Friday, February 05, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, February 05, 2010

In This Issue

  • Pelosi Urges Party Faithful to Get Involved
  • Talks on Financial Overhaul Have Reached 'Impasse,' Senator Says
  • Feb. 8 Vote Will Be First Test of Senate GOP's New Number
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Today in Washington

The House convenes for a pro forma session.

The Senate is not in session.

The President receives briefings at the White House; attends a memorial service at CIA headquarters; speaks in Lanham, Md., about job creation and small business initiatives; meets with the 2009 Little League World Series champions.

In Washington, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority reports that it will keep passenger terminal facilities open throughout the weekend at Dulles International and Reagan National airports. But the authority warns that many flights have been cancelled due to the snowstorm.

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Top Stories

Pelosi Urges Party Faithful to Get Involved

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used an address to the Democratic National Committee's winter conference on Friday to try to energize party loyalists and encourage them to "get the word out" about Democrats' accomplishments so far. [Read More]

Talks on Financial Overhaul Have Reached 'Impasse,' Senator Says

Bipartisan negotiations over a financial regulatory overhaul are at an "impasse," Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd said Friday, adding that he intends to move forward with a markup later this month. [Read More]

Feb. 8 Vote Will Be First Test of Senate GOP's New Number

Senate Democrats have scheduled a Feb. 8 procedural vote on a National Labor Relations Board nominee, providing the first test of whether the chamber's new 41-member Republican caucus can sustain a filibuster. [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Register & Bee of Danville, Va., reports that Virginia's "sore loser" law could affect the lineup for the June 8 Republican primary for the state's 5th District House seat. "With at least seven candidates running for the Republican nomination" to challenge incumbent Democrat Tom Perriello, "there has been talk of some of those candidates running as independents if they lose the primary — but Virginia law prohibits that," the Register & Bee reports. According to Virginia law, "candidates filing for a primary must sign a statement agreeing that if they lose, their names cannot be printed on ballots for the general election," the newspaper reports, adding that the deadline for filing as an independent, however, "is June 8 at 7 p.m. — the same time the primary polls close."

The Arizona Republic's AZ/DC blog reports that "Sen. Scott Brown, who shook the national political scene last month by winning the late liberal Sen. Edward Kennedy's old seat, will come to Arizona in early March to campaign for Sen. John McCain's re-election." More details about Brown's trip were not available. The newspaper notes that Brown has "recorded robocalls for McCain, who faces a potentially bumpy road to a fifth term this year. McCain, R-Ariz., was an early supporter of Brown's." McCain is expected to have at least one high-profile GOP challenger: Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., now a radio talk show host, is expected to officially enter the GOP Senate race on Feb. 15.

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, February 04, 2010 2 p.m.

In This Issue

  • Senate Democrats Plan to Move Jobs Bill to the Floor Next Week
  • Recess Appointments Eyed To Surmount GOP Filibusters of Nominees
  • GOP Lawmaker Raps Federal Response to Toyota Safety Questions
  • House Passes Bill to Boost Federal Cybersecurity Research
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Today in Washington

The House passes bill to renew and expand federal cybersecurity research; conditionally votes to raise the ceiling on the government's borrowing authority and votes separately on statutory pay-as-you-go standards to require offsets for new entitlement program spending or tax cuts.

The Senate votes on the nominations of M. Patricia Smith to be solicitor of the Labor Department and Martha N. Johnson to head the General Services Administration.

The President delivers remarks at the annual National Prayer Breakfast; meets with Democratic leaders of the House and Senate; has lunch with business leaders at the White House; with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., meets separately with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; attends Democratic National Committee fundraising reception at the Capitol Hilton and the DNC fundraising dinner at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

In Washington, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero delivers a major policy address at the Atlantic Council. 4 p.m., Atlantic Council, 1101 15th St. NW.

