Friday, July 10, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

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

In This Issue

  • Cost Still a Huge Hurdle as Democrats Struggle To Advance Health Care Plan
  • Panel Drops Ban on Needle-Exchange Funds
  • House Passes Boost in Veterans' Spending
  • Coleman's Handling of Recount Battle Darkens His Political Future
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Today in Washington

The House passes the fiscal 2010 spending bill for military construction and veterans' affairs.

The Senate is in session for speeches only.

The President wraps up meetings at the G-8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy; travels to Rome for meeting with Pope Benedict XVI; departs Rome for Ghana.

In Washington, David Keene, chairman, American Conservative Union, addresses the 12th annual National High School Leadership Conference of Young America's Foundation. 4 p.m., National 4-H Center, 7100 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase.

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Top Stories

Cost Still a Huge Hurdle as Democrats Struggle To Advance Health Care Plan

Frustrated Democrats will try again next week to assemble a health care overhaul that can command enough votes to make it through either chamber of Congress. [Read More]

Panel Drops Ban on Needle-Exchange Funds

A House Appropriations subcommittee Friday endorsed a massive fiscal 2010 spending bill for labor, health and education programs that omits a longstanding ban on funding for needle-exchange programs. [Read More]

House Passes Boost in Veterans' Spending

The House on Friday passed a $133.7 billion spending bill that boosts funding for veterans benefits in fiscal 2010 and includes some advance funding for fiscal 2011. [Read More]

Coleman's Handling of Recount Battle Darkens His Political Future

If former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman has designs on the governor's office that fellow Republican Tim Pawlenty is vacating in 2010, he didn't help himself with the way he handled the recount battle with newly-minted Sen. Al Franken, according to a Public Policy Polling survey conducted July 7-8. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
LOS ANGELES COUNTY: Property Value Down for First Time in 13 Years
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Probe Planned in Ex-Mayor's Hiring of Girlfriend
ILLINOIS: Governor's Inmate-Release Plan Draws Fire
COLORADO: Governor's Former Law Partners Get Stimulus Work

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Political Clippings

The New Mexico Independent reports that state Republicans are waiting to hear whether former 1st District GOP Rep. Heather Wilson will seek the party's 2010 gubernatorial nomination now that former Rep. Steve Pearce has decided to try instead to recapture his old 2nd District House seat. "While Wilson is staying mum for the time being, others in New Mexico are talking a lot about her potential candidacy," including other would-be contenders who want to see what she does before commiting to run. Wilson lost the U.S. Senate nomination to Pearce last year, and he in turn was defeated by Democrat Tom Udall in the general election. The only declared Democratic gubernatorial candidate so far is Lt. Gov. Diane Denish.

According to the Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier, the "Department of Homeland Security recently revoked Gov. Mark Sanford's access to classified federal security information, then reinstated it after acknowledging that the suspension was made in error. It was unclear late Thursday whether the suspension was related to Sanford's secret trip last month to Argentina to meet his mistress." The GOP governor's press secretary Joel Sawyer said, "'This error had no impact on the governor's ability to do his job, and we have absolutely no reason to believe it was politically motivated.'"

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"Drafting Effective Federal Legislation and Amendments"

This course helps anyone draft and revise bills and amendments, with lessons especially useful to those who prepare reports, legislation and other documents. In this course, instructors explain the role of the OMB, examining various formats and exploring ways to choose the most appropriate one for your issue.
WHERE: Hall of the States, 444 North Capitol Street N.W., Washington, D.C. WHEN: July 29, 2009, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Registration Fee: $595
Full program description and secure online registration or call our registrar at 202-678-1600. This training conference is sponsored by TheCapitol.Net, exclusive provider of Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences.
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Thursday, July 09, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, July 09, 2009 2:08 p.m.

In This Issue

  • Pelosi Orders House Chairmen To Hold Down Health Bill Costs
  • House Speaker Says It's Too Soon To Talk of Another Stimulus
  • House Panel Adopts Amendment Allowing Guns in Public Housing
  • White Committee Chairmen Have Fewer Black Aides
  • Senate Committee Vote on Climate Change Bill Off Until September
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Today in Washington

The House passes the fiscal 2010 Agriculture spending bill, then considers the State-Foreign Operations spending bill.

