Friday, June 18, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, June 18, 2010

In This Issue

  • Senate Passes Medicare Doctor-Payment Extension
  • Health Groups Push for Medicare Nominee Berwick's Confirmation
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate passed a Medicare doctor-payments bill before adjourning for the weekend.

The President meets with workers at a site in downtown Columbus, Ohio, and delivers remarks at the groundbreaking of the 10,000th road project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

In Washington, The Library of Congress features a new exhibit, "The Red Book of Carl G. Jung: Its Origins and Influence," which includes the famous illustrated manuscript by the Swiss psychiatrist. Open until 4:30 p.m., Thomas Jefferson building, 10 First Street S.E.

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Top Stories

Senate Passes Medicare Doctor-Payment Extension

The Senate passed a six-month "doc fix" bill by voice vote on Friday after extracting it from a larger tax and benefits package that has been stalled for months. [Read More]

Health Groups Push for Medicare Nominee Berwick's Confirmation

More than 130 groups that advocate for children and family health issues, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, have sent a letter to lawmakers urging the quick confirmation of Harvard professor Donald M. Berwick to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. [Read More]

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CQ Politics: The Eye

Rawl Protest Rejected; Greene Remains S.C. Senate Nominee: Sen. Jim DeMint was never considered to be in any danger of losing his seat this year. He wasn't even considered in danger of having to break a sweat. But now it's official: He'll be running against a Democrat -- Alvin Greene -- whose only name recognition comes from publicity over his pending criminal case.

Poll Shows Hilliard Voters Swinging Toward Sewell in Alabama: In the Democratic runoff in Alabama's 7th district, a poll conducted for attorney Terri Sewell's campaign showed Sewell has expanded her lead over Jefferson County Commissioner Shelia Smoot. The poll conducted June 13-16 had Sewell at 53 percent and Smoot at 33 percent.

Indiana Ballot Now Complete: There wasn't any suspense, and though the winner was never in doubt, the formalities had to be handled. Democrats in Indiana last night officially chose former Fort Wayne councilman Tom Hayhurst, the party's nominee for the 3rd district House seat, to also run in the special election to fill a lame-duck portion of the term that former Republican Rep. Mark Souder did not complete.

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

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, June 17, 2010

In This Issue

  • Changes to 'Extenders' Bill Not Enough to Sway Nebraska's Nelson
  • Republican's Apology to BP Chief Steals the Show
  • House Vote Set For Friday on Campaign Finance Bill
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Today in Washington

The House considers several minor bills and resolutions.

The Senate continues consideration of legislation on certain tax breaks and social safety-net programs.

The President is briefed on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill; meets with Tommy Tradewell, new commander in chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars; meets with Navy Secretary Ray Mabus; meets with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner; meets with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; meets with James Amos, nominee to be Marine Corps commandant.

In Washington, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. gives the 18th annual Joseph L. Rauh Jr. Lecture at the University of the District of Columbia. 6:30 p.m., David A. Clarke School of Law, Building 38, 4200 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Changes to 'Extenders' Bill Not Enough to Sway Nebraska's Nelson

The latest set of changes to a broad tax and benefits bill have not swayed a crucial swing voter in the Senate. Ben Nelson , D-Neb., said Thursday morning that he continues to oppose the bill because its costs are not entirely offset. [Read More]

Republican's Apology to BP Chief Steals the Show

BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward appeared before a House subcommittee Thursday prepared to show contrition for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, but it was a Republican's apology to the oil company executive that stirred up a political tempest. [Read More]

House Vote Set For Friday on Campaign Finance Bill

House Democrats plan to vote Friday on a White-House backed measure that would impose strict disclosure rules on campaign advertising by independent groups. [Read More]

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CQ Politics: The Eye

How To Lose a Race and Still Be a YouTube Star: You may remember Alabama Agricutlure Commissioner candidate Dale Peterson from the ad-gone-viral that elevated his race to the attention of the cable TV talkers. But even though he lost his primary, Peterson hasn't gone away.

