Friday, January 15, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, January 15, 2010 –

In This Issue

  • Congressional Leaders Continue Health Care Talks
  • Massachusetts Race a Tossup
  • Dodd May Drop Consumer Agency From Financial Overhaul Bill
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate is not in session.

The President receives briefings, meets with advisers and meets with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner.

In Washington, The Kentucky Youth Chorale performs as part of the Kennedy Center's free Millennium Stage series. 6 p.m., John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street N.W.

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Top Stories

Congressional Leaders Continue Health Care Talks

House Democratic leaders resumed talks on a health care overhaul Friday morning after a late-night negotiating session at the White House involving President Obama and a bicameral group of top Democrats. [Read More]

Massachusetts Race a Tossup

CQ-Roll Call has changed its rating of the race to fill the Senate seat of the late Edward M. Kennedy. The contest between Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown is now a Tossup. [Read More]

Dodd May Drop Consumer Agency From Financial Overhaul Bill

Senate Banking Chairman Christopher J. Dodd is reconsidering plans to create a stand-alone consumer agency in a bill to overhaul the regulatory structure of the U.S. financial system, according to sources close to the matter. [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Las Vegas Sun reports, "After being dogged for a week by racially tinged comments he made about President Barack Obama, Sen. Harry Reid and his campaign brought one of the Democratic Party's leading black strategists to Nevada Thursday to rally African-American support and put an end to a controversy that Republicans have used to call for the Senate majority leader's ouster." Donna Brazile "told about 400 black supporters at the Culinary Training Academy in North Las Vegas this afternoon that she was proud to back Reid because of his long history of civil rights work, his legislative record and his pivotal role in shepherding Obama's agenda through Congress," according to the newspaper.

According to the Virginian-Pilot, Ben Loyola, a Republican candidate in Virginia's 2nd District House race, has been endorsed by Mel Martinez, the former senator and former GOP national chairman. "His conservative credentials are without flaw and I hope the voters of Virginia's Second District send him to Congress," Martinez said, according to an e-mail sent Thursday by Loyola's campaign. Loyola and Martinez are both Cuban-Americans. According to the Virginian-Pilot, at least six Republicans are vying to challenge incumbent Rep. Glenn Nye in the 2nd District: Loyola; Scott Rigell; Kenny Golden; Scott Taylor; Ed Maulbeck; and Bert Mizusawa.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, January 14, 2010 – 2:15 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Democrats Hope To Have Health Care Deal by Friday
  • Banking Fee Proposal Faces Trouble From More Than One Direction
  • AARP Urges Defeat of Binding Debt-Reduction Proposals
  • Cramer Ready to Challenge Pomeroy in North Dakota
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; Democrats are holding their annual policy retreat at the Capitol Visitor Center.

The Senate is not in session; reconvenes Jan. 20 for legislative business.

The President meets with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki; announces a proposed fee on the debt of largest financial institutions receiving federal bailout help; delivers remarks at the opening session of the White House Forum on Modernizing Government; meets with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner; speaks to the House Democratic Caucus retreat.

In Washington, the World Affairs Council presents a foreign policy series event, "The AfPak Strategy: Regional Perspectives," with former Pakistani Foreign Minister Dr. Riaz Mohammed Khan. 6:30 p.m., Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1800 K St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Democrats Hope To Have Health Care Deal by Friday

Congressional leaders hope to reach a deal on the broad outlines of a final health care bill by Friday, and they are looking to President Obama to sell it -- not only to their members but also to the public. [Read More]

Banking Fee Proposal Faces Trouble From More Than One Direction

Despite widespread, bipartisan public anger over the financial industry's conduct over the past two years, President Obama's proposal to slap a fee on the industry to recover taxpayer bailout funds is unlikely to face a smooth road in Congress. [Read More]

AARP Urges Defeat of Binding Debt-Reduction Proposals

The powerful AARP lobby on Thursday called on senators to defeat a proposal to create a debt-fighting commission, as well as any plan to put the "pay-as-you-go" budget rules into law. [Read More]

Cramer Ready to Challenge Pomeroy in North Dakota

North Dakota Public Service Commission Chairman Kevin Cramer, a Republican, is ready to announce a run for North Dakota's at-large House seat Thursday, creating what could well be nine-term Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy's first competitive race in years. [Read More]
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Political Clippings

The Dallas Morning News reports that Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., are among the powerful Democrats expected to attend a Friday fundraiser in Dallas for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Also on the list is Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, La. "Earlier Friday, Reid will attend a fundraiser for his own re-election bid at the La Cima Club, then join local officials for a tour of development projects in Las Colinas' Urban Center." The invitation to the DSCC event "says a donor of $10,000 will be considered a 'sponsor.' One can be a 'vice chair' of the event for $15,000; and a 'co-chair,' for $30,400."

