Friday, November 06, 2009

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, November 06, 2009 –

In This Issue

  • Hoyer: Health Care Bill's Passage Expected This Weekend
  • Democrats Push Ahead With Medicare Physician Payment Legislation
  • Obama Set to Discuss Korean Trade Agreement, but Lawmakers Are Anxious
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Today in Washington

The House is expected to pass a bill to boost chemical facility security (HR 2868)and prepare for a weekend session on the health care overhaul bill (HR 3962).

The Senate has concluded its work for the week and will reconvene at 2 p.m. Monday.

The President Signed unemployment benefits legislation (HR 3548) into law; visiting the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, meeting with Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y. and later with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In Washington, American University will hold a discussion on "how climate change affects the economy, security, and health and how technology should be implemented to address the issue." 4:30 p.m., McDowell Formal Lounge, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Hoyer: Health Care Bill's Passage Expected This Weekend

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer predicted passage of a health care overhaul bill would come Saturday evening even as House Democrats worked Friday to corral the needed votes to pass the measure, but said Democrats were prepared to return on Sunday or go into next week if needed. [Read More]

Democrats Push Ahead With Medicare Physician Payment Legislation

House Democratic leaders intend to approve a rule Friday that would govern debate on legislation to change the way doctors are paid under Medicare, but Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer , D-Md., said the bill would not be considered until the week of Nov. 16. [Read More]

Obama Set to Discuss Korean Trade Agreement, but Lawmakers Are Anxious

With President Obama set to travel to east Asia next week, administration officials insist that he wants to secure congressional approval of a long-stalled trade agreement with South Korea, a high priority in Seoul. [Read More]
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Political Clippings

The Gainesville Sun reports that yesterday in Newberry, Florida, Gov. Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio both spoke at the Alachua County GOP's annual fundraiser. In his address, Rubio "made comments along his campaign theme of being the race's true conservative. 'It's very simple: We already have a Democratic Party in America,' he said. 'We do not need two Democratic parties in America.'" In his speech, Crist touted "his conservative bona fides, from support of gun rights to tax cuts." Prior to the event, "Rubio attacked Crist for positions such as his support of the stimulus in comments to reporters." And Rubio "continued along the same lines in his speech. 'We know that government spending does not stimulate our economy, especially money that is borrowed and printed,' he said. Crist questioned what Rubio would have done about the stimulus if he had been governor. 'Wouldn't he have taken it to help the people of Florida?' he said. 'Every Republican governor in America did ... It saved 20,000 teachers their jobs.'"

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports that NRSC Chief Sen. John Cornyn's announcement that the committee "will not give money or support to the Senate campaign of Kelly Ayotte or any other Republican Senate candidate running in a primary contest in 2010 makes no difference to the campaign, according to an Ayotte spokesman." Ayotte campaign manager Brooks Kochvar "the NRSC's announcement will not change what's going on in New Hampshire. 'It doesn't have any impact on our race at all,' Kochvar said. 'Her campaign has been focused on New Hampshire.' New Hampshire Democrats, in a statement Wednesday night, called the announcement a 'serious blow' to Ayotte and questioned whether Cornyn should ask Ayotte to return the $10,000 he has donated to her campaign from his leadership political action committee."

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, November 05, 2009 –

In This Issue

  • Obama Plans Health Care Pep-Talk to House Democrats
  • Climate Bill Out of Committee, But at What Cost?
  • House Poised to Clear Extension of Jobless Benefits, Homebuyer Tax Credit
  • Garamendi Sworn In, Swelling House Democratic Ranks
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Today in Washington

The House was expected to clear a bill to extend unemployment benefits and extend and expand the homebuyer's tax credit; also considers legislation on security at chemical facilities, wastewater treatment works and drinking water systems.

The Senate moves toward passage of the fiscal 2010 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill.

The President addresses White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior; lunches with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; holds separate meetings with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and representatives of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; meets with President Ian Khama of Botswana in the Oval Office.

In Washington, former Vice President Al Gore lectures and answers questions. 7 p.m., George Washington University, Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Obama Plans Health Care Pep-Talk to House Democrats

President Obama will travel to the Capitol on Friday morning to meet behind closed doors with House Democrats, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi denied Thursday that the visit means Democrats' health care legislation is in trouble. [Read More]

Climate Bill Out of Committee, But at What Cost?

