From USA TODAY:
Sen. Pat Toomey voted against the debt-limit compromise last week, partly because he didn’t think the budget-balancing recommendations of the bipartisan committee it created would stick.
A week later, Toomey finds himself serving on the committee he voted against.
The Pennsylvanian was one of six Republican members appointed Wednesday to Congress’ new 12-member “supercommittee.”
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From The Houston Chronicle:
There was U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, in her coveted State of the Union perch along the aisle. Wearing an eye-catching lime-green jacket, she got her brief moment of TV exposure and a handshake from President Barack Obama, as usual, as the president made his way into the august chamber of the House.
This time, though, instead of sitting in a bloc with her fellow Democrats, Lee sat beside a real live Republican, U.S. Rep. Pete Olson of Sugar Land.
The two Houston lawmakers were enthusiastic participants in the State of the Union “date night,” a bipartisan gesture prompted by the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., earlier this month.
The pre-speech curiosity was almost Oscar-night giddy — or maybe prom-night giddy — as lawmakers over the past several days paired off.
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From the Los Angeles Times:
The Bush administration announced its “conscience protection” rule for the healthcare industry Thursday, giving doctors, hospitals, and even receptionists and volunteers in medical experiments the right to refuse to participate in medical care they find morally objectionable.
“This rule protects the right of medical providers to care for their patients in accord with their conscience,” said outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt.
The right-to-refuse rule includes abortion and other aspects of healthcare where moral concerns could arise, Leavitt’s office said, such as birth control, emergency contraception, in vitro fertilization, stem cell research and assisted suicide.
The rule, to be published today in the Federal Register, takes effect the day before President Bush leaves office.
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WASHINGTON (AP) — HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, his tenure tarnished by allegations of political favoritism and a criminal investigation, announced his resignation Monday amid the wreckage of the national housing crisis. He leaves behind a trail of unanswered questions about whether he tilted the Department of Housing and Urban Development toward Republican contractors and cronies.
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