Great news for sports fans -- the World Cup kicked off today and the Celtics - Lakers series looks like it another classic. You need some good sports news when most of the political news is bad in Washington. The New York Times reports, "a government panel on Thursday essentially doubled its estimate of how much oil has been spewing from the out-of-control BP well, with the new calculation suggesting that an amount equivalent to the Exxon Valdez disaster could be flowing into the Gulf of Mexico every 8 to 10 days." The Hill reports that President Obama is still undecided and indecisive about meeting with BP CEO Tony Heyward:
Earlier on Thursday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs dodged a question asking if the president will meet with BP CEO Tony Hayward, who has become the public face of the company since the spill began. Hayward is scheduled to testify in front of a congressional panel on Wednesday.
The Congressional hearing next Wednesday will be a huge news story for a good portion of next week and is expected to dominate press coverage the day of the hearing. The House and Senate are not scheduled for votes today.
Issues for Conservatives to watch today are the following:
- Murkowski Resolution - In the first battle over Global Warming in the Senate, the Senate rejected yesterday by a 47-53 vote a resolution of disapproval offered by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to commence debate on a resolution that would stop the EPA from regulating the economy. Freedom Action described the vote as follows: "The Senate today defeated by a vote of 47 to 53 the Murkowski Resolution of Disapproval that would stop the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. Six Democrats and all 41 Republican Senators voted for the resolution. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) offered S. J. Res. 26 under the special procedures of the Congressional Review Act, so that the resolution needed only 51 votes for passage." Conservatives are worried that this new broad power for the EPA will lead to federal bureucrats implementing harmful regulations that will slow an already sputtering U.S. economy. Also, this is considered the first Global Warming vote of the year in the Senate and was a good indication of where Senators are on the issue of using federal power to regulate private industry in the name of stopping so called "Climate Change."
- Unemployment Insurance - The Senate is scheduled to work next week on completing the "Tax Extenders" bill that includes an expansion of payments to doctors who treat medicare patients (Doc Fix), an extension of unemployment benefits and extending some tax breaks. As I noted in an earlier post, CQ reports (subscription required) reports that this "bill also includes a number of unrelated provisions, including $4.6 billion for settlements of class action lawsuits against the government, $1 billion for a summer jobs program and an extension of the Build America Bonds program that benefits state and local government construction projects." The Senate will continue work on the Tax Extenders bill next week and on Tuesday will vote on 3 nominations.
- Robert Chatigny - The Senate Judiciary Committee discharged the nomination of Robert N. Chatigny, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit yesterday. hogan wrote on Red State in April that Chanigny "has acted irresponsibly, arrogantly and seemingly unethically" as a federal district judge. Conservatives should take note if this nomination makes it to the Senate floor, because of some serious allegations made as to Chatigny's activities in presiding over a murder trial in Connecticut.
Have a great weekend! Go USA!