Assail Proposals To Probe Past Interrogation Decisions
  • House Panel Approves Expansion of Hate Crimes Law
  • GOP Objection Delays Senate Vote on Sebelius Nomination
  • Political Trivia for Thursday, April 23, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House considers legislation to coordinate the water research and development activities of more than 20 federal agencies and a bill to expand community policing programs.

The Senate debates amendments and moves toward passsage of a bill to combat financial fraud.

The President delivers remarks at the Holocaust Days of Remembrance ceremony at the Capitol; meets with executives of the credit card industry at the White House; With Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., meets with the congressional leaders of both parties; welcomes the BCS National Champion University of Florida Gators football team; meets with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; with Mrs. Obama, hosts a reception for members of Congress and their spouses.

In Washington, the American Association for the Advancement of Science hosts the First Annual Hitachi Lectureship. Hideaki Koizumi of Hitachi Research & Development Group speaks on "The Frontier of Mind-Brain Science and Its Practical Applications" and Thomas Woolsey, MD and professor at the Washington University School of Medicine, discusses "Brain Science: The Ultimate Frontier." 4:30 p.m., AAAS Auditorium, 12th and H Sts., N.W.

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Top Stories

Key Senators Urge Freeze on Some Credit Card Rates

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd , D-Conn., and Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., are calling on the Federal Reserve and other regulators to implement a new rule that would ban retroactive interest rate increases on existing card balances. [Read More]

Senate Refuses To Curb Whistleblower Awards in Fraud Cases

The Senate rejected an amendment by Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., that sought to cap at $50 million the maximum award that a whistleblower could receive through a False Claims Act lawsuit The Senate rejected an amendment by Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., that sought to cap at $50 million the maximum award that a whistleblower could receive through a False Claims Act lawsuit to recoup taxpayer funds lost to fraud. [Read More]

GOP Leaders Assail Proposals To Probe Past Interrogation Decisions

House Republican Leader John A. Boehner slammed proposals Thursday for investigations into harsh interrogation methods used on terrorism suspects under the Bush administration, as a key Senate Republican accused the Obama administration of politicizing national security issues. [Read More]

House Panel Approves Expansion of Hate Crimes Law

The House Judiciary Committee approved legislation Thursday to extend federal hate crimes law to cover offenses based on sexual orientation. [Read More]

GOP Objection Delays Senate Vote on Sebelius Nomination

Senate Republicans objected Thursday to a vote on Health and Human Services nominee Kathleen Sebelius, prompting Democrats to threaten a cloture vote to force the issue. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Thursday, April 23, 2009

Who was the first president to have a dog in the White House? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW YORK CITY | Pension Probe to Scrutinize Comptroller' Office
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. | City Turns Down $224,000 in Stimulus Funds
DETROIT | Audit Slams City Parking Agency
THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN REGION | Dust Storms Raise Environmental Fears

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Political Clippings

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Sen. "Norm Coleman asked the state Supreme Court...to set a slower timetable than his rival seeks in the next phase of the protracted U.S. Senate race." Coleman is appealing Democrat Al Franken's victory in the recent Senate election trial, and asking that arguments before the court begin two weeks later than Franken suggested, or no sooner than mid-May.

PoliticsPA.com reports that Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason said that eight weeks before announcing he would challenge GOP incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter, Pat Toomey told Gleason he was not interested in being a U.S. Senator. Toomey said he didn't "want to be number 100 and vote 'no' on everything," according to Gleason.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, April 22, 2009 – 2:10 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Pelosi Said She Knew Harman Was Wiretapped
  • House Panel Tackles Rewrite of Credit Card Rules
  • GOP Senators Seek To Amend Fraud Bill With Bailout Curbs
  • House Passes Bill To Reduce Dumping of Computers, Cell Phones
  • Leahy Prepared to Launch Committee Probe of Interrogation Program
  • Political Trivia for Wednesday, April 22, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House is expected to pass a bill to cut down on electronics waste, as well as a bill to boost funding for community policing programs.

The Senate considers a bill intended to combat financial fraud. Amendments are expected.

The President visits Newton, Iowa, with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to meet with workers, deliver remarks and tour Trinity Structural Towers Manufacturing Plant, a former Maytag plant that now manufactures towers for wind energy production.

