Friday, January 22, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, January 22, 2010

In This Issue

  • Dodd: Democrats Must Regroup on Health Care Bill
  • Two More 'No' Votes Announced on Bernanke Re-Nomination
  • RNC Raised $6.6 Million In December
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate continues debate on a bill to raise the federal debt limit.

The President holds a town hall meeting in Elyria, Ohio.

In Washington, Education Secretary Arne Duncan addresses the National Title I Conference, which focuses on federal aid to schools. 4 p.m., Potomac Ballroom, Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, 201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Md.

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Top Stories

Dodd: Democrats Must Regroup on Health Care Bill

Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., said it will be up to President Obama to get Democrats' health care legislation back on track, perhaps by taking "a breather for a month, six weeks, and quietly go back and say the door's open again." [Read More]

Two More 'No' Votes Announced on Bernanke Re-Nomination

Ben S. Bernanke's road to a second term as Federal Reserve chairman is looking increasingly rocky, as two more Democratic senators -- Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Barbara Boxer of California -- announced on Friday that they would vote against his nomination when it reaches the Senate floor, bringing the total to at least five lawmakers who caucus with the Democrats -- four Democrats and one independent -- standing in opposition to President Obama's nominee. [Read More]

RNC Raised $6.6 Million In December

The Republican National Committee said Friday that it received $6.6 million in contributions last month and $81.3 million last year. [Read More]
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Political Clippings

PoliticsPA.com reports that businessman Steve Welch "left no doubt in an interview Thursday that he will challenge incumbent Jim Gerlach in the 6th Congressional District Republican primary." Gerlach ended his Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign earlier this month, chasing away at least two potential GOP candidates in the 6th District. "But Welch, who has contributed more than $500,000 of his own money already to his campaign, said he can defeat Gerlach because voters want new blood in Washington," the Web site reports. Welch said Sen.-elect Scott P. Brown's victory in this week's Massachusetts special election showed "it's not an anti-Democratic year, it's not an anti-Republican year, it's clearly an anti-incumbent year." Gerlach has represented the seat since 2003.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Car dealer Tom Ganley's campaign for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate is set to shift into first gear." A campaign spokesman said Ganley raised nearly $1.5 million in the fourth quarter and his campaign has nearly $1.3 million ready to spend in the race for the Ohio seat being vacated by Republican George V. Voinovich. "Ganley has said he's prepared to spend up to $7 million of his own money. ... Sources say Ganley's campaign is preparing to air television ads in markets around the state and to send out mailings to GOP voters," the newspaper reports. The race for the GOP nomination also includes former Rep. Rob Portman.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, January 21, 2010

In This Issue

  • House Democrats Shrink From Comprehensive Health Care Bill
  • Sen.-Elect Brown Urges Democrats To Start Over on Health Care
  • Campaign Finance Decision Leaves Democrats Few Options
  • Obama Proposes New Curbs on Bank Activities
  • GOP Senator Pushes Resolution To Block EPA's Greenhouse Gas Rules
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Today in Washington

The House votes on a number of American Indian water resources bills.

The Senate resumes consideration of legislation to increase the debt limit; may also take up a bill to allow taxpayers to deduct on their 2009 returns charitable contributions made early this year to earthquake relief in Haiti.

The President with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., meets with Paul Volcker, chairman of the Presidential Economic Recovery Advisory Board; calls on Congress to impose new curbs on the size and scope of financial institutions; addresses a delegation from the U.S. Conference of Mayors; with Biden, meets with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In Washington, the New Green Economy Conference hosts lecture by James Gustave Speth on "A New American Environmentalism and the New Economy." 6 p.m., Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave N.W.

