National Journal Online

Democrats Fail In Second Attempt To Pass COMPETES Bill

Democrats Wednesday failed for the second time to gain House passage of legislation that would reauthorize research and development programs at federal science agencies in an effort to boost U.S. competitiveness. House Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., reintroduced the America COMPETES Act Tuesday after it was pulled from the floor last week when lawmakers passed a GOP-sponsored motion to recommit the measure.

Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 1:53pm

Brewer's Delicate Balancing Act

AZ Gov. Jan Brewer (R) on Tuesday notched another victory for her brief tenure, but it's unlike a victory any other GOPer is likely to brag about -- facing a competitive GOP primary, Brewer spearheaded a tax increase.

On Tuesday, AZ voters approved Proposition 100, a measure to increase the sales tax by 1% for 4 years, by a wide 64%-36% margin. Brewer spearheaded the campaign, aimed at closing a budget gap for the ailing Copper State, and even appeared at the campaign's victory rally last night.

Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 1:34pm

Kagan Hearings Will Start June 28

Solicitor General Elena Kagan will face the lights, cameras and action of a Senate confirmation hearing on June 28, Senate Judiciary Committe chair Patrick Leahy said today.

In a statement, Leahy said the schedule will allow the nomination proceed at the same pace as previous nominees.

Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 12:14pm

The Keystone Kontests: House Race Update Vol. II

A look at last night's results in PA House contests:

PA 03: It was messy, and expensive, but car dealer Mike Kelly (R) appears to have emerged from the GOP primary to face Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D) in the fall. He led businessman Paul Huber (R) by 1K votes (28%-26%), with all of the ballots counted. Kelly aired ads accusing Huber of shipping jobs to Poland, and for being a Dem until recently, while Huber attacked Kelly for supporting tax increases as a city councilor.

Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 11:57am

AMA Says 'Doc Fix' Doesn't Fix Solvency

From this morning's Earlybird: • "The American Medical Association is opposing the Medicare 'doc fix' included in the tax extenders bill House Democrats are preparing," The Hill reports. "AMA argues the proposed fix to the Medicare payment system for physicians doesn't address the program's solvency issues and only pushes the problem five years down the road." • "Unions are claiming credit for Sen. Blanche Lincoln's (D-Ark.) tough derivatives bill, saying their support for her primary challenger pushed her to the left," The Hill also reports.

Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 8:39am

House Dems Aim To Revive Research Funding Bill

From this morning's Earlybird: • "House Democrats" today "will take a second stab at a science and technology research funding bill that was scuttled last week because of a debate over Internet porn," The Hill reports. • "One of modern life's most durable features -- fixed-price electricity -- is slowly being pushed to the sidelines, a creeping change that will influence such things as what time millions of Americans cook dinner and what appliances they buy," the Wall Street Journal reports.

Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 8:35am

House To Take Up Competes Bill, Again

After the measure was pulled from the floor last week, the House will try again Wednesday to pass legislation that would reauthorize research and development programs at federal science agencies in an effort to boost U.S. competitiveness. House Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., was expected Tuesday to reintroduce the America COMPETES Act, which was pulled from the floor last week after lawmakers passed a GOP-sponsored motion to recommit the measure, Gordon said in a news release.

Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 8:36pm

Lieberman To Unveil Cybersecurity Bill

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., plans to unveil a bill soon that aims to beef up cybersecurity inside and outside government by using agencies' mammoth collective purchasing power to demand safeguards in information technology products, a Senate Democratic aide said on Monday.

Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 3:40pm

House Judiciary Leaders Offer Revised Fee-Setting Bill

House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., and Judiciary ranking member Lamar Smith, R-Texas, announced Tuesday they are introducing a revised bill that would give the Patent and Trademark Office authority to set its own fees while including language barring the diversion of agency funds for other government programs, CongressDaily reported. A narrower measure that would only give the PTO fee-setting authority was expected to be considered by the House Tuesday under the suspension calendar.

Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 3:13pm

Google WiFi Data Under More European Scrutiny

Google is coming under increased scrutiny by European regulators after revealing last week that it had mistakenly collected more data from WiFi users than previously disclosed. Johannes Caspar, a German data protection official in Hamburg, has given Google until May 26 to hand over the hard drives containing data collected by Google's Street View cars for use in location-based services such as Google Maps or it could face legal action, according to several media reports.

Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 3:06pm