The Senate climate bill set to be unveiled today by Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) “scales back earlier offshore drilling proposals, giving states more authority to block operations off their coastlines.” Offshore drilling expansion had been the cornerstone of a bipartisan compromise but the new limits may not be enough to reassure drilling opponents. The Wonk Room has the details on the draft proposal.
House and Senate Democratic negotiators are discussing a possible “one-cent-per-barrel increase in fees paid by the oil industry to finance a government trust fund covering damage claims” from oil spills. There is currently an 8-cents-per-barrel fee imposed on each barrel of oil.
The Republican National Committee will be holding its 2012 convention in Tampa, FL, citing the fact that it’s been “a key targeted state in the past several elections, and it’ll continue to be in future elections.” One of the finalists the RNC notably passed over was Phoenix, AZ, which some conservatives were hoping the GOP would choose to show support for the state’s news anti-immigration law.
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Fox News host Glenn Beck, and a handful of Republican senators and congressmen, along hundreds of gun makers will descend on Charlotte, NC this weekend for the National Rifle Association’s convention. Touted as Charlotte’s biggest-ever convention, it is expected to draw up to 70,000 visitors.
Senate Republican leaders “are launching a full-on assault against” Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s “lack of judicial experience,” but “their rank-and-file Members aren’t buying into it.” “I do not think it’s a disqualifier not to be a sitting judge,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). “Some of the greatest judges on the court were not sitting judges.” “That wouldn’t be my concern,” said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
The Congressional Progressive Caucus will meet tonight to plan its strategy ahead of the upcoming war supplemental vote. Many in the caucus are considering voting against the supplemental to protest the Afghan war escalation. “Even if it has Haiti in it, those of us who want our troops home will vote against the supplemental,” said co-chair Lynn Woolsey (D-CA). “That will be our statement.”
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) told Bill Press yesterday that it’s “unlikely” that the Senate would move on immigration reform this year. Durbin said the “tough political environment, especially for Republicans, made it all but politically impossible to move forward.” “Can we do it? Unlikely,” Durbin said. “You saw what happened in Utah to Bob Bennett.”
“Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Morgan Stanley misled investors about mortgage-derivatives deals it helped design and sometimes bet against,” the Wall Street Journal reports. As with the Goldman Sachs investigation, authorities are examining whether investors were properly informed.
Conservative Party leader David Cameron became Britain’s new prime minister yesterday with Liberal Democrats’ leader Nick Clegg becoming his deputy. The two parties formed the first coalition government in Britain since 1945. The Liberal Democrats secured five cabinet posts “and a commitment to 15 other ministerial jobs across Whitehall.” The new Tory government will be on a five year fixed term.
And finally: A flash mob “infiltrates” the Westin St. Francis hotel in San Francisco, CA, performing an adaptation of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” to show support for “a boycott called by the workers of the hotel who are fighting to win a fair contract and affordable healthcare.” Watch it here.