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.
“Leading Republican senators stepped up their attacks on the administration Thursday for its handling of the interrogation of the Christmas Day bomber.”
“Formally ending months of dispute that threatened to bring down Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government, the prime ministers of Britain and Ireland on Friday hailed a breakthrough agreement to transfer the province’s justice system from Britain to local control within months.”
“A group of peace activists calling themselves ‘The Bombspotters’ spent an unauthorized hour Sunday at a Belgian military base within yards of U.S. nuclear weapons, raising questions about the security of American bombs stored at foreign air bases across Europe.”
The Hill notes that “two Senate Republicans who previously supported a controversial labor board nominee opposed him on Thursday, putting his confirmation in doubt.”
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed fraud charges yesterday against Bank of America “alleging that they lied not only to investors but also to government officials who were orchestrating a massive bailout of the bank in the final months of 2008.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided not to provide endangered species protections to the American pika, “denying environmentalists’ contention that the tiny mountain-dwelling creature will be unable to survive climate change.”
The Utah House Natural Resources Committee approved a resolution that expresses the Utah Legislature’s belief that “climate alarmists’ carbon dioxide-related global warming hypothesis is unable to account for the current downturn in global temperatures” by a vote of 10-1.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) lashed out at President Obama’s administration for its coal budget, saying “I just wonder whether they really do understand the importance of coal, the fact the nation can’t exist without it.”
“The president was weighing in pretty heavily on the discussions between the House and Senate before the Massachusetts special [Senate] election,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) told Huffington Post. “It’s dried up since.”
“Progressives plan next week to reach across the Capitol and plot a strategy to revive the public option…Progressives have been holding smaller talks, but this is the first time key players will huddle as a group.”
“Lawmakers plan to introduce a bill Friday that would repeal the protection that the McCarran-Ferguson Act now gives health insurers and medical malpractice insurers against federal antitrust laws.” “The bill would leave out any provisions giving the Federal Trade Commission enforcement authority over ‘unfair methods of competition’ in the insurance market.”
“This is a legal issue, and the president strongly believes that the law must be followed by everyone,” said spokesman Robert Gibbs concerning the the immigration hearing of a long-lost Kenyan aunt who faces deportation.
Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced that they would introduce legislation that would hasten visas for some Haitians.
A review of more than 800 pages of immigration detention inspection reports obtained by the Houston Chronicle shows that inspectors have, in some instances, given positive reviews to facilities with serious problems.