The WonkLine: November 3, 2010

Welcome to The WonkLine, a daily 9:30 a.m. roundup of the latest public policy news. 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.



Businessweek reports that corporate officials and lobbyists must deal with midterm election results, in which the Republicans have won a majority of seats in the House and will likely stall their immigration agenda.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid won re-election with overwhelming support from minority voters, particularly Latinos who make up 16% of the electorate.

Kris Kobach, the Republican who helped write Arizona’s immigration law and ran on a platform of combating immigrant voter fraud, defeated Democratic incumbent Chris Biggs in Tuesday’s election for Kansas Secretary of State.

National Security

“The toll from multiple bombings across Baghdad late yesterday rose to 64 dead and 360 wounded, the Health Ministry said.”

“The death of an Iranian woman who had been sentenced to death by stoning could come today, raising the ire of members of the international community who called the sentence troubling and barbaric.”

“Japan warned Moscow on Wednesday against more visits to rocky islands claimed by both countries, Kyodo news agency reported, after Russia’s president stopped off in one of the isles this week.”

LGBT Equality

“Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), who led the push in the House to repeal the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, lost his reelection bid Tuesday to former Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA).”

“All three Iowa supreme court justices who ruled in favor of legalizing marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples have been voted out of office.”

“David Cicilline will become the fourth openly gay member of the House of Representatives, joining Tammy Baldwin, Barney Frank, and Jared Polis in the 112th congressional session.”


“With Republicans taking control of the House and gaining seats in the Senate, unions face little chance of achieving their legislative goals,” according to Bloomberg.

The Federal Reserve is expected to announce a new policy today “to buy billions of dollars in government bonds in an attempt to breathe new life into the struggling U.S. economy.”

According to documents filed with federal regulators, GM’s restructuring “left it with another boost as it prepares to return to the stock market. It won’t have to pay $45.4 billion in taxes on future profits.”


“For supporters of public higher education, the 2010 [election] had many positive outcomes with regard to fiscal policy. Several measures that would have severely limited state appropriations for higher education failed, and several bond or taxing measures for colleges passed,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

A Republican-controlled House “will almost certainly mean an end to emergency education aid to states and will heighten pressure for a more limited federal role in K-12 policy,” according to Education Week.

A new report details unfair school funding in many states.

Climate Change

California voters rejected Proposition 23, a ballot initiative that would have indefinitely suspended the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which mandates a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

New Mexico’s Environment Improvement Board voted 4-3 to approve a cap-and-trade program. Starting in 2012, facilities in New Mexico that emit more than 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases annually will be required to cut emissions by 2 percent per year.

Aid workers scramble to provide much-needed supplies as Haiti braces for tropical storm Tomas.

Health Care

“The Democrats’ ambitious health care overhaul is facing roadblocks from newly elected state officials who harshly criticized it while campaigning and who are now in a position to make good on their promises.”

“Voters in Oklahoma and Arizona resoundingly supported ballot initiatives to opt-out of the federal health reform law, while Colorado voters appeared headed to rejecting a similar measure.”

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) “vowed on Tuesday to repeal healthcare reform and cut federal spending.” “We will repeal the trillion-dollar health care bill that threatens to bankrupt … this country,” he said.