Friday, May 01, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, May 01, 2009 – 2:18 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Interest Groups Weigh in on Reports of Souter Retirement
  • Rivals in N.Y. House Special Took In Almost $4 Million
  • Pre-Primary Tensions Rise in California's 32nd District
  • Political Trivia for Friday, May 01, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate continues to consider a bill that would increase the FDIC's borrowing authority and ease eligibility requirements for a program to help troubled homeowners.

The President Meets with his Cabinet; attends a naturalization ceremony for active-duty service members; meets with senior advisers; attends the ceremonial swearing-in of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

In Washington, Police will close DeSales Street N.W. at rush hour to accommodate a wedding in which the groom will arrive on an elephant, the traditional conduit for the groom in Hindu and Sikh weddings. 4:30 p.m., Renaissance Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Avenue N.W.

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Top Stories

Interest Groups Weigh in on Reports of Souter Retirement

Conservative and liberal interest groups have begun speculating about the implications of Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter's retirement, and the forthcoming court appointment President Obama will make. [Read More]

Rivals in N.Y. House Special Took In Almost $4 Million

Democratic businessman Scott Murphy, who won the March 31 special House election in upstate New York, and state Rep. Jim Tedisco, his Republican opponent, combined to spend more than $3.8 million on that exceptionally close race. [Read More]

Pre-Primary Tensions Rise in California's 32nd District

The Democratic primary battle between Judy Chu, vice chairwoman of the state Board of Equalization, and state Sen. Gil Cedillo has escalated to include accusatory campaign materials. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Friday, May 01, 2009

How many senators have switched parties while in office over the past 60 years? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION | Most States Short of Swine Flu Medications
NEW YORK STATE | Pension Consultant Charged in New York Probe
ILLINOIS | Feds Release $53 Million to Aid Salmon Fishermen
CALIFORNIA/OREGON | Tollway's 'Green Lanes Await Stimulus Cash

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Political Clippings

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that former GOP Senator "Norm Coleman's legal team urged the Minnesota Supreme Court...to take dramatic action in the U.S. Senate dispute by throwing out a lower-court verdict favoring [Democrat] Al Franken and ordering the counting of thousands of additional absentee ballots."

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that Republican Secretary of State Trey Grayson announced "that he has formed a committee to explore a race next year for Kentucky Republican Jim Bunning's Senate seat — though he continued to insist that he won't run if Bunning stays in the race." Bunning's spokesman, Mike Reynard, said, however, "Senator Bunning has every intention of running."

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, April 30, 2009 – 2 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Edging Toward Passage of Tighter Credit Card Regulations
  • Administration Opposes War Progress Benchmarks in Supplemental
  • Obama's Backing Gives Boost to Bill Narrowing State Secrets Privilege
  • Specter Squeezes Into Democratic Side of Senate Chamber
  • Political Trivia for Thursday, April 30, 2009

Today in Washington

The House considers a bill to tighten regulation of credit cards and ban practices deemed abusive to consumers.

The Senate considers a bill to ease eligibility for foreclosure prevention programs enacted last year and to make permanent a $250,000 limit on FDIC insurance of bank deposits; also votes on the nomination of Thomas L. Strickland to be assistant secretary of Interior for fish and wildlife.

The President makes a statement on the auto industry; meets with chairmen and ranking Republicans of the House and Senate Armed Services committees: speaks to the Wounded Warrior Project's "White House to Light House" Soldier Ride event; meets with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and later with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In Washington, the U.S. Institute of Peace holds an event to discuss the implications for women in Iraq two years after the surge, with Zasinab Al-Suwaij of the American Islamic Congress, Selwa Gailani Kanna of the Iraq Foundation and others. 3 p.m., 2nd floor conference room, 1200 17th St. N.W.

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Top Stories

House Edging Toward Passage of Tighter Credit Card Regulations

The House began adopting amendments Thursday to a sweeping crackdown on the credit-card industry, making the bill even tougher in accordance with the wishes of the White House. [Read More]

Administration Opposes War Progress Benchmarks in Supplemental

Some lawmakers want the $83.4 billion bill, which would fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for the rest of this fiscal year, to include benchmarks to measure the success of President Obama's new approach that treats Afghanistan and Pakistan as a single issue. [Read More]

Obama's Backing Gives Boost to Bill Narrowing State Secrets Privilege

President Obama's support for narrowing the state secrets privilege lends momentum to legislation now pending in the House and Senate. [Read More]

Specter Squeezes Into Democratic Side of Senate Chamber

One of the most obvious manifestations of Sen. Arlen Specter's party switch occurred Thursday morning, when his desk was moved from the Republican to the Democratic side of the aisle. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Thursday, April 30, 2009

How many House seats in the 111th Congress are currently vacant? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW MEXICO: Governor Fires Investment Adviser Linked to N.Y. Scandal
SOUTH FLORIDA: Stimulus Funds Bolster Everglades Restoration
PENNSYLVANIA: Auditor: Liquor Agency Contract Didn't Break Law
THE LOS ANGELES REGION: Water Projects Get Stimulus Boost

