Friday, May 29, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, May 29, 2009 – 2:10 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Airline Passengers Could Face New Fees for Airport Improvements
  • Lawmakers Praise Obama's Moves to Beef Up Cybersecurity
  • Tie to Disgraced Ex-Governor Threatens Burris' Future
  • Idaho House Race a Case Study for Conservative Democrats
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; reconvenes at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 2.

The Senate is not in session; reconvenes at noon Monday, June 1.

The President delivers remarks on cybersecurity; meets with National Economic Council staff; attends a hurricane preparedness meeting at FEMA headquarters.

In Washington, the Global Health Council continues its 36th Annual International Conference on Global Health, Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Airline Passengers Could Face New Fees for Airport Improvements

Air travelers, already grousing about an explosion of new fees for every flight, could see ticket prices go up if legislation now making its way through Congress becomes law. [Read More]

Lawmakers Praise Obama's Moves to Beef Up Cybersecurity

Calling the cyber threat "one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation," President Obama announced plans Friday to expand the White House's role in cybersecurity, saying that a cyber czar will lead the way. [Read More]

Tie to Disgraced Ex-Governor Threatens Burris' Future

Sen. Roland W. Burris likely faces two political fights over his relationship with the disgraced ex-governor who appointed him. [Read More]

Idaho House Race a Case Study for Conservative Democrats

Hard to find another Democrat who better fits Idaho's 1st District than the fiscally conservative, pro-gun, forest industry veteran Walt Minnick -- exactly why Democrats recruited him in 2008. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
DETROIT: Governor, Mayor Fight to Keep GM in Detroit
ALLEGHENY CO., Pa.: County Exec. Hopes to Privatize Airport Parking Lots
LOS ANGELES: L.A. Unified Cancels Most Summer School Programs
MARYLAND: License Confusion for Illegal Residents
NEW JERSEY: Court Shifts Course on Abbott School Aid
MINNESOTA: Sec. of State Sued Over Voter-Registration Records

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Political Clippings

The Las Vegas Sun reports that State Sen. Mark Amodei has been highly visible during the final weeks of the state legislature's session, raising questions about his political ambitions. "A possible answer: The Carson City Republican, who is prevented by term limits from seeking reelection, is considering a run in 2010 against U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Amodei said in a recent interview that Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., is the logical choice to run against the state's senior Democratic senator. 'If Dean doesn't, I'll consider it,' Amodei said. National Republicans have made no secret that taking out Reid is a top priority. But the GOP has struggled to find a candidate to challenge Reid, who recent polls show could be vulnerable."

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "newly minted Democrat Arlen Specter is still leading in his race for re-election to the U.S. Senate next year," but a new Quinnipiac University poll shows Specter's margin over his likely Republican challenger, former U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey (1999-2005), has narrowed. Specter, who switched parties last month after concluding he couldn't beat Toomey in a GOP primary, now leads the challenger by 46 percent to 37 percent, down from 53 to 33 percent in early May. "Among Democrats surveyed, Mr. Specter was way ahead, 73 percent to 10 percent, in the poll. But Mr. Toomey was way ahead with Republicans, 73 percent to 16 percent. Among independent voters, Mr. Specter had a lead of 43 percent to 33 percent."

The Youngstown (Ohio) Vindicator reports, "While Rob Portman, the leading Republican candidate for the 2010 U.S. Senate race, says, 'You don't turn away support,' he hasn't sought it from former President George W. Bush, his ex-boss, and former Vice President Dick Cheney." Portman, a former House member (1993-2005), served as both the budget director and U.S. Trade Representative under Bush. Portman told the newspaper Bush and Cheney "haven't offered their support for his Senate bid" and added, "'I think endorsements are overrated, even the ones I've made.' ... Recent polls have Portman trailing both Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, the two leading Democratic candidates for the Senate seat."

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, May 28, 2009 – 2:17 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Vulnerable Democrats Urge Close Scrutiny of Colleagues
  • Senate To Follow House Lead on Climate Change Legislation
  • House Chairman Cool to Idea of Single Bank Regulator
  • Obama Orders Reviews of Government Secrecy
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; reconvenes at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 2.

The Senate is not in session; reconvenes at noon Monday, June 1.

The President returns to Washington from Los Angeles; meets one-on-one with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas; holds an expanded meeting with Abbas; meets with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton before meeting with senior advisers.

