Welcome to The WonkLine, a daily 9:30 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.
“I am confident that we’re going to be able to leave the Gulf Coast in better shape than it was before,” President Obama said in Alabama yesterday, but warned that in the mean time, “it’s going to be painful for a lot of folks.”
“Cold and snowy winters will be the rule, rather than the exception,” as a warmer Arctic climate is influencing the air pressure at the North Pole and shifting wind patterns on our planet.
The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Conference of Mayors has approved resolutions condemning Arizona’s new immigration law and asking Congress for an overhaul of federal immigration policies.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that immigrants convicted of minor drug offenses should not face automatic deportation.
Legal experts are concerned that Arizona’s new immigration law “has the potential to overwhelm the state’s court system with criminal and civil cases once enforcement begins.”
The Swiss Parliament yesterday “approved a treaty with the United States that will hand thousands of files on suspected tax cheats to U.S. authorities, but obstacles remain that could delay the deal for several more months.”
As the financial services industry has “all but given up” removing a portion of the financial reform bill that would ban proprietary trading, and is therefore turning its attention to derivatives regulation, bank lobbyists are whining about their lack of access to lawmakers.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that the tests students take in school must be improved. “You tell a child that they are on track to meet an arbitrary benchmark, and in fact they are woefully underprepared,” he said.
A new State Department report ranks U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking for the first time, noting that the U.S. is “a source, transit, and destination country for…trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor, debt bondage, and forced prostitution.”
Today, Ireland called on Israel to remove a “designated member of staff at its Dublin embassy over the use of fake passports in the assassination of a top Hamas militant in Dubai in January.”
A military judge released a Marine sergeant convicted in one of the Iraq war’s “biggest war crimes” yesterday, dealing “another blow to the government’s prosecution of U.S. troops accused of killing unarmed Iraqis.”
“The CMS has instructed its contractors to hold physician payment claims through June 17, keeping at bay a 21.2% pay cut that could soon be averted by congressional action.”
“State insurance officials say they fear that health insurance companies will cancel policies and leave the individual insurance market in some states because of a provision of the new health care law that requires insurers to spend more of each premium dollar for the benefit of consumers.”
“One in five medical claims is processed inaccurately by commercial health insurers, often leaving physicians shortchanged, according to the nation’s largest doctor’s group.”