Friday, September 11, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on

Midday Update for Friday, September 11, 2009 – 2:23 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Obama To Push for Financial System Overhaul Next Week
  • Democrats to Wilson: Public Apology Or Else
  • Sen. Levin Wants To Quicken Expansion of Afghan Security Forces

Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate observes a moment of silence to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks; continues to consider the fiscal 2010 Transportation-HUD spending bill.

The President delivers remarks at a wreath laying ceremony at the Pentagon Memorial; receives the presidential daily briefing; meets with senior advisers; participates with first lady Michelle Obama in a service event in the Washington area.

In Washington, the National Press Club screens "Pray the Devil Back to Hell", a story about the women of Liberia, that country's civil war and its election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf -- the first woman elected as an African head of state. 6 p.m., 14th and F Streets N.W.


Top Stories

Obama To Push for Financial System Overhaul Next Week

President Obama will try Monday to re-energize his push to revamp the regulatory structure of the financial system, one day shy of the anniversary of the largest failure of a financial firm in U.S. history. [Read More]

Democrats to Wilson: Public Apology Or Else

Now that Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst has taken on a life of its own, Democrats in the House have decided they want a public display of contrition. [Read More]

Sen. Levin Wants To Quicken Expansion of Afghan Security Forces

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Friday he wants to see an expansion of Afghan security forces before the United States considers sending more troops. [Read More]

Political Clippings

The Chicago Tribune reports that "David Hoffman, the former Chicago city inspector general, made official his bid for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate...portraying himself as a candidate untouched by the scandals that led to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s ouster."

The Boston Herald reports that "President Obama reversed himself...joining a national Democratic push urging local lawmakers to give Gov. Deval Patrick the power to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's death."

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Nevada "Democratic Party lodged a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging Dump Reid and its treasurer, political consultant Chuck Muth, violated naming and disclosure regulations, with his PAC aimed at taking down U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev."


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Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Latest From CQ Politics

Highlights from today's news on

Midday Update for Thursday, September 10, 2009 2:10 p.m.

In This Issue

  • Obama Woos Democratic Moderates on Health Care Bill
  • Pelosi Won't Punish Wilson's Outburst
  • Rangel Cool to Tax on Insurance Plans but Leaves Door Open a Bit
  • Pelosi Warns Against Afghan Troop Boost

Today in Washington

The House passes a bill to reauthorize funding for Chesapeake Bay waterways and trails.

The Senate considers the nomination of Cass R. Sunstein to be administrator of the White House Office of Management and Budget's Office of Regulatory Affairs.

The President speaks to nurses' group; meets with the Cabinet; lunches with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; meets separately with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner; discusses health care legislation with more than a dozen Senate Democratic centrists; honors the Pittsburgh Penguins, Stanley Cup champions, at the White House.

In Washington, the National Park Service, National Archives and the National Park Foundation hold a symposium on "The Shaping of Black History; a Hopeful Vision, a Dream Realized." 7 p.m., William G. McGowan Theater, National Archives Building. Constitution Ave. and 7th St N.W.


Top Stories

Obama Woos Democratic Moderates on Health Care Bill

President Obama will try to generate momentum from his address to Congress during a meeting Thursday with more than a dozen centrist Democrats whose support he will need to push any health care bill through the Senate. [Read More]

Pelosi Won't Punish Wilson's Outburst

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she doesn't think GOP Rep. Joe Wilson should face disciplinary action for yelling "You lie!" during President Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress. [Read More]

Rangel Cool to Tax on Insurance Plans but Leaves Door Open a Bit

House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel said Thursday that he does not plan to include any tax or fee on high-cost insurance plans in the House health care bill, despite President Obama's endorsement of such a provision. [Read More]

Pelosi Warns Against Afghan Troop Boost

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Thursday that any proposed boost in U.S. combat troops in Afghanistan would be greeted with extreme skepticism on Capitol Hill, raising a potential problem for the Obama administration. [Read More]

Political Clippings

The Oregonian reports that Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., has not yet said if he will run for governor, despite having said he would decide by Labor Day. DeFazio told the daily he is still analyzing his choices. "But he used tougher rhetoric than he has in the past about the Obama administration, expressing disappointment with its leadership. He also said he'd be interested in hearing specific proposals from the Democrats now in the governor's race -- John Kitzhaber and Bill Bradbury -- for solving Oregon's longstanding problems."

The Charlotte Observer reports that North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall has filed to create a campaign committee for a Senate race. Marshall, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Senate nomination in 2002, joins Durham lawyer Kenneth Lewis in the race. Other possible Democratic challengers to GOP Sen. Richard M. Burr are former Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker, former state Sen. Cal Cunningham and Rep. Bob Etheridge.

In a clipping Wednesday from the Nashua Telegraph we incorrectly noted that Republican Jennifer Horn is considering seeking a rematch with Rep. Paul W. Hodes, D-N.H., who defeated her in 2008 for the 2nd District House seat. Hodes is running for the Senate in 2010.


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on

Midday Update for Wednesday, September 09, 2009 2:12 p.m.;

In This Issue

  • Senate Finance Health Bill Markup Set for Week of Sept. 21
  • Senate Panel Approves Defense Spending Measure
  • Harkin, Lincoln To Claim New Senate Committee Gavels
  • House Passes Bill to Encourage Hybrid Trucks

Today in Washington

The House considers legislation to boost wind energy research and a bill to set national standards for certain insurance regulations.

