Friday, August 21, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, August 21, 2009 – 2:28 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Bipartisan Negotiators Plan More Cost-Cutting in Senate Overhaul Bill
  • Targeted Immigration Provisions Hitch Ride on Spending Bill
  • GOP Push Bumps Rating on Missouri's Skelton
  • 'Conservative' Issue For South Carolina's Inglis
  • Editor's Note
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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 former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle; departs White House for Camp David, Md.

In Washington, Edison Place Gallery hosts "The Eyes of History 2009," an exhibit recapping the year in award-winning photos and videos. 12-4 p.m., 701 9th St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Bipartisan Negotiators Plan More Cost-Cutting in Senate Overhaul Bill

Overhaul negotiators on the Senate Finance Committee agreed via teleconference Thursday night to put an increased emphasis on affordability of care and reducing health costs in any bill they produce. [Read More]

Targeted Immigration Provisions Hitch Ride on Spending Bill

Though several immigrant visa programs are set to expire at the end of the current fiscal year on Sept. 30, lawmakers are working to renew them as part of a Homeland Security appropriations bill. [Read More]

GOP Push Bumps Rating on Missouri's Skelton

After cruising for many years over little-known opponents in west-central Missouri's 4th District, Democrat Ike Skelton appears certain to face a challenge next year from a Republican with a track record of success in state legislative elections. [Read More]

'Conservative' Issue For South Carolina's Inglis

Rep. Bob Inglis is, by most standards, a reliable Republican vote in Congress — but that hasn't stopped four GOP primary challengers from stepping up and arguing that he's not conservative enough. [Read More]

Editor's Note

Because of the congressional recess, the next CQ Midday Update will publish Tuesday, Sept. 8.

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Political Clippings

The Arizona Republic reports that Republican Vernon Parker, the mayor of Paradise Valley, may enter the 2010 race for governor as early as next month even though current GOP Gov. Jan Brewer has yet to announce whether she'll run to retain the seat. State Treasurer Dean Martin, another Republican, also has expressed interest in the job.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Illinois GOP Chairman Andy McKenna surprised party leaders by stepping down Thursday. He was replaced by Pat Brady, the state's liaison to the Republican National Committee.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, August 20, 2009 – 2:01 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Kennedy Seeks Rule Change for Appointing His Successor
  • White House Weighs Merit of Splitting Health Bill
  • Bush Officials Defend the Use of Intelligence Contractors
  • Heinrich Plays Defense for 2010
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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; appears on host Michael Smerconish's talk radio program; participates in the Organizing for America National Health Care Forum at Democratic National Committee Headquarters.

In Washington, Smithsonian National Zoo hosts "Brew at the Zoo," where guests can sample beers from 35 microbreweries. 6 p.m., National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Kennedy Seeks Rule Change for Appointing His Successor

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who is battling brain cancer, has asked Democratic Massachusetts leaders to change state law so that his successor could be appointed rather than wait five months for a special election. [Read More]

White House Weighs Merit of Splitting Health Bill

The Obama administration is weighing the idea of splitting a health care overhaul into two pieces and passing more contentious provisions under a congressional procedure known as budget reconciliation that would make them immune to filibuster in the Senate. [Read More]

Bush Officials Defend the Use of Intelligence Contractors

Two former top Bush administration officials Thursday defended using contractors at intelligence agencies, the same day media reports surfaced that the CIA hired the private security firm Blackwater USA as part of a secret program to capture or kill al Qaeda leaders. [Read More]

Heinrich Plays Defense for 2010

New Mexico's 1st is a partisan swing district, and no one knows that better than freshman Democrat Martin Heinrich, who's making sure he has a few things to show come campaign time. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION | Gallup: Texas, N.M., Mississippi Tops in Uninsured
CALIFORNIA | Pension Sues Governor over Furloughs
TEXAS | Judge Defends Closing Office in Death Row Appeal
MILWAUKEE | Beaten Mayor Shrugs Off Hero Label

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Political Clippings

The Florida Times-Union reports that Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., is still flirting with a Senate run but says she needs at least several million dollars to secure the Democratic nomination. Brown told the Times-Union editorial board that she's aiming for at least $500,000 in donations by Sept. 30. Rep. Kendrick B. Meek, who already is seeking the nomination "has about $2.3 million and counting backing his Senate run."

The Concord Monitor reports that Democratic New Hampshire state Rep. John DeJoie has created a campaign committee to run for the seat of Rep. Paul W. Hodes, D-N.H. Formation of a committee allows DeJoie to raise funds. Hodes is running to succeed GOP Sen. Judd Gregg.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, August 19, 2009 – 2:25 P.M.

