New & Notable Legislation

Surprising no one, the Senate voted down an amendment by Jim DeMint (R-SC) that would have removed federal funding for an airport in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, that The Wall Street Journal calls “Congressman Jack Murtha’s Airport for No One.” The airport serves fewer than 30 people each day for three commercial flights to Washington, DC, but it has devoured more than $150 million in Murtha pork over the last 20 years, including $800,000 in “stimulus” cash this year for — get this — a second runway. DeMint complained that “if we can’t cut funding for this project, we can’t cut anything in Washington.” Flight 150000000 for DC is now boarding with plenty of seats available.

The House voted 406-18 Thursday to halt premium increases for Medicare Part B, given that Social Security recipients will not see a cost of living increase in 2010. Most Medicare recipients are already exempt from increases if there is no boost in Social Security payments, but many others would face monthly premium increases of $8 to $23 without action by Congress.

The Associated Press reports, “The Senate has unanimously condemned the release of the Libyan terrorist convicted in [the] Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie and called upon Libya to apologize for celebrating his return.” The 1988 bombing killed 270 people, including 189 Americans. Scotland released Abdel Baset al-Megrahi last month on “compassionate” grounds because he is dying of cancer. He was greeted in Libya as a national hero by cheering throngs.

Last, hang on to your wallet — due to plummeting readership and flat-lined advertising revenues, Barack Obama is open to a newspaper bailout. “I haven’t seen detailed proposals yet, but I’ll be happy to look at them,” he said this week. And we thought the press was already in the tank for Obama.


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