Friday, July 24, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, July 24, 2009 – 2:26 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Leaders Say They've Met Concerns of Dissident Democrats
  • Hatch Comes Out Against Sotomayor
  • Geithner Defends Need For Consumer Finance Regulator
  • House Leaders Prepare Unemployment Fund Fix
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Today in Washington

The House votes on the fiscal 2010 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill.

The Senate is in session, but no votes are expected.

The President meets with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; meets with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee; has lunch with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; announces a national competition to improve schools at the Department of Education; attends the Marine Corps Evening Parade with first lady Michelle Obama.

In Washington, the National Aquarium hosts an event focusing on a shark conservation bill with Sherman's Lagoon Cartoonist Jim Toomey. 6 p.m., Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

House Leaders Say They've Met Concerns of Dissident Democrats

Declaring a "significant breakthrough" in efforts to meet the concerns of dissident Democrats, House leaders are preparing to move forward with their massive health care overhaul next week. [Read More]

Hatch Comes Out Against Sotomayor

For the first time in his 32-year Senate career, Utah Republican Orrin G. Hatch said he "reluctantly" and "with a heavy heart" intends to vote against a Supreme Court nominee and will oppose the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor. [Read More]

Geithner Defends Need For Consumer Finance Regulator

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner on Friday strongly defended the administration's proposal for a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, amid mounting criticism from lawmakers, the banking industry and other regulators. [Read More]

House Leaders Prepare Unemployment Fund Fix

Congressional leaders hope to push through legislation before the August recess to shore up two federal trust funds that function as backstops for Americans hardest hit by the recession. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
FLORIDA: Former Judge Pleading Guilty to Bank Fraud
TEXAS: Governor's Security Aide Takes over Safety Department
NEW JERSEY: Corruption Probe Stretched to Israel
KANSAS CITY: City Settles Lawsuit Targeting Mayor, Wife

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Political Clippings

The St. Petersburg Times reports that "In a sign of turmoil in Marco Rubio's underdog campaign for U.S. Senate, two of his top campaign staffers are dropping off the campaign." Rubio would seek the seat of retiring Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla.

The Idaho Statesman reports that "Sen. [Michael D.] Crapo, R-Idaho, raised $545,000 between April and June and has $2.3 million cash on hand. Crapo was unopposed on the 2004 ballot and has no announced opponent in 2010."

The New York Post reports that "a group of [District 14] Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney's supporters yesterday called for a halt to efforts to force the Manhattan lawmaker out of a primary contest against [Democratic] Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand."

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, July 23, 2009 – 2:12 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Delays Health Vote Until Fall; Pressure Mounts on House
  • Senate Vote Likely on Defense Policy Bill
  • Pentagon Report Says New Fighter Is Behind Schedule
  • Risk Fees Considered To Cover Costs of Failing Institutions
  • Senior House Tax Writer Opposes Highway Bill Extension
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Today in Washington

The House considers the fiscal 2010 Transportation-HUD spending bill, with 23 amendments scheduled prior to passage.

The Senate continues to consider amendments to the fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill.

The President visits Cleveland, Ohio, where he will tour the Cleveland Clinic with Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland and host a town hall meeting on overhauling health care; visits Chicago for a fundraising event; returns to Washington.

In Washington, Riaz Mohammad Khan, Woodrow Wilson Center Pakistan Scholar, speaks on "Afghanistan and Pakistan: Conflict and Resistance to Modernity." 4 p.m., fifth floor conference room, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate Delays Health Vote Until Fall; Pressure Mounts on House

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday the Senate will wait until September to take up a health care overhaul, but the Finance Committee will vote before the August recess. [Read More]

Senate Vote Likely on Defense Policy Bill

The Senate was poised to vote Thursday on a massive bill setting defense policy for fiscal 2010, after adopting an amendment to bar continued spending on an alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. [Read More]

Pentagon Report Says New Fighter Is Behind Schedule

An internal Pentagon oversight board has found that the Joint Strike Fighter program is two years behind its publicly announced schedule, congressional aides familiar with the findings said Thursday. [Read More]

Risk Fees Considered To Cover Costs of Failing Institutions

President Obama and a key federal regulator have raised the prospect of imposing fees on large financial institutions to cover the cost of winding down such institutions in an orderly way if they fail. [Read More]

Senior House Tax Writer Opposes Highway Bill Extension

Congress should pass a six-year transportation authorization bill, not an 18-month extension of current law, a leading House Democratic tax writer said Thursday. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
LOS ANGELES | City Unions OK Concessions
NEW YORK CITY | Firefighter Hiring Tests Biased, Judge Rules
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. | Obama: Police 'Acted Stupidly' in Gates Arrest
FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. | Town Manager Married to Adult-Video Actress Fired

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Political Clippings

Nevada Sen. John Ensign's chief of staff, John Lopez "is leaving the senator's employ."

