Friday, August 14, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, August 14, 2009 – 2:18 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Uproar Over 'Death Panels' Recalls 1990 Debate
  • White House Asks Congress To Allow for Expansion of Army
  • Limits on 'Dual Use' Tech Exports Could Be Rewritten Next Year
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Today in Washington

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

The Senate is not in session; reconvenes Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The President meets with senior advisers; holds a town hall meeting on health insurance reform in Belgrade, Mont.

In Washington, Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., and the National Black MBA Association Inc., Washington DC Chapter host its 25th Annual Scholarship and Awards Banquet. 6 p.m., Embassy Suites Hotel-D.C. Convention Center Lower Level Capital Suite C&D, 900 10th Street, N.W.

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Top Stories

Uproar Over 'Death Panels' Recalls 1990 Debate

The uproar over end-of-life provisions that have prompted charges that President Obama and House members want to authorize so-called "death panels" as part of a health care overhaul evokes a debate 19 years ago in which lawmakers first took up sensitive right-to-die issues. [Read More]

White House Asks Congress To Allow for Expansion of Army

The White House has formally requested permission from Congress to add thousands of new troops to the Army, with the fiscal 2010 cost to be covered with money that President Obama originally sought for war funding. [Read More]

Limits on 'Dual Use' Tech Exports Could Be Rewritten Next Year

The House Foreign Affairs Committee is developing legislation that would overhaul U.S. controls on the export of certain technologies with potential military applications, the panel's chairman said. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
DETROIT: Mayor: Privatize Tax Collection, Payroll
KANSAS CITY: Veto Allows Mayor's Wife to Return to City Hall
MINNESOTA: Firm Denies Responsibility for Bridge Collapse
WISCONSIN: Tech Colleges Brace for Enrollment Boom

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Political Clippings

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that Florida GOP Gov. Charlie Crist made it clear Thursday that he plans to appoint a caretaker to fill the remaining 15 months of the term of Republican Sen. Mel Martinez. "When asked if he would make a condition for anyone he appoints not to run against him for the seat in 2010, Crist said, 'I think it will be presumed.'" The governor said he has a list of "six or seven" replacements in mind but would not name them. He acknowledged he had talked to former Sen. Connie Mack III about the opening but "Mack turned him down." He said "his goal is to have someone in the position before the Senate returns to Washington in September."

The Dallas Morning News reports that GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison "kicks off her campaign for governor next week with a five-day tour through Texas, including a rally Tuesday in Dallas." Hutchison, who is serving her third term in the Senate, is expected to formally announce her bid for the Republican nomination for governor at her old high school in La Marque, according to published reports there. Her campaign, however, has not announced a schedule of events. The senator, who is challenging incumbent Gov. Rick Perry in the GOP primary, "has said she will resign her Senate seat in October or November."

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, August 13, 2009 – 2:08 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Estate Tax, Expiring Tax Breaks Await Congress
  • Analysts Give Stimulus Mixed Reviews
  • Nevada: Lowden More Likely to Challenge Reid
  • Pennsylvania: Poll Has Toomey Leading Specter, Sestak
  • Dems Ticked At Obama Office-Visit Rx
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Today in Washington

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

The Senate is not in session; reconvenes Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The President receives daily briefings and meets with senior advisers.

In Washington, Phillips After 5 series features seasonal farm fresh foods, including an artisan cheese tasting table and sampling of summer fresh appetizers sourced from local farmers. Sample peach sangria with Derek Brown and the DC Bartender's Guild, taste beers with Birreria Paradiso's Greg Jasgur; enjoy a blend of funk, soul, and boogaloo with Fatback DC's DJ Danny Harris. 5-8 p.m., 1600 21st St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Estate Tax, Expiring Tax Breaks Await Congress

While negotiating a health care bill will be the top priority this fall, lawmakers must also decide whether to prevent the expiration of an array of existing tax breaks. [Read More]

Analysts Give Stimulus Mixed Reviews

Nearly six months into the government's two-year, $787 billion economic stimulus program, some analysts are giving the initiative a mixed review, and warning local governments will lag behind the recovery curve. [Read More]