In Washington, the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals are held, 8-10 p.m., Grand Hyatt Washington, 1000 H St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Vulnerable Democrats Urge Close Scrutiny of Colleagues

Swept into office partly on promises to end a "culture of corruption," many potentially vulnerable Democratic newcomers are pressing House leaders to confront allegations of unethical conduct involving fellow Democrats. [Read More]

Senate To Follow House Lead on Climate Change Legislation

A group of Senate Democrats committed to moving a climate change bill in this Congress will take their cues from the House as they seek to build support for the contentious legislation. [Read More]

House Chairman Cool to Idea of Single Bank Regulator

Responding to reports that the Obama administration is considering a proposal to create a single banking regulator, House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank said such an entity would be comparable to the United Kingdom's Financial Services Authority, which has been criticized for lax oversight. [Read More]

Obama Orders Reviews of Government Secrecy

President Obama has ordered two reviews of government secrecy, one examining whether too much information is classified and another examining whether the system for protecting other sensitive information needs to be streamlined. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION | Stimulus Contracts Shorting Neediest States
THE NATION | To Cut Costs, States Barter, Share Services
THE NATION | Study: Half of Men Arrested Test Positive for Drugs
AURORIA, Colo. | Group Wants to Build $200 Million Auto-Racing Complex

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Political Clippings

The Lexington Dispatch in North Carolina reports that former state Sen. Cal Cunningham is heeding the urging of friends and fellow Democrats and considering a challenge to Sen. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C. "I'm exploring," said Cunningham, now 35. "I've been having conversations with friends and fellow Democrats across North Carolina. There is a hunger for energetic and compelling leadership." Polls indicate Cunningham could be the most effective Democratic challenger to Burr.

The Detroit News reports that Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox entered the GOP primary for governor, setting up what pundits consider the first serious challenge to Rep. Peter Hoekstra. "No one other than Cox and Hoekstra appear to be really serious about this," said Bill Ballenger, editor of the Inside Michigan Politics newsletter.

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Join CQ Politics' Live Online Discussion with Seth Stern

CQ's legal affairs reporter Seth Stern takes questions on President Obama's selection of Sonia Sotomayor as his first Supreme Court nominee and what comes next as the Senate confirmation process gets underway. Join the chat now!
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, May 27, 2009 –

In This Issue

  • Burris Again Denies Any Effort to 'Buy' His Senate Seat
  • Millions of Medicare Beneficiaries Face Reduced Social Security Benefits
  • House Panel Proposes New Fees on Food Manufacturers
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; reconvenes at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 2.

The Senate is not in session; reconvenes at noon Monday, June 1.

The President with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., tours the solar photovoltaic array at Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas; delivers remarks on the first 100 days of the economic stimulus law, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; flies to Los Angeles to attend a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the Beverly Hills Hilton.

In Washington, the Atlantic Council of the United States hosts a speech by National Security Adviser James L. Jones on "U.S. National Security: The Obama Approach," 5:30 p.m., Atlantic Council, 1101 15th St. N.W., 11th floor

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Top Stories

Burris Again Denies Any Effort to 'Buy' His Senate Seat

Democratic Sen. Roland W. Burris denied again Wednesday that his taped phone conversation with former Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich's brother was an attempt to curry favor or buy his appointment to the Senate seat vacated by President Obama. [Read More]

Millions of Medicare Beneficiaries Face Reduced Social Security Benefits

New Social Security recipients and upper-income seniors could face a steep increase in their monthly Medicare premiums for the next two years, according to an analysis released Tuesday by a nonprofit health research group. [Read More]

House Panel Proposes New Fees on Food Manufacturers

The Energy and Commerce Committee draft is the latest in a string of attempts to move all-encompassing food safety legislation, which many lawmakers have been demanding for years. Recent food scares have intensified the pressure. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: Wall Street Backs Ballpark Bonds
DETROIT: Budget Lays Off 315, Cuts Salaries
PENNSYLVANIA: Court: Viewing Internet Child Porn Is a Crime
COLORADO: State Moves to Rewrite Mining Rules

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Taegan Goddard's Political Wire

From Taegan Goddard: A new Quinnipiac poll in Connecticut finds the Democratic Sen. Christopher J. Dodd is gaining on former GOP Rep. Rob Simmons. However, Simmons still leads by six points, 45 percent to 39 percent, in a 2010 Senate match up. Simmons led by 16 points in early April.