Taegan Goddard's Political Wire

The Lincoln Tribune reports that incumbent GOP Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina is in a statistical dead heat with potential Democratic opponent, Attorney General Roy Cooper, in a new Civitas Institute poll. Burr had 35 percent and Cooper 34 percent with 32 percent of those polled undecided.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that GOP Sen. David Vitter's job approval rating is at 58 percent, a solid number "given the controversy over his admission of a 'very serious sin' in connection with a Washington, D.C., escort service." But among white voters, which dominate Republican primaries, fewer than 35 percent said they will definitely vote to re-elect Vitter, 39 percent said they would consider someone else, and 22 percent said they will definitely vote for someone else.

The Palm Beach Post reports that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, who officially switched parties in the Senate Wednesday, "should 'do what's in his heart.' " The newspaper reported, "it was another example of Crist refusing to engage in combative Republican politics."


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, April 29, 2009 – 2:08 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Adopts Fiscal 2010 Budget Resolution; Senate Poised to Follow
  • Lawmakers Promise Funding to Cope With Flu Outbreak
  • Obama Welcomes Specter, But Doesn't Expect 'Rubber Stamp'
  • House Democrats Near Compromise on 'Cash for Clunkers'
  • Administration Seeks Equalized Sentencing for Crack and Powder Cocaine
  • Political Trivia for Wednesday, April 29, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House adopts conference report on fiscal 2010 budget resolution and considers legislation to expand federal hate crimes law to cover offenses based on sexual orientation, gender identity or physical or mental disability.

The Senate considers the conference report on the fiscal 2010 budget resolution.

The President welcomes party-switcher Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., to the White House; travels to Arnold, Mo., for a town hall meeting on his first 100 days in office; holds 8 p.m. EDT televised news conference marking the milestone.

In Washington, the Atlantic Council holds its 2009 awards dinner honoring former President George H.W. Bush and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, with Gen. David Petreaus receiving an award for military leadership. 7 p.m., Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 1150 22nd St. N.W.

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Top Stories

House Adopts Fiscal 2010 Budget Resolution; Senate Poised to Follow

As President Obama marked his first 100 days in office, the House on Wednesday adopted the conference report on a fiscal 2010 budget resolution that sets the stage for action on his top legislative priorities. The House vote was 233-193. [Read More]

Lawmakers Promise Funding to Cope With Flu Outbreak

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Congress will act quickly on President Obama's request for $1.5 billion in supplemental fiscal 2009 funds to help fight swine flu and prepare for a possible bigger epidemic. [Read More]

Obama Welcomes Specter, But Doesn't Expect 'Rubber Stamp'

President Barack Obama welcomed Sen. Arlen Specter to the Democratic Party on Wednesday, commenting that he looks forward to receiving Specter's counsel and advice "especially when he disagrees." [Read More]

House Democrats Near Compromise on 'Cash for Clunkers'

Lawmakers have been working with Democratic leadership staff and the White House to draft legislation that would offer consumers vouchers to help them buy a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle if they trade in an older or less fuel-efficient vehicle. [Read More]

Administration Seeks Equalized Sentencing for Crack and Powder Cocaine

The announcement wasn't a surprise. President Obama endorsed treating the two forms of cocaine equally as a candidate, and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. as a senator sponsored legislation aimed at doing so. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Including Arlen Specter, how many current senators switched parties while in office? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
KANSAS: New Governor Sworn In
WISCONSIN: Bids on Stimulus-Funded Road Projects Lower than Expected
CALIFORNIA: Auditor: $580,000 Wasted on Unused Office Space
NEW YORK CITY: Finance Commissioner Resigns Amid Inquiries

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Taegan Goddard's Political Wire

The Middletown Journal in Ohio reports that House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, may draw a primary opponent. Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones said he is forming a committee to explore a primary challenge to Boehner in Ohio's 8th District. "At this point I am the sheriff of Butler County, I am not a congressional candidate. I love being the sheriff and working with the people," Jones said. "I am looking to see if I can do more by remaining sheriff or as a congressman."

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., does not expect to face a significant primary challenge in his bid for re-election next year. He said he has not received specific assurances from state Senate President David Williams or Rep. Ed Whitfield, but "every indication I had, when I appeared on a joint program with [Whitfield] in west Kentucky, was that he was supporting my nomination." He added that 'Sen. Williams doesn't want to be a U.S. senator. He wants to be governor.' "

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, April 28, 2009 – 2:15 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Specter to Run as Democrat in 2010
  • Specter's Shift Transforms 2010 Outlook in Pennsylvania
  • House Leaders Working To Satisfy Blue Dogs on Deficit Controls
  • Legislation To Combat Financial Fraud Advances in Congress
  • House Panel Approves Bill to Illegal Sales and Smuggling of Tobacco
  • Political Trivia for Tuesday, April 28, 2009
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Today in Washington

The House considers a number of measures under suspension of the rules; may begin debate on the conference report on the fiscal 2010 budget resolution.

