Friday, May 28, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, May 28, 2010

In This Issue

  • House Sends Tax and Benefits Bill to Senate
  • Medicare Agency Will Briefly Delay Cuts in Doctor Payments
  • Speaker Pelosi Foresees a Busy June in the House
  • Senate's Defense Bill Hits Touchy Topics
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Today in Washington

The House votes on several pieces of legislation, including the fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill and a package of tax and social spending measures.

The Senate is not in session.

The President leaves Chicago for New Orleans; Attends a briefing by Adm. Thad Allen at the Coast Guard station in Grand Isle, La.; delivers a statement to the press; returns to Chicago for the holiday weekend.

In Washington, Esperanto USA begins its four-day annual congress for supporters of the international language. Hyatt Regency, 7400 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, Md.

Note to Readers: The CQ Today Midday Update will next publish on Monday, June 7.

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Top Stories

House Sends Tax and Benefits Bill to Senate

Despite defections from some conservative and freshman Democrats, the House endorsed a $113 billion package of tax breaks and social spending programs Friday, concluding a week of frenzied activity that saw the measure shrink dramatically. [Read More]

Medicare Agency Will Briefly Delay Cuts in Doctor Payments

With a 21 percent payment cut slated to take place June 1 for doctors who see Medicare patients, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has notified physicians it will delay processing claims for two weeks. [Read More]

Speaker Pelosi Foresees a Busy June in the House

The House was still at work Friday debating a defense authorization bill and legislation to extend a package of tax cuts and unemployment benefits, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi already was looking forward to next month. [Read More]

Senate's Defense Bill Hits Touchy Topics

A number of provisions in the Senate Armed Services Committee's version of the defense authorization bill are sure to cause sparks to fly when the measure reaches the floor. [Read More]

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CQ Politics: The Eye

Romney Rides In for McCain, Again: Remember when Mitt Romney was fighting Sen. John McCain for the Republican presidential nomination? You're right, that's so 2008. They've both moved on. The Arizona Republic reports that Romney has booked another campaign trip to help McCain with his re-election campaign.

What $4 Million Can Buy: Senate candidate Carly Fiorina's new TV ad is the latest example of what a deep-pocketed candidate can do in the clutch; reports say Fiorina now has more than $4 million of her own monehy invested in California's Republican primary race, yet the latest polling shows her in a statistical tie with former Rep. Tom Campbell, whose campaign has spent $1.1 million to Fiorina's $4.2 million.

Nevada Poll Has Good News for Reid: The Las Vegas Review-Journal is out today with a Mason-Dixon poll that suggests Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is running much stronger than his allies feared and enemies hoped.

The CQ Politics staff reports the latest news in House, Senate and governors' races in The Eye.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, May 27, 2010

In This Issue

  • Obama Orders Halt in New Offshore Oil Drilling
  • Head of Much-Criticized Drilling Oversight Agency Resigns
  • Deficit Concerns Could Again Delay Action on Tax, Benefits Bill
  • Pelosi Predicts House Will Vote to Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
  • Senator Pressures FCC for Probe of Wireless Termination Fees
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Today in Washington

The House begins debate on defense authorization bill and may take up package of tax and benefit extensions.

The Senate continues to consider a supplemental fiscal 2010 spending bill, after limiting debate on a substitute version of it.

The President welcomes NCAA basketball champions, the Duke Blue Devils; holds photo op with former President Bill Clinton and the U.S. World Cup soccer team; lunches with Clinton; holds news conference; receives briefing on the 2010 hurricane season forecast and federal preparedness; meets with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia; hosts, with first lady, a reception in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month; departs with family to Chicago for the holiday weekend.

In Washington, the National Archives celebrates Jewish American Heritage Month with a special program titled: "The Jewish Experience During the Civil War." 7 p.m., National Archives, Constitution Ave. and 7th Street N.W.

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Top Stories

Obama Orders Halt in New Offshore Oil Drilling

President Obama said Thursday he is halting or delaying new offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean, off the Virginia coast, and in new deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico. [Read More]

Head of Much-Criticized Drilling Oversight Agency Resigns

Elizabeth Birnbaum, head of the embattled federal agency charged with overseeing offshore oil and gas drilling, resigned Thursday in a move many lawmakers applauded. [Read More]

Deficit Concerns Could Again Delay Action on Tax, Benefits Bill

House action on a scaled-back package of tax cuts and social spending remained in limbo Thursday, with growing signs that it might slip past the upcoming Memorial Day recess. [Read More]

Pelosi Predicts House Will Vote to Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she expects the House to vote to repeal the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. [Read More]

Senator Pressures FCC for Probe of Wireless Termination Fees

Sen. Ron Wyden wants the Federal Communications Commission to investigate the fees that wireless providers charge to users who end their contracts early. [Read More]

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CQ Politics: The Eye

Ex-Gov. Barnes Way Ahead In Ga. Democratic Primary: A new poll says former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes has three times more support than the rest of the field combined in the Democratic primary. Barnes, who was chased from office in 2002 by Sonny Perdue, the first Republican since Reconstruction to occupy the governor's office, had support from 64 percent of the respondents to the Insider Advantage/WSB-TV poll taken May 26. The rest of the candidates combined had 21 percent.

