Friday, September 18, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

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

In This Issue

  • Democrats Run Away From ACORN
  • Partisan Debate Over Climate Change Intensifies in Senate
  • House Preparing Extension of FAA Authorization
  • Massachusetts House OKs Senate Succession Change
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate is not in session.

The President along with Dennis M. McCarthy, assistant secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, meets with recipients of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, which is the highest recognition given by the U.S. government to employers for their support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

In Washington, The Andrew Young Lecture Series sponsors a discussion with Foreign Affairs Minister Cheikh Tidiane Gadio of Senagal on "A United Africa Becomes a Global Player." 4 p.m., Academy for Educational Development, 8th floor, 1825 Connecticut Ave N.W.

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Top Stories

Democrats Run Away From ACORN

Democrats in Congress are abandoning an embattled community organizing group after Republicans stepped up attacks on the liberal-leaning ACORN and the federal funding it receives. [Read More]

Partisan Debate Over Climate Change Intensifies in Senate

The partisan debate over the cost of climate change legislation has flared anew as the Senate prepares to release its bill, with both sides wielding competing studies that project wildly varying price tags for the plan. [Read More]

House Preparing Extension of FAA Authorization

The House is readying a three-month extension of Federal Aviation Administration programs, which could be on the floor as soon as next week. [Read More]

Massachusetts House OKs Senate Succession Change

After a long day of often spirited debate, the state House on Thursday voted 95-58 to pass legislation that would give Gov. Deval Patrick the power to appoint an interim senator to fill the seat of the late Edward M. Kennedy. [Read More]
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Political Clippings

The St. Petersburg Times reports that Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla., is backing Marco Rubio in the contest to pick a GOP Senate nominee next year. Brown-Waite is the third member of Congress to back Rubio, the former state House speaker, over Gov. Charlie Crist. "Originally, I had not planned to endorse in this race, but as the challenges facing our nation and Florida grow more severe, times demand someone willing to make hard choices," Brown-Waite said, adding, "Washington needs leaders with solid conservative beliefs and the courage to do the right thing."

The New York Post reports on a Sept. 8-10 Marist College poll of 805 registered New York voters that showed former Gov. George Pataki leading Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., 48 percent to 44 percent in a hypothetical matchup. A similar poll in July showed Gillibrand leading Pataki 46 percent to 42 percent. Pataki, a Republican, has not said if he would seek to fill the final two years of the term Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected to serve in 2006. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, September 17, 2009 – 2:24 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Democrats and GOP Clash over Decision To Scrap Eastern European Antimissile Sites
  • Pelosi Says House Health Care Bill Will Include Public Option
  • Leahy Bill Would Subject Insurers to Antitrust Laws
  • House to Consider Unemployment Benefits Extension
  • White House Backs Interior-Environment Bill as Senate Debate Begins
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Today in Washington

The House is expected to pass a bill to overhaul the student lending industry.

The Senate is scheduled to take up the fiscal 2010 Interior-Environment spending bill before completing work on the fiscal 2010 Transportation-HUD spending bill, with votes on amendments and passage expected.

The President meets with senior advisers; receives the presidential daily briefing; holds a rally on health insurance; awards the Medal of Honor posthumously to Sgt. First Class Jared C. Monti; hosts a viewing of "The National Parks: America's Best Idea."

In Washington, Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) holds a discussion titled "Implications of the Opening of the Iraqi Oil Fields." 4:30 p.m., 241 Intercultural Center, 37th and O Streets N.W.

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Top Stories

Democrats and GOP Clash over Decision To Scrap Eastern European Antimissile Sites

President Obama's announcement Thursday that he is revising U.S. antimissile plans in Europe triggered party-line responses from Capitol Hill, with Democrats strongly supportive and Republicans calling it "dangerous and short-sighted." [Read More]

Pelosi Says House Health Care Bill Will Include Public Option

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the bill that she expects the House to pass this fall will include a public insurance option, and that her goal is to get it on President Obama's desk this year. [Read More]

Leahy Bill Would Subject Insurers to Antitrust Laws

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday introduced legislation to repeal health and medical malpractice insurers' exemption from federal antitrust laws. [Read More]

House to Consider Unemployment Benefits Extension

The House is expected to take up an unemployment benefits bill next week that would extend the available safety net for jobless workers in states hit hardest by the recession. [Read More]