The Senate passes a financial fraud bill and votes on the nomination of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to be secretary of Health and Human Services.

The President meets with FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III and other senior officials at agency headquarters; meets with the Congressional Progressive Caucus at White House; presents the National Teacher of the Year award; meets with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates; hosts an evening reception for Cabinet secretaries.

In Washington, Republican women political leaders meet to discuss ways to increase the involvement and influence of women in the GOP and in public service. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., is the keynote speaker at the Celebration of Women in Public Service Annual Dinner. 7-9 p.m., Renaissance Hotel, 999 Ninth St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Specter to Run as Democrat in 2010

Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania announced Tuesday that he will campaign as a Democrat in 2010, a decision that appears to bolster his re-election prospects and would move the Democrats closer to a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate. [Read More]

Specter's Shift Transforms 2010 Outlook in Pennsylvania

The bombshell announcement by Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter that he will leave the Republican Party and seek re-election as a Democrat dramatically reshapes the 2010 Senate race in his state. [Read More]

House Leaders Working To Satisfy Blue Dogs on Deficit Controls

House Democratic leaders have offered to support stricter deficit control measures to gain the support of Blue Dog Democrats for a fiscal 2010 budget agreement hammered out late last night. [Read More]

Legislation To Combat Financial Fraud Advances in Congress

Legislation designed to beef up the government's ability to combat financial fraud was passed by the Senate and approved by a House committee on Tuesday. [Read More]

House Panel Approves Bill to Illegal Sales and Smuggling of Tobacco

A House panel approved legislation Tuesday aimed at combating illegal Internet cigarette sales and the smuggling of tobacco. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Which Hall of Fame pitcher has the same number of career wins as Sen. Jim Bunning? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
Orange County, Calif.: Former Sheriff Sentenced to 5 1/2 Years
Washington, D.C.: City to Test Car-Sharing for Government Workers
New York City: Air Force One Flyover Sparks Terrorism Fears
Vallejo, Calif.: City Firing Seventh Manager in Four Years
New Jersey: Report Cites Big Improvements in Child Welfare System
Arizona: Court Backs State-Employee Layoffs

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Political Clippings

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Chris Kennedy, 45, son of former Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, D-N.Y., and nephew of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., is considering a primary bid for the seat currently held by Illinois Democratic Sen. Roland W. Burris. Burris was appointed by indicted former Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich to fill the seat vacated by President Obama.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports that South Dakota Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has been approached by party officials and asked to consider a run in 2010 for either governor of her state, or the Senate seat occupied by GOP Sen. John Thune.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports that Manchester GOP Mayor Frank Guinta intends to run for federal office in 2010. Polls indicated he is within reach of District 1 Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, April 27, 2009 – 2:05 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Panel to Probe Swine Flu Response
  • Lawmakers Arrested for Protesting on Darfur
  • Political Trivia for Monday, April 27, 2009
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Today in Washington

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

The Senate votes to limit debate on a financial fraud bill.

The President spoke to the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences; meets with the NCAA national champion University of Connecticut women's basketball team; attends reception with foreign economic, finance and environmental ministers.

In Washington, about 1,100 high school students from all the states and the Northern Mariana Islands wrap up the final day of the 22nd annual We the People: The Citizens and the Constitution National Finals. Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St. N.W.

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Top Stories

House Panel to Probe Swine Flu Response

The global swine flu outbreak drew a swift congressional response Monday when a House subcommittee announced an April 30 "emergency" hearing on the matter. [Read More]

Lawmakers Arrested for Protesting on Darfur

Five House members were arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy Monday, after refusing police requests to leave the area during a protest over the deteriorating conditions in Darfur. [Read More]

Political Trivia for Monday, April 27, 2009

How many Senate incumbents up for election in 2010 have announced plans to retire? [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
The Myrtle Beach Area: Fire that Destroyed 70 Houses 85% Contained
California: Some Counties Ending Non-Emergency Health Care for Illegals
California: Corrections Officials Move to Cut Inmate Population
Texas: Study: Illegal Immigrants Cost States Billions

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Political Clippings

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., has decided not to run for governor of his state in 2010. "I have decided that it is best for me to remain in Congress, where I think I can make a difference as a legislative fighter," Westmoreland said Friday. Westmoreland had been considered a strong contender for the GOP nomination.

The Idaho Statesman reports that Republicans are targeting freshman Rep. Walt Minnick, D-Idaho, for defeat in 2010. "It's the most Republican district in the nation that is currently held by a Democrat. It’s common knowledge that an incumbent is most vulnerable his first election, so we feel this is our best shot at unseating him," said Jonathan Parker, executive director of the Idaho Republican Party. Iraq war veteran Waughn Ward, who worked on the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and has been endorsed by him, is the first GOP challenger to announce, but several other Republicans are considering running.

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