The Senate continues consideration of the fiscal 2010 Homeland Security spending bill.

The President meets with with Brazilian President Lula, attends meeting of leaders of the G-8; attends working lunch of the leaders of the G-8 and other nations and international organization; attends meeting of the representatives of the Junior 8, attends world trade discussion at Guardia di Finanza School, attends Major Economies Forum discussion on the environment and attends G-8 dinner hosted by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.

In Washington, Tony Award winner Sarah Jones presents "A Right to Care," her one-woman show examining the causes and consequences of health care disparities from a first-person perspective. Invited guests include members of Congress, leading health care providers and health equity advocates, as well as nurses, doctors and healthcare workers from area hospitals. 6 p.m., Capitol Hill Visitors Center, Orientation Theatre South

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Top Stories

Pelosi Orders House Chairmen To Hold Down Health Bill Costs

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she has told 'the Three Tenors" -- the committee chairmen drafting a health care overhaul bill -- to cut the cost of the legislation they are proposing. [Read More]

House Speaker Says It's Too Soon To Talk of Another Stimulus

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried Thursday to tamp down speculation about another economic stimulus plan, saying she wants to give the $787 billion package enacted earlier this year more of a chance to work. [Read More]

House Panel Adopts Amendment Allowing Guns in Public Housing

Gun rights advocates scored a victory Thursday as the House Financial Services Committee adopted an amendment to allow guns in public housing projects. [Read More]

White Committee Chairmen Have Fewer Black Aides

Black aides are so scarce on some House committees that the Congressional Black Caucus surveyed the panels. Their conclusion: black staffers are most prevalent when African American chairmen do the hiring. [Read More]

Senate Committee Vote on Climate Change Bill Off Until September

Senate committee action on climate change legislation will be delayed until September, giving negotiators and their aides an extra month to work on the controversial legislation. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MASSACHUSETTS: State Challenges Federal Gay-Marriage Law
NEW JERSEY: Court Backs Higher Bail for Illegal Immigrants
THE BOSTON REGION: Transit Agency Seeks 20 Percent Fare Hike
WASHINGTON D.C.: Stalking Charges Dropped, But Ex-Mayor May Face Probe

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Taegan Goddard's Political Wire

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Carly Fiorina, whose rocky tenure as chief executive of Hewlett Packard ended with her firing, is making serious preparations to run next year for the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif."

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that "Attorney General Jack Conway's announcement that he raised $1.3 million in the first 80 days of his U.S. Senate campaign signals a likely "bloody fight' for the Democratic nomination." Conway is among a number of Democrats hoping to unseat Republican Jim Bunning.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that "while Jennifer Brunner and Lee Fisher are battling each other for the chance to represent Ohio Democrats in next year's race for the U.S. Senate, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is stepping up attacks on the Republicans' likely nominee Rob Portman, a former Cincinnati congressman (1993-2005) and top aide to former President George [W.] Bush."

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, July 08, 2009 2:05 p.m.;

In This Issue

  • Top Air National Guard General Backs F-22 Production
  • Senate Adds Immigration Provisions to Homeland Spending Bill
  • Senate Finance Likely To Alter Tariff in Climate Change Bill
  • Illinois AG Madigan Decides Against Governor or Senate Bids
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Today in Washington

The House considers legislation to assist small businesses in competing for federal research and development grants and contracts, as well as the fiscal 2010 Agriculture spending bill.

The Senate resumes consideration of the fiscal 2010 Homeland Security appropriations bill.

The President meets with Italian President Napolitano at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, arrives at Guardia di Finanz School and is greeted by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, attends G-8 working lunch, attends G-8 session on global issues, tours L'Aquila historic center with Berlusconi and attends G-8 working dinner.