The Denver Post reports that Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., appointed this year to succeed Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, is on a "record U.S. Senate fundraising pace ... built on out-of-state donations, Colorado donors concentrated in Denver, and well-heeled associates from his past endeavors in politics and business." The Post's analysis of the $1.4 million Bennet raised in the first three months of this year showed less than half of the $1.1 million from individual contributors came from Coloradans, and those that did were concentrated in the Denver area. Democratic Sen. Mark Udall raised more than $11 million to capture his seat last fall; the 2010 race will probably require at least that much. "So far, Bennet has two Republican challengers -- Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier and Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck."

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, former. Rep. John Kasich, R-Ohio (1983-2001), now a "well-known Fox News on-air personality, will announce his 2010 bid for Ohio governor Monday in Westerville, his hometown." Kasich, a former House Budget Committee chairman, "has been the state party's top choice" to take on Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland. State Sen. Kevin Coughlin of Cuyahoga Falls has already been running for governor but lacks the top Ohio GOP leaders' support. Strickland has not formally announced his re-election bid but has been raising money for next year's contest."

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Join CQ Politics' Live Online Discussion with Seth Stern

CQ's legal affairs reporter Seth Stern takes questions on President Obama's selection of Sonia Sotomayor as his first Supreme Court nominee and what comes next as the Senate confirmation process gets underway. Join the chat on Thursday, May 28 at 2 p.m.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, May 26, 2009 – 2:06 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Obama Announces Nomination of Sotomayor for Supreme Court
  • Sotomayor Poses Difficult Choice for Senate Republicans
  • Prior Senate Support Bodes Well for Sotomayor
  • Burr Leads All Dems in N.C. Poll, but Never Scores Above 50 Percent
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; reconvenes at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 2.

The Senate is not in session; reconvenes at noon Monday, June 1.

The President announces he is nominating Judge Sonia Sotomayor, of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, to succeed Justice David H. Souter on the Supreme Court; meets with senior advisers at the White House; flies to Las Vegas to attend a fundraiser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., at Caesar's Palace.

In Washington, Statistics guru Hans Rosling discusses global health and population data, using Trendalyzer visualization software. 3 p.m., Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 6th Floor Auditorium, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Obama Announces Nomination of Sotomayor for Supreme Court

President Obama nominated federal appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court, which would make her the first Hispanic and third woman justice to serve if she is confirmed by the Senate. [Read More]

Sotomayor Poses Difficult Choice for Senate Republicans

President Obama's choice of Sonia Sotomayor to succeed Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter is likely to touch off a vigorous Senate confirmation fight. But some Republicans may hesitate to vote against the first Hispanic nominated to the high court. [Read More]

Prior Senate Support Bodes Well for Sotomayor

Retaining the help of eight key senators who supported Sonia Sotomayor more than 10 years ago could give President Obama a filibuster-proof first nomination to the Supreme Court. [Read More]

Burr Leads All Dems in N.C. Poll, but Never Scores Above 50 Percent

First-term GOP Sen. Richard Burr caught a break when the state's Democratic Attorney General, Roy Cooper, decided not to run. But while he leads others Democrats, he never scores above 50 percent. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION | States, Feds Take on Bogus Charities, Fundraisers
ILLINOIS | Former State Official Killed in Iraq
PITTSBURGH | Mayor: Fix Finances by Tapping Commuters, Tax-Exempts
SAN FRANCISCO | Police Chief Firing Off Parting Shots

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Political Clippings

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., "continues to insist that he's running for re-election next year, though that hasn't stopped other Kentucky Republicans from positioning themselves" to run. "He has basically a voting record that the people of this state like," said state Senate President David Williams, one of those considering a primary challenge to Bunning. "The only reservation that you hear anybody say about Senator Bunning is can he win or not." The daily said potential Republican candidates also include Secretary of State Trey Grayson; Cathy Bailey, a former U.S. ambassador to Latvia; and Rand Paul, a Bowling Green ophthalmologist and son of Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that President Obama was to headline a fundraiser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Tuesday that was expected to raise $2 million. Though Reid has no definite Republican opponent, he's seen as vulnerable in next year's election. A poll earlier this month by the daily found 38 percent of Nevada voters hold a favorable view of Reid, while 50 percent view him unfavorably. Only 35 percent said they would vote to re-elect Reid, while 17 percent said they would consider another candidate and 45 percent would definitely vote to replace him. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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