Friday, July 17, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, July 17, 2009 – 2:13 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Blue Dogs Show Teeth On Health Bill
  • McConnell Will Oppose Sotomayor; Some GOP Moderates Say They Will Vote To Confirm
  • Panel Probes U.S. Role in Auto Industry
  • House Passes Bill to Aid Wild Horses
  • Reid Lends Clout to Gillibrand's Bid in New York
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Today in Washington

The House considers a bill that would expand federal lands for wild horses and the fiscal 2010 Energy-Water appropriations bill.

The Senate continues consideration of amendments to the defense authorization bill. No votes are expected.

The President meets with senior advisers; has lunch with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

In Washington, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates speaks at an Army Farewell Review for outgoing Army Secretary Pete Geren. 5 p.m., Whipple Field, Fort Myer, VA.

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Top Stories

Blue Dogs Show Teeth On Health Bill

Moderate "Blue Dog" Democrats have threatened to block approval of the Hous ehealth care overhaul bill unless it is modified to meet their concerns about its policies and cost. [Read More]

McConnell Will Oppose Sotomayor; Some GOP Moderates Say They Will Vote To Confirm

The Senate's top Republican announced Friday he intends to oppose Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court even as the first members of his caucus came out in support. [Read More]

Panel Probes U.S. Role in Auto Industry

Frustrated lawmakers on the House Financial Services Committee Friday called on the Obama administration to release documents detailing its involvement in the restructuring of the U.S. auto industry. [Read More]

House Passes Bill to Aid Wild Horses

The House Friday passed a bill designed to improve federal management of wild horses and burros and increase the land on which they can roam. [Read More]

Reid Lends Clout to Gillibrand's Bid in New York

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is the latest member of the Democratic Party establishment to get behind appointed New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's 2010 campaign. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MASSACHUSETTS | 'Global Payments' Sought for Health Car
OREGON | Bush Plan to Double Logging Dropped
DETROIT | I-75 May Be Closed for Months
SAN FRANCISCO | Grand Jury: City Pension System Untenable

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Political Clippings

CBS News reports that Texas GOP Governor Rick Perry is seeking a loan from the federal government to aide his financially strapped state to pay the very expenses federal economic stimulus money would have covered had he not rejected the aid earlier this year because he said there were too many strings attached to it.

A Rasmussen Reports poll shows that challenger Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., "has the edge for now over appointed incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand in New York's Democratic primary campaign for the U.S. Senate. But nearly a third of potential primary voters have no preference at this time leaving the 2010 race wide open."

The Miami Herald reports that the leading Democratic Senate candidate, Rep. Kendrick B. Meek criticized Gov. Charlie Crist, the leading Republican in the race, to weigh in on the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. "Our state does not need a fence sitter who is the last person to formulate opinions about issues of profound importance," Meek said in a fundraising appeal that praised Sotomayor.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, July 16, 2009 – 2:10 P.M.

In This Issue

  • CBO Chief: Health Bills To Increase Federal Costs
  • Sessions Sees Sotomayor Vote before Recess
  • Chairman Wants No New Feds on the Farm
  • Fed Official Opposes Consumer Finance Plan
  • House Panel Approves Defense Spending Obama Didn't Seek
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Today in Washington

The House considers the fiscal 2010 Financial Services spending bill and is expected to finish work on the Energy-Water spending bill.

The Senate continues consideration of the defense authorization bill, as Judiciary Committee has its final day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

The President meets separately with Sens. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine, to discuss health care reform; goes to New York City to deliver remarks at a fundraiser and rally for New Jersey Democratic Governer Jon Corzine; delivers remarks at the NAACP 100th anniversary conference, and attends a Democratic National Committee fundraising dinner; returns to Washington.

In Washington, George Washington University holds a discussion on how federal and state agencies can live up to expectations of the Obama administration, with Energy Department Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman, Nancy Kingsbury of the Government Accountability Office, Scott Pace of George Washington University, others. 6 p.m., Morton Auditorium, 805 21st St. N.W.

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Top Stories

CBO Chief: Health Bills To Increase Federal Costs

The health care overhauls released to date would increase, not reduce, the burgeoning long-term health costs facing the government, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf said Thursday. [Read More]

Sessions Sees Sotomayor Vote before Recess

Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions signaled Thursday that Republicans are unlikely to filibuster a confirmation vote before the August recess for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. [Read More]

Chairman Wants No New Feds on the Farm

The House Agriculture Committee chairman Collin C. Peterson threatened Thursday to block a food safety bill until the concerns of farm groups are addressed. [Read More]

Fed Official Opposes Consumer Finance Plan

Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth A. Duke argued that the Fed has learned its lesson and should keep its consumer regulatory powers. [Read More]

House Panel Approves Defense Spending Obama Didn't Seek

A House panel on Thursday approved a $636.3 billion fiscal 2010 defense spending bill that includes funding for several weapons systems that President Obama wants to limit or end. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CALIFORNIA | Giant Pension Sues Credit Raters over Losses
MICHIGAN | State to Pay $100 Million in Prison Sex-Abuse Suit
WASHINGTON STATE | In Reversal, State to Get Ferry Stimulus Funds
MASSACHUSETTS | State Sued over Hospital Payments under Health-Care Law

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Political Clippings

The Tallahassee Democrat reports that "former state House Speaker Marco Rubio...said he's sticking in the U.S. Senate race, shooting down reports he'd enter the race for Florida attorney general." Rubio hopes to take the seat of Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that "U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning is reporting that he raised $284,649 during the second quarter in his bid for a third term...Bunning, R-Ky., said he had $595,571 on hand, with net expenses of $74,819 in the quarter."

