White House: U.S., Russia Near Deal On Nuclear Arms
• "The United States and Russia have broken a logjam in arms control negotiations and expect to sign a treaty next month to slash their nuclear arsenals to the lowest levels in half a century, officials in both nations said Wednesday," the New York Times reports. "President Obama and President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia plan to talk Friday to complete the agreement."
• Obama "said on Wednesday he was 'deeply disturbed' by recent events in Cuba, including the death of a hunger striker protesting his political imprisonment and repression of peaceful protests by families of political prisoners," the Wall Street Journal reports.
Health Care: At Parliamentarian's Behest, Bill Returns to House
• "The House will have to take up health care legislation again -- likely within the next day or two -- after the bill hit a speed bump" early this morning "in the Senate," Roll Call (subscription) reports.
• "Sens. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.) announced Wednesday that they would support the reconciliation package," Roll Call (subscription) reports.
• "The Obama administration on Wednesday blasted as bogus a lawsuit filed by states against the new healthcare law," The Hill reports.
• "A potential Republican majority may not be able to repeal healthcare reform, but they'd probably refuse to fund it, Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said" on Wednesday, The Hill reports.
Politics: Democrats Report Threats, Vandalism
• "The FBI, Capitol Police and local law-enforcement agencies said Wednesday they are investigating death threats, vandalism and other acts against Democratic House members in the wake of Sunday's passage of the healthcare overhaul bill," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.
• "Senior White House and organized labor officials are warning the handful of House Democrats who supported health care legislation last year only to oppose the final measure on Sunday that they shouldn't expect assistance for their reelection campaigns this fall," Politico reports.
• "Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) is taking sides in the race to succeed retiring Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.), endorsing state Rep. Jeff Perry in the GOP primary over former state Treasurer Joe Malone," Roll Call (subscription) reports.
Economy: WH, Dems Increase Pressure On Regulation
• "The White House and Congressional Democrats are intensifying their push to overhaul financial regulation, buoyed by the enactment of health-care legislation and an acknowledgment by some top Republicans that the initiative is likely to pass," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.
• "The House voted to extend 'Build America Bonds' on the backs of foreign companies Wednesday on a mostly party-line, 246-178 vote, sending the $19.3 billion package of tax incentives and aid to states to an uncertain Senate fate," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.
World: Russia And China Pushed Iran On Uranium
• "Russia disclosed on Wednesday that Russian and Chinese envoys had pressed Iran's government to accept a United Nations plan on uranium enrichment during meetings in Tehran early this month but that Iran had refused, leaving 'less and less room for diplomatic maneuvering,'" the New York Times reports.
• "Thirty years after a sharpshooter fired a single shot at Oscar Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador, killing him as he celebrated Mass, El Salvador's president apologized Wednesday for the assassination that helped push the country toward civil war," the New York Times reports.
National Security: Health Care Wrangling Holds Up Military Committees
• "A number of scheduled hearings... became collateral damage in the ongoing acrimony of the health care reform debate," Military Times reports. "As the Senate was working on the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act... Republicans objected to Senate committees holding hearings while the Senate was in session."
• "Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday that Pentagon officials are reviewing proposals from Boeing under which DoD would buy new F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters with multiyear contracts, plans the prime contractor says would save the military up to 10 percent," Military Times reports.
Congress: Debt Panel Roster Fills Out
• "The roster for a presidential deficit-reduction panel is now complete, with" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., "Wednesday appointing House Budget Chairman John Spratt," D-S.C. ,"Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Xavier Becerra of California and Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., to it," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.
• "The House Wednesday approved a $5.1 billion emergency supplemental spending package for disaster relief and youth jobs initiatives, 239-175, a largely party-line vote as Republicans insisted the measure be offset," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.
Energy & Environment: Collins, Cantwell Push Alternative To Carbon Market
• "Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, are pushing for their alternative 'cap-and-dividend' idea that would avoid setting up a carbon trading market," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.
• "China is emerging as the world's clean-energy powerhouse, according to a new study by The Pew Charitable Trusts," USA Today reports.
Transportation: House Continues To Tinker With FAA Bill
• "The House today is expected to approve new pilot training requirements, while setting up for potentially divisive talks with the Senate on a broader" Federal Aviation Administration plan, CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.
• "Leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee asked federal inspectors Wednesday to expand their investigation into the safety of a $600 million highway project in Nevada," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.
• "Americans are turning against Toyota Motor Corp. after sudden-acceleration complaints forced it to recall more than 8 million vehicles worldwide, while Ford Motor Co. is the most popular automaker," Bloomberg News reports.
Technology: Go Daddy Follows Google's Lead In China
• "An official from Go Daddy, the world's largest Internet domain name registrar, told members of Congress Wednesday that increased surveillance by the Chinese government has prompted it to stop providing new address registration services for China's domestic domain, .CN," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.
• "A House subcommittee culminated five years of study and debate Wednesday by moving to its parent panel a bill authorizing the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission to require utilities to help shield the nation's electricity grid from major solar disturbances and acts of sabotage," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.
• "A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee approved legislation Wednesday to regulate prepaid phone calling cards to prevent abuses such as deceptive fees," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.
• "With the U.K. election, which must be held by June 6, likely to be the closest since 1974, strategists for Prime Minister [Gordon] Brown and Conservative leader [David] Cameron are trying to use social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Google Inc.'s YouTube as effectively as" Obama "did in his 2008 presidential campaign," Bloomberg News reports.
Lobbying: Health Care Activists Are Not Done Yet
• "Many activists on both sides of the health care issue... have no plans to disappear even as the Congressional fight over health care may be finally coming to a close," Roll Call (subscription) reports.
Commentary: Is The Individual Mandate Constitutional?
• In Earlybird's Pundits & Editorials section, critics find that the mandate is written into tax code, giving Congress power to enforce it.