Sharron Angle Circa 2004: As a state legislator running for re-election in 2004, Sharron Angle favored voluntary, rather than mandatory campaign spending disclosure and was undecided about the Patriot Act, according to a questionnaire that a former Las Vegas political commentator shared with TPM. Nowadays, of course, Angle's views are a matter of national interest as she takes on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada's Senate race.

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

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In This Issue

  • Senators Plan for Scaled Back Version of 'Extenders' Bill
  • Defense Chief Says Extra War Funding Needed Before July Fourth Recess
  • Gates Reiterates Veto Threat on Defense Authorization Bill
  • GOP Criticizes Withdrawal Plan as Undermining Afghanistan Efforts
  • New START Won't Limit Missile Defense, Pentagon Officials Say
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Today in Washington

The House votes on legislation to create a small business lending fund; considers several other measures.

The Senate held a procedural vote on legislation to extend certain tax breaks and benefits programs.

The President meets with BP board chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg at the White House and makes Rose Garden remarks afterward; later in the day, addesses the American Nurses Association.

In Washington, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and others hold an unveiling cermony for plaques to recognize the contribution of enslaved African Americans in the construction of the United States Capitol. 3 p.m., Rayburn Room, Capitol Bldg.

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Top Stories

Senators Plan for Scaled Back Version of 'Extenders' Bill

Senate Democratic leaders were planning to unveil a new, pared-back version of a tax and benefits bill Wednesday because an earlier version of the measure stalled on the Senate floor. [Read More]

Defense Chief Says Extra War Funding Needed Before July Fourth Recess

The Pentagon on Wednesday increased pressure on the House to proceed with a supplemental spending bill that is meant largely to provide $33.5 billion for war efforts in the months ahead. [Read More]

Gates Reiterates Veto Threat on Defense Authorization Bill

Gates said President Obama's veto threat on the fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill remains strong, even though the bill is likely to contain provisions that the White House has fought hard for. [Read More]

GOP Criticizes Withdrawal Plan as Undermining Afghanistan Efforts

Senate Republicans on Wednesday attacked President Obama's plan to begin withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan in July of next year, saying that the United States was sending a self-defeating message to its allies in the region. [Read More]

New START Won't Limit Missile Defense, Pentagon Officials Say

Pentagon officials on Wednesday defended a new arms reduction treaty with Russia against claims from some Republicans that it could limit Defense Department missile defense plans. [Read More]

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CQ Politics: The Eye

Checking the Numbers in Shuler's N.C. District: Here's new evidence that North Carolina's 11th district may develop into a "sleeper" race this fall. Rep. Heath Shuler, a Blue Dog Democrat, is polling under 50 percent in his conservative western North Carolina district and leading his relatively unknown GOP challenger by just 12 points, according to polling conducted for the campaign of businessman Jeff Miller.

Alabama Recount Should End Tomorrow: The first day of Alabama's recount didn't give Tim James, the third-place finisher in the Republican gubernatorial primary, the gains he was hoping for, but it's not over yet. WSFA-TV reports that the recount has resumed and the final counties are expected to wrap up their counts Thursday.

Hire Michigan First? Not For This Ad: No offense, Michigan Speaker Andy Dillon, but you should have seen this one coming. When your first ad is all about hiring local, you're going to be asked which creative locals were behind your commercial.

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

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, June 15, 2010

In This Issue

  • Lawmakers: Other Companies' Spill-Response Plans Look Too Much Like BP's
  • House Conferees Take Aim at Sen. Franken's Credit Ratings Provision
  • Senators Concerned About Speed of Training of Afghan Army, Police
  • Democrats Still Searching for Votes to Advance Tax Bill
  • Justice Department Nominee Responds to GOP Questions About Terror Trials
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Today in Washington

The House considers a bill on a small business lending fund as well as other legislation.

The Senate votes on several judicial nominations; continues consideration of a measure to extend certain tax breaks and social safety-net programs.

The President in Florida, wraps up tour of Gulf Coast states affected by the oil spill; returns to Washington; delivers televised address at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

In Washington, former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn. discusses his career in a speech to the Heritage Foundation. 214 Massachusetts Ave. N.E.