Nevada: Lowden More Likely to Challenge Reid

Republican party chairwoman Sue Lowden is indeed considering running for Senate in 2010 and Rep. Dean Heller's decision Tuesday not to seek the post ups the chances she will. [Read More]

Poll Has Toomey Leading Specter, Sestak

A Rasmussen Reports poll conducted Tuesday shows that the Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter would lose to former Rep. Pat Toomey by a double-digit margin if the November 2010 general election were held today. [Read More]

Dems Ticked At Obama Office-Visit Rx

Democratic lawmakers and their aides are frustrated with the Democratic National Committee and its Organizing for America arm because a campaign to deluge state and district offices with health care overhaul supporters has left many constituents mistakenly thinking they had appointments with their representatives. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MICHIGAN | Foreclosure Rate Plunges after State Freeze
MASSACHUSETTS | Dentists, Paramedics, Pharmacists to Give Flu Shots
ALASKA | Judge: Private E-Mail OK for State Business
ARKANSAS | Ex-Clinton Aide Charged with Prison Smuggling

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Political Clippings

The Miami Herald reports that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who is hoping to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Mel Martinez, "has been quietly reaching out to Republican county leaders throughout the state to gauge his political support, defend his policies - and to turn on the charm. Crist earlier angered party conservatives by embracing President Obama's stimulus spending plan. "At least three county Republican committees have cast nonbinding votes in favor of Crist's Republican opponent, Marco Rubio, and at least three more are considering similar votes. ... In Volusia County, Republicans cast an even more extraordinary vote Aug. 1 to censure the sitting governor for what they see as supporting too many Democrats and Democratic policies while turning his back on Republican candidates and conservative principles."

According to the Arkansas News, Curtis Coleman, CEO of Arkansas-based Safe Foods Corp., announced Wednesday that he will seek the Republican nomination to oppose Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., next year. "Coleman, 61, said he is running because of concerns over the rising national debt and President Obama's plans for health care reform." Coleman describes himself as a conservative Republican. "Other Republicans who have indicated interest in seeking the Republican nomination include Sen. Kim Hendren of Gravette, retired Army Col. Conrad Reynolds of Conway, businessmen Fred Ramey of Searcy and businessman Tom Cox of Little Rock."

The State of Columbia, S.C., reports that embattled GOP Gov. Mark Sanford "would not say Wednesday whether he is in communication with Maria Belen Chapur, his Argentine lover whom he secretly visited in June. 'I'm moving ahead,' Sanford said when asked by The State if he and Chapur are still in contact. ...Last week, first lady Jenny Sanford and the couple's four sons moved out of the mansion and to the family's Sullivan's Island beach house."

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, August 12, 2009 – 2:00 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Tariff Provision May Be Critical to Senate Climate Change Bill
  • Inouye Ignores Veto Threat Against F-35 Engine Funding
  • Lawmakers Weigh Stiffer Standards for Regional Airlines
  • FBI Makes Federal Case of Swastika
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Today in Washington

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

The Senate is not in session; reconvenes Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The President with first lady Michelle Obama, hosts a reception honoring Justice Sonia Sotomayor; receives daily briefings and meets with senior advisers; with the first lady, hosts the Medal of Freedom ceremony.

In Washington, White House Counsel Gregory Craig delivers keynote remarks at an International Red Cross reception honoring the signing of the Geneva Convention 60 years ago. 6 p.m., 555 Pennsylvania Ave, Freedom Forum Entrance on 6th Floor, N.W.

