Friday, August 07, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, August 07, 2009 – 2:15 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Martinez to Resign Senate Seat
  • Ethics Panel Drops Dodd, Conrad Investigations
  • Democrats Seek Benefits Extension Despite Improved Jobless Figures
  • Maloney Won't Run; New York Race Now Rated 'Democrat Favored'
  • Sometimes 'Sorry' Works
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Today in Washington

The House is gone for the August recess; reconvenes Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The Senate is gone for the August recess; reconvenes Aug. 8.

The President meets with senior advisers; delivers remarks on economy; meets with Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.

In Washington, Photo exhibition, Jaromír Funke and the Amateur Avant Garde, wraps up this weekend at the National Gallery of Art, West Building, Ground Floor, Inner Tier.

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Top Stories

Martinez to Resign Senate Seat

Florida Sen. Mel Martinez will resign his Senate seat, probably before the end of the summer recess, paving the way for Republican Gov. Charlie Crist to appoint a replacement, according to several Republican sources. [Read More]

Ethics Panel Drops Dodd, Conrad Investigations

The Senate Ethics Committee dropped Friday yearlong investigations into Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad and Christopher J. Dodd . [Read More]

Democrats Seek Benefits Extension Despite Improved Jobless Figures

Democratic lawmakers welcomed news of slightly improved July jobless numbers Friday, crediting the stimulus package enacted earlier this year and vowing to pursue more relief efforts in the months to come. [Read More]

Maloney Won't Run; New York Race Now Rated 'Democrat Favored'

New York Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney's on-again-off-again campaign for the Senate came to an end on Friday, sparing appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a potentially bruising primary battle. [Read More]

Sometimes 'Sorry' Works

Two days after irate committee leaders threatened to hold up his nomination, the Senate on Friday confirmed Daniel R. Elliott to serve on the Surface Transportation Board. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
The BOSTON Region: Transit Chief Forced Out
WAYNE COUNTY, Mich.: County to Borrow $60 Million to Pay Bills
LOS ANGELES: Mayor: New Chief Should Continue Bratton Policies
CHICAGO: Jury Probing Elite-School Admissions
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Mayor Signs Wide-Ranging Crime Measure
ILLINOIS: Panel: Clout Guided University Admissions
VIRGINIA: Governor Pardons Three in 1997 Rape-Murder Case
WISCONSIN: State Pays Newspapers $81,500 in Open-Records Fight

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Political Clippings

The Springfield (MO) News-Leader reports District 7 Rep. Roy Blunt said "that the government can’t compete fairly with private insurance companies. If it tries, private companies will abandon the market and soon the country will have true government-run health care." Blunt, R-Mo., is seeking the replace retiring GOP Sen. Christopher S. Bond.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the fact that Tom Ganley, 66, a conservative Republican, can spend up to $7 million of his own money in his quest to win the seat of retiring Sen. George V. Voinovich, forces Republican Rob Portman to take him seriously. Portman, the current front-runner, is a former congressman.

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, August 06, 2009 – 2:05 P.M.

In This Issue

  • As Senate Prepares To Vote, Voinovich Declares for Sotomayor
  • Senate Poised To Rescue 'Cash for Clunkers' Program
  • Kansas Senators Block Nominations Over Detainees
  • Panel Votes To Bar Appointments To Fill Senate Vacancies
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate votes at 3 p.m. on the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to be a Supreme Court justice; considers a bill to extend funds for the "cash for clunkers" auto trade-in program.

The President meets with bipartisan group of Senate Finance Committee members on health care overhaul; meets with John Roos, his choice for ambassador to Japan; meets with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and homeland security adviser John Brennan; attends a fundraiser for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate, state Sen. Creigh Deeds, in Tysons Corner, Va.

In Washington, RAND researchers discuss their report, "Withdrawing from Iraq: Schedules, Risks and Mitigating Strategies." 3 p.m., U.S. Institute of Peace, 1200 17th St. N.W.

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Top Stories

As Senate Prepares To Vote, Voinovich Declares for Sotomayor

Ohio Sen. George V. Voinovich, the last uncommitted Republican to his announce position in advance of the scheduled 3 p.m. vote, said he will vote to confirm her, putting the count at nine GOP senators supporting her nomination and 31 planning to vote "no." [Read More]

Senate Poised To Rescue 'Cash for Clunkers' Program

The Senate was poised to vote on a $2 billion replenishment for the popular "cash for clunkers" program, responding to a week of pressure from the auto sector and the White House. [Read More]

Kansas Senators Block Nominations Over Detainees

Kansas Republican Sens. Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts announced they are blocking some of President Obama's executive nominees out of concern that the administration might move Guantánamo detainees to Fort Leavenworth. [Read More]

Panel Votes To Bar Appointments To Fill Senate Vacancies

A Senate Judiciary subcommittee a measure that would amend the Constitution to bar gubernatorial appointments and require all states to hold special elections to fill Senate vacancies. Vacant House seats already must be filled by special elections. [Read More]
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Political Clippings

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that Florida "Gov. Charlie Crist gets a big-name endorsement every day it seems as his campaign times the announcements to maximize the impact. [The] endorsement came from Al Cardenas, the former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida and a longtime lobbying force in Tallahassee. More dramatically, Cardenas has been viewed as somewhat of a mentor for Crist's GOP primary opponent, Marco Rubio. Now, however, Cardenas seems to be trying to gently nudge Rubio out of the race."

