- - Monday, November 8, 2010

HOUSE

Issa: No compromise on tax cuts

Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican, said Monday that he cannot accept a potential compromise that would extend tax cuts for the wealthier for 2 years while making them permanent for everyone else.

“No, I can’t,” Mr. Issa said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program, when asked if he could accept that proposal. “Tax certainty is important, and it’s important for the investing class probably more than anybody else.”

He said small businesses that would be affected by the two-year extension needed to make longer-term decisions than just two years to create jobs.

“So if anything, this is wrong-minded,” Mr. Issa said. “In some ways you should say, look if you invest today, we’ll let you get a better deal three, four, five years from now because that’s how you create jobs. Hopefully, we’ll come to a compromise that does allow people to make decisions beyond just this tax year.”

President Obama said on CBS’ “60 Minutes” program on Sunday that the tax-cut extension proposal was a “basis for conversation” and that he sees a potential for compromise heading into negotiations.

The battle over tax cuts is the first major legislative challenge facing Mr. Obama and Congress since last week’s elections put Republicans in control of the House starting next year.

WHITE HOUSE

Yemen pressed for more intel

A senior administration official says the White House is pressing Yemen to share more intelligence and provide more access to al Qaeda prisoner suspects.

The senior official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss strategy, says the White House also wants to speed up the training of Yemen’s counterterrorism teams to help them combat al Qaeda’s affiliate there.

Cooperation is already good, the official says, but it could be better, so the White House is using the recent near-miss with the two mail bombs found aboard two aircraft to push for more.

The Yemeni terrorist branch, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has claimed responsibility for the plot terrorism specialists say was likely aimed at blowing up the jets on their way to the U.S.

PRESIDENTIAL PARDONS

Bush: Cheney angry over no Libby pardon

Former President George W. Bush says Vice President Dick Cheney angrily confronted him over Mr. Bush’s decision not to pardon a former vice presidential aide over his role in the case of the leaked identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Mr. Bush, in an interview aired Monday on NBC’s “Today” show, said Mr. Cheney was angry that Mr. Bush only commuted the sentence of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, convicted of lying during the leak investigation.

Mr. Bush’s appearance came as he begins promoting his memoir, “Decision Points.” In the book, Mr. Bush recounts that a furious Mr. Cheney told him: “I can’t believe you’re going to leave a soldier on the battlefield.”

Mr. Bush said he worried the incident would fracture his friendship with Mr. Cheney. But he said: “I’m pleased to report we are friends today.”

OIL DRILLING

Panel: Cost-cutting not factor in BP spill

The presidential commission investigating the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill has found no instance where a decision deliberately sacrificed safety to cut costs.

Fred H. Bartlit Jr., the panel’s chief counsel, in a presentation Monday said the probe did not uncover any case where an individual made a conscious choice to “favor dollars over safety.”

That statement conflicts with investigations by Democrats in Congress who have accused BP of cutting corners when it made several critical well-design decisions. Those decisions have also been questioned by other major oil companies.

WEST VIRGINIA

State to certify tallies by Friday

CHARLESTON | Just over half of West Virginia’s 55 counties have already checked their results from last week’s general election.

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant launched the vote canvass Monday. She thinks counties can complete the process by noon Tuesday.

Mrs. Tennant was unaware of any changed results.

Once the last county finishes, candidates will have 48 hours to request a recount. Allowing for Veterans Day, Mrs. Tennant hopes to have certified results by noon Friday.

Gov. Joe Manchin III could gain a slight seniority advantage as West Virginia’s Democratic senator-elect if can take his seat on Capitol Hill by Nov. 15. That’s when the Senate begins a brief lame-duck session.

Sen.-elect Chris Coons, Delaware Democrat, also won election last week. Officials there expect he’ll be seated Nov. 15.

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