Friday, February 26, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, February 26, 2010

In This Issue

  • GOP Senator Continues to Block 'Extenders' Bill
  • Pelosi Declines to Ask Rangel to Give Up Chairmanship
  • Obama Makes His Final Picks for Fiscal Commission
  • House Passes Intelligence Bill Without Interrogation Provision
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Today in Washington

The House has passed intelligence authorization legislation.

The Senate has adjourned for the week.

The President meets with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and later signs an executive order for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

In Washington, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the bipartisan panel established by Congress to examine the causes of the crisis, receives research from financial experts. Through 6 p.m., American University Washington College of Law, 4801 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

GOP Senator Continues to Block 'Extenders' Bill

The Senate adjourned on Friday without clearing legislation to extend a range of federal programs set to expire Feb. 28 as Sen. Jim Bunning refused to allow consideration of the measure. [Read More]

Pelosi Declines to Ask Rangel to Give Up Chairmanship

Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused Friday to call for Ways and Means Committee Chairman B. Rangel to step aside, even though the House's ethics panel admonished him for violating gift rules. [Read More]

Obama Makes His Final Picks for Fiscal Commission

President Obama on Friday named two business people, a fiscal policy expert and a labor leader to sit as members of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform he created last week. [Read More]

House Passes Intelligence Bill Without Interrogation Provision

The House completed work Friday on an intelligence authorization bill that does not include a controversial provision aimed at harsh interrogation techniques. [Read More]

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Political Clippings

According to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Rep. Baron P Hill, D-Ind., will decide "in a week or two" if he will run to replace retiring Sen. Evan Bayh. The state party's 32-member leadership will select a nominee to fill the vacancy and Rep. Brad Ellsworth has already announced that he's seeking the nomination. Hill said his decision will be based on two things – how much support he has among party leadership and whether he thinks he could do more for southeast Indiana residents in the House or in the Senate.

The Honolulu Advisor reports that the Hawaii Office of Elections has tentatively set May 22 for the special election to complete the remainder of the term of Democratic Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who is resigning to campaign full time in the primary for governor. "The victor in the winner-take-all vote will serve the remaining months of Abercrombie's term, which ends in January," the paper reported, adding that Democratic candidates include former Rep. Ed Case and state Sen. President Colleen Hanabusa. Republican Honolulu Councilman Charles Djou is also running. All three have said they also plan to run in the September primary and November general election.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, February 25, 2010 2:05 p.m.

In This Issue

  • Obama, Republicans Square Off at Health Care Summit
  • Senate Struggles To Keep Jobless Benefits Flowing
  • Congress Ready To Extend Key Patriot Act Provisions
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Today in Washington

The House considers the annual authorization bill for intelligence programs, along with legislation to extend for one year certain expiring provisions of the Patriot Act antiterrorism law.

The Senate considers travel promotion legislation and possibly a short-term extension of expiring unemployment benefits and other programs.

The President hosts a bipartisan health care summit at Blair House, with leading senators and House members from both parties.

In Washington, The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law holds a symposium on innovative approaches to advancing corporate morality. 5-7 p.m., National Press Club 14th and F Sts. N.W.

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Top Stories

Obama, Republicans Square Off at Health Care Summit

Congressional Republicans on Thursday again urged President Obama to scrap his plans for overhauling the U.S. health care system and restart the debate on how best to control medical costs and expand coverage. [Read More]

Senate Struggles To Keep Jobless Benefits Flowing

With congressional leaders attending President Obama's health care summit, the Senate is in a holding pattern on efforts to extend federal unemployment benefits and COBRA health insurance subsidies for jobless workers. [Read More]

Congress Ready To Extend Key Patriot Act Provisions

The House was poised Thursday to send President Obama a one-year extension of several controversial anti-terrorism authorities that lapse at the end of this month. [Read More]
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Political Clippings