In Washington, the National Archives presents a screening and panel discussion on the upcoming PBS documentary on African American History, "Legacy: Black & White in America." Discussion moderated by Dr. Ronald Walters, director of the African American Leadership Center at the University of Maryland. 7:30 p.m., William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives Building, Constitution Ave. and 7th St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Pelosi Said She Knew Harman Was Wiretapped

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that she was first informed in confidential briefings that Rep. Jane Harman had been recorded by spy agencies, but Pelosi wouldn't comment on the substance of the briefings and could not remember if they took place in 2005 or 2006. [Read More]

House Panel Tackles Rewrite of Credit Card Rules

Legislation designed to crack down on "unfair and deceptive" practices by credit card companies was headed for approval by the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday, as the Obama administration suggested changes to make the measure slightly tougher. [Read More]

GOP Senators Seek To Amend Fraud Bill With Bailout Curbs

Four Republican senators said Wednesday that they plan to offer amendments to pending anti-fraud legislation to impose new constraints on the government's massive financial rescue program. [Read More]

House Passes Bill To Reduce Dumping of Computers, Cell Phones

The bill would authorize funding for research and development programs aimed at preventing improper disposal of computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices, as well as research on mitigating the impact of electronics waste on the environment. [Read More]

Leahy Prepared to Launch Committee Probe of Interrogation Program

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy said Wednesday that if Republicans do not back an independent commission to investigate the George W. Bush administration's detainee interrogation program, he will launch a committee probe. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Along with his impressive fundraising prowess, Eric Cantor is notable for what unique position in the House? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
FLINT, Mich. | New Idea to Save City: Shrink It
ATLANTA | Hospital Consultant Getting $1,600 a Day
ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. | County May Try to Tap Natural Gas from Shale
ALABAMA | 75 Ex-AGs Seek Review of Former Governor's Prosecution

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Political Clippings

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that "Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., has a modest lead over Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., for the Senate seat to be vacated by [GOP Sen. Sam] Brownback, according to the SurveyUSA sample." Moran would receive 39 percent against Tiahrt's 35 percent, which is within the 4.8 percent margin of error.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that GOP Sen. Jim Bunning says that his second quarter fundraising has picked up. But "Jennifer Duffy, Senate analyst for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said it is too soon to draw any conclusions based on a couple of April fundraisers," the newspaper reports. Duffy disagreed with Bunning's assessment of how much he would need to defend his seat. Bunning reduced his assessment from $10 million to $7 million. She noted that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., needed $19 million to defend his seat last year.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Democratic Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski is expected to seek a fifth term. "Right now, as you can see, I believe the best campaign is the one you don't have to have," the senator said. "I believe in what I call a deterrent strategy, which is to get out there and do your job, so that people continue to think you ought to be there, and then have the financial resources to be able to get your message out." Mikulski has a $1.2 million campaign account, which includes the $442,000 she raised in the first three months of this year. Two-fifths of that money comes from political action committees, the newspaper reports.

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Join CQ Politics' Earth Day Live Online Discussion with Coral Davenport

CQ energy and climate change policy reporter Coral Davenport will discuss President Obama's sweeping agenda to require up to 25 percent of the nation's electricity to come from renewable sources such as wind and solar; while tackling global warming by creating a "cap and trade" law that would slash carbon emissions by up to 80 percent. Join the chat now.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, April 21, 2009 – 2:45 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Panel Approves Sebelius Nomination for HHS
  • Harman Seeks Investigation, Release of Wiretap Transcripts
  • Geithner Says Treasury Has Enough Funds for Bailout Program
  • Obama Leaves Further Action on Interrogation Memos to Attorney General
  • Political Trivia for Tuesday, April 21, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House returns from recess to consider a number of non-controversial measures under suspension of the rules.

The Senate resumes consideration of the nomination of Christopher Hill to be U.S. ambassador to Iraq.

The President meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan; presents Commander in Chief trophy to the Naval Academy football team; with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., meets with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and former President Bill Clinton on national service, then travels to The SEED School of Washington, D.C., and signs HR 1388, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act expanding national and community service programs.

In Washington, the American College of Emergency Physicians holds a Congressional Leadership Award reception and presentation. Award recipients: Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii; Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J.; Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif.; and Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa. Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

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Top Stories

Senate Panel Approves Sebelius Nomination for HHS

A Senate panel Tuesday approved Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as Health and Human Services secretary, overlooking errors Sebelius made both in her tax returns and in a report to the committee on her campaign finances. [Read More]

Harman Seeks Investigation, Release of Wiretap Transcripts

Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., today called on Attorney General Eric Holder to release any material about herself following a disclosure that she was overheard in an NSA wiretap offering to lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee. [Read More]

Geithner Says Treasury Has Enough Funds for Bailout Program

The Treasury Department has sufficient funds to continue its financial industry rescue efforts, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner told a congressionally appointed panel Tuesday. [Read More]

Obama Leaves Further Action on Interrogation Memos to Attorney General

President Obama Tuesday stressed his preference for looking forward, as he seeks to move beyond the controversies over waterboarding and other interrogation tactics that the government has renounced. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How many of the past five governors of Virginia were born in the state? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CHICAGO | Airport Privatization Deal Collapses
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas | Stimulus Funds Sought for Helicopter, Machine Guns
LOS ANGELES | Mayor: Cut Personnel Costs 10 Percent
THE NATION | Court: Citizens Can Challenge State, Local Gun Laws

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Political Clippings

The Los Angeles Times reports that "the appointment of Democratic Rep. Hilda L. Solis as Labor secretary has prompted 12 candidates to jump into a rare special election to replace her in the San Gabriel Valley-based 32nd Congressional District." The newspaper reported, however, that "most politics experts...see the May 19 primary race as essentially a two-way contest between two seasoned, liberal Democrats: state Sen. Gil Cedillo of Los Angeles and state Board of Equalization member and former Assemblywoman Judy Chu of Monterey Park."

