Mr. Santorum already had announced his presidential ambitions and he has been aggressively campaigning in the early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. He also has hired veterans of past presidential runs.
The Massachusetts Democrat said Thursday he had praised Herb Moses‘ qualifications when a Fannie Mae executive approached him and asked about Mr. Moses. The executive had once worked on Capitol Hill and knew that Mr. Frank and Mr. Moses lived together.
Mr. Frank, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, was responding to a new book that mentioned his role in helping Mr. Moses get the job. Mr. Frank called any questions about a conflict of interest “ridiculous.” Congress at the time was considering legislation to improve oversight of the mortgage agency. A Fannie Mae spokesman declined to comment.
The discussions involved payments to the husband of the woman with whom Mr. Ensign was having an affair.
Mr. Coburn said Thursday that an account by another key witness who said Mr. Coburn took an active role in negotiations between Mr. Ensign and former aide Doug Hampton over relocating Mr. Hampton and a potential payout “is not an accurate reflection of what happened.”
In an interview taped for C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers,” Mr. Coburn said he was proud of the role he played in helping break off the affair between Mr. Ensign and Mr. Hampton’s wife, Cynthia. He said: “There’s nothing unethical in what we did.”
HHS asked to warn states off Planned Parenthod bans
A group of 30 Democratic senators is telling Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius she should warn states that if they try to exclude family planning clinics like Planned Parenthood from Medicaid and Title X funding, they with face penalties with the federal government.
The letter, sent Thursday, cites a law passed recently in Indiana, which excludes funding to Planned Parenthood. Other states are considering similar laws.
The senators write that such legislation is “in direct opposition” to congressional intent and contradicts “the spirit and the letter” of existing laws.
HHS did not have a comment on the letter, but the agency is expected to address the issue soon.
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