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Top Stories

Tariff Provision May Be Critical to Senate Climate Change Bill

Writing climate change legislation that can win 60 votes in the Senate will hinge in part on two words -- "border adjustment." [Read More]

Inouye Ignores Veto Threat Against F-35 Engine Funding

In a rebuff to President Obama, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its Defense Subcommittee says he will support continued funding of a second engine for the F-35, the newest U.S. fighter jet. [Read More]

Lawmakers Weigh Stiffer Standards for Regional Airlines

Six months after the fatal crash of a Continental Connections regional jet in Buffalo, N.Y., lawmakers are still grappling with how best to deal with the aviation safety gaps exposed in the investigation. [Read More]

FBI Makes Federal Case of Swastika

The FBI is investigating the discovery of a painted swastika at the office of Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., who is among the lawmakers drawing the most attention for exchanges with constituents at town-hall meetings on health care. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MICHIGAN: State Seeks Billions from Feds for Auto Suppliers
NEW YORK STATE: PCB Dredging Resumes after Shutdown
RICHMOND, Calif.: Toll Collector Slain at Bridge
ORANGE COUNTRY, Calif.: Public Works Chief Retires after Scathing Audit

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Political Clippings

The Palm Beach Post reports that "Gov. Charlie Crist's plans for a third high-profile climate summit have been indefinitely postponed as the Republican weighs the political cost of the event's expensive price tag. But Crist's reluctance to appear out of touch with financially frustrated Floridians -- and perhaps his party's conservative base -- has not stopped him from asking the event's sponsors to help fund his U.S. Senate campaign."

The Newark Star Ledger reports that "Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie has tried to escape the shadow of former President George W. Bush, whose support for Christie has become a major line of attack by Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine. But in an interview Tuesday and in congressional testimony last month, longtime Bush advisor Karl Rove said he had conversations with Christie about a possible run for governor while Christie was serving in the non-political position of U.S. attorney."

The Longview (TX) News-Journal reports that "Houston Mayor Bill White said...that he will focus on education issues and energy independence if elected to the U.S. Senate." White a Democrat, hopes to replace GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is seeking the seat of governor.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, August 11, 2009 – 2:00 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Cheers for Obama, Jeers for Cardin at Health Care Town Halls
  • Defense Appropriator Backs Off Proposed VIP Jet Purchase
  • Report Says Banks Still Hobbled by 'Toxic Assets'
  • Special Election: NY Democrats Go With Rookie
  • Why Rep. Barton (And Others) Are Eyeing Texas Senate Seat
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Today in Washington

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

The Senate is not in session; reconvenes Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The President meets with senior advisers; holds a town hall meeting on health care reform in Portsmouth, N.H.; returns to the White House and meets with Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates.

In Washington, "Written in Bone: Forensic Files of the 17th Century Chesapeake" exhibition continues at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, 10th St. and Constitution Ave. NW, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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Top Stories

Cheers for Obama, Jeers for Cardin at Health Care Town Halls

President Obama, unlike members of Congress, held a town hall meeting Tuesday filled with supporters of his proposed health care overhaul. [Read More]

Defense Appropriator Backs Off Proposed VIP Jet Purchase

The chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee is backing away from his panel's proposal to fund VIP jetliners that the Obama administration did not request. [Read More]

Report Says Banks Still Hobbled by 'Toxic Assets'

Banks face continued stress from the billions of dollars in toxic mortgage assets still on their balance sheets, a congressionally appointed watchdog said Tuesday, something that could prompt the Treasury Department to expand its rescue programs. [Read More]

Special Election: NY Democrats Go With Rookie

New York Democrats tapped first-time candidate Bill Owens as their nominee for the special election to succeed Republican Rep. John McHugh, setting up a battle with Republican Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava that will likely hinge on which party can deliver turnout and which candidate can win over moderate voters. [Read More]

Why Rep. Barton (And Others) Are Eyeing Texas Senate Seat

You can add Rep. Joe L. Barton to the long list of Texas officeholders who might run for the Senate seat Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison will resign this fall. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: Tobacco Sales to Minors Lowest in Years
CALIFORNIA: State to Continue War on Invasive Moth
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Scammers Posing as State Supreme Court
DETROIT: School Overseer's Former Firm Gets No-Bid Contract

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Political Clippings

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that "Republican Sue Lowden would defeat incumbent Democratic Sen. Harry Reid by 6 percentage points in a head-to-head matchup, according to a poll of likely Nevada voters." The poll was commissioned by those hoping to encourage Lowden to run.

