Friday, June 25, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Friday, June 25, 2010

In This Issue

  • House, Senate Hope to Clear Financial Regulatory Overhaul Next Week
  • White House Expresses Optimism on Kagan Hearing
  • Senate Confirms Pistole to Head TSA
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Today in Washington

The House convenes for a pro forma session at 4 p.m.

The Senate confirmed John S. Pistole to head the Transportation Security Adminstration, then adjourned.

The President is in Muskoka, Ontario, attending the G-8 summit.

In Washington, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival features three programs: "Asian Pacific Americans: Local Live, Global Ties," "Mexico," and "Smithsonian Inside and Out." All weekend, National Mall.

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Top Stories

House, Senate Hope to Clear Financial Regulatory Overhaul Next Week

The legislation approved by the House-Senate conference committee shortly before 6 a.m. Friday, would impose new restrictions on risky financial instruments, create a special agency to look out for consumers, and force banks and other financial institutions to hold more capital to protect against future financial upheaval. [Read More]

White House Expresses Optimism on Kagan Hearing

Top White House officials dismissed efforts to derail the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan as ineffectual on Friday, predicting a strong performance from Kagan at her confirmation hearing next week. [Read More]

Senate Confirms Pistole to Head TSA

The Senate on Friday confirmed by voice vote the nomination of John S. Pistole to head the Transportation Security Administration. [Read More]
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CQ Politics: The Eye

Hayworth: 'I Hope Voters Will Look Past' Infomercial: You've seen the infomercial and the inevitable attack ad. So have voters in Arizona's Republican primary. Here's the question now: Come Aug. 24, will that still be on their minds as they choose between Sen. John McCain and ex-Rep. J.D. Hayworth?

Poll: Texans Tire Of Hutchison: After overreaching earlier this year and getting rejected in the primary for governor, Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has been keeping her mouth shut about her political plans -- as recently as last week she refused to say whether she'll run for re-election in 2012. Now comes polling that shows why Hutchison (R) has good reason to keep her powder dry.

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


Thursday, June 24, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Thursday, June 24, 2010

In This Issue

  • Sessions Questions the Withholding of Kagan Files
  • Student Aid at For-Profit Colleges Gets a Hard Look From Senate Panel
  • Drilling Safety Provisions of Energy Bill Begin to Take Shape
  • Apple's Changes to Privacy Policy Draw Scrutiny of Bipartisan Group
  • Frustrated Democrats Try Again To Move Extension of Tax Breaks, Benefits
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Today in Washington

The House considers final version of legislation tightening sanctions against Iran, as well as a bill to toughen campaign finance disclosure requirements.

The Senate continues consideration of a package of tax break and unemployment benefit extensions.

The President meets with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and holds joint news conference with him; with Medvedev, attends a U.S.–Russia Business Summit.

In Washington, the New America Foundation host event: Af-Pak Diary Notes from Islamabad and Kabul, with Jeffrey Gedmin, President Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 3:30 to 5 p.m., New America Foundation, 1899 L St NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC.

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Top Stories

Sessions Questions the Withholding of Kagan Files

The Senate Judiciary Committee's top Republican has questioned the grounds under which documents related to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's tenure in the Clinton administration have been withheld. [Read More]

Student Aid at For-Profit Colleges Gets a Hard Look From Senate Panel

A Senate committee's report raises significant questions about the bang for the buck that students and the federal government receive from student aid at for-profit colleges and universities. [Read More]

Drilling Safety Provisions of Energy Bill Begin to Take Shape

Despite the divide among Senate Democrats over the scope of energy legislation, provisions intended to address safety and regulatory issues exposed by the oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico are starting to take shape in both chambers. [Read More]

Apple's Changes to Privacy Policy Draw Scrutiny of Bipartisan Group

The co-chairmen of the House Bipartisan Privacy Caucus wrote Thursday to Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs demanding an explanation for changes to the company's privacy policy that suggest it is tracking and sharing the locations of iPad and iPhone users. [Read More]

Frustrated Democrats Try Again To Move Extension of Tax Breaks, Benefits

The Senate may try again Thursday to advance a package of tax and benefit extensions, but Majority Leader Harry Reid held out little hope that the effort will succeed. [Read More]

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CQ Politics: The Eye

Missouri's Carnahan Merits Obama Mileage: President Obama's booked for a July fundraiser in Kansas City to help Democratic gubernatorial candidate Robin Carnahan, reports the Kansas City Star. Carnahan, Missouri's secretary of State, is in a tough race against Rep. Roy Blunt (R).