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Top Stories

Senate Democrats Plan to Move Jobs Bill to the Floor Next Week

Senate Democratic leaders said Thursday they will try to move jobs-focused legislation to the floor next week that would likely include business tax breaks and the extension of numerous economic stimulus measures that are set to expire. [Read More]

Recess Appointments Eyed To Surmount GOP Filibusters of Nominees

Democrats are mulling the use of recess appointments to overcome the Senate GOP's newfound ability to block Obama administration appointments to judicial and regulatory posts. [Read More]

GOP Lawmaker Raps Federal Response to Toyota Safety Questions

The top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is questioning whether a federal safety agency acted quickly enough when it began receiving complaints about Toyota vehicles. [Read More]

House Passes Bill to Boost Federal Cybersecurity Research

Just one week after hackers vandalized dozens of House Web sites, the chamber on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a bill intended to boost federal cybersecurity research. [Read More]
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Political Clippings

The Houston Chronicle reports that former Houston Mayor Bill White trails all three GOP contenders for governor in a new poll, "but a top Democratic consultant said it shows him as well-positioned to start the general election." A Feb. 1 survey of 1,000 Texas voters by Rasmussen Reports showed White trailing Republican Gov. Rick Perry 48 percent to 39 percent; Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, 49 percent to 36 percent; and activist Debra Medina, 41 percent to 38 percent. "Democratic consultant Ed Martin said the poll results are good for White because he is not known very well outside of Houston, where he served as mayor from 2003 through 2009." Martin said voters are angry at incumbents of both parties. But Republican Party spokesman Bryan Preston said the survey showed "stand on the Republican side" when queried about specific issues.

According to the Wilmington (Del.) News Journal, "New Castle County Executive Chris Coons has officially picked up the pieces for Democrats, who 10 days ago found themselves deprived of their coveted candidate for the U.S. Senate." Coons yesterday declared he will challenge GOP Rep. Michael N. Castle for the seat previously held by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. The vice president's son, state Attorney Gen. Beau Biden, unexpectedly declined to run. "Coons, 46, acknowledged he faces a tough fight against Castle, a nine-term congressman and former two-term governor who has won 12 consecutive statewide elections." A Rasmussen Reports poll conducted Jan. 25 showed Castle leading Coons by 27 percentage points. But the veteran lawmaker, one of the few moderates left in the House GOP, could face a primary challenge from his right.

The Greenville (S.C.) News reports that Rep. Bob Inglis, R-S.C., leads in the fundraising race this year but one of his primary campaign challengers for the 4th District seat "wasn't that far behind." The latest reports at the Federal Election Commission showed Inglis raised $354,000 last year and had $308,000 on hand Dec. 31. "Trey Gowdy, the 7th Circuit solicitor who's challenging Inglis in the June Republican primary, raised $303,000 last year and had nearly $205,000 left, according to the reports released this week . . . Analysts expect the winner of the GOP primary to win the seat because no Democrat has entered the race."

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

CQ Midday

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, February 03, 2010 2:05 p.m.

In This Issue

  • Obama Urges Senate Democrats To 'Finish the Job'
  • Geithner Tries to Prevent Congressional Ire on AIG
  • Republicans Accuse White House of Playing Politics in Christmas Bomber Case
  • House GOP Will Retain Term Limits for Committee Leaders
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Today in Washington

The House considers cybersecurity legislation.

The Senate is not in session; Democrats hold a day-long issues retreat.

The President delivers remarks and takes questions at Senate Democrats' issues retreat at the Newseum; lunches with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; meets with about a dozen governors to discuss energy policy; with Biden, leads a Cabinet-level exercise on preparedness and crisis response for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C.

In Washington, Catholic University hosts a lecture by Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, the archbishop of Vienna. 3:30 p.m., Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, Great Room A, 620 Michigan Ave., NE.

