The WonkLine: October 29, 2009

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, and subscribe to the RSS feed. Also, you can now follow The Wonk Room on Twitter.

Health Care

The House unveils its health care reform legislation today. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “wants to have the legislation on the floor next week, with a final vote before Veterans Day, Nov. 11.”

In an effort to satisfy moderate Democrats, the House bill includes a public option that uses negotiated reimbursement rates. But asked whether more members of the Blue Dog Coalition will vote for the plan now that leaders will include negotiated rates, “Utah Rep. Jim Matheson, a spokesman for the group, said, “I don’t know. … It’s an important issue. But it’s not the only issue. It has never been the only issue.”

Meanwhile, the GOP is trying to generate business opposition to health care reform.


A group of New Mexico Latinos who were fired by the widely publicized hotel owner who wanted them to Anglicize their names may take their case to court. Ten New Haven residents fighting deportation are suing their supervisors and senior immigration officials, alleging that their civil rights were violated when ICE agents stormed into their homes without cause, consent or search warrants. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has vetoed a measure that supervisors passed Tuesday that would prevent local police from turning over minors to immigration officials until they are found guilty of the alleged crime.


The U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a 3.5 percent pace in the third quarter, “the best showing in two years” and the first increase since the spring of 2008.


According to a new report by Pew Charitable Trusts, “none of the credit cards offered online by the 12 largest U.S. banks would meet requirements of new federal curbs on the industry’s rates and fees.” All of the companies employed practices considered “unfair or deceptive” by the Federal Reserve.

Bloomberg reports that “U.S. carriers including Delta Air Lines Inc. will have a harder time blocking union organizing campaigns under a change planned by a federal labor board.”

National Security

“Iran will seek major revisions to a U.N.-draft nuclear fuel deal, including shipping abroad its low-enriched uranium (LEU) in stages rather than all at once,” a pro-government newspaper reported on Thursday.

BBC reports that Iraqi authorities have “arrested more than 60 security force members, including 11 senior officers over Sunday’s twin suicide bombing in the capital Baghdad.”


AP reports that “Afghanistan will open more voting centers in next week’s presidential runoff than in the fraud-tainted first-round vote…rejecting U.N. recommendations that they cut sites to prevent cheating.”

Climate Change

“Jack Bonner, head of controversial political consulting firm Bonner and Associates, and Steve Miller, the CEO of American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, have a lot of explaining to do” in a hearing today on the fraudulent letters they sent to Congress opposing clean energy legislation.

Western Republicans claim Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is “trying to skirt congressional authority by issuing an administrative order on climate change.”

“An international team of environmental scientists has shown that sea-level rise, at least in North Carolina, is accelerating. Researchers found 20th-century sea-level rise to be three times higher than the rate of sea-level rise during the last 500 years.”