- - Sunday, July 29, 2012

CHICAGO — The Rev. Jesse Jackson says his son’s treatment at the Mayo Clinic for depression is a “game changer.”

The elder Mr. Jackson spoke to reporters about Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. on Saturday outside a Chicago movie theater. The civil rights leader was with protesters supporting an assault weapons ban. Mr. Jackson said there is no timetable on his son’s recovery and asked for prayers for their family.

The younger Jackson has been on a secretive leave of absence for nearly seven weeks. The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota said Friday the congressman was being treated there for depression and gastrointestinal issues.

Mr. Jackson is facing an ethics investigation in the U.S. House connected to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted on corruption charges. Mr. Jackson has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

HOUSE

Ways and Means chairman fighting ‘treatable’ cancer

The chairman of the House’s tax-writing committee says he has been diagnosed with a “very early, highly treatable and curable type” of cancer.

Rep. Dave Camp, Michigan Republican, says in a statement that doctors found non-Hodgkin lymphoma during a recent physical. Mr. Camp says he will continue in Congress and retain his committee chairmanship during chemotherapy.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer that begins in the cells of the immune system. The 59-year-old Mr. Camp says he has large B-cell lymphoma. B-cells are a type of white blood cell that helps fight infections.

Mr. Camp, who has served since 1991, has said he wants to combine a push to head off pending tax increases with ways to force Congress to revamp the tax code next year.

CAMPAIGN

Cheney: Picking Palin for VP was a mistake

Former Vice President Dick Cheney says it was a mistake for Republican Sen. John McCain to pick Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee in 2008.

Mr. Cheney says he liked Mrs. Palin, but that she didn’t pass the test of being ready to be president and that Mr. McCain’s campaign didn’t handle the vetting process well.

Republican challenger Mitt Romney is expected to announce a running mate in August. He is widely expected to choose someone perceived as competent but safe.

Mr. Cheney, whose own unpopularity was a flashpoint for the George W. Bush administration, says there are two lists that candidates maintain. The bigger list includes politicians who want to be viewed as under consideration to boost their standing. Mr. Cheney says a second, much shorter list contains those who are actually being considered.

HOUSE

GOP leaders under pressure to tackle drought relief

The House next week will take up legislation to provide disaster relief to livestock producers and others hit by the drought. The legislation also will extend for one year the long-term farm and food bill set to expire at the end of September.

House Republican leaders have been under pressure to take action to relief farmers and ranchers struggling under the worst drought to hit the nation in decades. The dry weather has been particularly hard on cattle, poultry and pork raisers who generally do not participate in crop insurance programs.

The main federal livestock disaster relief program expired last year, and the administration has been urging Congress to revive it before leaving for the August recess at the end of next week.

TREASURY

Geithner heads to Germany to discuss financial crisis

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will meet with Mario Draghi, the head of the European Central Bank, in Germany next week. The meeting comes after Mr. Draghi sparked optimism about a resolution to Europe’s financial crisis, saying he would do whatever it takes to save the euro.

The Treasury Department says Mr. Geithner is making the trip to discuss the European crisis and other global economic issues.

Mr. Draghi’s comments raised expectations that he could step in to lower high borrowing costs for countries like Spain and Italy. They also started a stock market rally on Thursday and Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average surged roughly 400 points.

Mr. Geithner will first with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in Sylt, Germany. He then will fly to Frankfurt for talks later in the day with Mr. Draghi.

SENATE

Lawmaker blocks nominee because of sex scandal

A Republican senator is blocking a vote on the White House pick for Air Force chief of staff because of the service’s response to a widening sex scandal at a base in Texas.

In a statement Friday, Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, said he put a hold on the nomination of Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, tapped to replace Gen. Norton A. Schwartz next month as the head of the Air Force.

“My hold on Gen. Welsh will remain until I feel the Air Force is adequately addressing the unacceptable situation at Lackland and taking corrective steps to reform their training program to prevent this from happening again,” Mr. Cornyn said.

Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio is the site for basic training for all Air Force recruits. It has been rocked by scandal stemming from accusations of sexual assault.

One former instructor was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a military jury after he was convicted of rape and sexual assault. Military officials said this week the number of instructors under investigation total 15 and the number of alleged victims has increased by seven to 38.

Lackland has about 500 instructors for some 35,000 airmen who graduate every year. One in 5 recruits is female, while most instructors are male.

The Senate late Thursday approved several military nominations that had been cleared by the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday but not the Welsh nomination.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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