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Congress: McConnell's earmark reversal

The Boston Globe called Sen. Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) decision to back an earmark moratorium "a surprising reversal that could put a halt to the controversial federal spending practice."

Is Pelosi in trouble? "A deal Speaker Nancy Pelosi struck Friday to stave off a messy Caucus leadership fight appears to have done little to tamp down insurgency in her ranks and build a consensus for her bid to be Minority Leader," Roll Call reports. "The California Democrat insisted in a meeting Monday with her top lieutenants that any unhappiness with her leadership is not widely felt and called it 'a minor irritant,' according to several sources with knowledge of the meeting. But it appears as if a group of Democrats remains unhappy with Pelosi’s decision to stay on as leader and are determined to try to delay leadership elections scheduled for Wednesday, amend Caucus rules to limit her power or send a message by voting down bills in the lame-duck session."

"Outgoing House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is the GOP's primary source of contact within the Democratic leadership, a top Republican said Monday," The Hill reports. "Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the incoming chairman of the House Budget Committee, suggested Republicans get along best with Hoyer, the second-ranking House Democrat who will stay in the No. 2 position in the next Congress."

The Congressional Black Caucus, by the way, isn't completely on board with the deal to create a position for Jim Clyburn that's not Whip.

Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck "Schumer is taking over the Democratic Policy Committee post being vacated by Sen. Byron Dorgan and getting responsibility for the Senate Democrats’ communications operation -- aka the party's war room," the New York Daily News writes.

The New York Post goes with "Trial Buffoon" over a picture of Charlie Rangel for the start of his hearing yesterday.

Roll Call: "Government reform advocates complained that a House ethics subcommittee’s decision Monday to cut short its trial of Rep. Charlie Rangel -- eliminating witnesses and arguments, and moving straight to deliberations -- will conceal the panel’s decision-making process from public view."

"A key senator who is balking at legislation to help ailing 9/11 responders backed similar steps for sick nuclear workers in his home state," the New York Daily News reports. "Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader from Kentucky, refuses to take a public position on the $7.4 billion James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, but sources say that in private discussions he has not supported it."

“Congressman-elect Tim Scott is vying for a new leadership position that House Republicans are creating to recognize the importance of their large freshman class,” the Charleston Post & Courier writes.