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Top Stories

House Democrats Shrink From Comprehensive Health Care Bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that there aren't enough votes in the House to send President Obama the Senate-passed health care bill, as rank-and-file Democrats shied away from efforts to clear a comprehensive package. [Read More]

Sen.-Elect Brown Urges Democrats To Start Over on Health Care

Fresh from his upset victory in Massachusetts, Republican Sen-elect Scott P. Brown said Thursday that he agreed with suggestions that Democrats should scrap their health care proposal and start over. [Read More]

Campaign Finance Decision Leaves Democrats Few Options

Outraged congressional Democrats blasted the Supreme Court's campaign finance decision Thursday as a blow to the American political system and vowed quick legislative action to counter it. [Read More]

Obama Proposes New Curbs on Bank Activities

President Obama asked Congress Thursday to place new restrictions on the size and scope of financial institutions, including barring banks from owning, investing in or sponsoring a hedge fund or private equity fund for their own profit. [Read More]

GOP Senator Pushes Resolution To Block EPA's Greenhouse Gas Rules

Republican Lisa Murkowski says she has won the backing of "several" Senate Democrats for a resolution that would block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under clean air laws. [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Tampa Tribune reports that Marco Rubio, the conservative former state House speaker who is challenging Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for the GOP Senate nomination this year, said the upset victory of Republican Scott P. Brown in Massachusetts this week "shows that Republicans don't need to compromise with Democrats, as he says Crist is too willing to do. 'The Obama agenda is being rejected, and those who supported it are going to have to justify that,' meaning Crist, who 'supported the cornerstone of that agenda,' the economic stimulus package, Rubio said."

According to the San Jose Mercury News, "former eBay CEO Meg Whitman's campaign will announce today that she has donated $20 million more" to her campaign for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in California. "The donation brings the amount she has contributed to her campaign to $39 million." Whitman's new cash infusion is expected to increase the pressure on her GOP primary rival, state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, "who is trailing Whitman in the polls."

The Alaska Dispatch reports that businessman Sheldon Fisher will announce his primary campaign Thursday against veteran Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, who has served in the House since 1973. "Young remained popular for years as an outspoken advocate of Alaska issues, but faltered among voters as federal corruption probes poked close to home. Democrat Ethan Berkowitz, a former state lawmaker, gave Young a close re-election run in 2008."

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In This Issue

  • Democrats Seek New Way To Finish Health Care Overhaul
  • Democrats Regroup as GOP Leaders Demand Bigger Role
  • TSA Nominee Southers Drops Out
  • Napolitano Hints at 'Budget Implications' of Boost to Aviation Security
  • FHA Seeks Higher Mortgage Insurance Premiums
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Today in Washington

The House considers several measures under suspension of the rules, including a draft bill to accelerate deductions for charitable contributions to earthquake relief in Haiti.

The Senate confirms the nomination of Beverly Baldwin Martin to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit; begins consideration of a measure to increase the debt limit.

The President issues an executive order aimed at preventing companies that fail to pay their taxes from receiving government contracts; delivers remarks at an event in honor of National Mentoring Month.

In Washington, the U.S. Conference of Mayors opens its 78th annual winter meeting, with addresses this afternoon by First Lady Michelle Obama, Energy Secretary Steve Chu, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk; Capital Hilton, 16th and K Sts. NW.

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Top Stories

Democrats Seek New Way To Finish Health Care Overhaul

Democratic leaders say they will continue to press forward with legislation to overhaul the health system, but after a demoralizing Senate loss in Massachusetts, they haven't yet settled on how to finish the effort. [Read More]

Democrats Regroup as GOP Leaders Demand Bigger Role

In the wake of the Massachusetts Senate upset that sent shock waves across official Washington, Democratic leaders huddled Wednesday to assess the new legislative landscape, as Republicans urged greater bipartisanship. [Read More]

TSA Nominee Southers Drops Out

Erroll Southers, President Obama's pick to head the Transportation Security Administration, has withdrawn his name from consideration, saying his nomination has become a "lightning rod" for partisan fighting. [Read More]

Napolitano Hints at 'Budget Implications' of Boost to Aviation Security

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano asked lawmakers Wednesday for their support in addressing the "budget implications" of the failed Christmas airline bombing attempt, although administration officials said some decisions on spending and personnel have been made internally. [Read More]

FHA Seeks Higher Mortgage Insurance Premiums

The Federal House Administration announced Wednesday it will ask Congress for new authority to increase the mortgage insurance premiums it charges to home buyers, as well as enhanced power to regulate lenders. [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that a new poll shows Sen. David Vitter, R-La., "with an 18-point lead over his Democratic challenger, Rep. Charlie Melancon." Furthermore, Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne has decided not to challenge Vitter in the Republican primary. "A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in Louisiana shows Vitter leading Melancon 53 percent to 35 percent with 4 percent preferring some other candidate, and 8 percent undecided.... Rasmussen said the numbers suggest 'for now at least that concerns about the national Democratic agenda are outweighing those about Vitter's 2007 link to a prostitution ring.'"

