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Afternoon Fix: House GOP backs earmark ban; censure recommended for Rangel; DSCC chairman decision delayed until Christmas

By Aaron Blake

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* House Republicans unanimously adopted an earmark ban today, joining Senate Republicans in doing so. Meanwhile, the House GOP killed a three-month extension of unemployment benefits, citing the lack of spending cuts to pay for the extension.

* The lead counsel for the House ethics committee is recommending a penalty of censure for Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), who was convicted this week of breaking 11 congressional rules. A censure penalty would allow Rangel to stay in the House. The former Ways and Means Committee chairman pleaded with the committee, saying he "did nothing corrupt."

* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said at a press conference today that he's in "no rush" to hire a new chairman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and that an announcement isn't likely until the week after Christmas.

* Outgoing Republican Governors Association Chairman and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) says it's time for Republicans to replace Michael Steele as chairman of the Republican National Committee, adding a powerful voice to Steele's detractors.

* Texas Gov. Rick Perry was named the new chairman of the RGA today. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will serve as vice chairman, with the rest of the RGA executive committee consisting of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, New Mexico Gov.-elect Susana Martinez and South Carolina Gov.-elect Nikki Haley.

* The New Jersey Supreme Court has rejected an attempt by tea party activists in New Jersey to recall Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.). Regardless, Menendez is up for reelection in 2012, and he could be in trouble.


* McDonnell said he expects former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) to run for Allen's old Senate seat in 2012. How long before Allen jumps into the race?

* Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks to the Federalist Society's annual National Lawyers Convention tonight.

* Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), fresh off a victory in the earmarks battle, now says he will push for a showdown over the debt limit early next year. "These clowns who have been voting for more spending ... They're going to have to step up to the plate and vote for it."

* Education Secretary Arne Duncan will be a keynote speaker at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's (R) education summit on Dec. 1, giving the event bipartisan cred.


Whip it real good.

With Felicia Sonmez and Aaron Blake

By Aaron Blake  | November 18, 2010; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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