Drug importation - killer amendment passes Senate

The Dorgan Amendment to the FDA bill S 1082 (earlier piece) which would have allowed drug importation from Canada and some other countries has been kiboshed:

The Cochran red tape killer amendment passed 49-40.

The breakdown is unhappy reading for Dem supporters: 15 Dems voted for Cochran:

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Trade deal: kabuki or crisis?

For some time (earlier piece) Rangel has been negotiating with USTR Susan Schwab on terms under which the already signed free trade agreements (technically trade promotion agreements) with Colombia, Peru, Korea and Panama can receive Congressional approval.

(Apparently, under US law, trade agreements are treated as congressional-executive agreements, not treaties.)

The stumbling block has been the Dem demand for a revision to the signed treaties making a commitment by each party to abide by ILO standards enforceable by the other party.

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Stafford Act: murkier and murkier

[Just to be clear: despite appearances to the contrary, I'm not researching this. This is just intellectual itch-scratching.]

Of course, Katrina is a multidimensional Russian doll of fubars. But, following on my earlier piece, I'm choosing to look (gingerly, and without prospect of conclusion) at one question: Can Bush legally waive 100% of Stafford Act costs?

This CRS report (PDF) is somewhere to start looking. It runs through the Stafford Act basics and provides a table of cases (97-06) in which SA assistance was given, and the cost-sharing basis used.

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Katrina: mysteries of Stafford Act politics

One of Nancy's pieces on her trip to NO reminded me - with no great surprise at all - that the issue of the Stafford Act waiver for Katrina damage is, as they bureaucrats might put it, yet to be resolved. (That, no doubt, is why I'd completely forgotten about it...)

Now, there are a host of angles to pursue here:

Start with, what motivates the WH to refuse the waiver? - fiscal, partisan, racial, other?

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Katrina: mysteries of Stafford Act politics

One of Nancy's pieces on her trip to NO reminded me - with no great surprise at all - that the issue of the Stafford Act waiver for Katrina damage is, as they bureaucrats might put it, yet to be resolved. (That, no doubt, is why I'd completely forgotten about it...)

Now, there are a host of angles to pursue here:

Start with, what motivates the WH to refuse the waiver? - fiscal, partisan, racial, other?

There's more...

Senate drug bill: where's the action?

Following up my piece on Tuesday:

All signs point to the fireworks on S 1082 coming over the Dorgan Amendment (SA 990) which would allow importation of pharmaceuticals.

According to the UCA agreed yesterday - Daily Digest - cloture will be voted on SA 990 tomorrow.

And - there is a second-degree disabling amendment to SA 990 from a bipartisan crew of pharma-lovers (SA 1010, the Cochran Amendment), which have to be voted on before SA 990 is.

(The Dem cosponsors: Carper, Nelson (NE), Menendez.)

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Musings on the 'Post' Iraq piece

I'm not rushing to judgement on what do the Dems do now? - a piece of self-restraint aided no end by the fact that, as of now, I haven't the faintest idea.

Today's gobbet feeding interest in the question is the Post piece that Jonathan talks about.

What gives? One of the comments flags a TPM piece which takes the story on a little.

As with all of these pieces reliant on blind quotes for their oomph, you have to read them closely.

(They're in code - but use plain English words (to fool the unwary).)

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NCLB: prepare for reauthorization!

I flagged the issue last November under the heading No Child Left Behind runs out in September 07.

I said then there is no idiot's guide so far as I can tell.

Now, there's a 33 page CRS report (PDF) dated December 14 2006 entitled The No Child Left Behind Act:  An Overview of Reauthorization Issues for the 110th Congress - very much an honors student guide, though!

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Senate drug bill: where are the bodies buried?

My attention wandered (or something...) and already S 1082 is into its second day of floor action. (Perhaps they've already packed up for the day? Can't be arsed to find out.)

The aim of the bill, the Prescription Drug User Fee Amendments Act, is twofold (Hill piece): to reauthorize the user-fee program; and authorize a program of research into the use in pediatric medicine of drugs already licensed for use in adults.

[Bizarre to think that (so far as I'm aware) none of the leading economies require drugs to be tested on children - not so bizarre, of course, if you're a risk-averse pol who'd rather chance thousands of kids dying from side-effects of such a drug, rather than one or two dying in a trial of the drug.

Ain't politics grand?]

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The 'sit-down strike' in SCOTUS and Congress

Last week, I mentioned an article (by one Jim Pope) that I'd spotted (but not then read) on the strange mid-30s phenomenon of the sit-down strike.

Now, I've read it!

It's perhaps most useful in the just the facts detail of who sat down when and where.

But it makes some pretty sweeping claims for the effect such strikes had on all branches of the Federal government, not to mention state and local government (graf 92ff).

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Diaries

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