Senate Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., resorted to a strong-arm procedural maneuver Thursday to push global warming legislation through her committee, alienating Republicans and frustrating some moderate Democrats. [Read More]

House Poised to Clear Extension of Jobless Benefits, Homebuyer Tax Credit

With rare bipartisan enthusiasm, the House on Thursday was preparing to clear legislation that will extend unemployment benefits for jobless Americans across the nation, continue a popular tax credit for homebuyers and offer tax relief to money-losing businesses. [Read More]

Garamendi Sworn In, Swelling House Democratic Ranks

Democrat John Garamendi was sworn in Thursday as the new representative of California's 10th House District. [Read More]

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Political Clippings

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, "Bowling Green eye surgeon Rand Paul has a slight lead over Secretary of State Trey Grayson in their race to win next May's Republican primary election for the U.S. Senate, according to a new poll." Kentucky Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo maintains a double-digit lead over Attorney General Jack Conway in the contest for the Democratic nomination, the WHAS11/Survey USA poll found. The survey showed Paul leading Grayson by 35 percent to 32 percent. Mongiardo leads Conway by 39 percent to 28 percent.

Taegan Goddard's Political Wire reports that Meg Whitman "has a wide lead in California's Republican primary race for governor, according to the latest Capitol Weekly/Probolsky Research poll." The pollsters said: "About a third of Republicans and decline-to-state voters who said they intend to vote Republican said they favor Whitman, who has a 3-to-1 edge over rival contender Tom Campbell, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner remains stuck in a distant third, with 5.5 percent of Republican support." On the Democratic side, Jerry Brown held a huge lead over Gavin Newsom, 43 percent to 18 percent. Newsom dropped out of the race last week.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, November 04, 2009 –

In This Issue

  • House Sets Saturday Vote on Health Care Overhaul
  • Bill Extending Jobless Benefits, Homebuyer Tax Credit Nears Passage in Senate
  • Treasury Gives Congress More Breathing Room on Debt Limit
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Today in Washington

The House considers legislation to expedite the implementation of new credit card rules.

The Senate works toward final passage on a bill to extend unemployment insurance for up to 20 more weeks and to expand and extend the homebuyer's tax credit.

The President participates in credentialing ceremony for foreign ambassadors; travels to Madison, Wis., to meet students at Wright Middle School, with Education Secretary Arne Duncan; returns to White House to host evening event with the first lady celebrating classical music.

In Washington, the Brookings Institution holds a discussion on a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions, with Carolyn Fischer and Richard Morgernstern of Resources for the Future, Craig Pirrong of the University of Houston, others. 3:30 p.m., Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW.

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Top Stories

House Sets Saturday Vote on Health Care Overhaul

The House is moving toward a floor vote Saturday on its big health care overhaul, after Democratic leaders worked to nail down votes from some of their members who want stronger anti-abortion language in the bill. [Read More]

Bill Extending Jobless Benefits, Homebuyer Tax Credit Nears Passage in Senate

Legislation to extend unemployment benefits and expand a popular tax credit for homebuyers overcame the last in a string of Senate procedural hurdles Wednesday, but it may have to wait one more day to cross the finish line. [Read More]

Treasury Gives Congress More Breathing Room on Debt Limit

Congress probably will have until mid- or late December before it has to clear legislation raising the limit on the amount the government can borrow, the Treasury Department announced Wednesday. [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The St. Petersburg Times reports that Marco Rubio, "the underdog rival to Gov. Charlie Crist" for the GOP Senate nomination next year, "is striving to emulate the small-donor fundraising model that helped propel" President Obama past Hillary Rodham Clinton in last year's Democratic presidential primaries. "Not that Rubio has much to crow about. As of Sept. 30, Crist still had a 5-to-1 financial advantage — $4.17 million on hand for the primary vs. $802,000 for Rubio, who had about $90,000 restricted for the general election," the paper said. Rubio has been drawing "a ton of national publicity since conservative third-party candidate Doug Hoffman knocked liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava out of a congressional special election in upstate New York. Conservative activists and media figures have been casting the Rubio vs. Crist contest as the next big fight."

According to the Denver Post, "Republican Scott McInnis won't debate his GOP rivals for fear it will damage party unity, but Tuesday night the former congressman challenged Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter to a series of debates." McInnis, state Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry and businessman Dan Maes spoke to a crowd of more than 100 last night, marking only the second time the GOP candidates for governor have appeared together at a forum in the Denver area.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, November 03, 2009 – 2:00 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Partisan Battle Threatens to Derail Climate Bill
  • Abortion Issue Slows Progress of Health Care Bill in House
  • Bill Enhancing SEC's Authority to Protect Investors Set for Vote
  • Reading Election Day Tea Leaves
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Today in Washington

The House welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her speech to Congress; considers legislation under suspension of the rules.

The Senate joins the House to hear remarks by German Chancellor Angela Merkel; resumes consideration of bill to extend unemployment insurance for up to 20 more weeks and to expand and extend the homebuyer's tax credit.

The President meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel; meets with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew; participates in the U.S.-European Union Summit; with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., meets with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates; meets with Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark..