In This Issue

  • McCain: Maverick No More?
  • Stimulus Tax Breaks: Expiring Soon?
  • Senior Republicans Ask Attorney General Not To Probe Interrogations
  • Colombia Lobbies Without Success for Stalled Trade Pact
  • RNC Takes McCain-Feingold to Court
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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; honors 2008 Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson at an event on the South Portico with former NASCAR champions and other drivers from the 2008 Chase for the Sprint Cup; participates in a conference call with faith leaders to discuss health insurance reform.

In Washington, Thomas B. Fordham Institute holds a discussion on how the changing education policy landscape is affecting charter schools and voucher programs. 4 p.m., 1016 16th St. N.W., 7th floor

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Top Stories

McCain: Maverick No More?

Arizona Sen. John McCain has been a staunch Republican vote since failing to win the White House, siding with his party this year on closely divided votes with greater frequency than at any other period in his 23-year Senate career, according to a CQ analysis of Senate votes. [Read More]

Stimulus Tax Breaks: Expiring Soon?

Several popular pieces of the economic stimulus law are scheduled to disappear by the end of 2009, forcing Congress to decide whether to keep them in place as the economy still struggles to find its footing. [Read More]

Senior Republicans Ask Attorney General Not To Probe Interrogations

Nine Senate Republicans on Wednesday pressed Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. not to investigate CIA interrogators who might have exceeded Justice Department legal guidance on acceptable techniques. [Read More]

Colombia Lobbies Without Success for Stalled Trade Pact

Colombian Ambassador Carolina Barco Barco and other Colombian officials continue to fight for a U.S.-Colombia trade pact, persuading the Obama administration and lawmakers that Colombia has made great strides in addressing concerns raised by critics, particularly in its judicial system. [Read More]

RNC Takes McCain-Feingold to Court

The Republican National Committee is asking a federal court to restore the ability of national parties to raise unlimited amounts of money and to spend it to help elect state-level candidates. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. | County Furloughs Ruled Unconstitutional
DETROIT | Troubled Pensions to Build $7.4 Million HQ
BOSTON | FBI: Police Need Assault Rifles
LOS ANGELES COUNTY | County to Probe Child-Welfare System

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Political Clippings

The Chicago Tribune reports that "Merchandise Mart mogul and political heir Chris Kennedy told supporters Tuesday he isn't running for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Roland Burris." Kennedy, son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, said he "did not want to have to leave" the state of Illinois "in order to serve it." An aide said Kennedy also won't run for Illinois governor, the newspaper reported. Burris, a Democrat, holds the seat Barack Obama resigned to become president. The seat is up for election in 2010.

According to the Houston Chronicle, "Mayor Bill White, who in nearly six years has become notorious for working 16-hour days to run the city of Houston in painstaking detail, has cut back drastically to run for U.S. Senate." White spent 21 of the past 50 days traveling to events all over Texas and beyond, according to a review by the newspaper of "various news stories and campaign-generated messages about his interactions with Texas voters on social media Web sites." The Chronicle says "White acknowledged in an interview that he is working about 30 percent to 40 percent less in his mayoral capacity, and that much of the time he is spending on Houston issues has been between stops on the campaign trail as he travels from Marfa to Longview raising his statewide profile."

The Glenview Pioneer Press of Illinois reports that Republican Elizabeth Coulson, a 13-year veteran of the state House, plans to run for the 10th District U.S. House seat that Republican Mark Steven Kirk is leaving to run for the Senate. "I ran to work on health care issues," she told the newspaper. "I feel I've been pretty effective in Illinois working on health care and I want to continue that at the national level." The Pioneer Press says other Republicans who have announced or are considering running include: "Patricia Bird, a business owner who lost a bid in April for mayor of Mount Prospect; Winnetka business owner Dick Green, Renee Thaler of Northbrook, owner of a small business in Northfield; Winnetka attorney Bill Cadigan; and Jim Koch of Wilmette, president of the New Trier High School 203 Board."

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, August 18, 2009 – 2:13 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Consumer Worry Grows on Health Care Access
  • Boehner Assails Drug Industry 'Appeasement' on Health Care Bill
  • Grassley Won't Say 'Yes' to Health Bill Without GOP Backup
  • Highway Projects on Hold for Lack of Funding Clarity
  • Names in Play for Florida's Interim Senate Gig
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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 holds a one-on-one meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, followed by an expanded meeting and a working lunch with him; meets with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; meets with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; meets with and debriefs former President Bill Clinton on his recent trip to North Korea.

In Washington, the Heritage Foundation hosts an event on how states should handle emergency management preparations and the burden at the federal level. 3 p.m., 214 Massachusetts Ave. N.E.

