Friday, June 05, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, June 05, 2009 – 2:45 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Congress Speeding Ahead on 'Cash for Clunkers' Plan
  • Transit Advocates Want To Use Stimulus Dollars for Operating Costs
  • What Do Cheney and Pelosi Have in Common? Poor Poll Ratings
  • Gillibrand Nabs Sharpton, Meeks Endorsements
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; reconvenes at 12:30 p.m. Monday.

The Senate is not in session; reconvenes 2 p.m. Monday.

The President is in Germany, where he meets with Chancellor Angela Merkel; with her, visits Dresden Castle, Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) and the Buchenwald concentration Camp; visits wounded U.S. troops at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center before flying to Paris.

In Washington, Volunteers of America holds its annual gala, honoring Chris and Kathleen Matthews, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., and others. 6:30 p.m., Great Hall, Jefferson Building, Library of Congress.

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Top Stories

Congress Speeding Ahead on 'Cash for Clunkers' Plan

The House is scheduled to vote as early as June 9 on a bill that would authorize a program where consumers could receive a voucher worth as much as $4,500 for the purchase or lease of a new fuel-efficient vehicle if they trade in a less-efficient passenger car, SUV or truck. [Read More]

Transit Advocates Want To Use Stimulus Dollars for Operating Costs

Passenger rail and bus advocates are pressing negotiators on the war supplemental spending bill to allow public transit agencies to spend some of their economic stimulus dollars on operating expenses, instead of capital improvements. [Read More]

What Do Cheney and Pelosi Have in Common? Poor Poll Ratings

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi might be dubbed the "Polarizing Pair" as they share the dubious distinction of being seen unfavorably by the American public, according to a Gallup poll conducted May 29-31. [Read More]

Gillibrand Nabs Sharpton, Meeks Endorsements

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is continuing to pile up endorsements for her 2010 campaign, and the latest — from Rev. Al Sharpton and Rep. Gregory W. Meeks — show she is consolidating support in New York City circles, despite initial skepticism. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
SOUTH CAROLINA | State High Court Orders Governor To Accept Money
THE NATION | State Revenues Buffeted by Downturn
MASSACHUSETTS | Plantiffs Flock to Turnpike Lawsuit
BALTIMORE | City Could Lose Federal Stimulus Money

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Political Clippings

The Greenwich Citizen reports that "the embezzlement scandal that enveloped Christopher Shays' failed 2008 re-election campaign is far more extensive than has been previously reported — probably reaching back into previous Shays campaigns." Former Rep. Shays, R-Conn. (1987-2009), said, "Do I think there was money embezzled in the previous cycle? Absolutely."

Howey Politics Indiana reports that the 5th District "Republican primary field appears to be set: U.S. Rep. Dan Burton, State Rep. Mike Murphy, Brose McVey, Luke Messer and John McGoff."

The Mitchell (S.D.) Daily Republic reports that "the South Dakota Republican Party ... launched a new Web site to highlight what the party calls 'the radical liberal voting record of Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.'"

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, June 04, 2009 – 2:29 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Blue Dogs Demand Tight Constraints on Any Public Health Plan Option
  • 'Empathy' at Issue as Senate Committee Approves First Obama Judicial Nominees
  • House Members Must Report Expenses Online
  • Fate of Guantánamo Detainees Weighs Heavily on Spending Bills
  • Something Different: Five-Day Work Weeks Looming for Congress
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Today in Washington

The House is considering a bill to provide four weeks of paid parental leave to federal employees.

The Senate continues to consider amendments to a bill to allow the FDA to regulate tobacco.

The President departs Saudi Arabia for Cairo; meets with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, tours Sultan Hassan Mosque with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, delivers speech at Cairo University; tours the pyramids and Sphinx. At the end of the day he departs for Dresden, Germany.