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Top Stories

Obama Urges Senate Democrats To 'Finish the Job'

President Obama sought to buck up edgy Senate Democrats Wednesday, urging them to focus less on the political noise of the moment and more on why they ran for office to begin with. [Read More]

Geithner Tries to Prevent Congressional Ire on AIG

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner sought Wednesday to head off a potential congressional furor over another round of bonuses at American International Group Inc. [Read More]

Republicans Accuse White House of Playing Politics in Christmas Bomber Case

Republicans Tuesday accused the White House of playing politics with the interrogation of the suspect in an attempted airline bombing on Christmas, and the nation's spymaster said that he, too, thought the case had become overly politicized. [Read More]

House GOP Will Retain Term Limits for Committee Leaders

A bid to loosen term limits for the top Republicans on House committees has been dropped, Minority Leader John A. Boehner told his members Wednesday morning. [Read More]
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Political Clippings

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that "Tommy Thompson, Wisconsin's popular former Republican governor," is leaving the door open to a potential Senate bid this year. "Speculation about a possible Senate candidacy flared again" after a recent Rasmussen Reports survey showing that Thompson leads Russ Feingold in a hypothetical Senate contest. Dave Westlake, a Watertown small-business owner, and Madison developer Terrence Wall are currently seeking the GOP nod. "Feingold campaign officials say they are moving forward no matter who the eventual Republican nominee is going to be."

According to the Huntsville Times, party-switcher Rep. Parker Griffith, R-Ala., could gain another GOP primary rival this year. "Wayne Parker, who has tried three times to win Griffith's congressional seat for the GOP, said he's considering a fourth run. Parker narrowly lost to Griffith 52-48 percent in 2008, when Griffith was a Democrat." Republicans Mo Brooks and Les Phillip are already challenging Griffith for the nomination.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, February 02, 2010

In This Issue

  • Obama To Huddle With Senate Democrats on Stalled Agenda
  • Snowe Skeptical of Democrats' Approach to Jobs Bill
  • Obama Plan Links TARP Funds to Small-Business Lending
  • Veto Threat on Fighter Jets, Transport Planes Draws Fire on Hill
  • Senate Democrats Use Hearing To Decry Campaign Finance Ruling
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Today in Washington

The House considers minor measures, including a bill to continue a pilot program allowing volunteer groups that work with children to obtain criminal background checks from the FBI.

The Senate continues to consider the nomination of Patricia Smith to be Labor Department solicitor, with a vote later today or tomorrow.

The President meets with advisers; holds a town hall meeting in Nashua, N.H., to discuss his small business lending initiative.

In Washington, the Elliott School of International Affairs hosts a discussion, "Smart Power in Iraq: Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication During the Surge." 4 p.m., SMPA, Conference Room, 4th Floor, 805 21st St. NW.

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Top Stories

Obama To Huddle With Senate Democrats on Stalled Agenda

President Obama is slated to speak to Senate Democrats on Wednesday during their annual issues retreat, as the party struggles to advance his agenda in a chamber where its majority is about to shrink. [Read More]

Snowe Skeptical of Democrats' Approach to Jobs Bill

Key Republican Sen. Olympia J. Snowe of Maine sharply questioned some of the core premises behind the Democrats' emerging jobs legislation, saying they miss the point. [Read More]

Obama Plan Links TARP Funds to Small-Business Lending

President Obama on Tuesday was rolling out his proposal to shift $30 billion in financial bailout funding to community banks for lending to small businesses, urging that it be included in jobs legislation being assembled in the Senate. [Read More]

Veto Threat on Fighter Jets, Transport Planes Draws Fire on Hill

Leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee split sharply Tuesday over a recommendation that President Obama veto any bills this year that include funding for an alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and additional Boeing C-17 transport planes. [Read More]

Senate Democrats Use Hearing To Decry Campaign Finance Ruling

Democratic senators blasted the Supreme Court's landmark campaign finance ruling at a Rules and Administration Committee hearing Tuesday and called for a quick legislative response. [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The San Jose Mercury News reports that Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., "ended 2009 with a big fundraising lead over the Republican field. After raising about $1.9 million in the final three months of the year and spending about half of that, Boxer had $7.3 million in cash -- nearly three times more than Republican Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard executive who's expected to be the best-financed GOP rival." At the end of the year, "Fiorina had just under $2.8 million in the bank."

