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Hatch Acknowledges Pressure To Move Disputed Nominees
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Hatch Acknowledges Pressure To Move Disputed Nominees

BY April Fulton

Senate Judiciary Chairman Hatch acknowledged Thursday he is under pressure by GOP leaders to hold a hearing on a handful of 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nominations to which the two Democratic senators from Michigan have formally objected. Traditionally, when senators object to a nominee via a "blue slip," no further action is taken on the nominee. "I've been directed by the leadership to hold a hearing," Hatch told CongressDaily during a break from a protracted committee markup on asbestos litigation. "And I'm probably going to have to write a letter to the Michigan senators, expressing my viewpoints," Hatch said. While he declined to detail what the letter would say, Hatch has indicated in the past he would consider holding a hearing. A Senate GOP aide said it was likely Hatch would make a decision by next week, but that the pressure is an indication of the importance of the judge issue to Republicans. The battle for the four Michigan nominees is far from over -- and it is far from limited to just the 6th Circuit, which includes the home states of Senate Majority Leader Frist and Majority Whip McConnell. Even if Hatch holds a hearing over the objections of Michigan Democratic Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, there would also be the hurdle of reporting the nominees out of committee for floor action and taking them to the floor. Saying the Democrats' objections were a misuse of Senate rules, Frist and McConnell took the unusual step of filing a discharge petition this week that would effectively bypass the Judiciary Committee and bring the nominees straight to the floor. A Senate discharge petition requires only one sponsor and a slot on the calendar for consideration, but senators may object to or filibuster the petition. It is unlikely that Republicans have the votes to overcome a filibuster, GOP aides acknowledged. A spokesman for Frist said he has not set a date for a floor vote yet, preferring to wait for Hatch's decision. Stabenow dismissed the GOP action as a political ploy and said she and Levin are seeking to form a bipartisan congressional advisory commission on judges like one formed in Wisconsin several years ago. "They're trying to bully their way through this," Stabenow said. "We're just going to continue to propose the Wisconsin bipartisan commission," said Levin. The Senate GOP move appears to be just the latest effort to find ways to end the time-honored and historically accepted delay by the minority party in order to move President Bush's judicial nominees forward. Earlier this year, Frist introduced a bill that would reduce over time the number of senators needed to break a filibuster on judicial nominees. Meanwhile, the Michigan issue is being lobbied heavily. A Michigan branch of Citizens for a Sound Economy staged demonstrations outside Levin's district office over the weekend and outside Stabenow's district office Wednesday, including one man dressed as a judge with his hands tied behind his back symbolizing the inaction.

07/11/2003
Members Vote for CSE Economic Agenda
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Press Release

Members Vote for CSE Economic Agenda

This year, CSE surveyed our members to determine their priorities for the remainder of the 108th Congress. Not surprisingly, taxes were first and foremost on the minds of CSE Members. Fully 80 percent said America needs new tax cuts to get the economy moving. While the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts are starting to boost economic growth, the reality is that taxes are still too high and the tax code still too complicated.

07/11/2003
This Week on Capitol Hill
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Press Release

This Week on Capitol Hill

Official Washington is focused on equatorial Africa this week, but we'll try to avoid making banana republic references to America's current fiscal management. The latest installment of the U.S. fiscal meltdown is the new "Supplemental Appropriation" heading towards quick adoption by the Senate this week. The bill is already more than $2 billion in new spending that is not budgeted. It is not clear how this new spending squares with the President's public commitment to only 4 percent growth in discretionary spending this year.

07/10/2003
Budget Crisis Continues in Nevada
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Press Release

Budget Crisis Continues in Nevada

Despite emails, phone calls, and letters from CSE activists in Nevada, the state Assembly continues to debate record tax increases to finance the public school budget. Without a budget by the July 1 deadline, Gov. Kenny Guinn filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court asking them to come up with a solution for balancing the budget.

07/10/2003
Budget Crisis Continues in Nevada
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Press Release

Budget Crisis Continues in Nevada

Despite emails, phone calls, and letters from CSE activists in Nevada, the state Assembly continues to debate record tax increases to finance the public school budget. Without a budget by the July 1 deadline, Gov. Kenny Guinn filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court asking them to come up with a solution for balancing the budget.

07/10/2003
CSE Urges YES Vote on Sessions Amendment to FY04 Legislative Branch Appropriations
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Press Release

CSE Urges YES Vote on Sessions Amendment to FY04 Legislative Branch Appropriations

July 10, 2003 Dear Senator: On behalf of the 280,000 members of Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE), I urge you to vote YES on the proposed Sessions Amendment to the “FY04 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill”.

07/10/2003
Michigan CSE Rallies to "Free the Michigan Four"
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Press Release

Michigan CSE Rallies to "Free the Michigan Four"

The Genesse County Chapter of Michigan Citizens for a Sound Economy (MI CSE) held a rally today to protest Senator Debbie Stabenow’s obstruction of President Bush’s nominations for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Michigan citizens gathered outside Senator Stabenow’s district office to demand she "Free the Michigan Four."

07/10/2003
North Carolina: Stokes CSE Holds Cookout
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Press Release

North Carolina: Stokes CSE Holds Cookout

Over 50 Stokes County CSE activists attended a hot dog supper on Monday, July 7, 2003 at Morotok Park in Danbury. The cookout gave activists a chance to enjoy hamburgers and hot dogs and meet the candidates running for the 5th Congressional district seat held currently by Congressman Richard Burr. Candidates Ed Powell, Jim Snyder, Nathan Tabor and Jay Helvy were on hand to discuss important issues and their campaign plan to the citizens of Stokes County.

07/10/2003
Buy the Book?
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Buy the Book?

BY Velda Hunter

Ideology concerning the creation of man and evolution is expected to evolve today as people share concerns about textbooks being considered for use in public school classrooms. But the State Board of Education’s textbook power only extends to selecting properly bound, error-free textbooks and materials that meet the state’s curriculum. The board will have a public hearing regarding instructional materials submitted for adoption at 1 p.m. today in the William B. Travis Building in Austin.

07/09/2003
Texas: Vote Yes on 12
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Press Release

Texas: Vote Yes on 12

Comprehensive lawsuit reform passed by the legislature in June has been signed into law by Governor Rick Perry. This legislation will help keep doctors in private practice and in clinics as well as keep hospitals and clinics open. The reforms were passed because fully half the counties in Texas do not have a pediatrician and half do not have an ObGYN. Doctors were leaving the practice of medicine and particularly leaving high-risk practices because they could not afford the liability insurance.

07/09/2003

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