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 national parks and fish & wildlife directors are heading to the Gulf Coast to “help with recovery efforts as the oil plume bears down on several wildlife preserves,” covering more birds, threatening wetlands, and leaving tar balls on an Alabama island.
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) will unveil their climate bill on Wednesday, but without Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who wants a “pause” because of the “catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which creates new policy and political challenges not envisioned in our original discussions.”
Amy Grant, Keith Urban, Alison Krauss and others “appeared on a Nashville-based telethon to raise money for those who lost nearly everything in the Tennessee floods of last week.”
The European Union has agreed to offer “as much as 750 billion euros ($962 billion), including International Monetary Fund backing, to countries facing instability and the European Central Bank said it will buy government and private debt.”
The New York Times’ Paul Lin awards “comeback of the year” to corporate profits: “Of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index that have announced first-quarter results, 77 percent have beaten Wall Street earnings forecasts.”
Defense Secretary Gates said over the weekend that “the Pentagon must hold down its spending and make choices that will anger ‘powerful people’ in an era of economic strain.”
“Officials in Iraq say the death toll from a wave of shootings and bomb attacks across the country Monday has risen to at least 67.”
“The Obama administration announced Sunday that indirect, American-brokered talks had resumed between Israel and the Palestinians, capping a year of efforts by Washington to revive the peace process. The American special envoy to the region, George J. Mitchell, is expected to shuttle between the two sides over the next four months as mediator of the so-called proximity talks.”
“Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is scheduled to visit Syria on Sunday. Russia has hinted it wants to boost economic ties with the country as well as help restart peace talks with Israel.”
In his weekly radio address, President Obama argued that the “healthcare law already is helping millions of people through tax breaks for small businesses and assistance for families with young adults.” He also said that on Monday the White House will announce a new rule that allows young adults without insurance to stay on their parents’ plan until they’re 26 years old.
Implementation update: “The White House unveiled details last week of a $5 billion program to provide financial relief to companies that offer health coverage to early retirees.”
“A war of words between President Obama and health insurers escalated Sunday as industry giant WellPoint Inc. found itself under renewed attack for raising rates and canceling insurance policies of sick patients.”