The WonkLine: January 27, 2010

Welcome to The WonkLine, a daily 10 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

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “will push Yemen to make peace with a rising Shiite insurgency in order to focus on the threat posed by Sunni al-Qaida militants in the country, an American official said Wednesday.” Haaretz reports, “German engineering conglomerate Siemens announced Tuesday that it would cut all future trade ties with Iran, although the company intends to maintain existing contracts.” “Events are taking place at Auschwitz to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp, as the world marks Holocaust Memorial Day. Auschwitz survivors and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are among those gathering in Poland, where the camp was built under German occupation.”

Climate Change

The SEC will hold an open meeting today to consider “publishing an interpretive release to provide guidance to public companies regarding the Commission’s current disclosure requirements concerning matters relating to climate change.”


Although Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said last week that “you’ve got to price carbon,” yesterday he argued that “what is dead is some massive cap-and-trade system that regulates carbon in a fashion that drives up energy costs.”

A day after meeting with local activists concerned about mountaintop removal mining, Gov. Joe Manchin (D-WV) “asked the Legislature to approve a symbolic resolution affirming that coal is still king in West Virginia.”


Oregon voters approved two measures yesterday “raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy to prevent further erosion of public schools and other state services.”

In tonight’s State of the Union address, President Obama will announce an increase of up to $4 billion in education funding, including an additional $1.35 billion in Race to the Top funding and $1 billion to overhaul No Child Left Behind.


The Bank of England estimates that world governments “have spent or committed a staggering $14 trillion to prop up the financial system following the fall of Lehman Brothers in September 2008.”


Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s popularity has dropped from 54% to 39% of respondents rating his performance as “good” or “excellent” as opposition to his immigration enforcement and questionable policing tactics mounts. Yesterday, about 150 activists gathered in front of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in protest of the lack of immigration reform. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs confirmed that President Obama will address the subject of immigration reform in his State of the Union speech tonight.

Health Care

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “deflected questions about health care. ‘We’re not on health care now,’ Mr. Reid said. ‘We’ve talked a lot about it in the past.’”

“Senate Democrats, struggling to find a way forward on their health bill, signaled Tuesday that they are no longer in a rush to pass the overhaul.”


“Centrist Democratic senators have circumvented party leadership to approach Maine GOP Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins about reviving healthcare talks.”