Friday, June 26, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, June 26, 2009 – 2:18 P.M.

In This Issue

  • With Outcome Uncertain, House Takes Up Climate Change Bill
  • House Passes Interior-Environment Spending Bill
  • Conyers' Wife Pleads Guilty to Federal Bribery Charges
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Today in Washington

The House passed its fiscal 2010 Interior-Environment spending bill; votes on legislation to cap greenhouse gas emissions and create a market for trading emissions allowances.

The Senate is not in session. Both chambers are scheduled to be in recess next week.

The President meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel; meets with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; hosts a picnic for White House staff with first lady Michelle Obama.

In Washington, The Reform Party of Syria holds a candlelight vigil in memory of those who died in the protests in Iran, 7:30 p.m., Interest Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 2209 Wisconsin Ave N.W.

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Top Stories

With Outcome Uncertain, House Takes Up Climate Change Bill

The House Friday began debating comprehensive energy legislation as Democratic leaders lobbied furiously to round up enough votes to pass the bill. [Read More]

House Passes Interior-Environment Spending Bill

The House Thursday passed legislation to boost funding for environmental programs in fiscal 2010, after defeating Republican attempts to trim it back. [Read More]

Conyers' Wife Pleads Guilty to Federal Bribery Charges

The wife of House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. pleaded guilty Friday to a federal charge of conspiring to commit bribery. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CALIFORNIA: Governor Kills Plan for Prison Medical Beds
THE NATION: States Get Guidance on Counting Stimulus Jobs
DETROIT: Convention Center Deal Will Keep Auto Show
BOSTON: No Texting While Driving, City Workers Told

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Political Clippings

The Pensacola News Journal reports that Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., is bucking the party establishment and endorsing former state House Speaker Marco Rubio over Gov. Charlie Crist in Florida's GOP Senate primary. "Marco Rubio is a young, fresh voice for our cause, and he does believe in limited government," Miller said. Most GOP leaders have endorsed Crist, but Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., also is backing Rubio.

The New York Daily News reports that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel confirmed Thursday he warned Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., not to challenge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand next year. "We're going to be involved, helping her, and I don't want you to get in the race and find out after the fact," Emanuel said he told Israel. But a strategist for Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, "who is strongly leaning toward running against Gillibrand in the Democratic primary, said nobody from the White House delivered that message to Maloney."

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

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

In This Issue

  • Senators Identify Ways to Keep Health Bill Costs in Check
  • Climate Bill Timing in Doubt as Backers Woo the Undecideds
  • Senators Seek to Ease Iranian Media Access
  • House Ethics Panel Opens Probe of Lawmakers' Caribbean Trips
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Today in Washington

The House will take up the fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill and may also take up the fiscal 2010 Interior-Environment spending bill.

The Senate is expected to vote to confirm Harold Koh as the State Department's top legal adviser.

The President takes part with first lady Michelle Obama in an event for service members at the Ft. McNair Army base in Washington; discusses immigration with Republican and Democratic lawmakers; meets separately with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; hosts a luau for members of Congress and their families on the South Lawn.

In Washington, Physicians hold a virtual town hall meeting to explain opposition to health care reform proposals, with Rep. Tom Price, AAPS President Mark Kellen, Jane Orient of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, 7:30 p.m., 722 12th St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Senators Identify Ways to Keep Health Bill Costs in Check

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, working with the Congressional Budget Office, has come up with a way to write a health care overhaul bill costing less than $1 trillion that would not increase the federal budget deficit. [Read More]

Climate Bill Timing in Doubt as Backers Woo the Undecideds

As the House heads toward a vote on landmark global warming legislation, Democratic leaders are still trying to shore up support from pockets of resistance in their own party. [Read More]

Senators Seek to Ease Iranian Media Access

Three hard-line Senate voices on Iran said Thursday they will introduce legislation to expand Iranians' access to free media in the wake of a post-election crackdown on protests and communication. [Read More]

House Ethics Panel Opens Probe of Lawmakers' Caribbean Trips

The House ethics committee said Thursday it has opened an investigation of trips by four House members and a delegate, including Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel, to conferences in the Caribbean that a conservative group says violated House rules. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
SOUTH CAROLINA: Spokesman: Governor Won't Step Down
THE NATION: Environmentalists Rank Greenest Governors
PHOENIX: Long-Time City Manager to Retire
SAN FRANCISCO: City Plans Push to Revive Stalled Bike Plan

