The WonkLine: July 7, 2010

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.


National Security

Despite sidestepping questions on ABC’s “Good Morning America” about whether he was prepared to extend beyond September a 10-month moratorium on West Bank settlements, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated that he’s ready “to sit down with” Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for face-to-face negotiations.

British Prime Minister David Cameron “announced that Britain’s new coalition government would appoint an independent inquiry into allegations that its security services…colluded with the Central Intelligence Agency and other foreign organizations in the rendition and torture of terrorism suspects.”

India’s Cabinet Committee on Security met today to discuss the “situation in Kashmir where the army has been deployed to assist the civil authorities in restoring normalcy” following the killing of three persons yesterday.

Climate Change

“Were I president,” Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) told Politico, “I would have gone out and hired the best experts in the world and put together a consultative panel to advise the president and his Cabinet secretaries, and peer review or second-guess everything BP said they would do throughout this entire time.”

“More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades,” but “no one — not industry, not government — is checking to see if they are leaking.”

“U.S. nuclear production rose to the highest level in at least 17 years, 98,740 megawatts,” as the record-busting “heat wave boosted demand for electricity,” and blackouts and brownouts hit consumers in New York and Rhode Island and the “deaths of a 92-year-old Philadelphia woman and a homeless woman found next to a car in Detroit have been blamed on the heat.”

Health Care

“The fight to shape perceptions of President Obama’s health care overhaul is still in the early stages, but on Wednesday two Republican senators will fire a salvo when they release a 32-page report arguing that the legislation is only exacerbating skyrocketing prices and will cause nearly 100 million Americans to lose their employer-based insurance.”

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi is doubling down on healthcare reform, betting that it will do Democrats more good than harm in November’s elections.”

“Women getting abortions in Louisiana will be required to get ultrasounds, and doctors who perform elective abortions won’t be covered under medical malpractice laws under bills Gov. Bobby Jindal signed Tuesday.”


“Tough new rules restricting bankers’ bonuses in Europe” were approved by European Union lawmakers yesterday. “The rules require 40 to 60 per cent of bonuses to be deferred for three to five years, and half of any upfront bonus to be paid in shares or in other securities linked to the bank’s performance.”

“A series of steps aimed at bolstering U.S. exports has so far brought a 17 percent increase in the first four months of 2010 over the same period last year,” President Obama will announce today.

David Leonhardt looks at five ways Congress can boost growth in the “unpleasant world” where short-term spending bills can’t pass.


The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Arizona yesterday to challenge its harsh new immigration law, “arguing that it would undermine the federal government’s pursuit” of criminals.

Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and John McCain (R-AZ) called the DOJ’s lawsuit against Arizona “premature” as Republicans accused Obama of “sabotaging state and local officials.”

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who once championed a path to legalization, said yesterday he would favor immigration reform that would deport many undocumented immigrants.