Sunrise (3/15/11)

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NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP/NEVER GONNA LET YOU DOWN/NEVER GONNA TURN AROUND AND DESERT YOU

Roll Call: “House appropriators from both parties are starting to push for a re-examination of the Republican-imposed earmark ban. … Democrats and Republicans alike are concerned that the ban will be enforced too broadly, and they want to revisit the definition of what an “earmark” is under House rules. The earmark ban hasn’t really been an issue for Members since it was adopted last November, but appropriators fear they may run into problems as they look to tackle 2012 spending measures and other project-based bills. … “If Congress wants to use its Constitutional authority to direct spending, then we do need to discuss where that authority can be reclaimed and where it [can’t],” said Rep. Jack Kingston, a Georgia Republican who has long been in favor of addressing the earmark issue.”

DEM CONGRESSMEN ATTACK PHRMA DEAL

The Hill: “Two Democratic members of President Obama’s fiscal commission are taking aim at a deal the president struck with the drug industry to pass healthcare reform in the last Congress. … Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) have introduced legislation that would require the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower prices for beneficiaries of the Medicare prescription drug program. … The legislation threatens a behind-the-scenes agreement Obama forged with Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) in 2009 to win the powerful trade association’s support for healthcare reform legislation.”

FCC REVOLVING DOOR

Roll Call: “Michael Powell, the former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is expected to be tapped to lead the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. … “He is certainly the leading candidate,” said an industry source knowledgeable about the negotiations. The announcement could come as soon as Tuesday.”

NO CORPORATE CASH, BUT CORPORATE $10 MILLION LINE OF CREDIT OK

Charlotte Observer: “Duke Energy Corp., whose CEO is leading the fundraising for the Democratic National Convention, is guaranteeing a $10 million line of credit for the event. … The credit line from Fifth Third Bank is apparently the first time such an arrangement has been used by any Democratic convention organizers. … Some suggest the arrangement is tantamount to a large corporate contribution at a time when the party is touting new rules that bar corporate cash and individual contributions over $100,000. Democrats have pledged “a people’s convention” and say the line of credit doesn’t violate the new rules.”

DO THEY PLAY THE POGUES AT CONGRESSIONAL FUNDRAISERS?

Sunlight round-up of St. Patrick’s Day themed fundraisers: “Looking to score some pots of gold for their campaigns, this week several lawmakers will be attending St. Patrick’s Day-themed fundraisers in their honor. The celebration kicks off early tomorrow, when Kevin Brady, R-Texas, will be honored at a “Celebration of the Irish“ at a townhouse near the Capitol. Contributors looking to get the coveted “Pot of gold” moniker will have to shell out $2,500, while contributing $1,000 will earn the title “Shamrock.” If you are only a wee contributor under the age of 30, you will be asked to donate only $250, but you will be stuck with the title of “Leprechaun.”

More fundraisers here.

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