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Congress: Veto showdown averted

“A veto showdown over the Defense authorization bill appears to have been averted after the Senate agreed today to compromise language on detainees accused of terrorism,” Roll Call reports.

“Democratic and Republican efforts to continue the current payroll tax holiday failed [Thursday evening] in the Senate when both competing proposals did not win the 60 votes needed to end debate,” Roll Call reports.

“House Republicans have launched their most ambitious, pro-business effort yet to rein in Obama administration regulators, triggering a furious debate over the value of new rules for clean air, workplace safety, children's toys and many other categories,” AP writes. “The House was set to vote Friday on the second of two anti-regulation bills, legislation that would impose potentially stifling procedures on federal regulators. Republicans argue that avoiding expensive new regulations would aid businesses in hiring workers, while Democrats counter that Americans' health and safety would be jeopardized.”

And: “The 2012 election year will see a sustained Republican push to repeal the healthcare reform law in bits and pieces, members of both parties say,” The Hill reports.

“Republicans on Capitol Hill are working on a new plan to extend unemployment benefits that would reform the system so prisoners and people making more than $100,000 annually would not be eligible for the payments,” The Hill writes. “GOP members in both the House and Senate have been working on a strategy to extend the benefits, which are politically popular but have attracted criticism by some in the Tea Party.”

“Rep. Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.) said [Thursday] that she would not challenge Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.) for the soon-to-be vacated top Democratic slot on the Financial Services Committee,” Roll Call reports.

“Nearly one year after an aide to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was slain in a shooting at her constituent event in Tucson, Ariz., a House hearing room will honor his memory,” Roll Call reports. “The House today voted 419-0 to name Room HVC 215 the Gabriel Zimmerman Meeting Room. … The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee and a close friend of Giffords, Wasserman Schultz is the lead sponsor of the resolution. Though final passage was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, it was rescheduled for today to ensure that Wasserman Schultz was able to attend the vote, her spokeswoman Mara Sloan said. ‘We also had asked [Majority Leader Eric Cantor] to delay the debate, originally from Tuesday, to Wednesday, so that more [Arizona] Members could be present,’ Sloan added.”“

The House voted today to end taxpayer financing of presidential elections,” Roll Call reports. “In a 235-190 vote, the House approved a measure to terminate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund and shut down the Election Assistance Commission, a national clearinghouse on the mechanics of voting. … Taxpayer financing of presidential elections was established after the Watergate scandal. Although President Barack Obama opted out of the public financing system for his general election campaign in 2008, he opposed the attempt to end it, saying it should be fixed instead.”