Friday, June 11, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, June 11, 2010

In This Issue

  • Pelosi Wants To Lift Cap on Oil Companies' Economic Liability for Spills
  • Extra $870 Million Needed for National Guard and Reserves, Senators Say
  • Lawmakers Skeptical of Google's Response on Data Interception
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate is not in session.

The President receives a briefing on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill; meets with small business owners in the Oval Office; makes a statement about small business jobs initiatives; meets with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In Washington, the cultural organization Alliance Française hosts a gathering to watch the Uruguay-France match in the 2010 World Cup. Admission is free. 2:30 p.m., 2142 Wyoming Avenue N.W.

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Top Stories

Pelosi Wants To Lift Cap on Oil Companies' Economic Liability for Spills

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that oil producers should be completely liable for all costs associated with spills, a position that would cost a company tens of billions of dollars in a disaster like the one facing BP in the Gulf of Mexico. [Read More]

Extra $870 Million Needed for National Guard and Reserves, Senators Say

Two senior Senate appropriators have requested an additional $870 million for the National Guard and Reserves to address critical equipment shortfalls. [Read More]

Lawmakers Skeptical of Google's Response on Data Interception

Internet search giant Google Inc. has told House lawmakers that it did not violate privacy laws when it swept up personal data transmitted over wireless networks. But two members of the House Privacy Caucus remain skeptical. [Read More]

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CQ Politics: The Eye

New Mexico Gets an Early Dose Of Mean: New Mexico voters are getting unusually early exposure to general election attack ads from candidates for governor -- and maybe some early campaign fatigue. "Barbershop talk around town is that people are already getting frustrated with it [the negative attack ads]," political science professor Gabriel Sanchez tells KRQE-TV.

It Worked in Massachusetts: The company that takes credit for raising $12 million for the successful campaign of Republican Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts is now working for Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle in Nevada.

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

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, June 10, 2010

In This Issue

  • Congress Racing To Release Money From Oil Spill Liability Fund
  • Lawmakers Urged To Tighten Toxic Chemical Rules in Wake of Oil Spill
  • President Orders Agencies to Shed Excess Property, Cut Energy Consumption
  • Lawmakers Vow To Target China's Currency Practices
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Today in Washington

The House considers legislation to remove current limits on withdrawals from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to help clean up the BP oil spill in Gulf of Mexico; completes work on legislation to allow the Federal Housing Administration to adjust the premium structure for mortgage insurance.

The Senate considers amendments to legislation extending various tax breaks and unemployment benefits, along with other expired programs.

The President meets with advisers; receives briefings on Gulf of Mexico oil spill; meets with bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate; meets with families of men killed on Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf; meets with Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa.; meets with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner; discusses energy and climate legislation with business leaders.

In Washington, the National Archives presents a free special program, "The Civil War in 3-D," inspired by a major new exhibit, Discovering the Civil War. 7 p.m., National Archives Building, 7th St. and Constitution Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Congress Racing To Release Money From Oil Spill Liability Fund

With resources for responding to the Gulf Coast oil spill running dry, the House was moving Thursday to send President Obama legislation that would allow the administration to pull more money from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. [Read More]

Lawmakers Urged To Tighten Toxic Chemical Rules in Wake of Oil Spill

A coalition of environmental and public health groups urged Congress on Thursday to overhaul regulation of toxic chemicals, saying dispersants used to break up thick oil in the Gulf of Mexico are a prime example of why the law needs to be strengthened. [Read More]

President Orders Agencies to Shed Excess Property, Cut Energy Consumption

In his latest penny-pinching move, President Obama on Thursday ordered federal agencies to come up with at least $3 billion in savings by Sept. 30, 2012, through facility consolidation, reduced energy consumption and asset sales. [Read More]

Lawmakers Vow To Target China's Currency Practices

Senate Finance Committee members on Thursday sharply criticized the administration's handling of economic relations with China and ramped up threats to target Chinese currency practices with bipartisan legislation. [Read More]
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CQ Politics: The Eye

Pelosi's Bankrollers: Over the course of her career, the political donors who have most supported House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are a prominent trial lawyer, his graphic-designer wife, an IBM heiress turned healing-touch practitioner, a land developer, and a savings and loan magnate, reports the Center for Public Integrity.