The New York Daily News said to "add Rep. Jose [E.] Serrano to the list of House Democrats taking a pass on 2010 primary challenges to their former colleague, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Serrano, a 35-year veteran public official from the Bronx who said back in May that he would consider taking on Gillibrand if no one else was willing" does not wish to risk his own seat.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. "is returning to Chicago on Aug. 20 to headline a fund-raiser" for freshman District 11 Democratic Rep. Debbie Halvorson.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, August 10, 2009 – 2:00 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Health Insurers Have Hill Defenders Among Former State Regulators
  • Governors Object to Pentagon Disaster Proposal
  • Chafee On Ballot Would Complicate Rhode Island Race
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Today in Washington

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

The Senate convenes at 1 p.m. for a pro forma session; reconvenes for legislative business on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The President attends trilateral meeting in Guadalajara, Mexico, with President Felipe Calderon of Mexico and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada; with Calderon and Harper holds a news conference.

In Washington, the U.S. Forest Service holds a birthday bash for Smokey Bear's 65th birthday and releases a bilingual educational book on Smokey Bear and his fire prevention for young children. 2 p.m., USDA Whitten Building Patio, 1400 Independence Ave. S.W.

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Top Stories

Health Insurers Have Hill Defenders Among Former State Regulators

Four members of Congress who previously served as state insurance commissioners have advice for colleagues trying to overhaul health care: Don't vilify private insurers. And go slow on creation of a public insurance plan. [Read More]

Governors Object to Pentagon Disaster Proposal

The National Governors Association opposes a Defense Department proposal to expand the military's authority to respond to domestic disasters. [Read More]

Chafee On Ballot Would Complicate Rhode Island Race

Rhode Island, a state known for its idiosyncrasies in voting, may elect its first independent governor next year. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
LOS ANGELES: Council Bans Digital Billboards, Supergraphics
SEATTLE: 10-Day Furloughs Sought for 6,700 City Workers
MICHIGAN: Wells Contaminated by Food Processors' Wastewater
FLORIDA: State May Ban Giant Pythons

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Political Clippings

The Des Moines Register reports that Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, one of three Finance Committee Republicans participating in bipartisan health care negotiations, is drawing fire from within his own party back home. "A growing number of Republicans say they're frustrated with their party's veteran federal lawmaker and see his continuing health care talks with majority Democrats as a betrayal of his political base," the paper reported. Grassley said Republicans angry at his negotiations with Democrats should consider what a health bill might look like without GOP input. "It seems to me like, you know, Republicans ought to be at the table," he said. Any Republican seeking to challenge Grassley in a primary will have his work cut out for him; the senator has almost $4 million on hand for his 2010 re-election bid.

According to the Honolulu Advertiser, "Hawaii Republicans have urged the state Campaign Spending Commission not to allow U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie to move more than $900,000 in federal campaign money to his governor's campaign. The party acknowledges that state law does not directly address the issue, but no previous Hawaii political candidate has shifted federal money to a state campaign, and Republicans argue it would be improper." Abercrombie, a veteran House Democrat, could face primary competition from Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who "has transferred $659,000 left over from his mayoral campaign last year to his governor's account, which is permitted under state law. The mayor raised $583,000 in June for a combined total of $1.2 million. Abercrombie has raised $468,000 and would be on equal footing to Hannemann if he is allowed to move $918,000 left in his federal account."

The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that "Nevada conservative activist Chuck Muth has started a partnership with Michigan activist Saul Anuzis to form a political action committee called Dump Reid PAC. As the name suggests, the group's sole focus will be the defeat of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev." next year. The PAC "will solicit money from anti-Reid contributors outside Nevada with the hope of raising at least $5 million. Reid supporters expect the incumbent to raise as much as $25 million, a prospect that didn't seem to sway Muth. "Having $25 million doesn't worry me as long as the candidate running against him has at least ($5 million)," Muth said.

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