The Dayton Daily News reports that "in the money race for the U.S. Senate seat held by the retiring George [V.] Voinovich, Republican Rob Portman still leads by a landslide. Portman raised $1.7 million in the second quarter ending June 30, nearly doubling his closest rival in cash, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher."

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, July 15, 2009 – 2:10 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Health Care Overhaul Takes First Step Forward
  • A Majority Backs Health Care Overhaul This Year, but With a Partisan Divide
  • Senate Republicans Press Sotomayor on Abortion, Discrimination Case
  • Senate Turns to Hate Crimes Amendment, Setting Aside F-22 Dispute for Now
  • Chu Brings Diverse Career to Congress
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Today in Washington

The House considers the fiscal 2010 Energy-Water spending bill, with 21 amendments to be debated.

The Senate continues to debate the defense authorization bill, as Judiciary Committee continues confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

The President delivers remarks on health care reform; meets with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., meets with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

In Washington, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, hosts a discussion on leadership strategies and women's rights. 3:30 p.m., 121 Cannon House Office Building.

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Top Stories

Health Care Overhaul Takes First Step Forward

The biggest health care overhaul in decades took its first step forward on Capitol Hill Wednesday, as the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved the measure by a 13-10 party-line vote. [Read More]

A Majority Backs Health Care Overhaul This Year, but With a Partisan Divide

Americans favor passage of a major health care system overhaul this year by 56 percent to 33 percent although there is a sharp partisan divide on the issue and many shades of opinions on specific proposals, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted July 10-12. [Read More]

Senate Republicans Press Sotomayor on Abortion, Discrimination Case

Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans on Wednesday made their first concerted effort to draw out Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor on the subject of abortion rights. [Read More]

Senate Turns to Hate Crimes Amendment, Setting Aside F-22 Dispute for Now

Senate leaders on Wednesday temporarily set aside a defense bill amendment dealing with the F-22 fighter jet in order to tackle one expanding the definition of hate crimes under federal law. [Read More]

Chu Brings Diverse Career to Congress

Chu, the easy winner of Tuesday's House special election in the state's 32nd District, will fill the seat Solis vacated in February after she was confirmed as President Obama's secretary of Labor. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ALASKA: Feds Slam Health Programs, Halt Enrollments
SOUTH CAROLINA: Governor Didn't Answer Multiple Cellphone Calls
NEW YORK CITY: London Innovator Tapped to Head Transit Agency
DETROIT: Board Seeks to Block Outsourced School Management

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Political Clippings

The Los Angeles Times reports that as a result of the bad economy, "California's congressional delegation is unlikely to grow and could even lose a seat after next year's census for the first time since stagecoach days."

WISH-TV Indianapolis reports that Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., "will file paperwork on Wednesday showing that he has more than $12 million in campaign money on hand for his re-election bid."

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that "Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, running for Ohio's open U.S. Senate seat, got some good news...when Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory endorsed his candidacy; and he is likely to get more Wednesday, when campaign finance reports are filed that are expected to show him with a large lead over rival Democrat Jennifer Brunner."

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, July 14, 2009 – 2:15 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Sotomayor Says Personal Views Won't Affect Judging
  • House Democrats Unveiling Health Bill as One Senate Panel Nears Wrapup of Its Version
  • No. 2 House Leader Keeps Pressure on GM, Chrysler Over Dealership Closures
  • Obama Proposal on Consumer Finance Hits Senate Roadblock
  • Senate Showdown Over F-22 Fighter Delayed
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Today in Washington

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

The Senate Judiciary Committee continues confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, while the full chamber continues consideration of the defense authorization bill.

The President meets with Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende of the Netherlands; visits Mount Clemens, Mich., where he will deliver remarks on community colleges; visits St. Louis to throw out the first pitch at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game; returns to Washington.

In Washington, Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) holds a discussion on "The Economic Benefits of Broadband on the American Consumer and Economy." 3 p.m., 902 Hart.