Why 2010 Isn't 1994:"House Democrats were more exposed in 1994 than they are this year," writes Rhodes Cook in "Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball." "Then, half the seats they were defending were in districts that had voted for the Republican presidential ticket in one or both of the previous two presidential elections (1988 and 1992). This year, just one third of Democratic seats are in similarly problematic terrain - an important distinction since the vast majority of House seats that the Democrats lost in 1994 were in "Red" or "Purple" districts."

Reid No 'Bumbling, Mush-Mouthed, Accidental Leader':The American Spectator shows how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) makes his own luck in Nevada and describes him as "a man determined to succeed in politics despite having no particular talent for making people like him." Reid "spent years clearing the field by enticing, bullying, and manipulating the strong potential Republican candidates into opting out," writes Molly Ball. "It belies the common perception of him as a bumbling, mush-mouthed, accidental leader."

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

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Wednesday, June 23, 2010

In This Issue

  • Obama Taps Gen. Petraeus To Replace McChrystal in Afghanistan
  • Supporters, Critics Intensify Efforts as Kagan Hearing Looms
  • Republican Barton Keeps Post Despite His Apology to BP
  • House Democrats Seek To Trim $7 Billion From Obama's Budget
  • House May Take Up Campaign Finance Bill Thursday
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Today in Washington

The House considers minor bills under suspension of the rules.

The Senate may resume consideration of a package of tax break and unemployment benefit extensions.

The President fires Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal; meets with his national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan; meets with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and later with senior advisers.

In Washington, the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Texas Christian University's Schieffer School of Journalism host a panel discussion on the implications of the Gulf oil spill, moderated by CBS correspondent Bob Schieffer. Panelists include former Energy Secreatry James R. Schlesinger. 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., CSIS, 1800 K St. NW

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Top Stories

Obama Taps Gen. Petraeus To Replace McChrystal in Afghanistan

President Obama has removed his top military commander in Afghanistan, saying statements made to a magazine reporter by Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his staff "undermined" civilian control of the military. [Read More]

Supporters, Critics Intensify Efforts as Kagan Hearing Looms

Supporters and critics of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan intensified their efforts Wednesday, offering competing views of her readiness to join the nation's high court. [Read More]

Republican Barton Keeps Post Despite His Apology to BP

Embattled Rep. Joe L. Barton apologized to the full House Republican Conference Wednesday for his controversial comments last week about BP, and Minority Leader John A. Boehner said he considers the "issue closed." [Read More]

House Democrats Seek To Trim $7 Billion From Obama's Budget

House Democrats could unveil as soon as Wednesday details of a one-year spending plan that would provide about $7 billion less for fiscal 2011 spending bills than President Obama has requested. [Read More]

House May Take Up Campaign Finance Bill Thursday

The House Rules Committee was poised to take up a campaign finance disclosure bill Wednesday that will be ready for the floor tomorrow, Chairwoman Louise M. Slaughter , D-N.Y., said. [Read More]

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CQ Politics: The Eye

Chiles' Pals Urge Him To Drop Bid:Some longtime friends of Lawton `Bud' Chiles III are pressing him to drop his bid for governor of Florida, saying they don't want to see him become a spoiler, reports the Miami Herald. Chiles, son of a former Democratic governor and U.S. senator, is running as an unaffiliated candidate, and some of his friends fear he would peel away votes from the likely Demoratic nominee, Alex Sink.

Lee Wins Utah GOP Senate Nomination: Attorney Mike Lee won Utah's GOP Senate nomination Tuesday night and all but assured he'll be headed to Congress next year to represent his overwhelmingly Republican state. Lee ran ahead of businessman Tim Bridgewater 52 percent to 48 percent. Incumbent GOP Sen. Robert F. Bennett, who was kept off the primary ballot by state Republicans, had supported Bridgewater. But conservative hero Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., backed Lee.

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

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In This Issue

  • McCain, Other Senators Question McChrystal's Judgment
  • Hoyer Says Afghanistan War Funding Is Becoming a Tougher Sell
  • Senate Democrats May Pare Medicaid Aid in Tax and Benefits Package
  • Hoyer Says Congress Should Find Permanent Solution to Temporary Extensions
  • House To Vote Wednesday on Subpoena Power for Oil Spill Commission
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Today in Washington

The House is considering minor bills under suspension of the rules.

The Senate confirmed dozens of stalled nominations.

The President meets with health insurers and state insurance commissioners; lunches with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; meets with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates; holds a Cabinet meeting; with Biden, attends and delivers remarks at an LGBT Pride Month event.

