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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Democratic Chatter 3-18-2009

George Wenschhof Bio

Today, President Barack Obama will meet with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) to discuss Immigration Reform - an issue that has been pushed to the back burner since before the Presidential campaign last year. Let's hope that some comprehensive reforms can be brought forward to help in resolving this difficult issue that has served to divide many Americans. has more here.

The president will then fly to long Beach, California to appear at a town hall meeting. He will also appear on ESPN SportsCenter at Noon ET where he is interviewed on the NCAA Basketball Tournament.


National debt hits 11 Trillion, politicians express outrage on A.I.G. bonuses, White House expresses confidence in Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner - are not the headlines Democrats want to be reading. The national debt is expected to approach 14 trillion at the end of fiscal year 2010, the first budget under the Obama administration. Meanwhile, the 165 million in bonuses paid by A.I.G. to some who no longer work for them has voters across the country asking who is paying attention to the hundreds of billions being spent by the U.S. government. Which has led to the early vote of confidence for Geithner floated by the White House. The Obama administration will want to change these headlines and in a hurry.


Senate to take up Gary Locke confirmation hearing today - the Senate Commerce Committee is expected to vote favorable for the third nominee by President Obama to be Commerce Secretary. The lone remaining cabinet member to be confirmed by the Senate is Kathleen Sebelius for Health and Human Services.


President Obama makes first pick for Judge - He has nominated Judge David F. Hamilton for the vacant seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Hamilton is considered a moderate and was counsel to Indiana Senator Evan Bayh (D) when he was Governor. Indiana Senator Dick Lugar (R) has signaled his support of Hamilton. has more here.


White House may use legislative process to bypass Senate filibusters - Peter Orszag, director of White House Office of management and Budget said yesterday the President could use a budget "reconciliation" process to bypass filibuster rules in the Senate to pass future proposed bills. The Democrats currently have 56 senate seats and 2 Independent senators who vote with them for a total of 58. A vote of 60 is needed to end discussion on a bill and have it go to a floor vote. Mr. Orszag was pointing out the budget "reconciliation" process has been used before by both Republican and Democratic presidents and when used only requires a simple majority to pass a proposed bill. has more here.


U.S. to support UN declaration calling for worldwide decriminalization of Homosexuality - AP is reporting the Obama administration has indicated they will sign the non-binding declaration. The former Republican George W. Bush administration had refused to sign the declaration. has more here.


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