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that "Republican Senate hopeful Roy Blunt has outpaced Democratic rival Robin Carnahan in another fundraising quarter, hauling well over $1 million in the last months of 2009. Blunt raised $1.34 million in October, November and December, giving him $2.9 million cash on hand as he moves his campaign toward the fall election. Carnahan, meanwhile, amassed $877,000 in the final quarter of 2009, giving her $2.1 million to spend. This is the third consecutive fundraising quarter Blunt has outperformed his presumptive Democratic opponent."

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Monday, February 01, 2010

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, February 01, 2010

In This Issue

  • Obama's $3.8 Trillion Budget Tries to Walk Fine Line
  • Obama Proposes One-Year Extension of Payroll Tax Credit
  • Medicaid, Welfare Would See Budget Boosts
  • Budget Request Would Continue Defense Buildup
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; reconvenes tomorrow at 2 p.m. for legislative business.

The Senate debates the nomination of Patricia Smith to be solicitor of the Department of Labor, with vote at 5:30 p.m., on whether to limit debate on her nomination.

The President submits his fiscal 2011 budget to Congress and delivers remarks about it; participates in a YouTube interview; with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., meets with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

In Washington, NBC's David Gregory and Cornell University's president are among the speakers at today's session of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities conference; 2 p.m. - 5 p.m., 400 New Jersey Ave., NW

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Top Stories

Obama's $3.8 Trillion Budget Tries to Walk Fine Line

President Obama proposed a $3.8 trillion fiscal 2011 budget Monday that administration officials are touting as a prescription for both adding jobs to the economy and reducing deficits over the next decade. [Read More]

Obama Proposes One-Year Extension of Payroll Tax Credit

After years of debate about whether to extend the tax cuts launched by President Bush, the Obama administration now wants to extend a tax cut of its own. [Read More]

Medicaid, Welfare Would See Budget Boosts

President Obama is proposing to expand the government's safety net for the poor as part of his fiscal 2011 budget for the Health and Human Services Department, which manages most of the government's health and welfare programs. [Read More]

Budget Request Would Continue Defense Buildup

President Obama is asking for an infusion of new Pentagon funding in the next fiscal year, continuing his predecessor's pattern of escalating military spending. [Read More]
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Political Clippings

Stateline.org reports that six of the 15 governors running for re-election this year could face strong primary election competition -- those in Alaska, Arizona, Illinois, Nevada, Texas and possibly New York. "Five governors, including four with primary challengers, are in an even more precarious position, because they took over for their predecessors mid-term, having never been elected governor in the first place." Among them is Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who "could be the first incumbent to lose his bid to be re-seated if he fails to fend off a strong challenger in the state's Democratic primary Tuesday." Dan Hynes, the state comptroller, is hoping to knock off Quinn, who took over from impeached Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

A new Marist Poll shows appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., still faces uncertainty among Democrats about her bid to fill out the remainder of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's term. In a hypothetical match pitting her against former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford Jr. and labor activist Jonathan Tasini for the Democratic nomination, "44% of Democrats say they support Gillibrand, 27% report they are behind Ford, and 4% state they are backing Tasini. However, a significant 25% of Democratic voters are unsure." Gillibrand draws majority support in New York City's suburbs and upstate. But in the city itself, where more than half the Democratic primary votes are at stake, Gillibrand receives 37% of the vote, Ford garners 31%, and Tasini nets 3%."

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Dear Colleague,

In his State of the Union address, President Obama highlighted his plan to freeze domestic spending. Speculation is running high as to which agencies and programs will be impacted by his fiscal 2011 budget proposal.

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