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. You can also follow The Wonk Room on Twitter.
“The White House will include an additional $25 billion in Medicaid funding for states in the federal budget to be released Monday, spending that Democrats originally hoped to include in their health overhaul.”
“On Wednesday, a group of about 20 House and Senate Democratic moderates met to discuss options to move reform forward. It was not an optimistic meeting.”
“The parallels to 1994 — the last time health reform died — are unmistakable,” Politico observes. “They were right the first time,” said Lawrence O’Donnell, the Democratic staff director for the Senate Finance Committee during the 1993-94 Clinton health care debate. “There’s no such thing as ‘Let’s take a pause in legislating so that we can gain momentum on it.’ It’s insulting.”
The Obama administration is “accelerating the deployment of new defenses against possible Iranian missile attacks in the Persian Gulf, placing special ships off the Iranian coast and anti-missile systems in at least four Arab countries, administration and military officials said.”
The AP reports that the Israeli military has reprimanded two high-ranking officers for approving the firing of artillery shells toward a U.N. compound during the Gaza Strip war last year — the first admission of any high-level wrongdoing during the offensive.
The Guardian reports that “Chinese state media have lambasted the US arms deal with Taiwan, turning up the pressure over the $6.4 billion agreement. Beijing’s reaction to the package – which includes Black Hawk helicopters, Patriot missiles and mine-hunter ships – was described by one official newspaper as its toughest in three decades of sales.”
Though chances are reportedly “dim” for immigration reform, “advocates for overhauling the nation’s immigration laws are not giving up and say they are still gearing up for a battle in the Senate in coming weeks.”
The Washington Post reports that the government is”fumbling some efforts to assure immigrants that U.S. census data won’t be used against them, including gaps in outreach and foreign language guides that refer to the decennial count as an investigation.”
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) argued that the controversial electronic employment verification system, E-Verify, could “provide a useful tool,” while current Gov. Rick Perry responded that “it would not make a hill of beans’ difference in what’s happening today.”
The Times of London reports that Goldman Sachs “could be about to pay its chief executive a bumper bonus of up to $100 million in defiance of moves by President Obama to take action against such payouts.”
According to National Journal, “the White House’s recent resubmission of AFL-CIO Associate Counsel Craig Becker’s nomination to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board has set the stage for a renewed confrontation with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).”
Countries accounting for at least two-thirds of global warming emissions — “led by China, the United States and the European Union” — have submitted pledges to fulfill the Copenhagen Accord reached in December.
A “leak of radioactive water at Vermont Yankee, along with similar incidents at more than 20 other US nuclear plants in recent years, has kindled doubts about the reliability, durability, and maintenance of the nation’s aging nuclear installations,” even as President Obama “moves quickly to promote nuclear power.”
Two environmental activists on Friday “ended the latest — and longest — protest action against Massey Energy” as the one-year anniversary approaches of the start of a peaceful civil disobedience campaign against mountaintop-removal mining.