White House: Obama Announces Plans To Bolster Mexican Border
• "President Obama will deploy 1,200 National Guard troops and request an extra $500 million to secure the Mexican border, his administration said Tuesday, a move dismissed by Republicans as insufficient to win their cooperation on an overhaul of the nation's immigration system," the Washington Post reports.
• "President Obama held a rare meeting Tuesday with Senate Republicans, in what GOP senators said was 'a wide-ranging' and at times testy exchange focused on immigration and energy legislation," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports. "It gave the president and his Senate critics a chance for rare direct exchanges on issues over which they usually clash through the media."
• Obama, "fighting to stay ahead of the political storm over the Gulf oil spill, is expected to announce on Thursday that the government will impose tougher safety requirements and more rigorous inspections on off-shore drilling operations," the Wall Street Journal reports.
National Security: The War Supplemental And Border Security
• CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports reports on the fiscal 2010 war supplemental bill and its border security provisions.
• "Arizona's new crackdown on illegal immigration will increase crime in U.S. cities, not reduce it, by driving a wedge between police and immigrant communities, police chiefs from several of the state's and the nation's largest cities said Tuesday," the Washington Post reports.
• "The main U.S. prison in Afghanistan is less than a week away from an event many thought would never occur at the long-secretive holding tank for captured militants: a trial," AP reports. "On June 1, a detainee will stand with a lawyer and plead his case in front of an Afghan judge, said Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, the deputy commander for detention operations."
Energy & Environment: GOP Senators Offer Alternative To Raising Liability Cap
• Senate Energy and Natural Resources ranking member Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Sen. David Vitter, R-La., Tuesday resisted raising the liability cap on oil companies but "introduced another bill to codify BP's commitment to paying all the costs associated with the cleanup" in the Gulf of Mexico, CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.
• "Sen. John (Jay) Rockefeller, D-W.Va., expressed frustration Tuesday that he does not have more supporters for his proposal to delay for two years EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.
• Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson, "scheduled to headline a fundraiser for Senate Democrats next week in Manhattan, cancelled her appearance Tuesday afternoon" over "Republican criticism that it was inappropriate in the midst of the ongoing environmental crisis along the Louisiana coast," Politico reports.
• "In the hours before the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded last month in the Gulf of Mexico, there were strong warning signs that something was terribly wrong with the well, according to a Congressional committee that was briefed on the accident by executives from BP," the New York Times reports.
• "As BP prepared Tuesday for its most ambitious effort yet to stop the torrent of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, company officials emphasized that the procedure known as a top kill had never been tried so far underwater, that it might be delayed again and that it might not succeed at all," the Times also reports.
• "Some fishermen who have been hired by BP to clean up the gulf oil spill say they have become ill after working long hours near waters fouled with oil and dispersant, prompting" Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-La., "to call on the federal government to open mobile clinics in rural areas to treat them," the Los Angeles Times reports.
World: Clinton Supports Seoul's Bid For U.N. Redress
• "With political and military tension increasing daily on the Korean peninsula, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said" today "that Washington would stand beside Seoul as it seeks redress at the United Nations Security Council over North Korea's apparent sinking of a South Korean warship," the New York Times reports.
• Iranian "President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday Russia's support for new U.N. sanctions against Iran was unacceptable and called on President Dmitry Medvedev to rethink his support for the U.S.-led move," Reuters reports.
• "For months, as the United States Treasury Department prepared to declare him a drug kingpin and a major figure in the international narcotics trade, Rear Adm. José Américo Bubo Na Tchuto was hiding out in the unlikeliest of places -- living in the United Nations building" in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, "sleeping on a mattress on the floor of a United Nations office and sometimes eating in the canteen," the New York Times reports.
Economy: Plan To Let SEC Self-Fund Could Require More Oversight
• "A drive to allow the" Securities and Exchange Commission "to self-fund its budget by retaining fees it collects will likely have to be modified to allow for greater oversight by appropriators, House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank," D-Mass., said Tuesday, CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.