Illinois Says Send Someone Who Isn't An Embarrassment: The most entertaining political read of the morning: The Chicago Tribune's Steve Chapman writes of the Illinois Senate race that the average voter, if ordered at gunpoint to choose between Republican Rep. Mark Steven Kirk and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, would reply, "Shoot."

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


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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, June 09, 2010

In This Issue

  • GOP Senators Uniting Around Alternative Climate Bill
  • GOP Senator Says Testimony by Court Nominees Can't Be Trusted
  • House Acts to Boost Federal Power to Protect Electric Grid
  • U.N. Vote on Iran Sets Up Action on Sanctions Bill in Congress
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Today in Washington

The House considers legislation to authorize the Federal Housing Administration to adjust the premium structure for mortgage insurance and increase the FHA's enforcement powers.

The Senate considers amendments to legislation extending various tax breaks and unemployment benefits, along with other expired programs.

The President meets with advisers; meets with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority; receives briefing on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

In Washington, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivers the keynote address at the Asia Society Washington Awards Dinner. 7:15 p.m., Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 1150 22nd St. NW.

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Top Stories

GOP Senators Uniting Around Alternative Climate Bill

In a move that threatens Democratic efforts to advance a climate change bill, two influential Senate Republicans are throwing their support behind competing legislation unveiled Wednesday by Richard G. Lugar , R-Ind. [Read More]

GOP Senator Says Testimony by Court Nominees Can't Be Trusted

Conservative Sen. Tom Coburn , R-Okla., on Wednesday called the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominees "a failure," and said senators should not rely on what nominees say during their hearings. [Read More]

House Acts to Boost Federal Power to Protect Electric Grid

The House on Wednesday easily passed legislation that would give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission new power to protect the nation's electric grid from terror attacks or other threats. [Read More]

U.N. Vote on Iran Sets Up Action on Sanctions Bill in Congress

The U.N. Security Council approved a new sanctions resolution Wednesday against Iran for its nuclear activities, clearing the way for Congress to pass legislation this month imposing tougher new penalties on companies doing business with Iran's energy sector. [Read More]
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CQ Politics: The Eye

Solo Go Working for Crist So Far: Voters so far are sticking with Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in his three-way Senate race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted June 1-7. Quinnipiac's survey of 1,133 Florida voters found Crist polling 37 percent of those surveyed, with former state Speaker Marco Rubio (R) close behind with 33 percent and Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) at 17 percent.

McMahon Poll Shows a 13-Point Senate Race in Conn.: An internal poll conducted for former World Wrestling Entertainment Executive Linda McMahon (R) showed her trailing Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) by 13 points with five months to go in their Senate matchup. McMahon's poll, which was conducted June 1-3 by Moor Information, showed her taking 38 percent of the general election vote to Blumenthal's 51 percent. That is similar to a survey conducted by Blumenthal's camp in late May which showed the attorney general up by 15 points. That poll was taken in the wake of a media flap over Blumenthal's past comments about military service during the Vietnam War.

Huckabee Backs Rivera in Fla. 25: While former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) has been at odds with the national party establishment over endorsements in some of Florida's top House takeover targets, he's on the same page with GOP leaders in the open 25th district. On Wednesday, Huckabee announced that he and his political action committee would back state Representative David Rivera (R) in the battleground seat that is being opened up by Rep. Mario Diaz Balart's (R) decision to run in the 21st district this fall. The National Republican Congressional Committee has already boosted Rivera to the top tier of it's Young Guns candidate development program.

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

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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, June 08, 2010

In This Issue

  • White House Orders Agencies To Pinpoint Least Important Programs
  • House Chairman Defends Unwanted Jet Engine as Job Creator
  • Feinstein Calls for Inquiry Into Israeli Raid on Aid Flotilla
  • Health Science Experts Urge Stronger Food Safety Regulation
  • Senate Democrats Seek To Restore Medicaid Funds, Hit Oil Industry Harder
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Today in Washington

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

The Senate begins debate on a package extending various tax breaks and unemployment benefits, along with other expired programs.

The President meets with advisers; visits a Wheaton, Md., senior citizens' center to tout improved Medicare drug benefits in a tele-town hall session with groups around the country; meets with Sen. Byron L. Dorgan, D-N.D.; hosts congressional picnic dinner at the White House.

In Washington, the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis holds its conference and awards dinner, with appearances by Annie Lennox; Ashley Judd, Board of Directors, PSI; Michel Sidibe, Executive Director, UNAIDS. Keynote address by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. 7 p.m., Renaissance Washington Hotel, 999 9th St. NW.

