National Journal Online

GOP lawmakers Urge FCC To Block State VoIP Fees

Two influential GOP House members called on the FCC Tuesday to block states from imposing fees on Internet telephony. "Internet services such as [Internet telephony] have been responsible for tremendous growth in the U.S. communications services, software, and equipment industries," Energy and Commerce ranking member Joe Barton, R-Texas, and Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., the ranking member on the panel's Communications subcommittee, wrote in a letter to the FCC.

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 6:07pm

Google, Groups Not Quite On The Same Page Anymore

The Computer and Communications Industry Association released a statement Tuesday that put some distance between itself and one of its more prominent members, Google, on the open Internet principles announced Monday by the Internet firm and Verizon. CCIA has been a strong proponent of network neutrality rules, which would bar broadband providers from giving priority access to certain types of content. In its statement Tuesday, CCIA called on the FCC to move forward with Chairman Julius Genachowski's proposal to reclassify some aspects of broadband as a telecommunications service.

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 4:22pm

House Passes FMAP With Two GOP Votes

The House has passed a $26B package aimed at helping states address growing Medicaid budget deficits and avoid laying off thousands of teachers, moving the bill to Pres. Obama's desk for a signature.

The bill would spend $16B to help states close gaps in Medicaid budgets and another $10B on education aid, money intended to prevent thousands of teachers from losing their jobs. It passed the House by a 247-161 margin.

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 4:01pm

Stevens Apparently Among Those Killed In Crash

Officials in government and industry Tuesday mourned the loss of former Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who appears to have died in an airplane crash in his home state Monday night. Stevens, a former chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, was among the five passengers who died in the plane crash, AP reported. Others on the flight included former NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe and his son, both of whom appear to have survived, according to Reuters. O'Keefe currently serves as CEO of EADS North America, the arm of the European consortium that manufactures Airbus aircraft.

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 3:55pm

Indiana Dem Keeping Distance From Obama, Pelosi

We've seen some Dem candidates in recent weeks go to great lengths to avoid being seen with Pres. Obama at fundraisers and other events, but Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) took efforts to distance himself from the Dem leadership to a whole new level in a new ad out this week.

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 3:33pm

Hotline Spotlight: The GOP Turns Pro-Choice

For months, Dems have tried to convince reporters and supporters that the midterms will be a choice election rather than solely a referendum on the unpopular majority. But what if the choice option is just as bad as the referendum?

-- A new POS survey for the GOP group American Crossroads in key SEN races shows it's not just the referendum that's beating Dems, it's the GOP's actual arguments too. The GOP message on the economy beats the Dem message 52%-44%. On health care, the GOP wins 51%-46%. And an overall GOP message beats an overall Dem message by a 54%-42% score.

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 1:10pm

Former NASA Administrator On Crashed Flight

Former NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, who is now CEO of EADS North America, is among the passengers on a plane that crashed in Alaska Monday night, the company said Tuesday. Other passengers who are believed to have been on the flight that apparently killed five of the nine passengers include former Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska. "Local authorities are reporting that there are survivors and a rescue operation is underway," EADS North America spokesman Guy Hicks said in a statement.

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 11:08am

House Primary Preview

House primaries will be upstaged today by exciting Governor and Senate contests in MN, CO, CT and GA today, but there are a few contests that bear watching. For one, GOPers will attempt again (after failing last week in MI) to gain a high-profile African-American nominee in CO-07, and will also pick the next congressman in the heavily GOP GA-07 open seat. Meanwhile, Rep. Tom Graves (R) will meet a familiar opponent for a chance to put a lock-down on his newly gained seat.

CO-07

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 10:18am

Key CDT Official Leaving For NIST

Ari Schwartz, a longtime advocate for protecting privacy in the age of Web-based government, is leaving his post at the Center for Democracy and Technology to press for change from within the administration at the National Institute for Standards and Technology, Nextgov.com reported. After working at the Washington civil liberties group for nearly 13 years, Schwartz announced Monday that he has accepted an offer to become a NIST senior adviser for Internet policy. The move will allow him to continue examining issues related to identity management, cybersecurity and privacy, he said.

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 9:58am

MO GOPer Coordinates On Health Care

Health care is back to the front burner in MO these days, after a proposition that would allow the state to opt out of the new health care law's individual mandate passed by overwhelming margins there last week.

On the same day Show-Me State voters went to the polls to select their nominees for this fall's elections, they also passed Proposition C, a direct challenge to a key pillar of the health care law. The measure passed with more than 70% of the vote.

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 9:16am