White House Backs Interior-Environment Bill as Senate Debate Begins

The White House Thursday said it "strongly supports" the fiscal 2010 spending bill for environmental agencies, which the Senate was expected to start working on later in the day. [Read More]

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Political Clippings

A Sept. 14 Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of 500 likely New Hampshire voters showed Republican Kelly Ayotte leading Rep. Paul W. Hodes, D-N.H., in the race to succeed Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H. The survey showed that 81 percent of Republicans support Ayotte and an equal share of Democrats backed Hodes. But Ayotte led by 14 points among unaffiliated voters. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

The Wichita Eagle reports that Wink Hartman, owner of the Wichita Wild indoor football team, announced he will enter the GOP primary to replace Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan. "Saying he has created more than 1,000 jobs in the past two years, Hartman called for lower taxes, less regulation and limits on litigation against businesses."

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, September 16, 2009 2:30 p.m.

In This Issue

  • Baucus Releases $856 Billion Health Care Measure
  • Senators Presented Plans for Success in Afghanistan, Pakistan
  • Interior To End Scandal-Plagued Royalty Program
  • House Ethics Panel Puts Off Jackson Probe
  • Highway Bill Extension Includes $20 Billion Trust Fund Boost
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Today in Washington

The House begins considering a bill to overhaul student lending practices, though a vote on passage is not expected until Thursday.

The Senate is expected to finish work on the fiscal 2010 Transportation-HUD spending bill, with votes on a handful of amendments expected. After that, the Senate is expected to take up the Interior-Environment spending bill.

The President meets with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the White House, hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Athletes at the White House, meets with retired Gen. Colin Powell, meets with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and delivers remarks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus dinner at the Historical Society Museum.

In Washington, One Laptop Per Child hosts a panel discussion entitled: "Fighting Insurgencies With Laptops," with opening remarks by Nicholas Negroponte, Chairman and Founder of One Laptop Per Child, and a keynote address by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., followed by other speakers. 3 p.m., Room G-11, Dirksen.

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Top Stories

Baucus Releases $856 Billion Health Care Measure

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has released an $856 billion health care overhaul that would expand Medicaid coverage and establish consumer-owned insurance cooperatives in lieu of a government-run "public option." [Read More]

Senators Presented Plans for Success in Afghanistan, Pakistan

In a classified briefing Wednesday morning, senior administration officials presented senators with a draft list of U.S. objectives in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and measures of progress toward achieving them. [Read More]

Interior To End Scandal-Plagued Royalty Program

The Interior Department will scrap a scandal-plagued "royalty-in-kind" program that lets energy companies drilling on public land provide oil and gas to the federal government as payment, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told a congressional committee Wednesday. [Read More]

House Ethics Panel Puts Off Jackson Probe

The House Ethics Committee said Wednesday it has put off investigating whether Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. or his surrogates offered to raise money for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in return for being named to a vacant Senate seat. [Read More]

Highway Bill Extension Includes $20 Billion Trust Fund Boost

The Senate is expected to bring to the floor a bill that would extend the surface transportation law by 18 months and include a transfer of almost $20 billion from the general fund to the Highway Trust Fund. [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that President Obama "could have stayed out of the" primary battle between Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., and Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., "but senior White House officials have said the president intends to help incumbent Democratic senators win in next year's midterm elections." Still, "Obama's support of the establishment candidate seems ironic considering he won the party's nomination with an outsider message. Sestak is running the insurgent's campaign in this race."

The Albany Times Union reports that former Rep. Rick Lazio, R-N.Y., says he will announce his 2010 run for governor on Monday. Lazio, the first prominent Republican to announce his intentions to run, said in statement that the state's government was broken and dysfunctional. "We need sweeping change and reform that means starting from the beginning and building a new government," Lazio wrote.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, September 15, 2009 2:10 p.m.

In This Issue

  • Obama Unveils New Clean Air and Fuel-Economy Standards
  • Blair Says Annual Intelligence Community Spending is $75 Billion
  • Mullen Bolsters Lawmakers Calling for More U.S. Troops in Afghanistan
  • Massachusetts Field Narrows Fast
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Today in Washington

The House is expected to vote on a bill that would affect funding of Postal Service retiree health benefits.

The Senate resumes consideration of the fiscal 2010 Transportation-HUD spending bill. Votes on amendments are likely.

