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Capitol Briefing: October 4, 2009 - October 10, 2009

CBO: Medical Malpractice Reforms Could Save Up to $54 Billion

By Lori Montgomery Lawmakers could save as much as $54 billion over the next decade by imposing an array of new limits on medical malpractice lawsuits, congressional budget analysts said today -- a substantial sum that could help cover the cost of President Obama's overhaul of the nation's health system....

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 9, 2009; 1:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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House Ethics Committee Expands Rangel Investigation

By Perry Bacon Jr. The House Ethics Committee announced plans Thursday to expand its investigation of Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), who in August amended his congressional financial disclosure forms to acknowledge hundreds of thousands of dollars in previously unreported income and assets. In a statement, the committee said it voted...

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 8, 2009; 4:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Ethics and Rules  
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House Approves Hate-Crimes Measure as Part of Defense Funding

By Ben Pershing Legislation to punish hate crimes became a flashpoint on Capitol Hill on Thursday, as a measure expanding the definition of such crimes was attached to the bill outlining the Defense Department budget and approved by the House over the strong objections of Republicans. House and Senate negotiators...

By Ben Pershing  |  October 8, 2009; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (110)
Categories:  House , Purse Strings  
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Pelosi Sending Three Versions of Health Bill to CBO

By Ben Pershing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she would send three different versions of a health-care bill to the Congressional Budget Office for analysis, bringing the House one step closer to a vote on a combined reform package. One day after the CBO announced an $829 billion...

By Ben Pershing  |  October 8, 2009; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Dem. Leaders , Health Reform , House  
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Pelosi Won't Be 'Put in Her Place'

By Ben Pershing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) responded sharply Thursday to a GOP suggestion that Gen. Stanley McChrystal should "put her in her place" for her views on Afghanistan. After Pelosi suggested Monday that the public was wary of sending more troops to Afghanistan -- and that McChrystal's recommendation to...

By Ben Pershing  |  October 8, 2009; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Dem. Leaders , House  
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Swing Senators Chew Over CBO Report

Here's some of the latest buzz surrounding the swing-vote senators who will vote this week on the health-care bill out of the Senate Finance Committee, illustrating the pressure they're under as they approach a decision.

By Washington Post editors  |  October 8, 2009; 8:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Health Reform , Swing Senators  
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Today on the Hill

The Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m. ET and will resume consideration of H.R.2847, Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations. The House meets at 10:00 a.m. For a list of Congressional committee hearings, visit Today in Congress. Visit our Votes Database for more information on the House and Senate, including vote history...

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  October 8, 2009; 7:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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School Lunch Funds Get a Boost

By Jane Black The debate over health care has largely eclipsed talk of school lunch reform. But there's good news for advocates of healthful school food in the House Agriculture Appropriations conference report: $135 million worth, to be precise. The bill, which passed 263 to 162 late Wednesday, provides, among...

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 7, 2009; 6:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Votes  
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CBO Says Senate Health Bill Would Expand Coverage, Reduce Deficit

Updated 5:06 p.m. By Lori Montgomery and Shailagh Murray A health-care reform bill drafted by the Senate Finance Committee would expand health coverage to nearly 30 million Americans who currently lack insurance and would meet President Obama's goal of reducing the federal budget deficit by 2019, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget...

By Lori Montgomery  |  October 7, 2009; 4:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (192)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Opposition to Taxing Health Benefits Builds in the House

By Lori Montgomery More than half of House Democrats say they oppose taxing health benefits to help pay for an overhaul of the nation's insurance system, setting the stage for a battle with key senators who say the provision is critical for controlling health care costs. In a letter sent...

By Kathryn Tolbert  |  October 7, 2009; 4:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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House Refers Rangel Resolution to Ethics Committee

Update, 2:40 p.m: By Washington Post Staff The House of Representatives voted this afternoon to refer to the ethics committee a privileged resolution that would have forced Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) to relinquish the chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee. The resolution, offered by Texas Rep. John Carter (R),...

By Washington Post editors  |  October 7, 2009; 2:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Labor Nominee Still Faces GOP Hold

By Ed O'Keefe A Senate panel voted along party lines Wednesday to approve President Obama's nominee for the third-ranking post at the Labor Department. Despite the vote, Republicans say they will place a hold on the nomination and once again raise their concerns on the Senate floor before a full...