In Washington, the World Affairs Council presents a discussion of the war in Afghanistan with former Ambassador Ronald Neumann, president of the American Academy of Diplomacy and author of "The Other War: Winning and Losing in Afghanistan." 6:30 p.m., UCDC Washington Center, 1608 Rhode Island Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Partisan Battle Threatens to Derail Climate Bill

Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works panel tried Tuesday morning to overcome a partisan standoff that could derail a major climate bill even before the committee votes. [Read More]

Abortion Issue Slows Progress of Health Care Bill in House

House Democratic leaders still hope to put their big health care overhaul bill on the floor Friday or Saturday, but first they must allay the concerns of anti-abortion lawmakers in their own ranks. [Read More]

Bill Enhancing SEC's Authority to Protect Investors Set for Vote

Legislation to expand the investor protection powers of the Securities and Exchange Commission is headed for a final vote Wednesday in the House Financial Services Committee. [Read More]

Reading Election Day Tea Leaves

It is risky business to view today's key "off-year" contests -- in Virginia, New Jersey and New York -- as bellwethers for next year's much fuller slate of elections. Or, at least that's what history suggests. [Read More]
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Political Clippings

Stateline.org reports that voters in Maine and Washington state today will decide the fate of ballot propositions that seek to "cap increases in state spending and require voter approval for certain tax hikes. . . .The results of those votes, both sides say, could influence strategies for the 2010 campaigns. . . .Some 14 states are poised to go forward in 2010 with tax restriction measures." Proponents hope to capitalize on a backlash against the spending and deficits rolled up by President Obama and the Democratic Congress.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that former state Auditor Pat Anderson launched her campaign Monday for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, seeking to "distance herself from 'cookie-cutter conservatism.'" Anderson, 43, "is the only one of eight Republican candidates for governor who has been elected to a statewide office, serving as auditor from 2003 to 2007." But her defeat for re-election in 2006 could hurt her. "She recently finished third in a straw poll of party delegates. She vowed to abide by the party endorsement."

The Palm Beach Post reports State Sen. Paula Dockery will enter the race for Florida governor Tuesday, challenging state Attorney General Bill McCollum for the GOP nomination. "The Lakeland Republican earned an ardent following in the spring when she led a winning crusade against a proposed Central Florida commuter rail line backed by prominent GOP leaders including Gov. Charlie Crist." McCollum supported the rail project.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, November 02, 2009 –

In This Issue

  • Conservative Party Candidate Leads in New York
  • GOP Sticks to Plans of Boycott as Boxer Preps Climate Bill for Markup
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Today in Washington

The House considers a number of bills including measures on Veterans' Day and military spouses.

The Senate works on a measure addressing unemployment insurance, a homebuyer tax credit and corporate tax provisions.

The President met with the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board; later meets with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

In Washington, the National Advisory Council on Migrant Health meets on issues related to the health of migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families and to formulate recommendations for the secretary of Health and Human Services. All day Monday and Tuesday, Hilton Hotel, 1750 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Md.

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Top Stories

Conservative Party Candidate Leads in New York

Doug Hoffman, the third-party upstart now backed by the Republican Party, has pulled ahead in Tuesday's special House election in upstate New York, according to two polls conducted over the weekend. [Read More]

GOP Sticks to Plans of Boycott as Boxer Preps Climate Bill for Markup

Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee say they will carry through on threats to boycott markups of the Senate's climate change bill. Chairwoman Barbara Boxer had wanted to begin the panel's session on Tuesday. [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Boston Globe reports that moderate Republicans in the Northeast, "shoved out of power by two Democratic waves of anti-George W. Bush fervor, are scrambling to make a 2010 comeback, making early bids for congressional seats that GOP leaders say are critical to taking back majorities in the House and Senate." The newspaper points to former Rep. Charles Bass, R-N.H., who might run for his old seat; former Rep. Rob Simmons, R- Conn., who plans on a Senate run; current Rep. Michael N. Castle, D-Del., who is running for the Senate; and former New Hampshire attorney general Kelly Ayotte, "who was reappointed by a Democratic governor" and is expected "to draw bipartisan support for a Senate run, should she win the GOP primary in New Hampshire."

According to the Miami Herald, "U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio is an unlikely contender in northwest Florida, a strip of the Bible Belt closer to Alabama than his hometown of Miami." For Rubio, a Cuban-American who is running against current Gov. Charlie Crist for the Republican nomination in the Senate race, "[p]anhandle voters could be a tough crowd: They've come across few Hispanic candidates and often view South Florida as a cesspool of incivility and corruption," the newspaper reports. "But in a Republican primary that's shifted from a cakewalk for Gov. Charlie Crist to a referendum on whether he has sold his Republican soul, many voters in Northwest Florida say they don't care if Rubio speaks Spanish -- as long as he speaks 'true conservative.'"

Correction: The Oct. 30 edition of the Midday Update incorrectly identified the governors' organization led by Gov. Haley Barbour, R-Miss. Barbour is chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

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