Welcome to The WonkLine, a daily 10 a.m. roundup of the latest news about health care, the economy, national security, immigration and climate policy. This is what we’re reading. Tell us what you found in the comments section below, and subscribe to the RSS feed. You can now follow The Wonk Room on Twitter, where we will be live-tweeting the Senate health care debate. Also, the Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson will be blogging and tweeting from Copenhagen on the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Up to 50,000 activists and protesters are expected to arrive in Copenhagen, from the “UK anti-aviation industry group Plane Stupid, to the Indian Social Action Forum collective opposed to genetically modified crops to Brazilian land reform campaigners, the Landless Workers’ Movement,” many participating in Klimaforum09,”the global civil society counterpart to the U.N. conference.”
An international group of scientists say there is “an immediate need for a global assessment of the nitrogen cycle and its impact on climate.”
UK prime minister Gordon Brown called for the EU to cut emissions by 30 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 instead of 20 percent — no matter what other nations put on the table.
Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said yesterday that “he’s confident the Federal Reserve will make money on the trillions it has pumped into the economy.” “I do believe we’re going to get back all the money, and indeed we’ll be showing for the taxpayers fairly significant extra income,” he said.
Special Master for Compensation Ken Feinberg said that he “will exempt some executives at American International Group Inc. from a $500,000 salary cap after at least five employees threatened to quit because of the limits.”
According to a report from The U.S. Conference of Mayors, “cities reported a 26 percent jump in demand for hunger assistance over the past year, the largest average increase since 1991.”
The Senate will resume debate on the health care reform legislation today and will consider Sen. Ben Nelson’s (D-NE) abortion amendment. Roll Call votes are expected tomorrow.
“Two issues threaten to divide Senate Democrats as they struggle with the higher-profile question of whether to create a government-run health insurance plan,” the Hill reports.
On Monday, the Senate unanimously approved an amendment offered by Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) that would add customer satisfaction information to the Exchanges.
A census analysis shows that one in six American workers is foreign-born and that income and other measures of achievement rose from one generation to the next.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that, politics aside, the California state budget would benefit if undocumented immigrants were included in health care reform’s benefits and will likely incur even higher costs if they are excluded.
A new report by the Pew Hispanic Center found very little coverage of Latinos [2.9%] and even less of other minority groups in the U.S. media.
“A series of bombings apparently targeting educational facilities and other crowded areas killed scores of people Tuesday morning in Baghdad. Authorities said at least 112 people were killed and 425 were wounded. At least five bombings were reported, with the explosives detonating minutes apart, starting about 10:15 a.m.”
In a surprise trip to Afghanistan, Secretary Gates and Afghan “offered potentially conflicting timeframes Tuesday for when American forces will be able to leave this war-torn country, with Gates warning that the U.S. commitment is not open-ended and Karzai saying it will be at least five years before Afghanistan can secure itself.”
“The US special representative to North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, has begun a three-day visit to Pyongyang to find out if it will return to nuclear talks. The visit is the first high-level contact between US President Barack Obama’s administration and Pyongyang.”