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Top Stories

Panel: Other Companies' Spill-Response Plans Look Too Much Like BP's

Members of a House panel said Tuesday that other big companies drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico are no better prepared than BP PLC to deal with a major spill. [Read More]

House Conferees Take Aim at Sen. Franken's Credit Ratings Provision

The House's opening bid in negotiations on the financial regulations bill is an attempt to strike a Senate-passed provision intended to prevent securities issuers from shopping for the "best" agency to rate their offerings. [Read More]

Senators Concerned About Speed of Training of Afghan Army, Police

The Senate Armed Services Committee displayed mounting bipartisan concerns about slow progress in the Afghanistan war in an abbreviated hearing Tuesday. [Read More]

Democrats Still Searching for Votes to Advance Tax Bill

As Senate Democrats near a test vote on a $140 billion tax-and-benefits package, they still don't have the 60 votes necessary to advance the bill. [Read More]

Justice Department Nominee Responds to GOP Questions About Terror Trials

Deputy attorney general nominee James M. Cole told senators Tuesday that he believes there is a role for both military commissions and criminal trials of terror suspects. [Read More]

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CQ Politics: The Eye

Crist, Cuba And Campaign Cash: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist took a hard line on economic sanctions against Cuba when he signed a state law that would wring money from travel agencies that arrange trips to the island. That was when he was a Republican.

Haley's Non-Christian Heritage Starts to 'Bubble Up' in S.C. Runoff: In South Carolina, where Republican Nikki Haley came within a whisper of winning the gubernatorial nomination but instead is in a runoff, there wasn't much written about her religious background before a fellow member of the Legislature referred to her as "a raghead." But now, "The heritage issue is starting to bubble up on emails," former Charleston County GOP chairwoman Cyndi Mosteller told CNN. "I am hearing those questions."

Angle Speaks Explains Decision to Ignore Unfriendly Press: Refreshing candor from Nevada's GOP nominee for the Senate on why she's giving face time only to friendly faces: "I've been going to, what I feel, is the donor base," Sharron Angle told National Review. "You have Mark Levin, and Lars Larson, and even Rush Limbaugh's show came out and said 'send money to this woman.' The traffic got so great that we could not receive all of it. ... We know this is a national campaign."

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

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Monday, June 14, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, June 14, 2010

In This Issue

  • BP Should Create $20 Billion Spill Fund, Senators Say
  • Lawmakers' Criticism of China Grows More Strident as Elections Draw Near
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Today in Washington

The House considers several measures, including one on the rules that govern stores' gift cards.

The Senate continues consideration of a tax and benefits bill. No roll call votes are expected.

The President arrives in Mississppi and travels to Alabama and Florida as part of a two-day tour of Gulf Coast states affected by the oil spill.

In Washington, Forbes Media chief executive and former Republican presidential hopeful Steve Forbes delivers a speech titled, "Leadership and the Economic Crisis: What Happens Now?" at an event hosted by the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. School of Advanced International Studies, Nitze Building, 1740 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

BP Should Create $20 Billion Spill Fund, Senators Say

Senate Democrats are asking BP to put $20 billion into an independently administered account that would facilitate payment of cleanup and economic damage claims resulting from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. [Read More]

Lawmakers' Criticism of China Grows More Strident as Elections Draw Near

Buffeted by high unemployment and some U.S. businesses' increasing frustration with Beijing, top lawmakers have become less reluctant to criticize China's economic policies as the fall elections approach. [Read More]

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CQ Politics: The Eye

NRA Backs Democrat Strickland: In a state with Ohio's mix of urban and rural, this endorsement is noteworthy: the National Rife Association is going with the incumbent Democrat, Gov. Ted Strickland, over Republican John Kasich.

A Core-Values Ad From South Carolina's Haley: Family, God and conservative values: South Carolina candidate Nikki Haley hits those themes and takes a swipe at "backroom politics" in the ad that launches the runoff portion of her campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

Stutzman Is the GOP Nominee in Indiana: State Sen. Marlin Stutzman, who got some outside-his-home-base name recognition from an unsuccessful campaign for a U.S. Senate nomination, now is the Republican nominee for an open House seat in Indiana.

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

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