The Las Vegas Sun reports that "the head of the Republican campaign arm in the Senate acknowledged . . . that Republican Sen. John Ensign's affair has disrupted the political landscape for his party in Nevada as it tries to field a challenger to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid."

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that "Bowling Green ophthalmologist Rand Paul said . . . he will convert his Senate exploratory committee to a full-fledged campaign . . . Paul — the son of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, an unsuccessful candidate last year for the Republican presidential nomination — said he probably would have eventually entered the GOP primary race even had" Sen. Jim Bunning decided to seek reelection.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, August 05, 2009 – 2:15 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Health Talks Turn to Medicaid
  • Bond Says He Will Support Sotomayor
  • 'Clunkers' Talks Continue as Reid Threatens End Debate
  • Concerns Mount About Foreign Aid Vacancy
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session. Reconvenes Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The Senate is debating the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be a Supreme Court justice.

The President delivers remarks on the economy in Wakarusa, Ind.

In Washington, the 2009 Global Cyber Security Conference, hosted by the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security, brings together experts from government, law enforcement, the private sector and academia to explore policy and legal issues, emerging technologies and investigative techniques. All day, JW Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate Health Talks Turn to Medicaid

Senate Finance Committee negotiators are focusing this week on how to expand Medicaid as part of a health care overhaul without breaking the budgets of states that fund the costly program jointly with the federal government. [Read More]

Bond Says He Will Support Sotomayor

Christopher S. Bond of Missouri on Wednesday became the seventh Republican senator to declare support for the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. [Read More]

'Clunkers' Talks Continue as Reid Threatens End Debate

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., threatened Wednesday to cut off debate on a House-passed expansion of the "cash for clunkers" auto trade-in program unless Republicans agree to a vote first [Read More]

Concerns Mount About Foreign Aid Vacancy

Paul Farmer, the leading candidate to head the U.S. Agency for International Development, is no longer in the running for the job, according to several Hill aides and people in the foreign aid community. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CALIFORNIA: Judges: Cut Inmate Population by 40,000-Plus
MASSACHUSETTS: Health-Care Fund for Jobless Going Broke
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Schools to Offer All Students STD Tests
LOS ANGELES: Budget Gap Brings Fire-Rescue Cutbacks

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Political Clippings

The Orlando Sentinel reports that "after earning nearly 250 wins on the college gridiron, former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz is eyeing another competition - as a candidate for Congress in Central Florida. The famed skipper and ESPN analyst met with top Republicans here last week and said he was interested in challenging first-term [District 24] Rep. Suzanne [M.] Kosmas."

The Hotline posts its 2010 U.S. Senate rankings and concludes "the best news for Democrats is that they don't even need to beat any Republican incumbents next year to have a great 2010, provided they are able to pick off a couple open GOP seats."

A Monmouth/Gannett New Jersey poll finds that "fewer than one in five voters could name the running mates of New Jersey [Democratic] Gov. Jon Corzine, GOP challenger Christopher Christie or Independent candidate Chris Daggett."

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, August 04, 2009 2:15 p.m.

In This Issue

  • GOP Critic Says 'Clunkers' Filibuster Would Fail
  • Financial Regulators Push Back Against Obama's Overhaul Plan
  • Senate Panel Approves GOP Rep. McHugh as Army Secretary
  • Senate Likely To Follow House Lead on Pollution Permits, Baucus Says
  • Specter's Primary Fight Officially On
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session, reconvenes Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The Senate is expected to finish work on the fiscal 2010 Agriculture spending bill.

The President meets with Dave Rehbein, national commander of the American Legion; lunches with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and full Senate Democratic Caucus in the State Dining Room; meets separately with Biden and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

In Washington, the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, a biomedical research advocacy group. honors Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and Arlen Specter, D-Pa., for their contributions. Harkin and Specter will participate in a discussion moderated by Dr. Elias Zerhouni, former director of the National Institutes of Health. 4-5:30 p.m., Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building.

