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By Ed O'Keefe

Highlights of Tuesday's Post Politics Hour, hosted by The Federal Eye:

Politics Hour

Arlington, Va.: What's your understanding about the new EPA regulations? Is this just a way of forcing Congress to pass cap-and-trade?

Ed O'Keefe: I'll defer to my environmental reporting colleagues on this one. Steven Mufson and David A. Fahrenthold report that:

"The EPA's "endangerment finding" -- a key bureaucratic step in the regulatory process -- was seen as a message to Congress and Copenhagen, but it was also a belated response to an order from the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in April 2007 that carbon dioxide should be considered a pollutant under the Clean Air Act."

More: "It remains unclear whether the EPA's regulatory cudgel will spur Congress to take faster action on the climate legislation that is now mired in the Senate or whether it will provoke a backlash."


Washington, DC: Ed - What's the status of the the recipient reporting issue and the Recovery Board? Ive seen that Chairman Devaney wants some statutory penalties, but how does Orszag's recent edict change the game?

Ed O'Keefe: It seems they're getting closer to enacting actual penalties, and Orszag's edict basically says that agencies can withhold funding if recipients don't report every quarter.

We'll have to see what happens when the second round of quarterly reports come due next month.

Dunn Loring, VA: Who's your bet for the next administration offical to be shown the door: Keith Jennings, Desiree Rogers or Robert Gibbs?

Ed O'Keefe: The Jennings controversy seems to have passed, Gibbs is doing OK, and many agree Rogers got an unprecedented amount of support from the Obamas following Crashergate, so it's unclear.

Remember: The Justice Department's #2 departed unexpectedly last week, so there could be some other mid-level or senior government official readying for their departure. Stay tuned!

Click here to read the complete Post Politics Hour chat

By Ed O'Keefe  | December 8, 2009; 2:00 PM ET
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