Inside Politics: Pa. planning to sue NCAA in federal court

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HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Corbett said Tuesday that he plans to sue the NCAA in federal court over sanctions imposed against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal.

The Republican governor scheduled a news conference for Wednesday on Penn State’s campus in State College to announce the filing in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg.

The sanctions, agreed to by the university in July, included a $60 million fine that would be used nationally to finance child-abuse prevention grants. State and federal lawmakers have raised objections to the money being spent outside Pennsylvania.

HOUSE

Lawmakers slash 2013 budget for satellites, spies

Congress has drastically trimmed the budget for U.S. spies and satellites for 2013, though not quite as deeply as the White House wanted.

In one of the last votes of the year, House lawmakers voted Monday 373-29 in favor of a Senate-passed bill to slightly boost the president’s $72 billion budget request for intelligence agencies, including the CIA, adding extra cash for the counterterrorism fight against al Qaeda, and the counterintelligence fight against foreign governments trying to spy on the U.S.

The amount is down sharply from roughly $80 billion in 2012, which marked the peak of intelligence spending since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“The bill holds personnel levels, one of the biggest cost drivers, generally, at last year’s levels,” said Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “Even so, the bill adds a limited number of new personnel positions for select, high-priority positions, such as FBI surveillance officers to keep watch on terrorists.”

The House intelligence committee’s ranking member, Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Maryland Democrat, said the bill “invests in personnel and programs that are working and cuts things that aren’t.”

The bill was stripped of several measures meant to block the leaking of classified information, including a provision that would have limited which government officials could brief journalists on intelligence. The measures were drafted after lawmakers objected to a series of news stories that anonymously quoted senior administration sources describing sensitive intelligence programs, such as the process by which targets are chosen for lethal drone strikes overseas.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat and chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, says that the measures were taken out to get the bill passed, but that the issue remains a problem.

HOUSE

Florida’s Young, 82, once again assigned to defense post

Longtime Florida Rep. C.W. Bill Young will serve another term as chairman of the powerful House Appropriations subcommittee on defense, House leaders said Monday.

It is the second time 82-year-old Mr. Young has gotten a waiver from Republican term limits on leadership positions.

In a statement, the GOP lawmaker praised Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Rep. Harold Rogers, Kentucky Republican and chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

“At a time of great uncertainty and what I see as instability in the future direction of U.S. defense policy, I believe we need to keep our national security team intact, ready to respond to any threats to our readiness,” Mr. Young said. “I appreciate the confidence the speaker and Chairman Rogers have shown in me to bring before the House good appropriations bills that protect our nation from threats abroad, continue to support our all-volunteer force and to care for our fallen heroes and their families when they return home, many with injuries from which they will never fully recover.”

First elected in 1970, Mr. Young is the longest-serving Republican member of Congress.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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