The St. Louis Dispatch reports that "a new TV and Internet ad portrays opposition to a comprehensive energy bill as opposition to job growth and has" Republican Rep. Roy Blunt "in its sights." The ad, produced by the League of Conservation Voters, targets "Blunt because of his opposition to the Waxman-Markey energy bill, which outlines a comprehensive plan for expanding clean energy sources and controlling emissions, and because of his position on the committee currently handling the bill." Blunt spokesman Nick Simpson, said the ad's claims did not match the congressman's record.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Charlie Brown, who nearly defeated District 4 GOP Rep. Tom McClintock in November, stirred huge cheers when he hinted he might have the stamina for one more try for Congress in 2010, during a tribute to the retired Air Force lieutenant colonel. Brown has lost in each of the past two District 4 races, in one of the reddest districts in the state, by thin margins.

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Join CQ Politics' Earth Day Live Online Discussion with Coral Davenport

CQ energy and climate change policy reporter Coral Davenport will discuss President Obama's sweeping agenda to require up to 25 percent of the nation's electricity to come from renewable sources such as wind and solar; while tackling global warming by creating a "cap and trade" law that would slash carbon emissions by up to 80 percent. Join the chat on Wednesday, April 22 at 2 p.m.
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Monday, April 20, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, April 20, 2009 – 2:30 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Obama Seeking Budget Cuts at First Cabinet Meeting
  • Political Trivia for Monday, April 20, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session. Reconvenes at noon Tuesday.

The Senate votes on limiting debate on a motion to proceed to legislation aimed at combating financial fraud. Votes on Justice Department nominations.

The President meets with Cabinet secretaries and later with CIA Director Leon E. Panetta and other senior CIA officials

In Washington, the 2009 Leadership and Advocacy Conference of the American College of Emergency Physicians meets to urge action on legislation that outlines measures to strengthen access to emergency care for patients. Grand Hyatt Washington, 1000 H St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Obama Seeking Budget Cuts at First Cabinet Meeting

President Obama asked Cabinet secretaries Monday to find $100 million worth of savings or cuts in the federal budget over the next 90 days in an effort show his administration is making the government more efficient. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Monday, April 20, 2009

How old was Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh when he first won public office? [Read More]

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Join CQ Politics' Live Online Discussion Today with Jeff Stein

Rep. Jane Harman, the California Democrat with a longtime involvement in intelligence issues, was overheard on an NSA wiretap telling a suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel organization in Washington. Read the full story and join the chat today at 3:30 p.m.
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Political Clippings

The Chicago Tribune reports that "U.S. Sen. Roland Burris said . . . he has made no decision on seeking election to the seat next year, but a top strategist said the appointee of ousted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich is launching a 'very aggressive' fundraising regimen." Delmarie Cobb, Burris' media adviser and strategist, said rehabilitation of Burris' reputation was a major factor in his decision on whether to seek reelection.

The Boston Globe reports Republican leaders regularly push Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire to reconsider his decision not to seek reelection next year, though he insists he's ready to retire. "Many in the party think Gregg, a 61-year-old former governor and the son of another, offers Republicans their only solid chance to hold on to the Senate seat," the newspaper reports.

The New York Daily News reports that the formerly staunch supporter of the National Rifle Association, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, defended her position change on gun control. "In my previous district, we didn't have gang violence, and we didn't have the gun violence that we have throughout New York," said the Albany-area resident whom Gov. Patterson tapped to finish Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate term.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
The CHESAPEAKE BAY Region: Survey Finds Increase in Chesapeake Crabs
PITTSBURGH: Mayor Ends Most No-Bid Contracting
CRESTWOOD, Ill.: Town Supplied Tainted Water for Two Decades
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.:Court Strikes Down Decades-Old Noise Ordinance
LOS ANGELES: Water Rates to Jump 44 Percent for Some
NEW YORK State: Pension Corruption Probe Now a Sprawling Inquiry
CALIFORNIA: State Rakes In $3 Billion in Stimulus Education Funds
ARIZONA: State Lands $1 Billion Solar-Thermal Power Plant

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