This Week in Washington…

Posted on April 3, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized |

TOP 5 STORIES THIS WEEK

WHITE HOUSE

CONGRESS

POLITICS

BUDGET & ECONOMY

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

HEALTH CARE

  • A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report estimated that 14.7 of every 1,000 8-year-olds have been identified with autism spectrum disorder—30 percent higher than a 2012 estimate and more than twice as high a rate as in a 2007 report.
  • Maryland will replace its broken $125.5 million ACA health exchange with Connecticut’s system.
  • The Senate passed a “doc fix” patch on a 64-35 vote to delay for one year a 24 percent cut to physician reimbursements under Medicare, with many of the Republicans who backed a motion to proceed opposing final passage. The vote to postpone the cuts marks the 17th such action in 11 years.
  • A new ABC News/Washington Post pollfound that 49 percent of Americans support the Affordable Care Act, while 48 percent are opposed. The support is the highest on record since August 2009. Thirty-six percent of conservatives support the law, up from 17 percent in the fall.
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that 80-90 percent of ACA enrollees have paid their premiums. New data from Blue Cross Blue Shield Association says that 15-20 percent have not paid.
  • A last-minute frenzy brought high traffic and website issues on the final day of ACA enrollment.
  • The White House announced Tuesday that 7.1 million Americans have enrolled in private insurance plans on the health law’s exchanges, surpassing CBO’s original target.

TECHNOLOGY

  • NASA announced it has suspended all contact with the Russian government over the annexation of Crimea, in keeping with a State Department directive—with the exception of the International Space Station.
  • The Federal Communications Commission denied Netflix’s request for net-neutrality rules that ban Internet providers from charging services extra to reach users.
  • National Intelligence Director James Clapper confirmed that the National Security Agency spied on Americans using a loophole in a law that was only meant to apply to foreigners, which Sens. Mark Udall and Ron Wyden called “unacceptable.”
  • Amazon launched Fire TV, a video streaming service that allows users to watch Netflix, Hulu, and other sites’ videos and could eventually allow users to buy products straight from commercials.
  • The Federal Communications Commission voted to ban multiple TV stations in a single market from sharing advertising staffs, saying it effectively allows one company to control multiple stations, which is not allowed.

OTHER NEWS

QUOTES

  • “It’s a lonely road from now until I win the primary—then it’ll be a lovefest.” — Congressional hopeful Steven Burke, who is challenging Democratic favorite Aaron Woolf in a primary election in New York’s 21st Congressional District (Denton Publications)
  • “If you don’t have baggage they’ll create baggage for you. That’s politics in America today.” — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, on why the Bridgegate scandal won’t affect his decision on whether to run for president (New York Daily News)
  • “You don’t know anything about anything.” — Sen. Barbara Boxer, to GM CEO Mary Barra, who has distanced herself from the company’s actions regarding a faulty ignition switch (The Hill)
  • “I’ll stipulate it’s a tough climate for us right now. It’s a tough climate.” — Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, declining to predict whether Democrats could win the House in November (National Journal)
  • “Money in politics may at times seem repugnant to some, but so too does much of what the First Amendment vigorously protects.” — Chief Justice John Roberts, in his opinion on the Supreme Courts’ controversial ruling on McCutcheon v. FEC (Washington Post)
  • “Investigations may go on and on and on. We have to clear every little thing. At the end of the investigations, we may not even know the real cause. We may not even know the reason for this incident.” — Malaysia Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar, on the continuing search for missing flight MH370 (CBS News)

CHARTS AND GRAPHICS

  • The Washington Post maps the east-west divide in the D.C. mayoral election.
  • Quartz charts the rising cost of winning a congressional election.
  • FiveThirtyEight graphs the percentage of young people living at home in the U.S. and Europe.
  • The Washington Post maps the age of congressional delegations in the 113th Congress.
  • NBC News maps where texting and driving is legal and illegal.
  • The Washington Post illustrates what caused the deadly mudslide in Washington state.

Future events

  • Thursday, April 3 – President Obama and Vice President Biden will meet with the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Leadership to discuss the president’s recent trip to Europe and the ongoing situation in Ukraine.
  • Friday, April 4 – The R Street Institute and CREW will host a discussion, “Lawmaking in the Open,” focusing on methods used to publish congressional information on the Internet, at 10:30 a.m. in 1310 Longworth.
  • Wednesday, April 9 – The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing, “Examining the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger and the Impact on Consumers,” at 10 a.m. in 226 Dirksen.
  • Wednesday, April 9 – The Senate Rules and Administration Committee will hold a hearing, “Election Administration: Making Voter Rolls More Complete and More Accurate,” at 10 a.m. in 301 Russell.
  • Thursday, April 3 – The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies will hold a discussion, “The Global Financial Crisis and its Long Aftermath,” at 4:30 p.m. at 1740 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Friday, April 4 – The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research will hold a discussion, “Major surgery needed: A call for structural reform of the U.S. corporate income tax,” at 9 a.m. at 1150 17th St. NW.
  • Thursday, April 3 – The Atlantic Council will hold a discussion, “Crisis in Ukraine: The Energy Factor,” at 5:45 p.m. at 1030 15th St. NW.
  • Monday, April 7 – The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Energy Project and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners will hold a workshop, “State, Regional and Company Approaches to Reduce Power Sector GHG (greenhouse gas) Emissions,” at 9 a.m. at 1000 H St. NW.
  • Thursday, April 3 – The Atlantic Council will hold a discussion, “Between East and West,” focusing on the crisis in Ukraine and Crimea, at 4 p.m. at 1030 15th St. NW.
  • Thursday, April 3 – American University’s School of Public Affairs will hold a Janus Forum debate, “The NSA and Privacy,” at 8 p.m. at 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Tuesday, April 8 – The United States Institute of Peace and the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace will hold a discussion, “Mapping Israeli-Palestinian Peace: Architecture and Planning in Conflict Resolution,” at 9 a.m. at 2301 Constitution Ave. NW.
  • Friday, April 4 – The American Psychiatric Association will hold a discussion, “Integrated Primary and Mental Health Care: Reconnecting the Brain and the Body,” at 10 a.m. at 529 14th St. NW.
  • Thursday, April 3 – The New America Foundation will hold a book discussion on The Global War for Internet Governance at 4 p.m. at 1899 L St. NW.
  • Friday, April 4 – The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies will hold the 2014 SAIS Global Women in Leadership Conference, “Technology in Action: Changing the Way Women Live and Work,” at 8:15 a.m. at 1740 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Friday, April 4 – The Hudson Institute’s Center for the Economics of the Internet will hold a discussion on the future of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers at 11 a.m. at 1015 15th St. NW.
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