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.
An “oil platform hit by a tugboat is now spewing oil and natural gas” up to 100 feet into the air near a Louisiana marsh area about 35 miles south of New Orleans, and “state of emergency has been declared in southwest Michigan’s Kalamazoo County as more than 800,000 gallons of oil released into a creek began making its way downstream in the Kalamazoo River,” coating birds and fish.
” Muscovites on Wednesday coughed their way through the hottest days of weather on record,” and more than 30,000 emergency workers “braced for flood waters from two swollen rivers” near Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province.
American Petroleum Institute president Leo Gerard complained that Congress is passing new standards for well design “before they know the root cause of what happened in the Gulf of Mexico spill. This is the ultimate malpractice.”
Statistics obtained by the Associated Press indicate officers from Maricopa County, AZ — home to controversial County Sheriff Joe Arpaio — helped deport 26,146 immigrants since 2007, about a quarter of the national total of 115,821.
Lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department oppose a request to merge their challenge to SB-1070 with a police officer’s lawsuit, arguing that the Department is challenging more sections of the law than the police officer and “that its contention that the law is trumped by federal law differs from the officer’s arguments.”
Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said “that while he remains committed to pursuing a comprehensive immigration reform bill, he may be forced to settle for a narrower measure” primarily focusing on the DREAM Act and immigrant farm workers.
In a new paper, economists Mark Zandi and Alan Blinder argue that empirical data proves the policies implemented by the Bush and Obama administrations in response to the economic crisis — including the stimulus, TARP, and the bank stress tests — averted a Depression.
18 states and the District of Columbia have been chosen as finalists in the second round of the Obama administration’s Race to the Top education program. Winners will be announced in late August or early September.
“Some of the economic consequences of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill may take years to identify, and BP’s compensation fund should be flexible enough to account for long-term losses,” a panel of experts from the Exxon Valdez spill said yesterday.
“The House on Tuesday approved and sent to President Obama an overdue measure to pay for combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq,” although “102 Democrats joined 12 Republicans in opposing the measure, illustrating a growing rift in the party over the course of the war in Afghanistan.”
“International calls for direct Middle East peace talks mounted on Wednesday ahead of a key meeting of Arab ministers as the Palestinians stuck to their demand for guarantees on borders.”
“As the Senate Foreign Relations Committee gets ready to vote on President Obama’s nuclear arms reductions treaty, several Republican senators are now hinting that they will support the agreement and are working toward bipartisan ratification.”
Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA) introduced a bill Monday “that could block implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) long term care benefits program.”
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has introduced a bill to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).
“The health effects of being overweight or obese are well documented. Extra pounds add extra risk for diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers, even among children. But new research also documents significant social and economic consequences of being overweight since high school.”