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Top Stories

Consumer Worry Grows on Health Care Access

U.S. consumers' confidence in access to health care and their future well-being declined last month, particularly among individuals age 65 and older, a new telephone survey found. [Read More]

Boehner Assails Drug Industry 'Appeasement' on Health Care Bill

In a letter to former Louisiana Rep. Billy Tauzin, who heads the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, House Republican leader John A. Boehner accused the drug industry of "cutting a deal with the bully." [Read More]

Grassley Won't Say 'Yes' to Health Bill Without GOP Backup

The top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, Charles E. Grassley, says he "absolutely" would not support legislation that draws just three or four GOP votes, throwing into doubt whether the negotiations can yield any kind of bipartisan pact. [Read More]

Highway Projects on Hold for Lack of Funding Clarity

State transportation officials say uncertainty about future funding is forcing them to foreswear ambitious new projects in favor of simple maintenance and repairs. [Read More]

Names in Play for Florida's Interim Senate Gig

Some say the list is thinning but sources close to Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, who will appoint an interim successor to resigning Sen. Mel Martinez, insist that more names are bound to surface before a decision is made. [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MASSACHUSETTS | Millions in Veterans' Bonuses Unpaid
THE NATION | Delinquent-Tax Sales Socking Homeowners
INDIANAPOLIS | City Seeks Ways to Cut Water-Sewer Costs
MILWAUKEE | Mayor Lost Teeth, Shattered Hand in Assault

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Political Clippings

The Denver Post reports that former Colorado Lt. Gov. Jane Norton "will decide in 30 days" whether to run for the Senate next year. "If she does, Norton will join a crowded list of Republicans vying for the chance to knock off Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet," who was appointed this year to fill the seat of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Norton was GOP Gov. Bill Owens' lieutenant governor in his second term, beginning in 2003. Earlier she headed the state Department of Public Health and Environment. Currently, Norton, 54, "is executive director of the Denver Police Foundation, which raises funds to assist public safety and law enforcement."

According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam's "lead in fundraising among gubernatorial candidates rests on a base of neighbors in affluent areas of Knoxville." Haslam, a Republican, collected $1,380,242 from the Knoxville area, "more than a third of his statewide total of almost $3.6 million during the most recent reporting period. In fact, that is more than his two closest rivals in fundraising, collected statewide — $1.3 million for Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and $1.2 million for U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp." Republicans far outpaced Democrats; Mike McWherter, son of former Gov. Ned McWherter, "led Democrats in 2009 fundraising with contributions of about $650,000."

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Monday, August 17, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, August 17, 2009 – 2:14 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Biotech Firms Give to Win Key House Vote
  • Rallies, Questions, Opposition Await Obama's Climate Change Plan
  • Some Obama Promises Must Wait
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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 Speaks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Phoenix.

In Washington, Comcast Outdoor Film Festival continues with a screening of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." 8:10 p.m., The Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Md.

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Top Stories

Biotech Firms Give to Win Key House Vote

Biotechnology companies gave tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions over the past several months to Democrats who bucked their party leaders in a House Energy and Commerce vote. [Read More]

Rallies, Questions, Opposition Await Obama's Climate Change Plan

Opponents of President Obama's climate change legislation are rallying throughout the country against the bill's “cap and trade” concept, claiming it could send energy costs soaring and reduce U.S. manufacturing jobs. [Read More]

Some Obama Promises Must Wait

President Obama and his aides understand there is only so much bandwidth to accommodate overhaul efforts — and to complete work on fiscal 2010 spending bills and second-tier issues, such as a proposed rewrite of the rules for student lending. [Read More]
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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MILWAUKEE | Mayor Hospitalized after Pipe Beating
DETROIT | Contract Deal Averts Transit Strike
COLORADO/WYOMING | Thirsty Colorado Eyes Wyoming Water
CALIFORNIA | Firefighters Battle Blazes Across State

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Political Clippings

The Palm Beach Post quotes political strategists as saying the main qualification for the person selected to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., is to make GOP Gov. Charlie Crist "look good." The daily said potential appointees "could include" ex-Crist campaign manager George LeMieux, former Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr., former Gov. Bob Martinez and former Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings. Crist, who is running to succeed Martinez, "will look for a fellow Republican who will not try to hold onto the seat in 2010."

In his Des Moines Register column, Marc Hansen wrote, "There's no good time to announce you're running against" Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, "but the timing doesn't get much better than this." Hansen said Democratic contenders are "starting to line up for Grassley's seat in Washington," possibly including "a well-known mystery candidate who's about 75 percent ready to join the race. The mystery candidate supposedly has name recognition and money."

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