In Washington, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea opens an exhibit of more than 150 newly released government and military documents and photographs from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration revealing the personal, behind-the-scenes experiences of individuals involved in the 1950-53 Korean war and its aftermath. 6-8 p.m., KORUS House, 2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW.

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Top Stories

McCain, Other Senators Question McChrystal's Judgment

Three prominent hawkish senators stopped just short Tuesday of calling for the resignation of Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of allied forces in Afghanistan, after critical statements he made about President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. , among others. [Read More]

Hoyer Says Afghanistan War Funding Is Becoming a Tougher Sell

Gen. Stanley McChrystal's controversial remarks criticizing the Obama administration — coupled with a House panel investigation finding indirect U.S. payments to warlords and the Taliban — are making it far more difficult for Democrats to sustain support for the war in Afghanistan, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Tuesday. [Read More]

Senate Democrats May Pare Medicaid Aid in Tax and Benefits Package

Senate Democrats are discussing with a pair of pivotal moderate Republicans a scaled-down version of a tax and benefits extension bill that they have so far failed to move. [Read More]

Hoyer Says Congress Should Find Permanent Solution to Temporary Extensions

As the latest package of temporary tax and benefits extensions remained stalled in the Senate, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said that Congress should get serious about a complete overhaul of tax and entitlement programs. [Read More]

House To Vote Wednesday on Subpoena Power for Oil Spill Commission

Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer , D-Md., said that the House will vote Wednesday on legislation to give the presidential commission investigating the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico subpoena powers. [Read More]

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CQ Politics: The Eye

Rasmussen Poll Shows McCain Below 50 Percent: Arizona Sen. John McCain leads Republican primary challenger J.D. Hayworth 47 percent to 36 percent, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll taken June 16. Rasmussen sees a parallel between McCain's numbers and the numbers polled in Pennsylvania earlier in this cycle: Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), who lost his primary election to Rep. Joe Sestak, "led in just about all early polling but could never get much above the 50 percent level of support."

Cuomo Maintains Edge in N.Y. Governor's Race: Democrat Andrew Cuomo holds more than a 2-1 lead over either of his most likely Republican opponents for governor of New York, according to a Quinnipiac University poll taken June 15-20. Cuomo, the state's attorney general and the son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo, leads former Rep. Rick Lazio 58 percent to 26 percent and leads Carl P. Paladino, a developer from Buffalo, 59 percent to 23 percent.

Million-Dollar Checking Accounts:Thanks to the law requiring candidates to disclose what they own, we can ask the Senate candidates in Connecticut about life in the above-seven-figures world. Disclosure form highlights, from the Connecticut Mirror, show Cynthia Blumenthal, wife of Democrat Richard Blumenthal, has more than $1 million in her checking account, and each of their three children have multimillion-dollar trusts. Republican Peter Schiff didn't file yet, but on last year's version he showed a holding worth more than $50 million. Vince McMahon and his candidate wife, former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon, could have been worth at least $156 million at the end of 2009.

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

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Monday, June 21, 2010

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com

Midday Update for Monday, June 21, 2010 2:15 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Won't Take Up Senate-Passed Medicare Extension
  • Senate Calendar Appears Unfriendly to Food Policy Bills
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate votes on several nominations.

The President holds a Father's Day barbecue at the White House; meets later with senior advisers.

In Washington, chefs make dresses out of chocolate and sugar for a fashion show at the annual Sweet Charity event, which benefits literacy programs. 6 p.m., Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 1330 Maryland Ave. S.W.

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Top Stories

House Won't Take Up Senate-Passed Medicare Extension

House Democratic leaders said Monday that they will not take up a Senate-passed six-month patch to Medicare provider payments unless the Senate moves to pass certain jobs measures. [Read More]

Senate Calendar Appears Unfriendly to Food Policy Bills

Advocates for a pair of Senate bills to strengthen the Food and Drug Administration's food safety authority and fight child obesity are worried that the popular legislation might never reach the Senate floor — despite bipartisan support. [Read More]
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CQ Politics: The Eye

NRSC Surpasses DSCC in Cash on Hand: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee outraised its GOP counterpart during the month of May by $1.4 million, but the National Republican Senatorial Committee ended last month with more in the bank.

Pressured To Drop Off Illinois' Lt. Gov. Ballot, Cohen Goes for Governor: February seems a long time ago, but way back then, a gentleman with a colorful past won the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, only to be pressured into quitting by the horrified upper crust of his party. Now he's back.

You Want To Be Governor Of Michigan? Really? The more you look at the field of hopefuls who want to be their parties' nominees for governor, writes columnist Tim Skubick, the more "You might conclude that they are running for the wrong office."

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

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