National Journal Online

Clyburn Blasts Price Hikes

FCC regulator Mignon Clyburn Wednesday criticized broadband providers for raising their rates as the FCC works to bring broadband Internet service to more Americans.

Posted: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 9:14pm

Longshot Candidate First On AZ TV

Longshot candidate Buz Mills, an NRA board member who owns a firearms training center, is the first to launch a TV spot in the wide-open AZ GOV race, touting his tendency to tell the truth in a 60-second spot.

The ad, entitled "Truth," and produced by Alfano Communications, began airing this week, on both broadcast and cable stations in AZ. Seizing on a popular theme for non-incumbents in '10, Mills seeks to portray himself as an outsider who wants to reign in spending in the ad.

Posted: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 5:46pm

Updating The Health Care Whip Count

Our latest whip count shows no progress for House Dem leadership. In fact, more members are sneaking onto the watch list, as Rep. Steve Kagen (D-WI) voiced concern over whether the Senate would actually pass a sidecar bill.

For Dems, the problem has become clear: They need legislation before they can sell it to their members. Every day that goes by without a bill gives the GOP more time to pressure wavering Dems.

Posted: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 5:05pm

Boucher Forging Ahead on Universal Service

Even though the FCC says it can revamp the multi-billion dollar universal service fund on its own -- and without the need for congressional action -- a key House lawmaker is forging ahead with USF legislation anyway. Either way, the fund, which now subsidizes mostly traditional phone costs in low-income and rural areas, would be redirected toward supporting broadband deployment and adoption.

Posted: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 5:05pm

Senate Passes R&D Credit Extension, Satellite Measure

The Senate passed a bill Wednesday that includes a one-year extension of the research and development tax credit and legislation extending satellite retransmission licenses. The bill must still be reconciled with House legislation or passed by that chamber before it can be sent to President Obama. The measures were included in legislation that extended several business tax breaks and unemployment benefits. The satellite legislation included in the bill would reauthorize the expiring statutory licenses that allow satellite providers to retransmit broadcast stations to consumers.

Posted: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 4:54pm

Dems Disgorge $500K In Rangel Cash

House Dems have returned $503K in contributions from embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) after a week-long offensive by GOPers to paint the cash as tainted.

The former chair of the Ways and Means Committee stepped down last week after the House ethics committee found he violated the chamber's ban on accepting gifts from corporations. Now, a total of 36 members have given back some or all of the contributions the influential Rangel handed out.

Posted: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 4:01pm

Panel Backs Anti-Spoofing, Spectrum Bills

The House Energy and Commerce Committee Wednesday approved legislation that would make it illegal to falsify caller identification information, a practice known as "spoofing," while also backing two bills to improve the allocation of spectrum. The anti-spoofing bill would make it illegal to use technology to transmit "misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with the intent to defraud or deceive." The bill would provide an exception for law enforcement or national security purposes.

Posted: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 3:24pm

Rubio Spot Hits Fox News

Ex-FL House Speaker Marco Rubio (R) is up with his first TV ad in an appeal to Fox News viewers around the state, doubling down on accusations that his primary rival is not a true conservative.

The 60-second ad features Rubio addressing the camera on standard GOP fare like limited government, reduced spending and defeating "the threat of radical Islam."

Posted: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 2:04pm

Sebelius Slams Insurers At Industry Meeting

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius this morning faced off with Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, at the group's Washington meeting. Although the two were cordial to each other, the tone was very serious. Sebelius claimed she wasn't there to "vilify or blame insurance companies for all of the nation's health care problems," but her criticisms of the industry were severe. She restated her request that insurers make transparent information about their premium increases and profits.

Posted: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 1:55pm

GOPers Slow To Give To Own Cause

Dem members of Congress have contributed more than 3 times the amount to their own party committees than GOP incumbents have, a factor that has Dems in their best financial position even as they face a troubling political environment.

According to statistics compiled by the FEC, Dem House members have given $15.7M to the DCCC through the end of '09. By contrast, incumbent GOPers have handed over just $4.7M.

Dems in the upper chamber have given the DSCC nearly $2.6M, while the GOP has given the NRSC only about $450K in direct transfers from campaign accounts.

Posted: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 12:56pm