In Washington, Fundacion Azteca America sposnors a forum, "The State of Latino: Census 2010 -- Hispanic Communities in a Time of Crisis." 6:30 p.m., National Press Club, First Amendment Lounge

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Top Stories

Top Air National Guard General Backs F-22 Production

The director of the Air National Guard, in a statement that has added afterburners to the case in Congress for continued production of F-22 fighters, has told lawmakers that the jet is the optimal choice for replacing aging aircraft that patrol U.S. airspace on homeland security missions. [Read More]

Senate Adds Immigration Provisions to Homeland Spending Bill

The Senate voted Wednesday to require federal contractors to use an electronic employee eligibility verification system and to set construction standards for the fence now going up along the border with Mexico. [Read More]

Senate Finance Likely To Alter Tariff in Climate Change Bill

Senate negotiators plan to change a proposed import tariff in the House-passed climate change bill, a provision criticized last week by President Obama as a potential blow to free trade, Sen. John Kerry said Wednesday. [Read More]

Illinois AG Madigan Decides Against Governor or Senate Bids

Lisa Madigan, the Democratic Illinois Attorney General who had been weighing 2010 campaigns for governor or U.S. senator, is set to announce later Wednesday that she will instead seek re-election to her current post. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW YORK STATE: Tripling Seen for Localities' Pension Costs
SEATTLE: Utility Exec Gets $40,000 Bonus
VIRGINIA: Budget Crunch Shuts Interstate Rest Stops
CALIFORNIA: Swine Flu Fears Close Prison to New Inmates

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Taegan Goddard's Political Wire

The Rapid City Journal reports that Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., "ended months of political speculation Tuesday by announcing that she would run for re-election" to the House rather than make a bid for governor or the Senate. Democratic State Sen. Scott Heidepriem of Sioux Falls appeared poised to enter the gubernatorial field following her announcement. Four Republicans are already in the race, the paper said. Democrats haven't won the governorship for decades in South Dakota.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, "He's winning glowing praise from conservatives casting him as the future of the GOP, but Marco Rubio's early fundraising creates doubts about his viability in a Senate matchup against [Florida] Gov. Charlie Crist. Nobody expected the former state House speaker from Miami to match Crist in fundraising, but Rubio's announcement Tuesday that he raised just $340,000 in three months had Republicans questioning his ability to compete in a state with so many large and distinct metro markets." Crist is expected to report raising at least $3 million in the past quarter. "Meanwhile, Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami ... raised more than $1.2 million in the three months ending June 30, bringing his total to about $3 million."

The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa Senate Minority Leader Paul McKinley, a Republican, plans "to start aggressively exploring a run for governor." He would join three other Republicans vying to challenge Democratic Gov. Chet Culver next year. "McKinley, 61, is the former president of Neely Manufacturing. He was elected to the Iowa Senate in 2000. McKinley was elected minority leader this year."

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, July 07, 2009 – 2:20 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Franken Takes Oath, Makes It 60
  • Leaders Urge Senate Democrats To Unite Against Filibusters
  • With a Caveat, Hoyer Says He's Open to Second Economic Stimulus
  • ABA Rates Sotomayor ‘Well Qualified’
  • U.S. Manufacturers Push for Tariff Adjustments
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Today in Washington

The House votes on non-controversial measures under suspension of the rules.

The Senate holds a swearing-in ceremony for Democrat Al Franken of Minnesota; debates the fiscal 2010 Homeland Security appropriations bill.

The President in Moscow, meets with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for a working breakfast; meets with former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev; delivers the commencement address at ceremonies for the 2009 graduating class of the New Economic School; meets with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev; with Medvedev, meets with Parallel Business Summit; meets with the Parallel Civil Society Summit; meets with Russian opposition leaders.

In Washington, the Medical Society of the District of Columbia hosts a panel discussion on reforming America's health care, with Reps. John Boozman, R-Ark., Paul Broun, R-Ga. and Bill Cassidy, R-La., among others; 4 p.m., George Washington University Hospital auditorium, 900 23rd St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Franken Takes Oath, Makes It 60

Funny man-turned-politician Al Franken was sworn in today as Minnesota's junior senator, bringing the Senate's membership to a full 100 and handing Democrats an effective 60-vote super majority for the first time in more than 30 years. [Read More]

Leaders Urge Senate Democrats To Unite Against Filibusters

Senate Democratic leaders are asking their rank and file to maintain party unity on procedural votes now that Democrats have secured a 60-vote operating majority that can end filibusters. However, moderate Democrats may not agree to the leadership's request in any event. [Read More]

With a Caveat, Hoyer Says He's Open to Second Economic Stimulus

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Tuesday he is open to the idea of another economic stimulus package, even though he believes the package enacted earlier this year is still too new to judge whether it is working effectively. [Read More]