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Political Clippings

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that Nevada Republicans are striking back at party members who have endorsed Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for re-election. First lady Dawn Gibbons, for example, said she has lost her honorary membership in at least two Republican women's clubs and was asked to step down as a co-chairwoman of a local Republican fundraiser. Reid is a top target of national Republicans.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell has started airing 30-second television ads â€" the first of the general election campaign. The ads which will run for 10 days everywhere but in the Washington suburbs, focus on job creation and entrepreneurship. McDonnell faces Democratic state Sen. Creigh Deeds in the November vote, which is seen as a key off-year test for both parties.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, June 24, 2009 – 2:01 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Key Democratic Caucuses Demand Competitive Public Health Plan
  • CBO to Examine Proposals To Help Pay for Health Coverage
  • Consumer Protection Agency to Be Considered by House Panel
  • Senate Takes First Steps Toward Judge's Impeachment Trial
  • Senate Set To Confirm Koh for State Department Post
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Today in Washington

The House votes on the fiscal 2010 Homeland Security spending bill and the defense authorization bill.

The Senate voted to end debate on the nomination of Harold Hongju Koh to be legal adviser to the State Department and began the process of putting U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent on trial for four articles of impeachment (H Res 520).

The President meets with a bipartisan group of governors to discuss health care, followed by a town hall meeting. Participants include Govs. Jennifer M. Granholm of Michigan, Jim Douglas of Vermont, James E. Doyle of Wisconsin, Michael Rounds of South Dakota, and Christine Gregoire of Washington.

In Washington, NDN holds a discussion on a report by the United Nations Foundation and Vodafone Foundation Technology Partnership on the use of mobile technology to improve health care in the United States and developing world. 5:30 p.m., Reserve Officers Association, One Constitution Ave. N.E.

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Top Stories

Key Democratic Caucuses Demand Competitive Public Health Plan

Leaders of the black, Hispanic, Asian Pacific American and Progressive caucuses said Wednesday that they would vote against any health overhaul legislation that excludes a "robust" government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers. [Read More]

CBO to Examine Proposals To Help Pay for Health Coverage

According a document distributed by staff of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, CBO has been asked to estimate the budget effects of two competing proposals that would require businesses to help pay for their workers' private insurance. [Read More]

Consumer Protection Agency to Be Considered by House Panel

A House committee plans to consider legislation after the July Fourth recess that would create a federal agency to oversee financial services that are sold to consumers. [Read More]

Senate Takes First Steps Toward Judge's Impeachment Trial

U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent was accused ofi inappropriate conduct with his case manager, Cathy McBroom, and his secretary, making false statements to federal investigators. [Read More]

Senate Set To Confirm Koh for State Department Post

The Senate voted Wednesday to set in place the long-delayed confirmation of controversial State Department nominee Harold Hongju Koh. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
SOUTH CAROLINA | Hiking Governor Expected Back
MASSACHUSETTS | Pioneering Health Program Gets First Cuts
WISCONSIN | State May Allow Wolf Hunting
WASHINGTON, D.C. | Investigators: Train Operator Hit Brakes Before Crash

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Political Clippings

The Elmira Star-Gazette reports that "the Republican Party is courting Corning Mayor Tom Reed to run against" freshman District 29 New York Democrat Eric Massa, according to the head of the National Republican Campaign Committee.

Quinnipiac University Polling Institute reports that the 2010 New York Democratic primary for U.S. Senator "remains in play as 27 percent back...Rep. Carolyn Maloney and 23 percent back...Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, with 4 percent for Jonathan Tasini and 44 percent undecided."

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune reports that the National Republican Senatorial Committee spent nearly $938,000 in May largely to help former Sen. Norm Coleman (2003-2009) cover legal bills to firms in Minneapolis and Washington related to his contesting the outcome of his Senate race against Democrat Al Franken.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, June 23, 2009 – 2:15 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Democrats Revise Energy Bill To Win More Votes
  • Republicans Turn Up Heat on Sotomayor
  • Public Plan 'Devastating' In Any Form, Insurers Say
  • Senate Panel Approves Interior Appropriations Bill
  • Senate Panel Negotiating Bill on Military Commissions
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Today in Washington

The House is expected to pass several veterans affairs bills.

The Senate is expected to take up the fiscal 2010 legislative branch spending bill.