By Kendra Nichols  |  October 7, 2009; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Senate , Votes  
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Democratic Governors Weigh In...for Republicans

By Shailagh Murray Republicans are firing back at the White House for lining up a slew Republicans from outside Congress to issue statements of support for health-care reform. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's office circulated quotes from two Democratic governors underscoring a widespread, lingering concern about provisions in the bill...

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 7, 2009; 10:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Swing Senators Wait on the CBO, Cast Doubts on Carper Plan

Passage of a health-care bill out of the Senate Finance Committee hinges on whether Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) can reap enough votes from the member of his panel, which is composed of 13 Democrats and 10 Republicans. Here's some of the latest buzz surrounding the swing-vote senators, illustrating the pressure they're under as they approach a decision.

By Washington Post editors  |  October 7, 2009; 8:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Health Reform , Swing Senators  
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Today on the Hill

The Senate convenes at 9:30 a.m. ET. Following morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R.2847, the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill. The House meets at 10:00 a.m. First votes are scheduled between noon and 1:00 p.m. For a list of Congressional committee hearings, visit Today in Congress. Visit...

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  October 7, 2009; 7:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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As Health Vote Nears, Fellow Lawmakers Wonder Where Snowe Will Fall

Everyone on Capitol Hill is wondering how Sen. Olympia J. Snowe will vote on the Senate Finance Committee's health-care reform bill once the big day arrives, likely within the next week.

By Shailagh Murray  |  October 6, 2009; 4:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Health Reform , Senate  
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Republicans to Baucus: We Need CBO, JCT Experts for Vote on Health Bill

The ten Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee have sent a letter to Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), urging the Senate Finance Committee chairman to mandate the presence of Congressional Budget Office director Doug Elmendorf and Chief of Staff to the Joint Committee on Taxation Thomas Barthold, when the Committee votes on the final passage of its bill.

By Washington Post editors  |  October 6, 2009; 4:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Ensign: Assistance to Mistress's Husband Was Legal, Ethical

Embattled Nevada Sen. John Ensign (R) said Tuesday that he broke no law in helping the husband of his former mistress get a lobbying job, saying he and his aides "were very careful in everything that we did."

By Dan Eggen  |  October 6, 2009; 3:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Senate  
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Split Persists Over McChrystal Testimony

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer wants the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan to testify on Capitol Hill. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images) By Ben Pershing A key Democratic leader reiterated Tuesday that Gen. Stanley McChrystal should appear before Congress soon to testify on the war effort in Afghanistan, one day after...

By Ben Pershing  |  October 6, 2009; 1:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Branch vs. Branch , Dem. Leaders  
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Pressure Mounts on Snowe, Rockefeller and Wyden

Passage of a health-care bill out of the Senate Finance Committee hinges on whether Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) can reap enough votes from the member of his panel, which is composed of 13 Democrats and 10 Republicans. Here's some of the latest buzz surrounding the swing-vote senators, illustrating the pressure they're under as they approach a decision.

By Sarah Lovenheim  |  October 6, 2009; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Health Reform , Swing Senators  
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Today on the Hill

The Senate convenes at 10:00 a.m. ET and will proceed to Executive Session to consider the nomination of Thomas Perez, to be an Assistant Attorney General. The Senate will proceed to a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the Perez nomination around 12:15 p.m. The Senate...

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  October 6, 2009; 8:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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Senate Climate Staffer Abruptly Moves to EPA

By Juliet Eilperin In a sign of upheaval in the climate arena on Capitol Hill, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee staffer Joseph Goffman abruptly left his post Friday as senior counsel for global warming and air issues and is headed to work at the EPA. Goffman had been one...

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 5, 2009; 4:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Senate  
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Civil-Rights Groups Launch Health-Care Ad Blitz

By Ben Pershing A coalition of major African-American and Latino groups announced Monday that it is stepping into the health-care debate with a six-figure ad blitz aimed at promoting reform. A half-dozen groups -- the NAACP National Voter Fund, the National Council of La Raza, the Leadership Conference on...

By Ben Pershing  |  October 5, 2009; 4:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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