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Manchin says he may run for Byrd seat, while Republican senators back Arizona against Justice Department. Plus: Arrests made in alleged Norway terrorism plot.

Congress: Senate Republicans Oppose DOJ On Arizona Law

• "Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and John Cornyn (Texas) have sided with the state of Arizona in its battle with the Department of Justice over a controversial state immigration law," The Hill reports.

• "Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) is attacking the federal lawsuit over Arizona's immigration law as an 'obviously political' move by the Obama administration," Politico reports.

 

White House: Recess Appointment Draws Blowback

• "The White House found itself on the defensive Wednesday over President Obama's recess appointment of a key official to help implement his health care overhaul plan, facing a bipartisan torrent of criticism from lawmakers who said the move short-circuits the legislative-oversight process," the Washington Times reports.

• "Federal workers with thoughts on how to save taxpayer dollars can start submitting their cost-conscious ideas" today "as part of a contest backed by the White House," the Washington Post reports.

Politics: Manchin Seeks Opinion On Special Election, Says He May Run

• "West Virginia's Democratic governor, Joe Manchin, said Wednesday he may run for the U.S. Senate if a special election is held in November," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports. "Mr. Manchin is expected to appoint someone to hold the seat until an election can be held. Before making that appointment, though, the governor said he would await an opinion from the state's attorney general, Darrell McGraw, on when an election should be held."

 

• "A year and a half after the idea of a Tea Party burst into view, three of 10 Americans describe themselves in the USA TODAY/Gallup Poll as Tea Party supporters -- equal to the number who call themselves Republicans -- though many of them acknowledge they aren't exactly sure what that allegiance means," USA Today reports.

• "Sarah Palin is waging a battle inside the 'tea party' movement to exempt defense spending from the group's small-government, anti-deficit fervor," the Washington Post reports.

Economy: Fed Contemplates Priming The Pump

• "Federal Reserve officials, increasingly concerned over signs the economic recovery is faltering, are considering new steps to bolster growth," the Washington Post reports.

• "The global economy is recovering faster than expected but Europe's debt crisis might stall the rebound and governments need to shore up shaky public confidence, the International Monetary Fund said" today, AP reports.

 

• "President Obama, who vowed in his State of the Union address to double American exports over the next five years, said on Wednesday that he would renew his efforts to renegotiate long-stalled free trade agreements with Panama and Colombia and persuade Congress to adopt them," the New York Times reports.

Energy & Environment: Federal Appeals Court Weighs Drilling Moratorium

• "Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Wednesday urged a federal appeals court to keep the Obama administration's six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling in place while government and industry experts struggle to contain the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico," the Los Angeles Times reports.

• "BP PLC is pushing to fix its runaway Gulf oil well by July 27, possibly weeks before the deadline the company is discussing publicly, in a bid to show investors it has capped its ballooning financial liabilities, according to company officials," the Wall Street Journal reports.

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• "Nearly 100 lawmakers, mostly Republicans, are urging" Energy Secretary Steven Chu "to stop moving forward on shuttering the nuclear waste repository site at Yucca Mountain in Nevada," CongressDaily (subscription) reports.

• "Senate backers of a long-shot bid to pass legislation with greenhouse gas caps got some fresh help Wednesday when the Congressional Budget Office reported that one high-profile proposal would help curb the federal deficit by about $19 billion over the next decade," Politico reports.

National Security: Suspected Terrorists Arrested in Norway

• "Three suspected al-Qaida members were arrested" this morning "in what Norwegian and U.S. officials said was a terrorist plot linked to similar plans in New York and England," AP reports.

• "The United States and Russia are negotiating a swap in which 10 Russian spy suspects would be freed after a plea deal in exchange for Moscow's release of a defense researcher held for the past decade on espionage charges, a U.S. official said," the Washington Post reports.

• "The government is preparing to issue new rules that will make it substantially easier for veterans who have been found to have post-traumatic stress disorder to receive disability benefits, a change that could affect hundreds of thousands of veterans from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam," the New York Times reports.

Technology: Government To Help Protect Utilities' Networks

• "The federal government is launching an expansive program dubbed 'Perfect Citizen' to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants, according to people familiar with the program," the Wall Street Journal reports.

• "Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood blasted a lobbying firm Wednesday for circulating plans to oppose limits on the use of mobile devices in vehicles, calling it a 'dangerous' effort to undermine public safety," The Hill reports.

Supreme Court: Sotomayor's GOP Backers Mum On Kagan

• "A USA TODAY survey of the Senate offices Wednesday found none of Justice Sonia Sotomayor's Republican supporters ready to commit on Elena Kagan's lifetime appointment," USA Today reports.

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