ABA Rates Sotomayor ‘Well Qualified’

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor has received the American Bar Association's highest rating, according to a letter released Tuesday by the White House. [Read More]

U.S. Manufacturers Push for Tariff Adjustments

U.S. manufacturers who need chemicals or other ingredients not available from domestic producers are pushing Congress to move a package of tariff reductions and suspensions they say are essential to the struggling industrial sector. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW MEXICO | State's Sweeping Anti-DUI Efforts Paying Off
THE CHESAPEAKE BAY REGION | Report: Bay Pollutants Threaten Health
LOS ANGELES | City Girds for Michael Jackson Service
MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. | Hispanic Males Now Majority in County's Jails

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Political Clippings

The Fort Myers (FL) News-Press reports that District 17 Rep. Kendrick Meek spent the holiday weekend touring the Florida Panhandle. "The only major Democrat seeking the seat of retiring U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., Meek said he took in about $1.2 million in contributions during the just-concluded quarter on top of about $1.5 million in the previous period," according to the newspaper.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that "Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson's U.S. Senate exploratory committee said...that it has raised in excess of $600,000 since May — more than twice what Sen. Jim Bunning raised for his re-election effort in the first quarter of this year."

The Deseret Morning News (UT) reports that District 3 "Freshman Rep. Jason Chaffetz says several GOP state convention delegates are urging him to challenge fellow Republican Sen. [Robert F.] Bennett for his seat next year, and Chaffetz is keeping the door open to that possibility."

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Monday, July 06, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, July 06, 2009 – 1:45 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Spending Bills, Sotomayor Vote Dominate Upcoming Floor Action
  • Votes Mostly Go Obama's Way
  • LaHood: On the Road to Sell Stimulus — Still
  • Oversight Board Urges Congress to Boost IRS Budget
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Today in Washington

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

The Senate is debating a fiscal 2010 Legislative Branch appropriations bill.

The President in Moscow, participates in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Russian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; meets privately with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, before holding a working meeting and a joint news conference with the leader; with Mrs. Obama, meets with U.S. embassy personnel and later has dinner with Medvedev and Svetlana Medvedeva.

In Washington, Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal speaks on a panel on evaluating the 2008-2009 Supreme Court term. 3:30 p.m.,Georgetown University Law Center, Hart Auditorium, 600 New Jersey Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Spending Bills, Sotomayor Vote Dominate Upcoming Floor Action

Congress returns for a whirlwind five weeks of activity during which Democrats plan to advance their fiscal 2010 spending measures, sweeping health care legislation, a Senate energy bill and several White House priorities. [Read More]

Votes Mostly Go Obama's Way

President Obama is on pace to be the most successful Oval Office occupant in more than half a century when measured by his ability to get Congress to vote his way. [Read More]

LaHood: On the Road to Sell Stimulus — Still

As custodian of the huge pot of infrastructure spending in the $787 billion economic stimulus package, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is coming under pressure from fellow Republicans to demonstrate that the recovery efforts are working. [Read More]

Oversight Board Urges Congress to Boost IRS Budget

The IRS Oversight Board on Monday recommended that Congress provide $363 million more for the agency than the Obama administration requested in order to improve information technology systems and to provide better service to taxpayers. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
DETROIT | Mayor Fires Police Chief
THE NATION | Record Property Tax Appeals Hitting Localities
WASHINGTON, D.C. | Former Mayor Charged with Stalking
CALIFORNIA | NFL Star's Development Group Gets $47 Million in Bonds

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Political Clippings

The State Bill Colorado reports that Republican Luke Korkowski, a Crested Butte attorney, announced his "exploration of candidacy" to challenge Democratic incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet in 2010. Republican Mark Evan Van Wyk, of Castle Rock, joined the Senate race at the end of May.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Republican "Chuck Kozak has formed an exploratory committee and hired consultants to feel out his possible candidacy" to unseat U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. "I'm sure it's what I want to do; it's just a question of whether we can get the support we need," Kozak said.

The State reports that "executive committee members of the [South Carolina] Republican Party will hold a conference call Monday evening to discuss the fallout from revelations of Gov. Mark Sanford's secret trip to see his mistress in Argentina." Options on the table range from doing nothing to calling for his resignation, the publication says.

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