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EARLYBIRD

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Barton apologizes for his apology, but some fellow Republicans are unsatisfied. Plus: South Carolina Democrats will let primary results stand.

Congress: House Dems Set Aside Campaign Finance Bill

• "Facing revolt from two corners of their rank and file, House Democratic leaders are punting on a campaign finance measure so they can continue making changes aimed at building support," Roll Call (subscription) reports. "The eruptions -- from members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition -- came after a leadership-authored tweak to the package exempted the National Rifle Association from new disclosure requirements."

• "The Senate effectively rejected a slimmed-down package of jobless benefits and state aid late Thursday, rebuffing President Obama's call for urgent action to bolster the economic recovery," the Washington Post reports.

 

• House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., "on Thursday sought to underscore her continued support for the recently formed Office of Congressional Ethics, despite efforts by some House Democrats seeking to cut back on its powers," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.

• Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., "the conservative firebrand whose specialty is lobbing corruption allegations at the Obama White House, is making plans to hire dozens of subpoena-wielding investigators if Republicans win the House this fall," Politico reports.

Energy & Environment: BP's Hayward Denies Personal Responsibility

• "Tony Hayward, the chief executive of BP, facing relentless questioning by Congressional Democrats on Thursday, denied any personal responsibility for the decisions that led to the calamitous oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico," the New York Times reports.

 

• "Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) is apologizing for his apology," Politico reports. "After infuriating Democrats and Republicans alike with his public apology to BP and suggesting that a $20 billion escrow fund was a 'shakedown' by the White House, Barton is now 'retracting' his statement, made at a hearing with" Hayward.

• "Senate Democrats are struggling with how to move forward on energy legislation, despite" Obama's "assertion this week that the Gulf oil spill underscores the need to reduce the nation's dependence on fossil fuels," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.

• "Liberal Democrats in the Senate are threatening to vote against energy legislation if it does not address global climate change," The Hill reports.

• "The Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday that it would wait until September to decide whether car engines can handle higher concentrations of ethanol in gasoline," AP reports.

 

Politics: Should Barton Leave Committee Post?

• "Barton's Republican colleagues are questioning whether he should step aside as the ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee over comments he made apologizing to" Hayward "and ripping a $20 billion escrow account to pay for oil spill cleanup efforts," Roll Call (subscription) reports.

• "The South Carolina Democratic Party will not seek to overturn the controversial June 8 Senate primary results," The Hill reports.

• "The 'Tea Party' movement that's staging rallies and shaking up GOP primaries with its anti-tax, anti-establishment message is using at least one conventional approach to politics: Its backers have established more than 30 committees to collect campaign cash to influence elections," USA Today reports.

White House: Obama Will Establish 'Do Not Pay' List

• "President Obama will order federal agencies Friday to establish a national 'do not pay list' to prevent the government from paying benefits, contracts, grants and loans to ineligible people or organizations, according to senior administration officials," the Washington Post reports.

Economy: President Warns Leaders Of Shaky Recovery

• "President Obama warned world economic leaders in a letter this week that the global recovery could founder on growing divisions over issues they pledged a year ago to resolve cooperatively," the Washington Post reports.

• "As the House and Senate move to finalize regulatory-overhaul legislation, the Federal Reserve has emerged as likely to retain most of the power and independence Fed officials have feared they might lose," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.

• "Business groups are criticizing the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for exploring electronic union balloting, charging that workers would be subject to the same kind of intimidation as if card-check legislation were approved," The Hill reports.

National Security: General Electric Has Harsh Words For Gates

• "In an extraordinary move for a Pentagon contractor, a senior General Electric executive chastised" Defense Secretary Robert Gates "Thursday for unfavorable comments the Pentagon chief made during a Senate hearing this week about an alternate engine the firm is producing for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.

Health Care: Advisory Panel Backs New Morning-After Pill

• "A federal advisory panel voted unanimously Thursday that federal drug regulators should approve a medicine that could help prevent pregnancy if taken as late as five days after unprotected sex," the New York Times reports.

• "The Obama administration has selected eight countries to serve as learning labs for a new global health strategy aimed in part at reducing maternal and child deaths and combatting preventable diseases," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.

Technology: Qualcomm Faces Scrutiny In Europe

• "U.S. mobile-phone chip maker Qualcomm Inc. is facing a new antitrust investigation by the European Commission, the company said," The Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.

Supreme Court: Justices Back Employers Monitoring Communication

• "The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a broad right of privacy for workers who send text messages on the job, ruling that supervisors may read through an employee's communications if they suspect rules are being violated," the Los Angeles Times reports.

• "A project to restore eroded beaches in the Florida Panhandle did not violate the Constitution's takings clause even though the state claimed ownership of the strip of land the project created next to the ocean, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday," the New York Times reports.

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