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Top Stories

White House Orders Agencies To Pinpoint Least Important Programs

The White House on Tuesday instructed federal agencies to compile a list of their least important programs that add up to at least five percent of their budgets as the administration begins preparing next year's budget. [Read More]

House Chairman Defends Unwanted Jet Engine as Job Creator

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee upped the ante Tuesday in the debate over an alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter by tying the program to the need to create more jobs. [Read More]

Feinstein Calls for Inquiry Into Israeli Raid on Aid Flotilla

In a significant departure from most colleagues, Sen. Dianne Feinstein called Tuesday for an "impartial inquiry" into the Israeli commando raid on a humanitarian flotilla carrying aid to the Gaza Strip that left nine activists dead, including one American. [Read More]

Health Science Experts Urge Stronger Food Safety Regulation

The Food and Drug Administration needs more resources and a more focused, risk-based approach to safeguarding the nation's food supply, according to a report released Tuesday. [Read More]

Senate Democrats Seek To Restore Medicaid Funds, Hit Oil Industry Harder

Senate Democrats unveiled their proposed changes to a tax and benefits bill on Tuesday and urged quick passage of the measure, which now carries a price tag of about $140.2 billion and would add about $77.5 billion to the federal deficit. [Read More]

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CQ Politics: The Eye

D'Annunzio Sues Runoff Rival: In a race that became very nasty very quickly, millionaire businessman Tim D'Annunzio (R) has filed a defamation lawsuit against his primary runoff opponent in North Carolina's 8th district. His suit against former sport broadcaster Harold Johnson (R) focuses on television and radio ads that discuss D'Annunzio's "life of drugs" and "life of crime" and issues from D'Annunzio's divorce proceedings, including alleged failure to pay child support. Johnson released a statement calling the lawsuit a "stunt" meant to distract attention from D'Annunzio's "troubled campaign."

Plotting the 2012 Presidential Calendar: The 2012 presidential sweepstakes wouldn't be as front-loaded as 2008 was under plans under discussion at high levels in the Democratic and Republican parties, reports the Boston Globe. In 2008, the first presidential primary ballots were cast Jan. 8. Under discussion now: a February kickoff to the election season, but only for New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada, the newspaper reports. Other states would have to wait until March at the earliest.

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

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Monday, June 07, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, June 07, 2010

In This Issue

  • Oil Spill Fuels New Energy Bill Push
  • High-Powered Lasers Are Defense Panel's New Thing
  • Third TSA Nominee Prepares for Confirmation Hearing
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate votes on judicial nominations.

The President receives briefings; meets with his Cabinet to discuss the Gulf of Mexico oil spill; meets with senior advisers; flies to Grand Rapids, Mich., to speak at Kalamazoo Central High School's graduation at the Western Michigan University Arena; returns to Washington.

In Washington, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke speaks at the Woodrow Wilson Center Board and Council dinner and participates in an "open interview" with Sam Donaldson, president of the Wilson Council. 7 p.m., Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Oil Spill Fuels New Energy Bill Push

Comprehensive energy and climate change legislation may get new life thanks to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. [Read More]

High-Powered Lasers Are Defense Panel's New Thing

The Senate's defense policy panel wants the Pentagon to examine the use of high-powered lasers on its warplanes as defensive and offensive weapons — a sign of lawmakers' new fascination with laser technology. [Read More]

Third TSA Nominee Prepares for Confirmation Hearing

The Obama administration will be hoping the third time's the charm when it sends John S. Pistole, its nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration, to a Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday. [Read More]

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CQ Politics: The Eye

NRCC Moves To Bolster Rep. Gerlach: Acknowledging the tough re-election Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., will have on his hands this fall, the National Republican Congressional Committee has enrolled him in its Patriot program, which seeks to boost the party's most vulnerable incumbents in 2010.

Mo Brooks Restored as Young Gun: The National Republican Congressional Committee and Alabama candidate Mo Brooks are rekindling their relationship. Brooks, a Madison County commissioner, won the party's nomination in Alabama's 5th district last week, which makes the NRCC look at him a whole lot differently.

Runoff Likely For Rep. Inglis: Republican Rep. Bob Inglis of South Carolina appears to be headed to a runoff against Spartanburg County Solicitor Trey Gowdy, and Inglis' chances in that contest don't look good, according to a new survey by Public Policy Polling.

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

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