The Middletown Press reports that Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz announced Wednesday "that she will switch her bid for governor to one for attorney general." She said "her plans changed last week after the same-day announcements that U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd would not seek re-election and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal would run for Dodd's seat. "Bysiewicz left unanswered the question of whether she would use the post as a brief halfway point to another office such as U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman's seat, which will be up in 2012."

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports that Democrat Katrina Swett has jumped into the race for the 2nd District House seat, which Democrat Paul W. Hodes is vacating to run for the Senate. "Campaign aide Meagan Coffman says paperwork was filed with the Federal Election Commission yesterday establishing a campaign finance committee and officially declaring a Swett candidacy." Swett weighed a Senate race in 2007, but withdrew to give former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen a clear shot. Shaheen was elected. Swett still has more than $800,000 on hand from that exploratory bid that will now help finance her House campaign.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, January 13, 2010 – 2:00 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Boehner Plans 'Contract With America' Redux
  • GOP Targets Vulnerable Democrats in Bid To Defeat Health Bill
  • Banking Industry Caught Off Guard By Proposed Fee
  • House Panel Moves to Deter Vertical Price-Fixing
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Today in Washington

The House considers legislation to clarify and strengthen the authority of the Governmental Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, along with various minor measures.

The Senate is not in session; reconvenes Jan. 20 for legislative business.

The President meets with Democratic leaders of the House and Senate; pledges U.S. aid to victims of the earthquake in Haiti; meets with senior advisers at White House.

In Washington, David S. Ferriero is sworn in as the tenth Archivist of the United States, with Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer presiding; 3:30 p.m., rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

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Top Stories

Boehner Plans 'Contract With America' Redux

Minority Leader John A. Boehner told House Republicans Wednesday that he plans to write a campaign platform this year that will inevitably invite comparisons with the "Contract With America" that the GOP used to win control of the House in 1994. [Read More]

GOP Targets Vulnerable Democrats in Bid To Defeat Health Bill

Although most eyes have been on the Senate as the health care battle nears its climax, House Republican leaders said Wednesday they think they can defeat the legislation by targeting potentially vulnerable Democrats in their own chamber. [Read More]

Banking Industry Caught Off Guard By Proposed Fee

Banking industry representatives have been caught off guard by reports that the Obama administration will propose a fee on large financial institutions designed to recoup any outstanding bailout money. [Read More]

House Panel Moves to Deter Vertical Price-Fixing

A House committee approved legislation Wednesday that would make it a violation of antitrust laws for retailers, wholesalers or distributors to set pricing floors. [Read More]
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Political Clippings

The Charleston Post and Courier reports that Paul Thurmon, son of former Sen. Strom Thurmond, announced yesterday he is setting up an exploratory committee for a bid to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Henry Brown in South Carolina's 1st District. If he enters the race, he'll face competition for the GOP nomination from Carroll Campbell, a son of the late Gov. Carroll Campbell, and several others. "Democrats who already have announced they will run are Robert Burton of Mount Pleasant, Robert Dobbs of Georgetown and Dick Withington of Horry County." Charleston businesswoman and philanthropist Linda Ketner, "who narrowly lost to Brown in 2008, indicated that Brown's departure would cause her to reconsider her previous announcement that she would not run."

The Miami Herald reports that Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio "has become the hottest ticket on Florida's tea-party circuit. The movement of disaffected, disillusioned and generally fed-up conservative voters has helped fuel his increasingly competitive campaign against the more moderate Gov. Charlie Crist," the early presumed frontrunner for the GOP Senate nomination. "Rubio has been to at least seven tea party demonstrations in Florida and is slated to attend his eighth rally Saturday in Inverness. But he is skipping the movement's first national convention headlined by former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin next month, even though the Nashville event would offer opportunities for publicity and fundraising."

The Spokane Spokesman-Review reports that "Vaughn Ward, a Republican candidate for the 1st District congressional seat, announced today that he raised 'over $100,000' during the fourth quarter of 2009, with contributors during the quarter including First Lady Lori Otter and Lt. Gov. Brad Little. 'I am very grateful that so many Idahoans have supported our campaign,' Ward said in a statement. Ward is competing with state Rep. Raul Labrador for the nod to take on freshman Rep. Walt Minnick, D-Idaho. Campaign finance reports for the quarter are not yet due, the paper noted.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, January 12, 2010 –

In This Issue

  • McConnell Says Reid's Leadership Role Is Up to Democrats
  • GOP Leader Says Detention Policies Create 'Operational Confusion'
  • Chamber of Commerce Warns Lawmakers It Will Play Election Hardball
  • Massachusetts: $1.3 Million in a Day for GOP's Brown
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Today in Washington

The House convenes for the start of the second session of the 111th Congress.

The Senate is not in session; reconvenes Jan. 20 for legislative business.