The Senate votes on a bill to promote tourism in the United States, with passage expected; considers the nomination of the nomination of Cass R. Sunstein to be administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget.

The President speaks at Lincoln Center memorial service for news anchor Walter Cronkie in New York City; returns to Washington to addresses a joint session of Congress on health care legislation.

In Washington, the Institute of Medicine opens a two-day workshop on lowering health care costs and improving value; Venable Conference Facility, 575 Seventh St., N.W.


Top Stories

Senate Finance Health Bill Markup Set for Week of Sept. 21

With or without Republican support, the Senate Finance Committee will mark up its version of a health care overhaul during the week of Sept. 21, Chairman Max Baucus , D-Mont., said Wednesday. [Read More]

Senate Panel Approves Defense Spending Measure

The Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday gave President Obama much of what he wanted when it approved a $636.3 billion defense spending bill by voice vote. [Read More]

Harkin, Lincoln To Claim New Senate Committee Gavels

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, will claim the chairmanship of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to fill the vacancy created by the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., will take over from Harkin at the helm of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. [Read More]

House Passes Bill to Encourage Hybrid Trucks

The bill, passed by voice vote, would create a grant program for research and development of hybrid heavy-duty trucks. [Read More]

Taegan Goddard's Political Wire

The Denver Post reports that Republican former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton "took the first steps Tuesday toward running for the U.S. Senate, filing her campaign-committee papers, launching a campaign Web site and disclosing that she expects to make an official announcement next week." Norton's entry will bring the GOP field to six candidates seeking to challenge Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo. Bennet also faces a likely challenge from former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

The Nashua Telegraph reports that Republican Jennifer Horn is ending her daily radio talk show Friday, an indication that she is seriously considering a rematch with Rep. Paul Hodes, D-N.H. Horn lost to Hodes in 2008 as the GOP nominee for the 2nd District House seat. "The time has come for me to give this my full attention. I look forward to talking with my friends and supporters throughout the district in the weeks and months ahead as I go through the process of making a final decision," Horn said.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on

Midday Update for Tuesday, September 08, 2009 – 2:00 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Hoyer Says Public Option Can't Be Allowed to Scuttle Health Bill
  • Baucus Health Plan Relies on Co-ops Option
  • Extension Could Buy Time for Nutrition Law Reauthorization
  • House-Senate Standoff Over Highway Funding Continues

Today in Washington

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

The Senate votes on limiting debate on legislation to promote tourism in the United States.

The President with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, meets with ninth graders at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va.; delivers nationally broadcast remarks to students on the importance of taking responsibility for their success in school; attends an investiture ceremony for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor; meets with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; and meets with the Professional Golfers Association champions.

In Washington, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars hosts "Black and White and Red Ink All Over: Newspapers in Peril," a discussion on emerging trends and the effect on journalists, professionalism and standards of reporting, and what it means to the American public. 3 p.m., Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center; 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.


Top Stories

Hoyer Says Public Option Can't Be Allowed to Scuttle Health Bill

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Tuesday that while he supports a public option in a health care overhaul bill, he doesn't think its omission should scuttle the top domestic policy priority of President Obama and the Democratic Congress. [Read More]

Baucus Health Plan Relies on Co-ops Option

A proposal by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus would establish a system of consumer-owned insurance cooperatives in lieu of a government-run "public plan," and would expand Medicaid to millions more Americans. [Read More]

Extension Could Buy Time for Nutrition Law Reauthorization

Congress appears headed for a short-term extension of a popular nutrition law that provides food aid for millions of low-income children and pregnant women. [Read More]

House-Senate Standoff Over Highway Funding Continues

Little apparent progress was made over the August recess on disagreements between the House and Senate over a surface transportation reauthorization, leaving a Sept. 30 deadline looming large as lawmakers return. [Read More]

Today on

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CALIFORNIA: Report: Union Membership Increases, Despite Recession
ARIZONA: State Unable To Provide Matching Funds for Federal Health Program
PENNSYLVANIA: State Grapples with Growing Prison Needs
SANDY SPRINGS, Ga.: Suburb Considers Exemption from Voting Rights Act


Political Clippings

The Dallas Morning News reports that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, having vowed to resign so she could focus on her GOP primary challenge to Gov. Rick Perry, now must cope with being a lame duck as Congress returns to its debate on health care. The daily notes that "Republican strategists unaffiliated with either her campaign or Perry's see a trade-off in staying in the Senate much longer." She can't campaign full-time while Congress is in session, leaving Perry free to paint her as a Washington insider. "On the other hand, she could use the Senate spotlight to her advantage ... if Republicans defeat [the Democrats' health care plan], she can return to Texas in triumph."

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that the race between Louisiana GOP Sen. David Vitter and Democratic Rep. Charlie Melancon has quickly gotten personal. Last month, Vitter attacked Melancon for his out-of-state fundraising and for links to Democratic congressional leaders and President Obama. "Life sure is swell when you're a liberal-loving, Obama-endorsing congressman like Charlie Melancon," one of Vitter's ads says. In an interview, Melancon said the attacks against him are filled with misinformation and Vitter is too partisan for Louisiana. Responded Vitter: "It is important that voters have an accurate picture of my voting record, what I've done in the Congress, and his voting record and what he's done. When he talks about being a conservative Democrat, that's just nonsense."

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