In Washington, the Fordham Institute holds a panel discussion on the pros and cons of universal preschool, with institute president Chester Finn, Steve Barnett of the National Institute for Early Education Research, Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute, and Sara Mead of the new America Foundation. 3 p.m., 7th floor, 1016 16th St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Blue Dogs Demand Tight Constraints on Any Public Health Plan Option

Conservative House Democrats set strict conditions Thursday for any government-run insurance plan Congress creates as part of a health care overhaul, ruling out support for a plan that resembles Medicare — the option favored by many liberals. [Read More]

'Empathy' at Issue as Senate Committee Approves First Obama Judicial Nominees

President Obama's first two judicial nominees were approved Thursday by the Senate Judiciary Committee, after a debate about the role of "empathy" in judging. [Read More]

House Members Must Report Expenses Online

House members will begin reporting their office expenses online rather than through quarterly books, under an order from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi . [Read More]

Fate of Guantánamo Detainees Weighs Heavily on Spending Bills

The House Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Justice Department approved its $64.4 billion fiscal 2010 spending measure by voice vote after attaching restrictions on the release or transfer of detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. [Read More]

Something Different: Five-Day Work Weeks Looming for Congress

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Thursday that starting next month, roll-call votes will occur virtually every day through Aug. 7, as lawmakers push through stacks of bills before their August recess. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
LOS ANGELES COUNTY | State Budget Crisis May Cancel Stimulus Jobs
PHILADELPHIA | City Lags on Collecting Fines
SAN FRANCISCO | Kaiser Joins City Health Care Providers
MICHIGAN | Governor Wants State to Make Railcars

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Political Clippings

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Nevada's first lady Dawn Gibbons, a former state assemblywoman, and "entertainer Wayne Newton are among 56 prominent Republicans supporting the re-election of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid." The newspaper noted, "Republican kingmaker Sig Rogich and the GOP mayors of Reno and Sparks also are on the list, which Reid touted in a news release as proof of his bipartisan appeal in his home state."

City Hall News reports that "Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., is moving forward with her prospective Senate candidacy, signing Cindy Darrison as a fundraiser and Josh Isay of Knickerbocker SKD to do communications for her." Maloney would run in the 2010 primary against incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who was appointed to her seat earlier this year by the governor.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, June 03, 2009 – 2:21 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Hill Leaders Weigh Obama's Request to Double Funding to Fight Flu Pandemic
  • House Panel Begins Work on Food Safety Overhaul
  • Congress Must Ride Herd on Auto Industry Restructuring, Durbin Says
  • Bernanke: Congress Must Curb Deficits
  • Hill Committee Pace Will Dictate Timing of Obama's Priorities
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Today in Washington

The House votes on two bills that would recognize certain American Indian tribes, among several other measures.

The Senate continues procedural consideration of a bill to allow the FDA to regulate tobacco.

The President in Saudi Arabia, attends welcome reception and meets with King Abdullah.

In Washington, Unity Productions Foundation presents the world premiere of the film "Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think," with keynote speech by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. 7 p.m., Gaston Hall, Georgetown University, 37th and O streets, N.W.

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Top Stories

Hill Leaders Weigh Obama's Request to Double Funding to Fight Flu Pandemic

The administration late Tuesday sent a request to Congress for another $2 billion in emergency funding to respond to a major flu outbreak, along with $200 million more to help Pakistan aid 2.5 million of its people displaced by fighting between the government and the Taliban. [Read More]

House Panel Begins Work on Food Safety Overhaul

This year's legislation is the latest effort to respond to a series of food contamination incidents over the past year or so that have killed several people, sickened many more and cost producers hundreds of millions of dollars. [Read More]

Congress Must Ride Herd on Auto Industry Restructuring, Durbin Says

With the government now holding a major ownership stake in the U.S. auto industry, Congress must monitor the industry's restructuring, just as it has kept tabs on the government bailout of the financial sector, a top Senate Democrat said Wednesday. [Read More]

Bernanke: Congress Must Curb Deficits

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke warned Congress on Wednesday that it must begin to address the government's soaring annual deficits and burgeoning total debt, or risk further economic problems in the coming years. [Read More]

Hill Committee Pace Will Dictate Timing of Obama's Priorities

On health care, no House committee markups are scheduled yet, although three panels are working on legislation: Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Education and Labor. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CHICAGO | Court: Handgun Ban Stands
ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. | Ex-Coroner Charges Dropped
LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. | Payout to Victim's Family in Taser Suit
INDIANA | State Won't Mandate Safer Circuit Breakers

