The WonkLine: June 16, 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.

Climate Change

“President Barack Obama declared war on the Gulf oil spill Tuesday,” Glenn Thrush writes, but “so many of his troops are still waiting for a clear battle plan”: locals want better organization on the ground and activists look for greater leadership on climate.


Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) warned Obama against “divisive carbon pricing schemes” and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) said “I am concerned the administration is attempting to capitalize on public outrage over the spill in order to push through a cap and trade bill.”

“Up to 15 people have been killed by flash floods in south-eastern France,” “record-busting rainfall and ensuing flooding in Oklahoma led to at least one death,” and a heatwave set records in North Carolina and Georgia.


A Justice Department review has found that a multi-agency drug intelligence center in El Paso, Texas, assigned to monitor illegal drug trafficking suffered from “several significant weaknesses” — including unstaffed key offices and important information that agencies never shared. McClatchy News reports that “[p]eople who come to the U.S. seeking asylum from persecution are struggling while their cases stall in the backlogged dockets of the nation’s immigration courts.” A Harvard University student who grew up in Texas, won a full scholarship to the Ivy League school, and is studying molecular biology faces the possibility of being deported before he can start his sophomore year.


According to a new report from the United Nations, “food prices are set to rise as much as 40% over the coming decade amid growing demand from emerging markets and for biofuel production.”


A new report from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, by 2018 the U.S. postsecondary education system “will have produced 3 million fewer college graduates than demanded by the labor market.”

The number of families with children that are living in homeless shelters “increased 7% to 170,129 from fiscal year 2008 through fiscal year 2009, a report released today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found.”

Health Care

“President Obama’s urgent plea for more spending on the economy ran into the political buzz saw of the Senate on Tuesday, where Democratic leaders began chopping apart an aid package for unemployed workers and state governments in an effort to lessen its impact on the deficit.”

“A leading Senate Republican knocked the American Medical Association over its negotiations on the new health reform law, saying it abandoned two of its long-standing priorities.”


“Some insurers cite more ongoing operational than financial challenges as they work to implement reform regulations issued this month requiring insurers to allow dependent children to stay on their parents’ policies until age 26.”