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Friday, January 16, 2009

Democratic Chatter 1-16-2009

George Wenschhof Bio

President-elect Barack Obama receives Senate approval on remaining 350 Billion of the Bailout funds - the Senate vote was 52-42, the close vote reflecting the disappointment in lack of accountability on how the first 350 Billion was spent. However, the President-elect was able to persuade enough Democrats to vote for the release of the funds. The way the bill was written does not require a House vote - the only way to have blocked the additional funds would have been for both the House and the Senate to vote to deny. The funds will be available shortly after the Inauguration next week. The NY Times has more here.


House Democrats present 825 Billion Stimulus Bill - yesterday, the first version of the stimulus bill called for by Obama was released. has more here. The President-elect issued a statement supporting the bill. has his full statement here.


Bank of America reports first losses since 1991 - they will be among the financial institutions receiving funds from the remaining 350 Billion just released by the senate. has more here.


President George W. Bush says good-bye - last night at 8:00 PM ET, the President gave a fifteen minute farewell speech. Unfortunately for him, Americans across the country were focused on the incredible emergency plane landing in the NY Hudson River and the miraculous survival of all on board the flight. If you missed his speech, has it and you can watch it here.


Eric Holder holds his own in his confirmation hearing for Attorney General - facing tough questioning, Mr. holder stated he believed waterboarding to be torture, that gun control options had been limited after the recent Supreme Court ruling on the D.C. handgun ban, said the White House should work within the guidelines of FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, admitted some mistakes in his role in the pardon of Marc Rich, and said the Gitmo prison at Guantanamo Bay would be closed although it will take time. It appears Mr. Holder is on line to become the next Attorney General. has more here.


Yesterday, Vice-President elect Joe Biden and Secretary of State designate Hillary Clinton said their good-byes to their fellow Senators - Ted Kaufman who was Biden's chief of staff will be sworn in to replace him and he has stated he will only serve until 2010. It is anticipated Joe Biden's son Beau will then run for the seat. Beau is currently serving in Iraq and has received leave to head home to attend the inauguration. has more here.

The top contenders for the NY Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton are Caroline Kennedy and Andrew Cuomo. Expect the appointment from NY Governor David Paterson to come soon.


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