• "The Commerce Department official responsible for overhauling the complex and highly unpopular export control process said Tuesday there is general agreement within the government that the current system that is supposed to protect the nation's most sensitive defense technology 'is itself a security risk,'" CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.
Politics: Neither Party Has Edge On Economy, Poll Finds
• "When it comes to dealing with the economy and the federal deficit, neither party has an advantage with less than six months remaining before the fall elections, a poll shows," NationalJournal.com reports. "One-third of Americans said Republicans could do a better job handling the economy, while another third said Democrats would do better, according to the Society for Human Resource Management/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, conducted with the Pew Research Center."
• "Republican candidates who make Arizona's immigration crackdown a campaign issue could benefit in this election year, a study found" today, Reuters reports.
• "Organizing for America, the second iteration of" Obama's 2008 campaign, "has hired Yohannes Abraham as its new political director, a source tells Hotline OnCall, as the committee gears up for the midterm elections," Hotline On Call reports.
Congress: Republicans To Defend 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
• "House Republicans are preparing to mount a vigorous defense of the 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy President Bill Clinton implemented in 1993," The Hill reports. "GOP lawmakers in the lower chamber are poised to vote en masse against the defense authorization bill if it includes an amendment to repeal the law barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military."
• "Democratic leaders might have to scale back a $192 billion package of tax breaks and payments to states, physicians and unemployed workers and assorted other items, perhaps shortening the 'doc fix' or jettisoning other provisions to win votes," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.
• Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., "denounced the White House's decision to send 1,200 National Guard troops to the Mexican border as a 'submission' to demands by Republicans that the border be secured before passage of an immigration overhaul," Roll Call reports.
Health Care: Republicans Resist More Spending For 9/11 First Responders
• "Fiscal concerns dominated an emotional Energy and Commerce Committee markup of legislation to provide funding for the health care of first responders at the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center, as Republicans made their dislike for the legislation clear by offering a bevy of amendments," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports. Republicans are opposing "the legislation on the basis that it would increase mandatory spending during a period of record debt."
Technology: DOJ Investigates Apple's Digital Music Practices
• "The Justice Department is examining Apple's tactics in the market for digital music, and its staff members have talked to major music labels and Internet music companies, according to several people briefed on the conversations," the New York Times reports.
Supreme Court: Sessions Requests Papers From Clinton Era
• "Senate Republicans rallied Tuesday around a demand by the Judiciary Committee ranking member" Jeff Sessions of Alabama "that thousands of pages of Clinton-era documents be released before hearings begin on Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination," Roll Call reports.
Lobbying: Google Establishing Itself Inside The Beltway
• Google "is building an unconventional presence in Washington, with connections to think tanks, education sessions on high-tech issues for legislative staff members and charitable efforts on behalf of high-profile causes," the Washington Post reports.
• "Boeing is painting its rival, EADS North America, as a potential security threat in the competition to win a $35 billion Air Force tanker aircraft," The Hill reports.
• "With House Republicans poised to make major gains in November and Minority Leader John Boehner working to become the next Speaker, lobbyists are not-so-quietly cozying up to the Ohio Republican," Roll Call reports.
• "Now that Congress is moving to consider an economic package with those tax extenders, many business groups, including the technology council, aren't rejoicing," Roll Call reports. "The reason is that the Democratic leadership, under pressure to offset costs, has tacked on revenue-raising tax changes that business leaders complain could cut their bottom lines."
• "Comcast Corp. has been snapping up ex-government officials to help win approval of its proposed takeover of NBC Universal Inc., including former congressmen and congressional staff members, ex-government antitrust lawyers and former aides to the Federal Communications Commission's most impassioned critics of media mergers," Politico reports.
Commentary: How To Deal With BP
• In Earlybird's Pundits & Editorials section, Maureen Dowd sees Obama as overly deferential to BP executives even while Rand Paul argues the president was "un-American" in his criticism of BP -- a label that Thomas Frank says goes too far.
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