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Congress: Judgment day for Lieberman

The Washington Post: "A pair of Senate Democrats will offer a compromise plan today to sanction Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) for his support of the Republican presidential ticket but allow him to keep a key committee chairmanship and remain in the party caucus. Senators and aides said yesterday that Sens. Christopher J. Dodd (Conn.) and Ken Salazar (Colo.) will present a plan at a caucus meeting that would strip Lieberman of a low-profile subcommittee chairmanship, possibly one on global warming. But Lieberman would retain the gavel of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee."

More: "No final decisions have been made, and senators who support stronger punishment of Lieberman are expected to have a chance to express their views."

Roll Call adds that "Democrats appeared to lose their nerve after the election when Obama and other influential Democrats called on the party to forgive and forget Lieberman's harsh criticism of the president-elect during campaign appearances for Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.). Senate Democratic sources cautioned that that proposal might change depending on the outcome of discussions this morning. Lieberman is expected to make his case to the entire Senate Democratic Conference — including newly elected Senators — during a meeting in which the caucus will also elect their leaders for the next Congress." 

Ted Kennedy returned to Capitol Hill yesterday. "[O]verall, Kennedy looked remarkably spry for a man battling a malignant glioma, a fast-growing brain tumor that was diagnosed after Kennedy had a seizure in May," the Boston Globe writes. "His color was strong, and he sported a full head of his characteristic white hair. He appeared to have lost a substantial amount of weight and displayed none of the puffiness he showed during his last appearance on Capitol Hill on July 9, when he made an emotion- laden visit to cast a critical vote on a Medicare funding bill. While the senator is still receiving treatment, he didn't look tired as he prepared to get to work on issues facing the incoming Congress, with healthcare as his stated top priority."

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans may avoid taking on a hot topic at today's Conference meeting: whether or not to vote to expel Sen. Ted Stevens from their caucus. 

Steny Hoyer, the House's No. 2 Democrat, will give a speech at the National Press Club today at 10:00 am ET. With the House leadership elections today, and with many thinking they'll signify a shift to the left, an aide says Hoyer will argue that Democrats must be pragmatic instead of dogmatic. "The 33 new members of Congress coming to Washington to swell our side of the aisle are pragmatic, not dogmatic. They were elected on promises of bipartisanship and fiscal discipline. They were elected, quite simply, to solve problems, not further politicize Washington," he will say, according to excerpts. "Democrats won in every region of the country, and our nominee for president won more than 50% of the vote. For the first time in decades, we are true national majority party -- and if we want to stay that way, we must govern like one."

About policy, Hoyer will add: "Smart spending can help us get back to long-term fiscal health. Spending wisely today can save us money tomorrow. That is why our country needs far-reaching proposals, even in this recession. In the broad sense, fiscal responsibility should be at the core of our entire governing philosophy." 

The Hill also previews Hoyer's speech.