The WonkLine: April 30, 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.




Politico reports that “Senate Democrats unveiled a comprehensive immigration reform framework Thursday in a political challenge to Republicans — but struggled to find even one Republican to sign on to their proposal.”

Lawsuits were filed in Phoenix and Tucson yesterday challenging Arizona’s new immigration law. In one of the suits filed Thursday, a Tucson police officer claims the law “would compel him to racially profile.”

Arizona lawmakers have approved several changes to the recently passed immigration that will go into effect at the same time as the new law, 90 days from now, assuming Gov. Jan Brewer signs off.

National Security

“European leaders raced Thursday to complete their part of a long-delayed financial rescue package for Greece, hoping to head off a chain reaction against other heavily indebted European nations.”

“The Pakistani military, long reluctant to heed American urging that it attack Pakistani militant groups in their main base in North Waziristan, is coming around to the idea that it must do so, in its own interests.”

“The front-runner in May 6 elections that could usher in the biggest change in Britain’s political landscape in generations, [David] Cameron is running as a sort of anti-Sarah Palin.”

Climate Change

Drill, Baby, Drill” champions Sarah Palin and RNC chair Michael Steele are strangely silent about the growing BP oil catastrophe, which has now hit the coast of Louisiana.

A “nightmare storm” hit Canada, Montana, and Vermont, and “left vehicles in the ditches, closed highways, cancelled flights and cut electricity to thousands of homes,” while other storm systems hit Nebraska and Mississippi.

The Washington Independent’s Mike Lillis observes that “throughout Kentucky and Virginia, the lawmakers most reluctant to weigh in on mine-safety policies this month are also those who’ve accepted the most money from the companies.”


The New York Times reports that “federal prosecutors have opened an investigation into trading at Goldman Sachs, raising the possibility of criminal charges against the Wall Street giant.”

Treasury Secretary Geithner said yesterday that “the Obama administration will likely take another six months before releasing its plan to reform the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae mortgage firms.” “I’m not sure exaclty when,” Geithner said. “We’ll do it as soon as we can.”

“The Arizona Department of Education recently began telling school districts that teachers whose spoken English it deems to be heavily accented or ungrammatical must be removed from classes for students still learning English,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

Health Care

“Democratic officials in Montana, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin, among other states, said they intended to operate the program under contract with the federal government.”

“House Republican Leader John Boehner has said that his party will repeal the new health care law if the GOP gains a congressional majority in November.” “I think that we need to repeal the health care law and replace it with common-sense steps that will lower the cost of health insurance in America,” he said.

“Anti-abortion legislation that emerged in the final days of an election-year Florida legislative session will come down to the final hours – road-blocked briefly by the House Democratic minority through procedural rules that temporarily shut down their chamber.”