Washington, D.C.

Negotiators agree on terrorism insurance

Congressional negotiators said they reached a tentative agreement on a $100 billion terrorism insurance package that lawmakers hope will stimulate the economy and help cover the cost of insurance against future terrorist attacks.

But final passage of the legislation is still not assured. It has not been formally approved by a Senate-House conference where some members continue to have reservations about parts of the package. And then it must still be approved by both the full Senate and House, which have recessed until after the Nov. 5 election.

The GOP-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate have passed different versions of legislation, which would protect the insurance industry in the event of another terrorist attack by requiring the government to pick up some of the losses.

Washington, D.C.

White House ordered to turn in documents

A federal judge Thursday for a second time ordered the Bush administration to turn over key documents about its energy task force, while government lawyers gave notice that they plan to take their case to an appeals court before complying.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan gave lawyers representing Vice President Dick Cheney until Nov. 5 to produce documents that detail the membership rolls and meeting schedules of the National Energy Policy Development Group, which Cheney led. Sullivan had ordered the same documents turned over in August.

If the government doesn’t produce the documents by the November date, Sullivan said, the administration must submit a claim of executive privilege and the reasons for it.

The Sierra Club and Judicial Watch, plaintiffs in this case, are two of several groups that have alleged that the administration improperly met with private officials from the energy industry last year while shaping its energy policy.

Washington, D.C.

Committees report campaign cash

The Republican fund-raising committee leading the GOP’s efforts to keep its House majority entered the final month of the campaign with $19.5 million on hand, roughly double the ready cash of its Democratic counterpart.

With an assist from President Bush, the National Republican Congressional Committee has collected at least $130 million for the fall election. Bush raised more than $30 million at a spring dinner to benefit the NRCC and the Senate Republican committee.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has raised at least $72.5 million for the Nov. 5 election. It reported $10 million on hand as October began.

The committees each filed finance reports this week.