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This came in in today's CQ midday update:

"RIDGE WARNINGS OF HEIGHTENED TERRORIST THREAT COULD SPEED HOMELAND BILL

After briefing lawmakers over the past three days, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge today warned the public that "credible reporting now indicates that al Qaeda is moving forward with its efforts to carry out large-scale attacks in the United States in an effort to disrupt our democratic process." Ridge said the government has no "specific, credible information" to suggest that either the Democratic or Republican national conventions will be targeted. But he urged new vigilance. Top congressional leaders were briefed at the White House on Tuesday, while rank-and-file House members and senators received closed-door briefings yesterday and today. In response, Senate Democrats led by Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., urged GOP leaders to call up the fiscal 2005 Homeland Security appropriations bill (HR 4567, S 2537) now instead of waiting until September as planned by Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. A senior GOP aide said leaders negotiations were under way to move the bill before the summer break."

I have to wonder if national security might interrupt Bill Frist's attempts to focus attention on class action lawsuits and the FMA.

Meanwhile, Senate Appropriations chair, Ted Stevens (R-AK), has apparently halted the markup of this year's appropriations bills unless Democrats agree to limit floor debate on the bills, which makes an omnibus appropriations bill all the more likely.

Originally posted to tyroneslothrop on Thu Jul 08, 2004 at 01:01 PM PDT.

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