The Houston Chronicle reports that "while U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is hoarding money for a possible Republican runoff, campaign finance reports show Gov. Rick Perry has increased his spending on television commercials in hopes of winning Tuesday's primary outright. A new poll released Wednesday indicates Perry could get his wish. The Rasmussen Reports survey found Perry leading in the race by 48 percent to 27 percent for Hutchison and 16 percent support for activist Debra Medina, with the remainder undecided. That represents a 4-point gain for Perry since the beginning of the month, according to Rasmussen." Hutchison is holding back spending in hopes of competing in an April 13 runoff for the GOP gubernatorial nod.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, "Sen. Harry Reid's re-election staff took a swing Wednesday at one of his major Republican challengers, pointing out that Sue Lowden's husband was awarded a $200,000 bonus from their casino company last year at a time when its work force in Laughlin was cut and matching worker 401(k) contributions were stopped." The Senate majority leader's campaign "called attention to information it pulled from the latest Securities and Exchange Commission report filed this week by the Archon Corp., for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2009 . . . 'After claiming that job creation is her top priority, Lowden owes her former employees an explanation why their jobs were worth less than her husband's massive bonus,' said Reid campaign manager Brandon Hall."

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In This Issue

  • Senate Returns Scaled-Back Jobs Package to House
  • Democrats, GOP Jockey Over Next Step on 'Jobs Agenda'
  • Two More Service Chiefs Urge Slow Change to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
  • Clinton Says Iran Sanctions Bill Should Leave Flexibility
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Today in Washington

The House considers legislation to end the health insurance industry's exemption from federal antitrust law.

The Senate passes legislation to provide a tax credit for hiring unemployed workers and to fund transportation projects.

The President meets with advisers; addresses the Business Roundtable; participates in credentialing ceremony for foreign ambassadors; meets with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

In Washington, the Nixon Center honors Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates with its Distinguished Service Award at its annual awards dinner. 7 p.m., Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave. NW.

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Top Stories

Senate Returns Scaled-Back Jobs Package to House

Two months after the House passed a $154 billion jobs package, the Senate on Wednesday sent back a counterproposal that would be one-tenth of its size. [Read More]

Democrats, GOP Jockey Over Next Step on 'Jobs Agenda'

Senate Democrats have found Republican support elusive for a bill that would combine year-long extensions of expired tax provisions with similar continuations of expanded unemployment coverage and health insurance subsidies for jobless workers. [Read More]

Two More Service Chiefs Urge Slow Change to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

The chiefs of the Marine Corps and the Navy on Wednesday added their opposition to any quick repeal or relaxation of the ban on openly gay men and women serving in the military. [Read More]

Clinton Says Iran Sanctions Bill Should Leave Flexibility

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton asked lawmakers Wednesday not to restrict her flexibility to negotiate international sanctions against Iran. [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Detroit Free Press reports that "Dan Kildee, a veteran Genesee County elected official and nephew to U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee, will file paperwork today to become a Democratic candidate for governor." Kildee, 51, stepped forward in the wake of the surprise withdrawal last month of Lt. Gov. John Cherry. "Two other high-profile Democrats, former Treasurer Bob Bowman and University of Michigan Regent Denise Ilitch, publicly toyed with a possible bid after Cherry's departure, but they ultimately bowed out." Still in the race are state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, and House Speaker Andy Dillon."

A new poll out this morning from Quinnipiac University shows former Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, with a small lead over either of his top Democratic rivals in his bid for the seat of retiring Ohio GOP Sen. George V. Voinovich Portman leads Democratic Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher by 40%-37%, and is up 40%-35% against Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. In theMay 4 Democratic primary contest, Fisher leads Brunner 29%-20%, but 48% are undecided.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

CQ Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In This Issue

  • Toyota Recalls Likely To Prompt Tougher Federal Oversight
  • Army Leaders Balk at Moratorium on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
  • GOP Leaders Assail Health Bill But Will Attend Summit
  • Senate Duo Pushes Bipartisan Tax Overhaul
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Today in Washington

The House considers legislation to establish a single "governing entity" to represent Native Hawaiians in negotiations and power agreements with the federal and Hawaiian state governments.

The Senate debates legislation to provide a tax credit for hiring unemployed workers and to fund transportation projects.

The President lunches with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; meets with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk; with Biden, meets with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates ; dines with business leaders in the State Dining Room.