The President held a news conference at the White House; meets President Michelle Bachelet of Chile, and later with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

In Washington, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace sponsors a presentation, "U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership on Democracy and Security," where Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Grigol Vashadze, will discuss the United States-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership, which affirms cooperation between the two nations on such issues as democratic reform, security, energy, and trade, 5 p.m., Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Democrats Revise Energy Bill To Win More Votes

The Energy and Commerce Committee late last night unveiled a new version of the bill (HR 2454) to address climate change and promote the development of clean energy. [Read More]

Republicans Turn Up Heat on Sotomayor

Senate Republicans are raising concerns about upreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's work for the Latino advocacy group now known as LatinoJustice PRLDEF. [Read More]

Public Plan 'Devastating' In Any Form, Insurers Say

Lobbies representing the insurance industry said in a letter to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., that a "government plan" option in any form would have "devastating consequences" for current health insurance coverage as well as for the budget deficit and "existing provider systems." [Read More]

Senate Panel Approves Interior Appropriations Bill

The Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies approved a draft bill providing $32.1 billion in discretionary spending for the Interior Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service and related programs. [Read More]

Senate Panel Negotiating Bill on Military Commissions

Senior lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee are negotiating legislation on military commissions for detainees, with an eye toward adding it to the fiscal 2010 defense authorization measure. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
WASHINGTON, D.C. | Train Crash is Deadliest in System's History
NEW YORK CITY | Ruling a Blow to Hybrid Taxi Push
LOS ANGELES | City Weighs Early Retirements for Thousands
PORTLAND, Ore. | Mayor Won't Be Prosecuted over Sex with Teenager

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Political Clippings

The Hartford Courant reports that "Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, [D-Conn.] who has long favored civil unions over same-sex marriage, now supports equal rights for gay and lesbian couples."

The Fort Myers News-Press reports that former state House Speaker Marco Rubio "demanded...that his chief rival in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, Gov. Charlie Crist, agree to a series of at least 10 debates covering most of the state's 11 media markets."

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Coming Soon: CQ Almanac | Get the definitive guide to the second session of the 110th Congress

CQ Almanac 2008

Dear Colleague,

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Monday, June 22, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, June 22, 2009 – 2:02 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Climate Change Bill Would Cost Households $175 a Year: CBO
  • Supreme Court Rules Narrowly on Voting Rights Act Challenge
  • Congress Asked to End Exclusive Deals for Smartphones
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate is expected to pass a bill promoting U.S. tourism before taking up the Homeland Security spending bill.

The President meets with senior advisers; signs legislation to give the Food and Drug Administration broad powers to regulate cigarettes.

In Washington, The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a summit to discuss young leaders shaping an international agenda featuring a keynote from Derek Chollet, principal deputy director of the Department of State Office of Policy Planning. 3 p.m., B-1 conference level, 1800 K St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Climate Change Bill Would Cost Households $175 a Year: CBO

The bill (HR 2454), which could move to the House floor this summer, would limit emissions of greenhouse gases and direct companies to buy and sell pollution allowances in order to meet the cap. [Read More]

Supreme Court Rules Narrowly on Voting Rights Act Challenge

The Supreme Court court issued a 8-1 ruling Monday holding that government entities at all levels may seek exemptions from the pre-clearance requirements, even if they don't register voters. [Read More]

Congress Asked to End Exclusive Deals for Smartphones

Rural cellular phone providers are pressing Congress to force open the often-exclusive market for smartphones, arguing that their inability to sell these hot items is hurting their bottom lines and depriving their customers. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION | States Claiming Wins in Push for Jobs
CALIFORNIA | Warrants Served in Workers' Comp Probe
CALIFORNIA | Governor's Jet Makes Emergency Landing
SEATTLE | Report Slams Streets Dept. Management

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Political Clippings

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that "Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has decided to seek a spot" as "vice chairman of the Republican Policy Committee."

The Denver Post reports that "the likelihood that [Sen.] Michael Bennet will face a serious primary opponent in next year's U.S. Senate race grew slimmer Saturday when he picked up the official endorsement of fellow senator and Democrat Mark Udall" of Colorado.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that "since admitting an extramarital affair with a former staffer, [GOP] Sen. John Ensign's approval rating in his home state has plunged" to 39 percent, a drop of 14 percentage points from a month ago.

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