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Top Stories

GOP Critic Says 'Clunkers' Filibuster Would Fail

Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., said "it's pretty obvious" that critics lack the votes needed to block Senate action on the House-passed bill (HR 3435), which would add $2 billion to the program. [Read More]

Financial Regulators Push Back Against Obama's Overhaul Plan

Federal regulators remained critical Tuesday of several aspects of the Obama administration's proposal to overhaul the regulatory structure of the financial system, despite a tongue-lashing from the Treasury secretary last week over their recalcitrance. [Read More]

Senate Panel Approves GOP Rep. McHugh as Army Secretary

Democratic leaders are seeking unanimous consent to have Rep. John M. McHugh confirmed by the full Senate by the end of the week, spokeswoman Regan Lachapelle said. [Read More]

Senate Likely To Follow House Lead on Pollution Permits, Baucus Says

The Senate isn't likely to differ significantly from the House in the way it allocates pollution allowances as part of global warming legislation, according to a key chairman [Read More]

Specter's Primary Fight Officially On

Rep. Joe Sestak, a two-term House member, held a formal announcement event Tuesday morning to say that he will wage a Democratic primary campaign against Sen. Arlen Specter, who switched parties in April and is seeking a sixth Senate term as a Democrat. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ARLINGTON COUNTY, VA. : County Manager Leaving for ICMA
WASHINGTON, D.C. : Kids' Elevated Lead Levels Underreported
CALIFORNIA: Report: State Must Prepare for Climate Change
TEXAS: State Sued over Welfare-Screening Delays

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Taegan Goddard's Political Wire

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that "Multimillionaire Chicago trader Blair Hull wanted to be a U.S. senator so badly that he spent more than $24 million of his personal fortune in 2004, but he ended up losing to Barack Obama in the Democratic primary. And when Obama was elected president last year and gave up his Senate seat, Hull went after it again. But this time, he worked behind the scenes, quietly angling to get appointed by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich."

According to e-mail messages obtained by the Las Vegas Sun,"Republican Sen. John Ensign's top staff at the National Republican Senatorial Committee knew about the senator's affair during the height of the 2008 election season last summer before the party's devastating losses that bolstered Democratic control of the Senate."

The latest Monmouth/Gannett New Jersey Poll finds [Republican] Chris Christie leading [Democratic] Gov. Jon Corzine by 14 points, 50 percent to 36 percent, among likely voters. Independent Chris Daggett drew 4 percent of voters."

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Monday, August 03, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, August 03, 2009 2:02 p.m.

In This Issue

  • Senate Action Unclear on 'Clunkers' Cash
  • New Extension of Jobless Benefits Likely
  • Health Bills Allow Some a Religious Exemption
  • Top Early Money Candidates In Open-Seat Races
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session, reconvenes Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The Senate considers the fiscal 2010 Agriculture spending bill.

The President receives daily briefings; delivers remarks on the Post-9/11 GI Bill at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.; meets and has lunch with His Highness Shaykh Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah, amir of Kuwait; meets with Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.

In Washington, Legg Mason Tennis Classic Player Party at L2 nightclub in Georgetown. Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick, Juan Martin Del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Fernando Gonzalez are among the players participating in the tournament. 7: 30 p.m., L2, 3315 Cady's Alley, N.W., Washington, D.C.

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Top Stories

Senate Action Unclear on 'Clunkers' Cash

Prospects remain uncertain for Senate action this week to refinance the popular "cash for clunkers" program, even though the House has acted and the Obama administration is pushing senators to quickly clear the legislation. [Read More]

New Extension of Jobless Benefits Likely

A new push from the Obama administration over the weekend may aid lawmakers in their efforts to pass an extension of unemployment benefits following the August recess. [Read More]

Health Bills Allow Some a Religious Exemption

It remains unclear if the existing "religious conscience" exemption originally designed to apply only to the Old Order Amish might be used by members of other religious groups -- or those who just say they are -- in order to evade the health insurance mandate. [Read More]

Top Early Money Candidates In Open-Seat Races

With 15 months to go until the national midterm elections, 2010 House races are at an important stage, especially in the 17 districts where current House members have said they plan to seek other political office in 2010. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
WISCONSIN: Spanish Firm Gets No-Bid Train Contract
CALIFORNIA: Biggest State Workers' Union Authorizes Strike
SOUTH FLORIDA: State, Feds, Agree on Everglades Funding Split
COLORADO: State's Stimulus Job Tally So Far: 1,000

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Taegan Goddard's Political Wire

The Denver Business Journal reports that "attorney Luke Korkowski has become the fourth Republican to throw his hat into the increasingly crowded U.S. Senate primary ring." Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., is unopposed within his own party.

The Miami Herald reports that "for evidence of a sitting governor's power to generate campaign contributions, take a look at the donors to Charlie Crist's record-shattering $4.3 million fundraising haul for U.S. Senate. From a prison-building company to a high-powered lobbying firm to Big Sugar, the top contributors to Crist's campaign represent some of the biggest special interests in the state Capitol."

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that "in the race for campaign cash, Utah [GOP] Sen. Bob Bennett already is sprinting, having picked up big dollar donations from the state's power players, while his challengers -- three fellow Republicans and a Democrat -- are jogging at best, according to the most recent financial reports."

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