The Allentown Morning Call reports that Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan will try to unseat Pennsylvania District 15 GOP incumbent Rep. Charlie Dent in 2010.

A new Quinnipiac poll in Connecticut finds Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., trails former Rep. Rob Simmons, R-Conn., (2001-2007) by nine percentage points, 48 percent to 39 percent.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, July 22, 2009 – 2:29 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Pelosi Says Health Care Will Pass the House
  • Senate Rejects Concealed Weapons Amendment
  • Obama Likely to Win on F-22s, Lose on Detainees
  • Don't Cry 'Katrina'
  • GOP's Graham Will Vote for Sotomayor
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Today in Washington

The House considers a bill to write pay-as-you-go budget rules into law, along with several non-controversial measures.

The Senate continues to consider amendments to the fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill.

The President meets with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner; meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki; holds a nationally televised news conference.

In Washington, Center for American Progress holds a discussion with Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. on the contemporary role of faith in progressive thought and politics. 6 p.m., Busboys and Poets, 1025 5th St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Pelosi Says Health Care Will Pass the House

"I have no doubt we have the votes to pass this on the House floor," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of the health care overhaul bill at a press conference. [Read More]

Senate Rejects Concealed Weapons Amendment

The amendment, that would have allowed licensed gun owners to carry concealed firearms across state lines, was offered to the fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill (S 1390). [Read More]

Obama Likely to Win on F-22s, Lose on Detainees

House appropriators are ready to bow to President Obama's demand for an end to production of the F-22 fighter jet, but they have added new obstacles to his efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. [Read More]

Don't Cry 'Katrina'

During floor debate on a budget pay-as-you-go bill, Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn said she hoped lawmakers would agree "that we're not going to cry 'emergency' every time we have a Katrina, every time we have a tsunami, every time we have a need for extra spending." [Read More]

GOP's Graham Will Vote for Sotomayor

South Carolina Republican Lindsay Graham is the first GOP member of the Judiciary Committee to come out in support of Sotomayor, and he could provide some cover for other conservative Republicans to support her as well. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
DETROIT | 2,600 School Employees Must Reapply
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. | Pension-Plan Changes Target $3 Billion Liability
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. | Charges Dropped Against Black Harvard Prof
ARIZONA | Stimulus Road Contract Draws Questions

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Political Clippings

The Miami Herald reports that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist raised $4.3 million in donations from April to June, more than any other Senate candidate nationwide.

The Chicago Tribune reports that "first-term state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias said he will kick off his Democratic U.S. Senate bid this weekend." He hopes to win the seat currently occupied by Roland W. Burris, D-Ill.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports a poll indicates voters are unclear whether first term GOP Sen. David Vitter is vulnerable in his 2010 reelection bid in Louisiana. Vitter "is still trying to overcome the revelation two years ago that his telephone number was listed among clients of the so-called D.C. Madame, which investigators say was a high-priced call girl operation."

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, July 21, 2009 – 2:14 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Health Care Vote Could Slip as Obama Summons Key House Democrats
  • Byrd Back in Senate for First Time in Months
  • House Weighs Grant Program To Track Absentee Ballots
  • House Set to Renew Burma Sanctions
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Today in Washington

The House is scheduled to vote on a number of measures under suspension of the rules, including a bill to overhaul the Coast Guard's acquisitions process.

The Senate continues to work on the defense authorization bill, including amendments on the F-22 fighter jet and gun rights.

The President delivers brief remarks on overhauling health care; meets with Democratic members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; meets with Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates; with Mrs. Obama, hosts an event celebrating country music, feauturing performances by Charley Pride, Brad Paisley, and Alison Krauss and Union Station.