In Washington, country music star Craig Morgan; NASCAR greats Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon; Indy 500 Champion Dan Wheldon; WWE Superstar 'MVP'; and Gen. Craig R. McKinley, Chief, National Guard Bureau; Kelly Perdew, winner The Apprentice; and Karri Turner, JAG star, are among the luminaries at the National Guard Youth Foundation fifth annual Challenge Champions Gala. 5:30 p.m., JW Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

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Top Stories

Toyota Recalls Likely To Prompt Tougher Federal Oversight

House Democrats signaled Tuesday that they intend to draft legislation that would beef up federal oversight of automobile safety in response to the problems in some Toyota models. [Read More]

Army Leaders Balk at Moratorium on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Army leaders told Congress Tuesday that they want no relaxation of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy until the Defense Department completes a review of the implications of overturning the law that bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. [Read More]

GOP Leaders Assail Health Bill But Will Attend Summit

Republican leaders in Congress continued to assail the comprehensive health care overhaul that Democrats are trying to enact this year, even as they prepared to attend a White House summit called by President Obama. [Read More]

Senate Duo Pushes Bipartisan Tax Overhaul

Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Judd Gregg, R-N.H., on Tuesday unveiled a proposed tax code overhaul built around a broader tax base and lower rates. They contended they could build support for the measure by emphasizing the job-creation benefits of a simpler tax system. [Read More]
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Political Clippings

The Evansville Courier & Press reports that Rep. Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind., who hopes to run for the Senate seat of retiring Democrat Evan Bayh, "withdrew his name from the primary ballot Monday morning, meaning he won't seek a third term in the U.S. House. ... Now, Ellsworth must rely on the Indiana Democratic Party's 32-member Central Committee to choose him" as Bayh's replacement on the November ballot." "However, on Monday, another leading candidate -- U.S. Rep. Baron Hill, the Seymour Democrat who represents Indiana's 9th District -- said he might try to become the party's Senate candidate, as well."

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that "state Sen. Anthony H. Williams, who has represented Philadelphia for 20 years in the General Assembly," yesterday announced his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor and said he had raised almost $2 million in less than a month. Williams, 52, joins three other contenders for the nomination: Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, and state Auditor General Jack Wagner.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, February 22, 2010

In This Issue

  • White House Posts Revised Health Care Bill
  • New Health Care Proposal Would Tweak Revenue Provisions
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Today in Washington

The House convenes at 2 p.m. to vote on measures under suspension of the rules.

The Senate convenes at 2 p.m., with a vote on jobs legislation expected later.

The President speaks to the National Governors Association; meets with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; meets separately with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis.

In Washington, Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., addresses the annual legislative conference of the American Federation of Government Employees. 3 p.m., Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

White House Posts Revised Health Care Bill

President Obama for the first time proposed specific legislation Monday to overhaul the U.S. health system, posting the bill on the White House's Web site ahead of a Feb. 25 summit to discuss the effort with congressional leaders. [Read More]

New Health Care Proposal Would Tweak Revenue Provisions

The president's proposed methods of paying for health care legislation bridge the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill and attempt to resolve some of the conflicts that have hung over the legislation for months. [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Omaha World-Herald reports that Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., "launched his race for a seventh congressional term Sunday, adding one new twist to a kickoff event that otherwise repeated familiar campaign themes." The event included "an obvious nod to Terry's need to win broad appeal in the most politically diverse district in Nebraska. Lee Terry Sr., the master of ceremonies, told attendees that his son's last race was buoyed by Obama supporters who also voted for Terry," according to the newspaper. "Melanee Wilhelm, a Democrat, was asked to talk about meeting Terry at the Starbucks coffee shop where she worked. She said he won her over, despite differences in party affiliations, with his willingness to chat and explain his positions." Terry's Democratic challenger, Tom White, noted later to the World-Herald that Terry rarely voted against the Republican leadership under President George W. Bush.

According to the San Jose Mercury-News, California Republican Carly Fiorina is stirring up controversy again in her campaign for the Senate. The newspaper puts it this way: "Is Scott Brown, the newly minted U.S. senator and Republican Party savior, backing Carly Fiorina for Senate? The answer is no. But you might be forgiven for thinking he is after watching Fiorina's new Web ad featuring Brown's mug in one frame, then hers in the next, with the caption, 'Thank You Massachusetts. Now on to California. Join the Path to Victory.'" Fiorina aide Julie Soderlund told the Mercury-News that images are used all the time in political advertising that don't imply an endorsement, and the same is true with Fiorina's latest Web creation. Soderlund said the ad, which the campaign placed on a selection of political Web sites through Google advertising, is simply meant to convey that Fiorina wants to repeat Brown's feat of taking a Senate seat formerly held by a Democrat.

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