The WonkLine: March 9, 2010

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.


Climate Change

Today is the National Call-In Day to stop mountaintop removal mining, as thousands are calling their representatives and asking them to become a cosponsor of H.R. 1310, The Clean Water Protection Act.

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson “fought back on Monday against Senate attempts to challenge the agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions”: “Supposedly these efforts have been put forward to protect jobs. In reality, they will have serious negative economic effects.”

Women hit hard by the effects of climate change — drought, floods, sea level rise and crop failure” — “climate witnesses” from the United States, Peru, Senegal, Uganda and other countries “aim to tell their stories to members of Congress on Tuesday in a lobbying effort timed to follow Monday’s International Women’s Day.”


A key White House meeting with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on reforming the nation’s immigration laws was postponed Monday but is expected to be rescheduled.

The Washington Post reports that “leaders of nearly a dozen grass-roots immigrant rights groups excoriated President Obama and congressional Democrats on Monday” for dragging their feet on comprehensive immigration reform.

The Wall Street Journal that a provision that would require legal U.S. workers, including citizens and immigrants, to be issued an ID card with embedded information, such as fingerprints, to tie the card to the worker is at the “center” of Schumer’s immigration plan.

National Security

“Iran said on Tuesday it hoped China would not give in to pressure to agree to new sanctions that the United States and its allies hope to win U.N. approval for over its nuclear program.”

The Christian Science Monitor reports that “the last at-large suspect in the Bali bombing – the 2002 car bombing at a Bali nightclub that killed 202 people – was reportedly killed during a police raid in Indonesia on Tuesday, though his identity has not been confirmed.”

A New York Times analysis concludes that Iraqi elections are not seen as a success for democracy in the region: “That perception, combined with Election Day violence, American occupation and Iranian influence, left few analysts and commentators in the Middle East declaring the elections a success and Iraq on the road to stability.”


Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairwoman Sheila Bair yesterday called for borrowers “to identify and report banks that aren’t lending to consumers and small businesses.” “A light needs to be shined on this and explanations need to be made where credit is not being provided,” she said.

Goldman Sachs was sued yesterday by pension fund of the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers, which claims that the bank’s compensation practices “vastly overcompensate management and constitute corporate waste.”

National Journal reports that “business interests appear to have the upper hand in their quest to strip corporate governance language from a revamp of the nation’s financial regulatory system.”

Health Care

“The White House is mounting a stinging, sustained broadside against health insurance rate increases as President Obama and his aides enter what they hope will be the final stretch of a year-long political war over health-care reform.”

“The Obama administration believes it gained a valuable boost last week in getting health care passed when a 50th Democratic senator informally announced he would back reconciliation fixes to the bill.”

“Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) said he expects to resume talks with House leaders this week in a quest for wording that would impose no new limits on abortion rights but also would not allow use of federal money for the procedure.”