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Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) said he would “make adjustments to a new tax on high-cost insurance plans, to reduce the number of policies that would be hit by the tax” and increase subsidies for middle income families. The Committee’s mark-up hearings begin today.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America are running ads urging Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), the single Republican who could potentially vote for health care reform, to support a public option.
“Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to make final decisions this week on the healthcare reform bill that will hit the House floor, but some centrists in the lower chamber want her to hold off until the Senate Finance Committee acts,” the Hill reports.
Senior regulators are “seriously considering” a plan that would involve asking healthy banks to bail out the government insurance fund so that it can “continue to rescue the sickest banks.”
An agreement has been reached between Bank of America and federal regulators on what the bank owes the US for a broken pact to help absorb losses, mostly at Merrill Lynch, with the bank agreeing to pay the government $425 million.
The Government Accountability Office reported that American International Group Inc. (AIG) “is showing signs of stabilizing,” though it still remains to be seen whether it will be able to “restructure its businesses and repay taxpayers.”
The Pentagon informed General Stanley McChrystal to delay any request for a troop build-up while the strategy in Afghanistan is re-analyzed in light of the fact that “things have changed on the ground fairly considerably,” according to one senior Pentagon official.
On Monday, French Foreign Minister Bernard Koucher said that efforts to impose gasoline sanctions on Iran may be too “dangerous” and would hurt the Iranian people.
The military tribunal judge who is overseeing the 9/11 terrorist attack has granted “a 60-day delay in the proceedings to give the Obama administration time to decide whether to take the case to federal court.”
A Census Bureau report released yesterday shows that the number of foreign-born living in the US has dropped for the first time in four years, particularly in California, Florida, Arizona and Michigan — “all states where the recession hit early and hard.”
The superintendent of a school district which is turning back students at the border says it’s a “policy issue, not [an] immigration stance.”
Yesterday, former Mexican president Vicente Fox spoke at the University of New Mexico and said he is “not in favor of open borders, but he does believe that higher wages for Mexican workers would keep more of them in Mexico. ”
Failure by rich countries to act on global warming would be tantamount to a kind of “benign genocide” for small-island nations, Tillman Thomas, prime minister of Grenada, told reporters on Monday..
“One would like a very strong Copenhagen accord,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, before a UN climate summit in New York City. “On the other hand, look at Kyoto; the track record was not as good. In the end, it is really what we do.”
Five Democrats — Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor (D-AR), Mark Begich (D-AK), Ben Nelson (D-NE), and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) — joined thirty Republican senators “pressing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to adopt a Bush-era proposal that opens several Atlantic and Pacific coast regions to oil and gas drilling.”