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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Democrats near on stimulus package

WASHINGTON – Congressional Democrats are putting the final touches on an economic stimulus package that will cost almost $850 billion, hoping to have the details of the legislation ready in time for President-elect Barack Obama to promote it on a trip to Ohio on Friday in which he hopes to build public support for the recovery plan. With the cost estimate almost tripling since shortly after Obama’s November election victory, the stimulus plan is expected to include at least $300 billion in tax cuts and close to $550 billion in domestic spending, making the pricetag of Obama’s first major legislative initiative almost equal to the annual cost of funding all federal agencies.

Chu hearing forecasts new focus in energy policy

WASHINGTON – The Nobel Prize winner nominated to head the Energy Department said Tuesday that he would focus the agency in part on global warming, a sharp departure from the agency’s priorities during the Bush administration. “If we continue on our current path, we run the risk of dramatic, disruptive changes to our climate,” physicist Steven Chu told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee during his confirmation hearing.

Treasury nominee explains tax errors

WASHINGTON – Timothy Geithner, the man tapped to lead the nation out of the greatest economic crisis in decades – and who would oversee the Internal Revenue Service – trekked to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to explain to senators how he made almost $43,000 worth of mistakes on his own tax returns. Geithner appeared before members of the Senate Finance Committee to argue that a series of mistakes on his tax returns early this decade were unintentional and that he has since paid back the $42,702 he owed, including interest.

Grand jury to examine Clemens’ drug denials

Roger Clemens’ denials of performance-enhancing drug use to Congress will be examined by a federal grand jury, according to a report, leaving the seven-time Cy Young Award-winning pitcher under the cloud of a possible indictment and prison time if it is proved he lied. “This is an opportunity for vindication,” said Earl Ward, an attorney for Clemens’ former trainer, Brian McNamee.

Obama says his economic plan will be refined

WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama said Friday that he and Congress will “hone and refine” his nearly $800 billion economic recovery plan, as he seeks to patch fissures with senior Democrats over key features of the still-emerging plan.

New Congress swears in members

WASHINGTON – The 111th Congress began Tuesday with debates over how to ease the nation’s worsening recession and to fight a pair of wars overseas, adding a sense of gravity and purpose to a day normally dedicated to symbolism and the swearing-in of members. Veterans as well as newcomers to the House and Senate said the immensity of the problems the nation faces created an opportunity to move beyond the bitter partisan battles of the last decades or, conversely, to descend into legislative gridlock that would further damage a body already suffering from historically low approval ratings.

Cal Thomas: Say no to pork barrel wishes

Most children have probably finished their Christmas lists to Santa Claus. Some elected officials, however, are still compiling theirs. Close behind Detroit’s wish list comes a long one from America’s mayors.

Murky future for auto rescue amid GOP opposition

WASHINGTON — Prospects for passage of a $14 billion auto industry rescue package dimmed today amid strong Republican opposition, despite urgent appeals by both President-elect Barack Obama and the Bush White House.

Minnick ready to work on economy

Congress needs to move quickly next year to pass an economic stimulus package that will stabilize the financial markets and create jobs, Walt Minnick said Tuesday. It can let the federal debt grow but shouldn’t pass a plan that rewards executives for bad choices or raises taxes, the congressman-elect said in an interview during a swing through North Idaho.

Lawmakers: Financial bailout agreement reached

WASHINGTON —Warned of a possible financial panic, key Republicans and Democrats reported agreement in principle today on a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry and said they would present it to the Bush administration in hopes of a vote within days.

David S. Broder: Congress leaves it to experts

WASHINGTON – In the greatest crisis to confront the American economic system in three-quarters of a century, it is notable that the leaders of the two elected branches of the federal government have not been calling the signals. George W. Bush, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have not gone AWOL, but they have stepped back to permit deputies with greater expertise and fewer acquired scars to take the lead in figuring out a solution.

Bill targets ‘diploma mills’

Federal legislation inching its way through Congress would outlaw "diploma mills" like those at the center of a criminal case being prosecuted in Spokane. Eight members of Congress are co-sponsoring the proposed "Diploma Integrity Protection Act," introduced earlier this year by Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn.

Gop Hacks Campaign Financing Fix Tactical Moves By House Leaders Outrage Sponsors Of Reform Bill

In a move that outraged campaign finance reform advocates, House Republican leaders on Friday scheduled for Monday a series of votes on the issue that will require a virtually insurmountable two-thirds majority vote for passage. "Campaign finance reform is as dead as a doornail," Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, said after the announcement by House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas.

Odd Alliance Chops Down Logging Moderate Gop And Activists Block House Forest Fire Plan

Moderate Republicans rallied with environmentalists in the House on Friday to hand a surprising defeat to Western conservatives who had proposed logging and other projects to ease fire threats in national forests. On a 201-181 vote, the House defeated the "Forest Recovery and Protection Act of 1998" by Rep. Bob Smith, R-Ore., chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

Senate Panel Oks Shea For Judgeship

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Ed Shea to become a federal judge in Eastern Washington, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray said. The nomination now goes to the full Senate for final approval.

Gop May Get Reagan Airport If Rfk Gets Justice

House Speaker Newt Gingrich is considering a proposal to name the Justice Department headquarters after Robert F. Kennedy to smooth the way to rename National Airport after President Reagan. House Democratic leader Richard Gephardt approached Gingrich this week about pairing the proposals. The Ronald Reagan Airport legislation, supported by many Republicans, is scheduled for a House vote next week.