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Jan. 20, 2009

National News for Jan. 3 - 17

by Alisa Lu, Online News Editor
This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from CNN, Reuters and the Washington Post. Silver Chips Online posts this news summary to provide readers with a forum for discussion.

Jan. 4 - Governor Bill Richardson (D-N.M.) withdrew his nomination as Secretary of Commerce amidst allegations of improper business conduct. He is under investigation for allegedly pressuring a state agency to hire a California firm that donated money to political action committees that he established. Although Richardson denies any improper actions, he stated that he withdrew his nomination in fear that the Senate would not confirm him. Had the Senate approved his appointment, Richardson would have been the highest-ranking and highest-profile Latino member of the Obama administration.

Washington, D.C.

Jan. 7 - The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced in a report that the government will face a $1.2 trillion deficit for the fiscal year ending in September. In the same report, the CBO also announced that government spending this year will exceed government revenue by eight percent - the highest deficit since World War II. Experts predict the deficit will shrink as the economy improves, but also said that the decrease in the spending and revenue gap will be offset soon after by the sky-rocketing costs of providing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to baby boomers when they retire. President-elect Barack Obama addressed the report in a conference soon after it was released and said that he would offer a specific plan to deal with the deficit when he submits his first budget proposal to Congress next month.

Jan. 12 - The Senate Foreign Relations Committee commenced Secretary of State-nominee Hillary Clinton's confirmation hearing. Although Clinton is expected to be swiftly confirmed, she was grilled on her husband's foreign business transactions because many officials thought the transactions could potentially pose a conflict-of-interest issue. In preparation for the hearing, Bill Clinton released financial information relating to his charity work last month.

Minneapolis, Minn.

Jan. 6 - The State Canvassing Board declared that Democrat Al Franken won the 2008 Minnesota Senate election over Republican incumbent Norm Coleman by 225 votes out of almost 2.9 million ballots cast. Coleman, who alleged that the recount excluded some absentee ballots, has promised to mount a challenge against the advice of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). If Coleman wins the seat, Democrats will control 59 out of 100 Senate seats in the 111th Congress.

Springfield, Ill.

Jan. 9 - The Illinois House of Representatives voted 114 - 1 to impeach Governor Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.) after he was charged with conspiring to sell President-elect Barack Obama's recently vacated Senate seat. The State Senate trial will start on Jan. 26 and Blagojevich will be removed from office if 40 of the 60 Senators vote to convict him. The debate in the House lasted less than two hours and no one spoke in support of Blagojevich.



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