White House: Obama Stumps For Health Care In Ohio
• "President Obama made a campaign-style trip Monday to Ohio to stir up support for his health care legislation, as congressional allies scrambled for votes and began mulling arcane parliamentary tactics to pass the measure," USA Today reports.
• "A previously undisclosed gripe about" former White House social secretary Desiree Rogers "provides another explanation for her abrupt departure last month: Some of Obama's biggest fundraisers, already chafing at not getting enough love from the administration, didn't even get Christmas cards last year," Politico reports.
Health Care: Pelosi May Attempt To Circumvent Vote
• "After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate's health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it," the Washington Post reports.
• "Democratic leaders are using a mixture of pressure and persuasion to get Hispanic Democrats in the 'yes' column when it comes to the vote on healthcare," The Hill reports.
• Obama "on Monday called on Democratic lawmakers to show 'courage' by voting for healthcare reform as the House moved one step closer to passing the massive bill," The Hill reports.
Economy: Jobs Bill Inches Closer To Finish Line
• "The U.S. Senate voted 61-30 to approve a key procedural vote Monday on a bill aimed at spurring private-sector job creation," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports. "A final vote is likely to occur" today.
• The financial regulation bill introduced by Democrats on Monday "would create a nine-member council, led by the Treasury secretary, to watch for systemic risks, and direct the Federal Reserve to supervise the nation's largest and most interconnected financial institutions, not just banks," the New York Times reports.
World: FBI, DEA Investigate Mexico Consulate Murders
• "Dozens of officials from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and other U.S. agencies joined an investigation Monday into the killings of three people tied to the U.S. Consulate in the Mexican city of Juarez, scrambling to determine whether the slayings marked an escalation in the region's drug war or were simply cases of mistaken identity, officials said," the Washington Post reports.
• "Two months after an earthquake pulverized the country's capital, Haiti authorities calculated they would need $11.5 billion over the next three years to get the nation back on its feet," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.
• "The Thai Parliament postponed a scheduled session" today "as protesters continued to occupy the streets of the main government district in Bangkok," the New York Times reports. "But there were also signs that the crowds of demonstrators, who are demanding that the government step down, were thinning out."
National Security: McChrystal Restrains Special Forces After Civilian Casualties
• "Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top American commander in Afghanistan, has brought most American Special Operations forces under his direct control for the first time, out of concern over continued civilian casualties and disorganization among units in the field," the New York Times reports.
• "A U.S. envoy's postponement of his Mideast trip appeared" today "to deepen one of the worst U.S.-Israeli feuds in memory -- even as Israel's foreign minister signaled his government had no intention of curtailing the contentious construction at the heart of the row," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.
Politics: Spending By Departing Lawmakers Questioned
• "After announcing plans to leave the House of Representatives, Florida Democrat Robert Wexler went on to spend more than $340,000 of his campaign funds on staff bonuses, airline tickets and other expenses," USA Today reports. "Watchdogs, such as Sheila Krumholz of the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, say the spending by outgoing lawmakers raises questions about whether it is an appropriate use of donors' money."
• Controversial bailout votes could make the difference in some congressional primaries, The Hill reports.
Energy & Environment: Senate Trio Will Not Release Outline This Week
• "Three senators working on a Senate climate and energy deal are not going to release an outline this week, amid increasing chatter that a draft bill will also wait until after the spring recess," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.
• At the request of the Agriculture Department, the Environmental Protection Agency "is revising its model for forecasting how a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would impact agriculture," Secretary Tom Vilsack said Monday, CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.
• "Senators working on a major climate bill have a near impossible task: how to cut deals without looking like they're cutting deals," Politico reports.
Transportation: Northwest Pilots May Be Reinstated
• "A pair of Northwest Airlines pilots who had their licenses revoked after losing contact with air-traffic controllers for more than an hour and flying roughly 100 miles past their destination airport last fall could return to the cockpit in a matter of months, under the terms of a settlement with federal regulators," the Wall Street Journal reports.
Technology: FCC Lays Out Broadband Plan
• "The National Broadband Plan laid out Monday by the Federal Communications Commission... offers a far-reaching, multi-pronged strategy for expanding broadband access," The Hill reports.
• "The FCC's massive national broadband plan appears designed to please a wide array of constituencies, but maintaining the support of competing interests will be challenging when the political daggers come out during the implementation phase, experts said Monday," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.
• "If Google Inc. decides to close the door on its search engine in China, it might open a door for Microsoft Corp," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.
Lobbying: Business Groups Pick At Dodd's Bill
• "Just hours after Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) unveiled his financial services regulatory reform bill, business groups moved to oppose specific provisions in the legislation," Roll Call reports.
• "Liberal groups, drug companies and assorted coalitions are moving to counter the heavy blitz of ads aimed at sinking the health care overhaul legislation that could be considered as soon as this week by the House," Roll Call reports.
• "Wide-ranging bans on earmarks are forcing appropriations lobbyists to look for other avenues to find money for their clients," The Hill reports.
• "A lobbying firm with close ties to the late Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) -- and a central player in some of the most questionable earmarks sponsored by Murtha -- appears to have closed its doors," Roll Call reports.
Commentary: 'The Only Sensible Choice'?
• In Earlybird's Pundits & Editorials section, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius digs in on health care reform, while Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, oppose.