Follow the Leaders: The Whip Team Grows
Kyl: And Then There Were Seven
Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) has named the members of his whip team in the 111th Congress. The new team members will help Kyl push the Republican legislative agenda. Here's the list: Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), and David Vitter (R-La.). Sen. Richard Burr will become Chief Deputy Whip.
In a memo, Kyl said of his selections, "Not only do the members represent the diversity within the Republican Conference, but each brings critical skills that will help our leadership develop the successful strategies needed for the session ahead. I'm also excited to put Senator Burr's outstanding leadership skills to work as Chief Deputy Whip."
Boehner: Using His Mitt
After House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) thanked the Republican Study Committee for drafting proposals to improve the economy, he announced that tomorrow, the Committee will present its findings before former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman. Boehner's stipulation for any proposed solution? That "any legislation must help our economy by letting families and small businesses keep more of what they earn."
Pelosi: Next Step, Handcuffs!
On ABC's Good Morning America, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), questioned about Congress's handle on the distribution of money from the Troubled Asset Relief Fund, said "We did build it [accountability] in by having an oversight committee and an inspector general. The next thing we could do is go down to Pennsylvania Avenue with a set of handcuffs and say to them you're no longer allowed to enforce this law because you're not doing it right."
Tug of War: Boehner v. Pelosi on SCHIP
On the House floor, Speak Pelosi applauded today's passage of H.R. 2, the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, while Minority Leader Boehner attacked key provisions.
Pelosi said of the bill: "We have fought in the past for this legislation but it was vetoed. At the time President Bush said we could not afford this legislation... that we could not afford to ensure America's children... 40 days in Iraq equals more than 10 million children insured."
Boehner expressed concerns about the legislation, and said that although he supports the program, there are aspects of it that the reauthorization bill fails to address. "Unfortunately in many states, more than 2/3 of those enrolled in the SCHIP program are adults and there is nothing in this bill that ensures poor children will be brought into the program first," he said. "Madam Speaker, federal funds targeted for low-income children should benefit low-income children. Period."
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