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Top Stories

Sotomayor Says Personal Views Won't Affect Judging

Sonia Sotomayor defended herself Tuesday against Republican charges that she is unable to put aside her personal views saying "I do not permit my sympathies, personal views or prejudices to influence the outcome of my cases." [Read More]

House Democrats Unveiling Health Bill as One Senate Panel Nears Wrapup of Its Version

Leaders have struggled to nail down support for their legislation, which has run into resistance from conservative Blue Dog Democrats because of its cost and proposed surtax on wealthy Americans. [Read More]

No. 2 House Leader Keeps Pressure on GM, Chrysler Over Dealership Closures

A top House Democrat pledged Tuesday to keep legislative pressure on General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC to reinstitute agreements with auto dealers they dropped as part of their downsizing under government-spurred restructuring plans. [Read More]

Obama Proposal on Consumer Finance Hits Senate Roadblock

The Obama administration's efforts to establish a new agency to protect consumers' financial interests ran into some heavy fire Tuesday from the top Republican on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. [Read More]

Senate Showdown Over F-22 Fighter Delayed

A Senate vote on the future of the controversial F-22 fighter jet has been delayed until Wednesday at the earliest, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee said Tuesday. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
INDIANAPOLIS | Stimulus Bringing Back Laid-Off Teachers
LOS ANGELES | City to Cover Costs from Jackson Rites
COLORADO | Pension System Can Meet Only Half Its Obligations
CALIFORNIA | Governor Wipes Out State Nursing Board

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Political Clippings

The Chicago Tribune reports that "state Republican Party Chairman Andy McKenna said...he'll bow out if [District 10] Rep. Mark [Steven] Kirk of the North Shore makes a bid for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate next year." The Senate seat is currently held by Democrat Roland W. Burris.

The Tulsa World reports that "former U.S. Rep. Steve Largent (1994-2002) said...he took part in a confrontation last year to urge Sen. John Ensign [R-Nev.] to end his affair and compensation to the senator's former mistress was not discussed." Ensign told the Las Vegas Sun he had no intention of resigning his seat.

The Asbury Park Press reports that "Randal Pinkett, the Season 4 winner of 'The Apprentice,' NBC's hit reality television show featuring Donald Trump, has emerged as the front-runner to become [New Jersey] Gov. Jon S. Corzine's running mate in November, a high-ranking state Democratic official said."

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Monday, July 13, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, July 13, 2009 – 2:28 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Dueling Sotomayor Narratives Emerge at Nomination Hearing
  • Health Bill Struggles Continue on Capitol Hill
  • Obama Nominates Alabama Physician as Surgeon General
  • Fighter Debate Clouds Senate Consideration of Defense Policy Measure
  • Name Confusion Highlights Special Election
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Today in Washington

The House considers a number of non-controversial bills under suspension of the rules.

The Senate Judiciary Committee begins confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, while the full chamber considers the fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill and the nomination Robert M. Groves to be Census Bureau director.

The President meets with labor leaders; announces his nomination of Dr. Regina Benjamin for U.S. Surgeon General; welcomes the Columbus Crew soccer team to the White House; meets with Jewish community leaders; delivers remarks at the Urban and Metropolitan Policy Roundtable conducted by the White House Office of Urban Affairs and Domestic Policy Council.

In Washington, Education Secretary Arne Duncan joins Randi Weingarten as host of the American Federation of Teachers Quality Educational Standards in Teaching (QuEST) Conference. 4:30 p.m., Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Rd., N.W.

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Top Stories

Dueling Sotomayor Narratives Emerge at Nomination Hearing

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy pinned Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor as having a 'deep respect... for the powers of the other branches of government,’ while Republican Jeff Sessions hinted that she might lead the judiciary down the wrong path. [Read More]

Health Bill Struggles Continue on Capitol Hill

After a week abroad, President Obama rejoins the health care debate this week with speeches in Michigan and New York, as he tries to keep the pressure on Congress to get a major overhaul moving this month. [Read More]

Obama Nominates Alabama Physician as Surgeon General

President Obama on Monday named as his surgeon general a rural health care expert who helped rebuild her coastal Alabama community's health services in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. [Read More]

Fighter Debate Clouds Senate Consideration of Defense Policy Measure

The Senate began consideration Monday of the annual defense authorization bill with a contentious debate over whether to terminate the F-22 fighter jet program. [Read More]

Name Confusion Highlights Special Election

California's 32nd District special election race pits Chu vs. Chu in a bid to succeed Hilda L. Solis, who left her seat in Congress to become President Obama's Secretary of Labor. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION | Police-Officer Deaths Up 20 Percent
WASHINGTON, D.C. | Court: Police Checkpoints Unconstitutional
DENVER | City's Budget Gap Nearly Doubles
CALIFORNIA | Report: Rich Less Likely to Flee over Taxes

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Political Clippings

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that "the two major Democratic candidates in Kentucky's 2010 U.S. Senate race disagree on the controversial 'cap and trade' energy legislation that is before the Senate. Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo...said he opposes the legislation because it would harm Kentucky's coal industry and raise energy costs for all Kentuckians. Attorney General Jack Conway...said he favors it as long as there are provisions that protect American consumers and businesses." The Democrats hope to take over the seat of GOP Sen. Jim Bunning.

The Wichita Eagle reports that "setting up a potential marquee race in the 2010 election, state Rep. Raj Goyle announced...he will run for the 4th Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan."

The Providence Journal reports that Rhode Island House Minority Whip John Loughlin, who has not officially declared his intent to unseat District 1 Democrat Patrick J. Kennedy, appears to be laying the ground work for a challenge.

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