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Political Clippings

The Miami Herald reports that three days after Rep. Kendrick B. Meek's "leading Democratic rival for the U.S. Senate stepped aside, a family friend and colleague in Congress stunned the party establishment and jumped in. Democratic U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown of Jacksonville said Tuesday that she is forming an 'exploratory committee' that will allow her to raise money and campaign for the seat" of Republican Sen. Mel Martinez, who is retiring in 2010. "The state's best-known politician, Gov. Charlie Crist, looms as the Republican front-runner. ...North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns, a Democrat, and former House Speaker Marco Rubio, a Republican, are also running for the Senate.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, a new Public Policy Polling survey shows state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds "creeping ahead" of Terry McAuliffe and Brian J. Moran in Virginia's Democratic gubernatorial primary contest after trailing for months. "The candidates are accelerating their appeals — via paid advertising and media interviews — to what is expected to be a sliver of the electorate, perhaps less than 5 percent of Virginia's 5 million registered voters," the paper said. Deeds held "a statistically insignificant lead of 3 percentage points" over McAuliffe in the latest poll, with Moran a close third, "and all three were within the poll's margin of error. But last month, a survey by Public Policy Polling showed McAuliffe in front with 30 percent, followed by Moran at 20 percent and Deeds at 14 percent."

The Salt Lake City Deseret News reports that Josh Romney, son of Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and 2008 Republican presidential primary contestant, could soon wind up as Utah's lieutenant governor. '"It's definitely not something I'm actively campaigning for,' Josh Romney said. 'If it were offered to me, I would give it serious consideration.'" Romney said he and Republican Gary Herbert, who is expected to succeed GOP Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., "have already talked several times" since Huntsman was nominated as ambassador to China. Herbert "told the News in a recent interview that he expected to begin interviewing candidates over the next few weeks and announce his choice after Huntsman leaves office."

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, June 02, 2009 – 2:25 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Obama Urging Senate Health Care Vote By August
  • Senate Moves Forward on FDA Tobacco Regulation
  • Sotomayor Hearings Likely in July
  • Obama Taps GOP Rep. McHugh as Army Secretary
  • Gas Taxes Fall Short Again, Strapping Highway Trust Fund
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Today in Washington

The House considers minor bills under suspension of the rules.

The Senate debates legislation to authorize the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products.

The President meets with senior advisers; announces choice of Rep. John M. McHugh, R-N.Y., as Secretary of the Army; meets with Senate Democrats on health care reform; signs the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act, with former First Lady Nancy Reagan in attendance; meets with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md.; departs Washington for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, first stop on his trip abroad.

In Washington, Reading Is Fundamental holds a Gift of Reading gala, with award-winning children's author Peter H. Reynolds and Grammy-winning jazz musician Terence Blanchard. 6:30 p.m., Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Obama Urging Senate Health Care Vote By August

Senate Democrats intend to move a single health-care bill to the floor within weeks, despite concerns about disparities between versions shaping up in two different committees. [Read More]

Senate Moves Forward on FDA Tobacco Regulation

Legislation authorizing the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the advertising and marketing of tobacco products advanced in the Senate Tuesday, a signal it could soon reach President Obama's desk. [Read More]

Sotomayor Hearings Likely in July

Democrats want the Senate to vote on Sotomayor before the August recess, scheduled to begin on Aug. 7. Republicans have said they want more time to prepare for her confirmation hearing. [Read More]

Obama Taps GOP Rep. McHugh as Army Secretary

President Obama announced Tuesday that he is nominating John M. McHugh of New York, the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, to be the next Army secretary. [Read More]

Gas Taxes Fall Short Again, Strapping Highway Trust Fund

The federal Highway Trust Fund will run out of cash this summer, marking the second year in a row that gasoline tax revenues have failed to meet prior projections and federal spending commitments. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION | Cheney Endorses Gay Marriage on a 'State-by-State' Basis
MICHIGAN | State Braces for Next Economic Jolt
CALIFORNIA | Unions, Local Governments Split on Bankruptcy Bill
NEW YORK CITY | Mayor and Council Agree on 2 Sales Tax Measures

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Political Clippings

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is armed with money and the support of well-placed Republicans for a possible run against Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer next year. But she's also got something that has dogged other wealthy political neophytes - a spotty voting record." Fiorina "has voted in about 1 in 4 of the national, state and local elections in which she was eligible to cast a ballot since she registered in the Bay Area as a Republican in 2000, according to Santa Clara County records."

MSNBC reports Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak said he will run against Democratic incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter in the 2010 primary. Specter recently switched his party affiliation because of concerns he would lose a GOP primary. Sestak revealed his intention to run in a "handwritten note from the congressman to one of his volunteers and campaign contributors."