Poll Finds More Voters Know McMahon, Less They Like Her: Quinnipiac University has released the results of a poll taken the week after Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal revealed he had been overstating his experience in the Marine Reserves. Democrat Blumenthal, who led Senate rival Linda McMahon, a Republican by 61 percent to 28 percent back in March, now leads McMahon by 56 percent to 31 percent. And the Quinnipiac Poll found that 32 percent of those surveyed had a favorable opinion of McMahon, while 39 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion -- a number that has grown.

The CQ Politics staff reports the latest news in House, Senate and governors' races in The Eye.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In This Issue

  • Senate Panel on Brink of Voting for Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
  • Deal Struck on Key Auto Safety Provisions
  • Democrats May Scale Back 'Doc Fix,' Benefit Extensions in Search for Votes
  • Gates on Extra F-35 Engine: Don't Want, Won't Buy
  • Antitrust Panel Chairman Urges Conditions on Comcast-NBC Deal
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Today in Washington

The House is in recess while leaders struggle to assemble votes for a package of tax and benefit extensions.

The Senate debates supplemental fiscal 2010 spending bill.

The President tours Solyndra, Inc., a solar panel manufacturing facility in Fremont, Calif., before flying back to Washington this evening.

In Washington, the Sons of Italy Foundation honors former President Bill Clinton for his dedication to public service at its 22nd annual gala. Honored guests include Italian President Giorgio Napolitano; Quincy Jones, conductor, producer, arranger and composer; and Gen. Raymond Odierno, Commander of U.S. Forces in Iraq. 7-10 p.m., Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate Panel on Brink of Voting for Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

The Senate Armed Services Committee appears poised to support a repeal of the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the U.S. armed forces, according to knowledgeable aides and other observers. [Read More]

Deal Struck on Key Auto Safety Provisions

A House committee on Wednesday softened an auto safety bill's provisions related to recalls and fines after automakers and some members balked at the original wording. [Read More]

Democrats May Scale Back 'Doc Fix,' Benefit Extensions in Search for Votes

House and Senate Democrats continued to struggle Wednesday to salvage a nearly $200 billion package of tax cuts and social spending. [Read More]

Gates on Extra F-35 Engine: Don't Want, Won't Buy

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Wednesday reiterated his threat that President Obama would veto any defense bill that funds a second type of engine for the military's newest warplane. [Read More]

Antitrust Panel Chairman Urges Conditions on Comcast-NBC Deal

A senior Senate Democrat is demanding that federal regulators refuse to approve the acquisition of NBC Universal by cable giant Comcast Corp. without a laundry list of conditions. [Read More]

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CQ Politics: The Eye

Patrick Up by 13 Points in Mass. Poll: Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick holds a 13-point lead in his campaign for re-election over Republican challenger Charlie Baker, according to a Suffolk University poll taken May 20-23.

Washington's Rossi Makes It Official: Republican Dino Rossi, a former state senator, posted this announcement video on his website to officially launch his Senate campaign in Washington state. The latest polling shows him to be competitive with incumbent Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, who's up by 4 percentage points.

Chabot Has Lead Over Driehaus in Rematch: A recent poll for the campaign of Republican former Rep. Steve Chabot gave him a 14-point lead over incumbent Democrat Steve Driehaus in their rematch in Ohio's 1st District.

The CQ Politics staff reports the latest news in House, Senate and governors' races in The Eye.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In This Issue

  • Gates Gives Wary Support To Repeal This Year of 'Don't Ask Don't Tell'
  • Administration Urges Elimination of Damages Cap in Future Oil Spills
  • Sen. Leahy Defends Kagan's Independence
  • House GOP Asks Public To Weigh In Via Website
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Today in Washington

The House considers minor bills and resolutions under suspension of the rules.

The Senate debates a supplemental fiscal 2010 spending bill.

The President hosts award-winning small-business owners; travels to Capitol for lunch meeting with Senate Republicans; at White House, meets with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano; flies to San Francisco and attends a pair of fundraisers for Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

In Washington, the Heritage Foundation hosts a screening of the documentary film "Terror in Mumbai," with Ambassador Arun K. Singh, deputy chief of mission, Embassy of India; and Kim R. Holmes, vice president, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, Heritage Foundation. 5 p.m., Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave. N.E.

