The WonkLine: July 13, 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.


Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) last night said that she will vote for the financial reform bill in the Senate, so “Democrats now believe they have the 60 votes needed to push the sweeping bill into law by the end of the week.”

Federal bank regulators yesterday “agreed to give the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation unlimited authority to investigate banks, clarifying the agency’s power, which was in question during the financial crisis.”


Two Federal Reserve officials said yesterday that “the central bank has no plans to deploy additional tools for stimulating the economy and that the recovery is intact.”

National Security

“Israel razed on Tuesday an inhabited Palestinian home in East Jerusalem for the first time in eight months, effectively ending an unofficial freeze of such internationally-condemned demolitions.” “Ugandan police have made several arrests in connection with the twin bombings in Kampala Sunday that killed 76 people watching the World Cup final, Ugandan officials said Tuesday.” “The US says it expects India to enforce UN sanctions against Iran but left it to that country to decide on steps to ‘convince’ the Persian Gulf state to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The Obama Administration also said Iran’s controversial atomic program cannot be a situation of ‘business as usual.’”

Health Care

“Several states are preparing to make deep cuts to Medicaid as a federal stalemate over funding for the poor drags on — even as states face mandates to expand the program under the new health-care law.”


“A handful of states that have begun accepting applications for their new federally funded high-risk health insurance pools have seen a slow trickle of enrollees but expect a bigger wave as word spreads about the option.”

“The White House will unveil the first formal national HIV/AIDS strategy on Tuesday, a plan that aims to reduce the number of new cases by 25 percent in the next five years, officials said.”


The Associated Press reports that a federal appeals court ruling has “created the possibility that Guatemalan women could qualify for political asylum in the U.S. because of the high female murder rate.” Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and John McCain (R-AZ) endorsed Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) in the state’s gubernatorial primary, citing her defense of SB-1070. The Fremont City Council in Nebraska is expected to approve election officials’ certification of a controversial measure passed by voters to ban the hiring or renting of housing to undocumented immigrants.

Climate Change

Russia urges official siestas as a record heatwave has killed five more people and worsens a devastating drought, while a giant glacier broke up in Greenland.


“Heavy rains after weeks of drought turned the streets of Vietnamese capital Hanoi Tuesday into rivers,” a “flash flood washed through a mountain town in southwest China early Tuesday, killing three people and leaving at least 50 missing,” and record rains caused nearly $4 million in damages in Lubbock, TX.

“I think there’s something hopefully we’ll be able to do that moves in the right direction,” Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) said of climate legislation, although senators face “a lot of pressures, including election pressures, and we’re just going to have to kind of be realistic” about what can win enough votes to become law this year.