- - Monday, June 21, 2010


Pelosi wants fee boost, jobs money combined

The top House Democrat says her chamber won’t vote on Senate legislation to reverse a cut in Medicare payments to doctors.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the bill — which would reverse a 21 percent cut to Medicare doctor fees that was imposed on Friday — has to include elements of the Democrats’ jobs agenda.

The move by the California Democrat appears aimed at pressuring the Senate to break a logjam on long-sought legislation to extend unemployment benefits and give money to states to help them avoid additional layoffs and furloughs. That bill is stuck on the Senate floor because of a GOP filibuster.

The Senate passed the doctor fee fix as a stand-alone measure on Friday after a GOP filibuster killed the bigger jobs-related measure the night before. The measure would only forestall the cuts — they are required under a 1990s budget-cutting law that Congress has routinely waived — for six months.

The House passed legislation to prevent the cuts from going into effect through the end of next year.

“The bill Senate Republicans allowed to pass is not only inadequate with respect to physician fees, but it ignores urgent sections of the House bill to provide jobs,” Mrs. Pelosi said. “I see no reason to pass this inadequate bill until we see jobs legislation coming out of the Senate.”


Top Marine picks are announced

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced his choices for new leadership of the Marine Corps on Monday, passing over a maverick candidate in favor of the service’s No. 2 official.

Mr. Gates said he has recommended that President Obama nominate Gen. James Amos for the top job of commandant of the Marine Corps. The job requires Senate confirmation.

The White House is expected to accept Mr. Gates’ choice. A public schedule released last week prematurely listed Gen. Amos as the nominee.

Gen. Amos is seen as willing to support Mr. Gates and other senior Pentagon leaders as they spend the next several months looking for cost savings.

In choosing him, Mr. Gates and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus passed over Gen. James Mattis, an expert in counterinsurgency warfare who would have probably posed a stiffer challenge to proposed budget changes.

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