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Congress: Trouble at home?

The Boston Globe looks at the risk for some Republicans in voting "no" on the stimulus. "When Obama addresses a joint session of Congress in a televised speech tonight to outline his budget priorities and policy agenda, he will face 176 House Republicans who voted unanimously against his stimulus bill. Fewer than one dozen share [Washington State Republican Dave] Reichert's predicament: He represents a district carried by Obama in November, in this case by 15 percentage points. He is the type of endangered Republican most sought by Obama's gestures of bipartisan outreach, but also the type whom the new president's successes would be most likely to dislodge from office." 
Shape up or ship out? "At this morning's House Republican Conference meeting, party leaders will unveil a new campaign fundraising and infrastructure program designed to strengthen vulnerable incumbents and hold Members more accountable if they expect any help from the National Republican Congressional Committee in 2010," Roll Call writes. It's called the "Patriot" program and is part of the design to "overhaul" the NRCC "after back-to-back election cycles in which the GOP suffered major losses." And check out this bit: "As one Republican source put it Monday, the effort is also designed to 'end the welfare state that the NRCC has become over the past six to eight years' by setting strict benchmarks for Members and adding one big stick to the process. Namely, those candidates who aren't working to help themselves will be cut off from NRCC financial assistance."

Think Democratic leadership is going to yank Roland Burris soon? Think again. "There is already a process in place that includes investigations by Illinois state officials and the Senate Ethics Committee," Reid spokesman Jim Manley said, per Roll Call. "Let's let the appropriate process play out and let all the facts come to light. But, in the meantime, he is still a Member of the Senate." 
More PMA news: "Several clients of The PMA Group, which was raided by the FBI in November, are slated to receive earmarks worth at least $8 million in the omnibus spending bill funding the federal government through the rest of fiscal 2009, according to a list of projects put together by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)."