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Join CQ Politics' Live Online Discussion with speakers at the CQ HealthBeat Policy Preview Conference

The CQ HealthBeat Policy Preview Conference includes some of the country's top health-care policy analysts. Speakers include: former U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle; Nancy-Ann DeParle, White House Office for Health Reform; DeAnn Friedholm, Consumers Union; Dr. Arthur Garson Jr., University of Virginia; Dr. Nancy Nielsen, American Medical Association; Ron Pollack, Families USA; John Rother, AARP; Dr. Reed V. Tuckson, UnitedHealth Group. Join the chat on Wednesday, June 3 at 9 a.m.
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Monday, June 01, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, June 01, 2009 –

In This Issue

  • Senate's Oldest Member Remains in Hospital With Staph Infection
  • House and Senate Lawmakers Face Ambitious Agenda
  • Push for More Transit Funding Could Spark Transportation Spending Battle
  • Franken-Coleman Election in Minnesota Court's Hands Now
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; reconvenes at 2 p.m. tomorrow.

The Senate reconvenes at 2 p.m., following its Memorial Day recess.

The President meets with senior advisers; speaks about GM's bankruptcy and the future of the U.S. auto industry; visits the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and meets with National Economic council staff.

In Washington, Tufts University holds a forum on the most pressing nutrition and health policy issues affecting children, with Dr. Christina Economos of Tufts, Dr. Shiriki Kumanyika, University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Mary Story, University of Minnesota, others. 3:30 p.m., National Press Club.

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Top Stories

Senate's Oldest Member Remains in Hospital With Staph Infection

Sen. Robert C. Byrd , D-W.Va., the longest-serving senator in history, remains hospitalized due to a staph infection that has developed since he was first admitted more than two weeks ago. [Read More]

House and Senate Lawmakers Face Ambitious Agenda

Congress returns this week for a four-week stretch in which Democratic leaders hope for quick progress toward writing the 12 regular appropriations bills and will push ahead on sweeping global warming and health care legislation. [Read More]

Push for More Transit Funding Could Spark Transportation Spending Battle

For more than half a century, highway advocates have been the loudest voices on transportation policy, but that may change this year as some lawmakers push to include more funding for public transit in the next authorization bill. [Read More]

Franken-Coleman Election in Minnesota Court's Hands Now

Lawyers for Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken made their cases before the Minnesota Supreme Court Monday morning in a pivotal phase of the legal battle over their tightly contested 2008 Senate race. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ATLANTA: Same-Sex Marriage Hits Mayoral Race
NEW YORK CITY: On Diverse Force, Blacks Still Face Special Peril
THE NATION: 46 States and D.C. to Pursue Common Education Standards
TEXAS: State Balks at Hollywood Take on Waco Tragedy

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Taegan Goddard's Political Wire

The St. Petersburg Times reports that Florida "Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown of Jacksonville said Saturday she is seriously looking at jumping into the Senate race. Her entry would mean two of Florida's most popular African-American members of Congress -- Brown and Kendrick Meek of Miami -- vying for the nomination to take on either Gov. Charlie Crist or former state House Speaker Marco Rubio in the 2010 general election." Meek "has raised more than $1.5 million for his Senate campaign and picked up major endorsements, from former President Bill Clinton to major labor groups. But Brown said she has more experience to offer and that she commissioned a statewide poll that showed her leading Meek and other Democrats looking at the Senate race."

The Tulsa World reports that Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., announced today that he will seek re-election next year to a second six-year term. Coburn served in the House from 1995-2001, when he began his current term. "No opponent for the popular Muskogee Republican has stepped forward. A political maverick known for his opposition to federal spending earmarks, Coburn has often expressed ambivalence about his political career. That, and the fact he has made little apparent effort to raise money for the 2010 campaign, fueled speculation that Coburn might not seek a second term."

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Join CQ Politics' Live Online Discussion with speakers at the CQ HealthBeat Policy Preview Conference

The CQ HealthBeat Policy Preview Conference includes some of the country's top health-care policy analysts. Speakers include: former U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle; Nancy-Ann DeParle, White House Office for Health Reform; DeAnn Friedholm, Consumers Union; Dr. Arthur Garson Jr., University of Virginia; Dr. Nancy Nielsen, American Medical Association; Ron Pollack, Families USA; John Rother, AARP; Dr. Reed V. Tuckson, UnitedHealth Group. Join the chat on Wednesday, June 3 at 9 a.m.
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