Confirmation Vote: Hustle and Bustle for Nussle?

The vote schedule on the nomination of Jim Nussle to the position of Director, OMB is somewhat clarified at this point:

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OMB Watch: Support SCHIP Expansion

OMB Watch has put out letters urging support for the SCHIP expansion bills now moving in the House and Senate.

  • Senate letter
  • House letter

The Senate bill will probably get a vote either today or tomorrow, while the House will probably vote either tomorrow or Thursday.

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Carried Interest: Senatorial Sparring; Recommended Reading

The carried interest issue returned to Capitol Hill today, as the Senate Finance Committee held its "Carried Interest, Part II" hearing. The views expressed by members of the committee were, for the most part, restatements of positions they took at the first hearing, on July 11.

But there was one telling exchange. Sen.

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Scene from a Summit: Greenbacks and Vertigo

Tomorrow is the day of the grand summit between President Bush and Democratic leaders on the 2008 federal budget. The summit -- an attempt to reconcile their differences regarding the budget -- was announced last Wednesday. Senate Budget Committee chair Kent Conrad remarked that the meeting could be a key to Nussle's confirmation to head OMB: "It will certainly be affected by that [meeting]."

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House Passes Ethics and Lobbying Reform, Again

Hopefully this time the Senate will act. The House voted 411-8 to pass S.1, the ethics and lobbying reform bill that would increase disclosure requirements for lobbying activities and for earmarks. The next step is for the bill's passage in the Senate, which may prove a bit more difficult. Read previous reactions by OMB Watch below.

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FDA Panel Weighs in on Avandia

Yesterday, Dr. David Graham of the FDA recommended to a panel of scientific advisors the diabetes drug Avandia be pulled from the market. Studies have shown the drug may lead to an increased risk of heart attacks.

In a 20-3 vote, the panel agreed the drug increases the risk of heart attacks, according to The New York Times.

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New Lobby/Ethics Provisions Analyzed

With One Seachable/Sortable Surprise

Following up on Adam's blog, below is a closer look at and comment on the revolving door and earmarks provisions of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007.

Word is that the House will vote on the bill tomorrow; the Senate is expected to do so on Thursday.

The bill's "revolving door" provisions are as follows:

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Science-based Policy Not Bush's Cup of Tea

Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona's claim that senior Bush administration officials interfered with his work has caused quite the controversy. Now, more information is surfacing as to the exact incidences of manipulation.

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Compromise Lobbying & Ethics Bill Unveiled!

Today, the Democratic leadership in Congress released their long-awaited compromise lobbying and ethics bill - The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (text of the legislation). The bill is 107 pages long, but already there has been some criticism of changes to the bill, particularly the earmark disclosure sections (see Mark Tapscott's reaction and the Porkbusters blog for a sampling). Two Senators, Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) - whose amendment to the bill earlier this year on earmark disclosure greatly strengthen the bill - have also posted disappointing reactions.

At first glance it does appear the final version of the bill is not as strong (i.e. transparent) as the original and it is unclear why those changes were adopted at this point in the debate. DeMint has announced he will offer an amendment during final consideration of the bill to "restore real earmark reform." It's yet to be seen whether that amendment will be adopted of if this version is the best the House and Senate will be able to do this year.

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Schumer, Emmanuel Make Case for Carried Interest Reform Bill

According to stories carried by Bloomberg News and the New York Times today, Rep. Rahm Emmanuel (D-IL) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) have taken a position on the carried interest tax loophole in support of equity which is commendable -- to our view -- and fully consistent with unambiguous support for closing that loophole.

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