- - Tuesday, April 12, 2011

PRESIDENCY

Pawlenty: ‘I’m running’ was out of context

MINNEAPOLIS | Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty may be running for president, but he’s not ready to be official about it.

Mr. Pawlenty moved quickly Tuesday to knock down a CNN story that appeared to show him officially entering the race.

During a taping of “Piers Morgan Tonight” set to air Tuesday night, the talk-show host remarked on Mr. Pawlenty’s low standing in early polls. He asked if Mr. Pawlenty would consider being real estate tycoon Donald Trump’s No. 2 on a ticket. The former governor laughed and responded, “I’m running for president.”

Spokesman Alex Conant says the quote was taken out of context. He says a formal announcement by Mr. Pawlenty about running for president would come later this spring.

COURTS

Gay dads lose birth certificate case

NEW ORLEANS | A gay couple who wanted both their names to appear on the birth certificate of the Louisiana child they adopted in New York have lost their latest round in federal court.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday that a Louisiana registrar’s insistence that only one father’s name can go on the certificate does not violate the child’s right to equal protection under the law, nor does it deny legal recognition of the New York adoption by both men.

In Louisiana, adopted children get new birth certificates with their new parents’ names on them. However, the state does not allow adoptions by unmarried couples. The state contends that putting both men’s names on the birth certificate would violate state law.

SENATE

Vermont’s Sanders opposes budget deal

Sen. Bernard Sanders, one of the Senate’s most liberal members, announced Tuesday that he will vote against the fiscal 2011 spending deal struck last week, saying it would cut more than $38 billion from programs that help working families without calling for shared sacrifice by the wealthiest Americans.

“Today, in order to reduce deficits that Republicans helped create, they now are slashing programs of enormous importance to working families, the elderly, the sick and children,” said Mr. Sanders, Vermont independent.

Mr. Sanders, who caucuses with Senate Democrats, called the bill “obscene” and said, “It moves America in exactly the wrong direction.”

TRANSPORTATION

Buses off roads after inspections

Federal authorities say nearly 2,800 spot safety checks of passenger buses across the country resulted in nearly 10 percent of the vehicles or drivers being taken off the road.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Tuesday announced the results of the surprise inspections carried out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and state and local law enforcement agencies.

The inspections took place from March 28 through April 6.

Federal transportation authorities say 289 drivers or buses were taken off roadways. Three hundred buses were removed from service out of 3,000 inspections during an earlier 17-day series of spot checks.

The focus on surprise inspections follows deadly accidents involving cut-rate passenger buses, including the March 12 crash of a casino bus in New York City that killed 15 people.

HOUSE

Hoyer uncertain on budget agreement

The No. 2 House Democrat said Tuesday that he’s uncertain if he or his caucus will support the fiscal 2011 spending deal struck late Friday between the White House and congressional leaders.

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, said that because details of the plan weren’t released until early Tuesday morning, lawmakers haven’t had time to sift through the massive document.

“I don’t think either side has had an opportunity to review it fully,” Mr. Hoyer said during his weekly briefing with Capitol reporters. “My presumption is [Republican leaders] aren’t sure where their people are, and we haven’t asked our people where they are at this point in time.”

“We’ll have to see first of all what the specifics are of the legislation,” he added.

Mr. Hoyer said President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, “made a bad situation less bad” during negotiations with Republican leaders to keep government agencies funded through the rest of the current fiscal year, which runs through the end of September.

A temporary spending bill expires at midnight Friday.