The Denver Post reports that Democrat Andrew Romanoff, casting himself as a Washington outsider, "on Tuesday sought to refocus his campaign after considering a run for governor and facing criticism that his Senate candidacy could divide the party in a difficult Democratic year." Romanoff addressed the criticism in a speech at his campaign headquarters, attempting to counter claims that "he has not done enough to draw distinctions between himself and" appointed Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet. "The former state House speaker pointed to his pledge to reject money from special-interest political-action committees, some of Bennet's major donors."

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

CQ Midday

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, January 19, 2010 2:05 p.m.

In This Issue

  • Hoyer Says Senate Health Care Bill Better Than Nothing
  • Obama Meets With Voinovich on Eve of Senate's Debt Ceiling Debate
  • Obama Touts 'Race to the Top' Education Initiative
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Today in Washington

The House is considering minor measures under suspension of the rules.

The Senate held a pro forma session only; convenes at 10 a.m. Wednesday for the start of the second session of 111th Congress.

The President visits an elementary school in Falls Churc, Va., to promote his "Race to the Top" education initiative; meets in Oval Office with Sen. George V. Voinovich, R-Ohio; lunches with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; meets with Senate Banking Chairman Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn.; meets with his advisers.

In Washington, The George Washington University Caribbean Student Association sponsors a candlelight vigil in response to the Haiti earthquake, with an interfaith prayer service. 5-6 p.m., The George Washington University Yard, H St. between 20th and 21Sts.

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Top Stories

Hoyer Says Senate Health Care Bill Better Than Nothing

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer , grilled on what Democrats will do to rescue their health care overhaul if they lose Tuesday's special Senate election in Massachusetts, said "the Senate bill is clearly better than nothing." [Read More]

Obama Meets With Voinovich on Eve of Senate's Debt Ceiling Debate

As the Senate prepares to begin debate on a big increase in the ceiling on government borrowing, President Obama was meeting Tuesday with a leading deficit hawk. [Read More]

Obama Touts 'Race to the Top' Education Initiative

President Obama visited an elementary school in the Virginia suburbs Tuesday to tout his "Race to the Top" education initiative. [Read More]
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Political Clippings

The Nashua Telegraph reports that Rep. Paul W. Hodes, D-N.H., "announced Monday that he will no longer request federal money to finance projects in New Hampshire that benefit businesses, hospitals, police departments and colleges." Hodes, who is running for the Senate seat of retiring GOP Sen. Judd Gregg, "said the appropriations process also known as earmarking is broken because many lawmakers abuse the system. He cited the poor economy and federal deficit as other reasons behind his newly adopted stance." He acknowledged that some companies, agencies and groups that have benefitted from his earmarks in the past will be "disappointed." But he said, "On the other hand, people will understand it's time for the federal government to tighten its belt just like every household in New Hampshire."

According to the Charlottesville Daily Progress, former Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr., R-Va., "may be leaving open the door to a possible rematch" against freshman Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello, who defeated him in 2008 by 727 votes. Goode said last July that he would not seek to reclaim the seat this year. "But in an interview Monday, Goode would not rule out the possibility of an independent candidacy or that he might later change his mind about the Republican nomination." Seven Republicans currently are seeking the GOP nod to take on Perriello. "Yet some grassroots conservatives are worried that the race's perceived frontrunner, Sen. Robert Hurt, R-Chatham, is too moderate because he voted for a $1.4 billion tax increase in 2004."

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports that Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, "is slightly ahead of Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann in the race for governor, according to a new survey of registered voters." A new statewide poll "also shows that either Abercrombie or Hannemann would beat the expected Republican candidate, Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona Jr. ... In the expected primary contest between Abercrombie and Hannemann, Abercrombie holds a slight lead, 37 percent to 34 percent of the likely Democratic primary voters, with 29 percent undecided."

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