Brownback makes last attempt at fetal pain bill
Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:
Sen. Sam Brownback (R)
(AP) House GOP to Vote on 'Fetal Pain' Bill: But those same rules did not hold House GOP leaders back from setting a vote Wednesday on a bill to limit fetal pain during late-term abortions, a measure GOP leaders shied away from offering before the November midterm elections and which stands no chance of passing the Senate even under GOP control.... And Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., a possible presidential contender, has said he would try to bring it up in the Senate this week if the measure gets the required two-thirds majority House rules require. Since any senator can halt legislation, any such move by Brownback would be almost guaranteed to be blocked by abortion rights senators.
(Des Moines Register) Brownback says GOP can learn lessons from 2006: am Brownback may not be a household name in Iowa, but neither was Howard Dean before the 2004 Iowa caucuses. Brownback, a Republican U.S. senator from Kansas, hopes visits to Iowa - like one Tuesday night in Cedar Rapids - will help Iowans get to know his stance as a "full-scale conservative," he said. "In the day of 24-hour news, getting your name out is not as hard as it used to be. Look at Howard Dean. Who had heard of him?" Brownback said of the former Vermont governor who ran for the Democratic nomination in the 2004 presidential election. Brownback, who on Monday formed a presidential exploratory committee, hit Iowa as part of a 10-state tour. His message to Linn County Republicans attending a campaign kickoff fundraiser at the Longbranch Best Western in Cedar Rapids was that Republicans can learn lessons from a national tide toward Democrats in the 2006 midterm elections. "The Republican base is a fiscal restraint base," he said. "That didn't get done."
(KC Star) 'Brownback who?' makes his way to Iowa dinner: Hurdle No. 1 for the Kansas Republican on his quest to capture the first-in-the-nation caucuses come January 2008: name recognition. Iowans such as Linda Rydak, a Cedar Rapids waitress, acknowledged, "I'd be lying if I told you that I've ever heard of Sam Brownback." Hurdle No. 2: Convince Republicans stinging from the November elections that a social conservative can lead the way to the White House in two years. "I'm a full-scale conservative," Brownback assured about 50 Republicans gathered for the holiday dinner of the Linn County GOP Central Committee.
Sen. Pat Roberts (R)
(Press Release) Senator Roberts: Kansans Should Know Broader Implications of Next Steps in Iraq: Roberts, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and a key member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, made the remarks at an Armed Services Committee hearing on the nomination of Robert Gates to be the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense. ... "We can talk about geopolitical national threats," Roberts went on to say, "It sounds pretty good, but what does that mean to them? To me, it means if you leave Iraq in a precipitous fashion -- and we may want to do that down the road; we still have to ask -- what happens in Afghanistan? What happens in Iran? Will these attacks follow us home with the sleeper cells that are now in this country not so asleep and the second-generation terrorists? I think we have to tell the American people, yes, we want everybody home as soon as possible, but if we do it the wrong way we're going to face a lot of credibility problems and a lot of dangers that they have to understand will affect their daily lives and pocketbooks."
Rep. Dennis Moore (D)
(Bloomberg) Bush to meet with Centrist Dems: President Bush has invited leaders of the conservative Blue Dog and New Democrat coalitions to the White House Friday to discuss areas of "mutual cooperation" in the words of one Democratic Congressional aide. The outreach comes at a time when Bush's image on Capitol Hill and around the country has taken a serious beating. The meeting is scheduled just two days after the Iraq Study Group is scheduled to release its findings and one day after the Senate Armed Services Committee plans to hold hearings on them. Reps. Alan Boyd (Fla.), Dennis Moore (Kan.) and Mike Ross (Ark.) will represent the Blue Dogs, a coalition of usually southern, conservative-leaning Democrats.
Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R)
(AP) Tiahrt, Hensarling vying to lead conservative GOP group: Texas Representative Jeb Hensarling is locked in a hotly contested race with Kansas Representative Todd Tiahrt to head the Republican Study Committee. It's a group of the most conservative U.S. House members and has about 100 lawmaker members. The secret ballot is set for Wednesday. The winner will be in a unique position to advance his party's agenda and help Republicans try to regain the majority they lost. But there is disagreement over who should lead. Some members of the group say Tiahrt may not be conservative enough.