The WonkLine: March 25, 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.

Climate Change

“I think the bill we came up with is the right approach,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said about the climate legislation she introduced with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA). Cantwell agreed that she prefers a limited carbon market.

A “lack of significant precipitation, above average temperatures and the disappearance of snow in what normally is the second snowiest month” is causing an early start to wildfire season in Minnesota, and because of drought a “thousand forest fires burnt through Cuba in the first quarter of 2010 alone.”


“Deforestation slowed in the last decade, in the first sign that global conservation efforts are bearing fruit, but an area the size of Costa Rica is still being destroyed each year,” the United Nations said on Thursday.


Roy Beck of NumbersUSA, an anti-immigrant group, told Politico that he has been working with local tea party leaders across the country to essentially discredit FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey and his pro-immigration position. The Wall Street Journal reports that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said in an interview he would no longer work with the majority party on an immigration overhaul, stating that the “well has been poisoned.” For the second time, a federal judge has declared a Farmers Branch (Texas) ordinance banning undocumented immigrants from renting in the city unconstitutional.


Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin yesterday slammed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for lobbying against financial regulatory reform, saying that the Chamber has “launched a lavish, aggressive and misleading campaign.”


According to the latest National Assessment of Education Progress, “the nation’s schoolchildren have made little or no progress in reading proficiency in recent years,” continuing a “17-year trend of sluggish achievement.”

Think federal discretionary spending doesn’t do any good? CAP’s Michael Linden and Michael Ettlinger have a column and an interactive budget that tell a different story.

Health Care

“The House will have to take up health care legislation again — likely within the next day or two — after the bill hit a speed bump early Thursday morning in the Senate.”

On Wednesday night, “as the Senate stood on the verge of approving the budget reconciliation bill with the final health care revisions, Democrats resisted a late, last round of pressure from liberal advocates to include the public option in the legislation.”

“White House officials say that the 14 state lawsuits challenging health reform on Constitutional grounds are legally baseless, politically motivated attacks that are bound to die quickly in court.”