The President travels to Lordstown, Ohio, to meet with workers at the GM plant, then travels to Pittsburgh to address the AFL-CIO national convention and later attends a fundraiser for Sen. Arlen Specter in Philadelphia before returning to the White House in the evening.

In Washington, Experts discuss U.S. children forced into the sex trade and the Meridian Foundation's effort to combat it, with former Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Project Meridian founder Nathan Wilson and Gary Reynolds, retired police chief and the executive director for the Safe Surfin' Foundation. 6:30 p.m., National Press Club.

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Top Stories

Obama Unveils New Clean Air and Fuel-Economy Standards

Under the proposal, the fleetwide Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard will rise to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, accelerating the timetable for federal standards set in a 2007 energy law, which would have required that standard to be met by 2020. The current standard is 27.5 miles per gallon. [Read More]

Blair Says Annual Intelligence Community Spending is $75 Billion

The disclosure came during a press conference in which Dennis C. Blair, director of national intelligence, unveiled a new National Intelligence Strategy, which is the "blueprint" for the intelligence community. It reflects shifting threats since the last such strategy in 2005, and the priorities of the Obama administration. [Read More]

Mullen Bolsters Lawmakers Calling for More U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

Adm. Mike Mullen , President Obama's top military adviser, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, would in all likelihood ask for more U.S. forces in the region within weeks -- a request that Mullen suggested he would support. [Read More]

Massachusetts Field Narrows Fast

The field for the upcoming Senate special election in Massachusetts has quickly taken shape with three candidates prepared to battle for the Democratic nomination and state Sen. Scott P. Brown the strong favorite for the Republican nod. [Read More]
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Political Clippings

The Denver Post reports that Colorado "Gov. Bill Ritter says he would have been better off politically if he had picked former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Democrat Ken Salazar. But the governor...said he is sticking by his appointment of Michael Bennet to the seat." Romanoff is expected to formally announce Wednesday in Pueblo that he will run against Bennet in the Democratic Senate primary next year.

The Boston Globe reports that "House and Senate lawmakers are deeply divided over whether to give Governor Deval Patrick the authority to appoint an interim U.S. senator to the late Edward M. Kennedy's seat, even as top Democrats ramp up their lobbying for a measure that could come up for a vote as early as Thursday."

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports that "Sean Mahoney, publisher of Business New Hampshire magazine and one of the state's three representatives on the Republican National Committee, said...he is 'taking the next step in exploring' a candidacy for" the seat of GOP Sen. Judd Gregg, who is retiring in 2010.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, September 14, 2009 – 2:24 P.M.

In This Issue

  • 'Gang of Six' Consider Lawsuit Protection, Financing of Health Bill
  • Obama Urges Financial Companies to Join in Regulatory Efforts
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Today in Washington

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

The Senate considers a Transportation-HUD spending bill.

The President visits New York City's Wall Street to delivers a speech on financial regulation; returns to Washington.

In Washington, National Archives hosts a panel discussion on 75 years of discovering archival treasures, with panelists Cokie Roberts of ABC News; Drew Faust of Harvard University; documentary filmmaker David Grubin, and author Michael Beschloss. 7 p.m., National Archives, National Mall at Constitution Ave., between 7th and 9th St., N.W.

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Top Stories

'Gang of Six' Consider Lawsuit Protection, Financing of Health Bill

Senate Finance Committee negotiators neared completion Monday of a health care bill that would cost an estimated $880 billion over 10 years and include language aimed at reducing medical liability lawsuits. [Read More]

Obama Urges Financial Companies to Join in Regulatory Efforts

Financial companies need to help in efforts to overhaul industry regulations, rather than stand in the way, President Obama said Monday in renewing his commitment to the legislative effort. [Read More]
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Political Clippings

The Denver Channel reports that "former Colorado Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff will launch his bid for Sen. Michael Bennet's seat in a Pueblo event Wednesday... Romanoff, a Denver Democrat, filed federal candidacy papers with the U.S. Senate on Thursday. "

The St. Petersburg Times reports that with Florida losing population for the first time in 60 years, unemployment and foreclosures soaring, and no tax cuts, Gov. Charlie Crist's campaign for a U.S. Senate seat is in trouble.

The New York Post reports that "top state Republicans will urge former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to abandon his interest in running for governor and run instead against unelected...[Democratic] Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand."

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