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Top Stories

Gates Gives Wary Support To Repeal This Year of 'Don't Ask Don't Tell'

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has offered his grudging support for congressional action this year on a measure that would repeal — subject to conditions — the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. [Read More]

Administration Urges Elimination of Damages Cap in Future Oil Spills

Administration officials on Tuesday urged Congress to eliminate a 20-year-old federal cap on oil companies' economic liability for certain future offshore drilling projects, as senators continued to probe the fallout of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. [Read More]

Sen. Leahy Defends Kagan's Independence

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee pushed back Tuesday against Republican charges that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan would be a "rubber stamp" for the Obama administration in which she has served as solicitor general. [Read More]

House GOP Asks Public To Weigh In Via Website

House Republican leaders launched a new website, AmericaSpeakingOut.com, on Tuesday, saying it will offer Americans an opportunity to participate in government. [Read More]

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CQ Politics: The Eye

Simmons Drops Out of Conn. Senate Race: Former Rep. Rob Simmons announced that he will no longer seek Connecticut's GOP Senate nomination. The move -- coming four days after he lost the GOP endorsement at the state party convention but said he intended to press on -- clears a major obstacle out of the path of former World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon, the wealthy first-time candidate who edged out Simmons by 105 delegate votes in the party's closest statewide nomination contest in three decades. McMahon is now expected to face state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, in the race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd.

Third-Place Finisher Now Marshall's Campaign Chair: A week after he endorsed her Senate campaign, North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall named attorney Ken Lewis her campaign chairman on Tuesday. The move is an effort to get some extra bounce from an alliance with a former adversary; Lewis was the third-place candidate in the Democratic primary earlier this month. Marshall and former state Senator Cal Cunningham now are in a June 22 runoff for the nomination to face Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr in November.

EMILY's List Endorses Lassa For Obey's Seat: Wisconsin state Sen. Julie Lassa, the Democratic Party's choice in the race for the seat of retiring Democratic Rep. David R. Obey, on Tuesday got the endorsement of EMILY's List. The formal endorsement by the Democratic organization was widely expected; Lassa supports abortion rights and EMILY's List is eager to elect her in a state that has elected just two women to Congress in its history. The likely Republican nominee is Sean Duffy, a county prosecutor who began campaigning last summer.

The CQ Politics staff reports the latest news in House, Senate and governors' races in The Eye.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, May 24, 2010

In This Issue

  • White House Delivers Plan for Spending-Cut Authority
  • Obama to Seek GOP Support for War Funding Bill
  • Responding to Lawmaker's Request, BP Kicks In Funding for Spill Research
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Today in Washington

The House considers several bills and resolutions, including a measure on criminal penalties for antitrust violations.

The Senate holds procedural votes on sending its version of financial regulatory legislation to a House-Senate conference committee; also debates a war spending measure.

The President receives briefings; attends reception for the Federal Judge Association; participates in a call with Gulf Coast governors on the BP oil spill; welcomes Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to the White House; hosts a reception to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month; meets with Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates.

In Washington, the Government Accountability Project and the Make it Safe Coalition begin their two-day National Whistleblower Assembly. Events are in the Capitol Visitors Center, Rayburn House Office Building and other locations.

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Top Stories

White House Delivers Plan for Spending-Cut Authority

The Obama administration sent a proposal to Congress on Monday that would give the president greater authority to force Congress to cut spending after it is enacted. [Read More]

Obama to Seek GOP Support for War Funding Bill

The president is expected to try to build support for a war spending measure during a rare meeting with Senate Republicans, GOP aides said Monday. [Read More]

Responding to Lawmaker's Request, BP Kicks In Funding for Spill Research

In response to a request by Rep. Edward J. Markey , BP agreed Monday to pledge $500 million toward a research fund to aid independent scientific assessment of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. [Read More]

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CQ Politics: The Eye

Democrats Thrown 'Worst Curveball' in Hawaii Race, Candidate Says: The two Democrats in Hawaii's special election together pulled more votes than Republican Charles Djou, but Djou was the winner and the Democrats are now picking through the results. Runner-up Colleen Hanabusa tells the Honolulu Advertiser: "We probably got thrown the worst curveball by being called irrelevant and being called a wasted vote."

N.Y. Conspiracy Theory: The New York Daily News reports on the suspicions some Republicans are sharing with each other about who has what to gain if the party doesn't do well in this year's Senate election.

Alabama Ad Attacks Obama: "I'm going to Congress to help stop him from destroying our nation," House candidate Les Phillip says about the president. "And they're not going to call ME a racist." The ad is Web-only for now, Phillip tells CQ-Roll Call, but it will be moving to television later this week.

The CQ Politics staff reports the latest news in House, Senate and governors' races in The Eye.

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