The President travels with the first lady to Wilmington, Del., to attend the funeral of Jean Biden, mother of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; after returning to White House, greets U.S. Ladies Professional Golf Association team; meets with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

In Washington, the Newseum and American University's School of Communication screen the 1981 movie "Absence of Malice," followed by a discussion and Q&A with NBC anchorman Brian Williams. 7:30 p.m., Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

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Top Stories

McConnell Says Reid's Leadership Role Is Up to Democrats

The Senate's top Republican steadfastly refused Tuesday to join a chorus of GOP calls for Nevada Democrat Harry Reid to step aside as Senate majority leader because of controversial comments that Reid made about President Obama's race in 2008. [Read More]

GOP Leader Says Detention Policies Create 'Operational Confusion'

The Obama administration's treatment of terrorist suspects is creating confusion about detention procedures on the ground in Afghanistan, according to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell , R-Ky. [Read More]

Chamber of Commerce Warns Lawmakers It Will Play Election Hardball

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Tuesday that it will try to stop several bills that it views as trouble for the economy, and the group warned lawmakers that it will involve itself in House and Senate races this year. [Read More]

Massachusetts: $1.3 Million in a Day for GOP's Brown

GOP candidate Scott Brown said Tuesday that his Senate campaign raised more than $1.3 million in a single day via the web -- an enormous boost going into Massachusetts' special election on Jan. 19. [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The San Jose Mercury News reports, "As speculation mounted that Tom Campbell was considering leaving the governor's race to run for U.S. Senate, former Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Carly Fiorina announced that she had kick-started her own Senate bid with a $2.5 million loan to her campaign." Campbell, a former U.S. House member and state finance director, "was expected to announce his political intentions in the next several days," according to the newspaper. Fiorina, seeking to oust three-term incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., raised almost $1.1 million and spent $830,000 from mid-August through December, the Mercury News said, leaving her with $2.7 million in cash on hand.

The Lebanon Daily News reports that Pennsylvania state Sen. David Argall of Schuylkill County on Monday jumped into the race for the GOP nomination to take on Rep. Tim Holden, D-Pa., in the 17th District. Argall has served in the state Senate since March, when he won a special election; before that, he served 12 two-year terms in the state House of Representatives. He faces GOP primary competition from Josh First of Dauphin County, president of a land conservation company. Cornwall businessman Frank Ryan also plans to run. "Registered Democrats have a decided edge in Schuylkill County, and their votes have helped Holden overcome Republican advantages in Lebanon County and elsewhere in the district. But Argall has also done well in his home county, and Republican leaders hope he can chip away at Holden's base."

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Monday, January 11, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, January 11, 2010 –

In This Issue

  • Hoeven to Announce Senate Plans
  • GM Tries to Rebuild Clout on Capitol Hill
  • Fiorina to Report $3.6 Million in Campaign Receipts
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate is not in session.

The President holds separate meetings with senior advisers, labor leaders and top military commanders; hosts a dinner, with first lady Michelle Obama, for top military commanders and their spouses.

In Washington, Genevievette Walker-Lightfoot, formerly with the Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations, discusses the government's investigation of Bernard Madoff's financial crimes. 5 p.m., Slowinski Courtroom, Catholic University School of Law, 3600 John McCormack Road N.E.

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Top Stories

Hoeven to Announce Senate Plans

North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven will announce his 2010 election plans Monday evening in Bismarck, N.D. Republican Party officials expect Hoeven to announce that he is running for the seat of Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan, who plans to retire. [Read More]

GM Tries to Rebuild Clout on Capitol Hill

General Motors Corp., transformed by a government-led restructuring and battered by a congressional backlash on behalf of auto dealers, is trying to reassert its influence on Capitol Hill. [Read More]

Fiorina to Report $3.6 Million in Campaign Receipts

Including a personal loan, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has raised nearly $3.6 million since declaring her Senate candidacy in early November, her campaign said, including nearly $1 million in individual contributions. [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Honolulu Advertiser reports that Hawaii Democratic Sens. Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye are "lending the weight of the Democratic establishment" to Colleen Hanabusa's campaign to fill the seat of Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, who is resigning Feb. 28 to concentrate on his run for governor. The race for Abercrombie's 1st District seat also includes former Rep. Ed Case, a Democrat, and Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou, a Republican. Akaka and Inouye joined "several prominent union and political leaders" at the opening of Hanabusa's campaign headquarters on Saturday, according to the newspaper.

According to the Boston Globe, former President Bill Clinton "will visit Boston on Friday to lend his support to U.S. Senate candidate Martha Coakley. The event is a sign not just of Clinton's continued support for Coakley -- he endorsed her during last month's primary -- but also that Democrats are taking seriously the race between her and Republican Scott P. Brown." Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., also will attend the rally, the Globe reports. The special election -- to fill the seat of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., is scheduled for Jan. 19.

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