In Washington, the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a discussion, "Regime Change? The Emergence and Future of the Democratic Party of Japan," featuring Richard Katz, editor-in-chief, Oriental Economist Report, Ko Maeda of University of North Texas; and Daniel Sneider of Stanford University. 3:30 p.m., Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Health Care Vote Could Slip as Obama Summons Key House Democrats

Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have said they want a health care bill passed by the month-long August recess on Friday, July 31; however Democrats are having a hard time reaching consensus on the legislation. [Read More]

Byrd Back in Senate for First Time in Months

Sen. Robert C. Byrd returned to the Senate floor Tuesday to cast his against an amendment to the defense authorization bill. [Read More]

House Weighs Grant Program To Track Absentee Ballots

The bill, approved by the House Administration Committee on June 10, would create a grant program to reimburse states for costs associated with establishing an absentee ballot tracking program for federal elections. [Read More]

House Set to Renew Burma Sanctions

The House on Tuesday was set to consider legislation that would renew import restrictions against Burma, or Myanmar, as the military regime has renamed the country. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CALIFORNIA | Pension Fund to Report Massive Losses
TEXAS | Drought Losses Hit $3.6 Billion
DETROIT | I-75 Reopens Quickly after Overpass Collapse
MILWAUKEE COUNTY | County Exec: Dismantle Counties

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Political Clippings

The Waterbury Republican-American reports that in the second quarter Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., raised about $100,000 less than his GOP competitors, or about $1.2 million. About $730,000 came from individuals.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that "in the month of June, Sen. John Ensign's political action committee, Battle Born PAC, raised $26,000, according to its report filed with the Federal Election Commission. That represented a drop-off from the previous month: The PAC brought in $79,000 in May." It was in mid-June that Ensign announced he'd had an affair with a former campaign staffer.

A Quinnipiac University poll found that Pennsylvania "State Attorney General Tom Corbett has the best name recognition among Republican contenders in the 2010 governor's race, while there is no clear leader in the Democratic field."

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Monday, July 20, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, July 20, 2009 – 2:08 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Leaders May ‘Trigger’ Health Bill Surtax
  • House to Senate: Drop Trial of Impeached Judge
  • House Seeks to Boost Natural Gas Vehicles
  • Christie Picks Sheriff as GOP Ticket Mate
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Today in Washington

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

The Senate resumes consideration of the fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill.

The President attends a roundtable discussion with health care providers before delivering a statement on overhauling health care; meets with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Latter-Day Saints Church President Thomas S. Monson; meets with the Apollo 11 crew and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden; participates in a credentialing ceremony for foreign ambassadors.

In Washington, the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with a series of events, including an exhibit of paintings by former astronaut Alan Bean entitled "Painting Apollo, First Artist on Another World." On the National Mall at 6th Street and Independence Ave. S.W.

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Top Stories

House Leaders May ‘Trigger’ Health Bill Surtax

House Democratic leaders are showing cold feet on a plan to tax the wealthy to finance a health care overhaul and may rewrite the legislation to seek more savings from payment changes in Medicare and Medicaid. [Read More]

House to Senate: Drop Trial of Impeached Judge

The House on Monday was expected to tell the Senate to drop the impeachment proceedings it initiated against Samuel B. Kent, a Texas district court judge who has since resigned from office. [Read More]

House Seeks to Boost Natural Gas Vehicles

Research and development of natural gas-powered vehicles would get a financial boost under legislation the House is set to take up Monday. [Read More]

Christie Picks Sheriff as GOP Ticket Mate

Chris Christie, the Republican nominee in this year's election for governor of New Jersey, on Monday chose Kim Guadagno — a woman who serves as the elected sheriff of Monmouth County — as his running mate. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION | Plunging Crime Rate Baffling Experts
SAN FRANCISCO | Train Operator Says He Blacked Out Before Crash
CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio | Hospital System Sees Financial Rebound
PITTSBURGH | Ex-Housing Authority Chief Recognized Assailants

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Political Clippings

The Boston Globe reported that former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee is running as an independent for governor. "I think there's room for something different," said Chafee, who lost his 2006 bid for re-election as a GOP senator for the seat that has been in his family since 1976. "There's a tectonic shift going on in the country. In the past two elections, that Republican brand of social conservatism and tax cutting isn't selling across the country, except maybe the South and some Rocky Mountain states.'"

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Republican voters in Kansas will have a hard time distinguishing between the two candidates vying to succeed GOP Sen. Sam Brownback. Both Todd Tiahrt and Jerry Moran are among the more conservative members of Congress. "There's only a couple of votes where there's a clear difference between the two," said Kansas University political scientist Michael Lynch.

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