Political Notebook: John Salazar introduces 2 military-related bills

Monday 8:41 a.m.

With the 111th Congress less than a month into its current session, Congressman John Salazar, D-Colo., has already introduced two bills of his own:
His first bill, H.R. 666, would set up a federal, searchable database of U.S. servicemen and woman to allow the public to see who has been awarded a medal of honor or other honor authorized by Congress.
Congressman Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., and Congresswoman Betsy Markey, D-Colo., have signed on as cosponsors.
Salazar’s second bill, H.R. 667, is aimed at improving the diagnosis, treatment and awareness of traumatic brain injuries among members of the armed services. It also includes provisions to improve and expand access to telemedicine.
Again, Perlmutter and Markey have signed on as cosponsors.
Both bills have been referred to various House committees for hearings.

Saturday 10:45 a.m.

Beyond the immediate problems posed by moving Guantanamo Bay detainees to Colorado’s federal supermax prison, Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, said it could set a problematic long-term precedent.
As we and others have noted, Republican lawmakers have voiced concerns about making Colorado a possible target for terrorist attacks as well as other short-term issues.
Penry, however, told Political Notebook and other reporters today that such a move also could effectively make Colorado “the other side of the pipeline for enemy terrorists” over the long term.
Penry said he and even some Democratic state lawmakers have concerns about a one-way express from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq to the Florence facility or other Colorado prisons.
“This is not a partisan issue,” he said.

Friday 2:05 p.m.

Count House Majority Leader Paul Weissmann, D-Louisville, among those ecstatic about the Colorado congressional delegation’s committee assignments.
“We got the rules committee and the appropriation committee,” Weissmann said today. “This is a good time for earmarks.”
Congressman John Salazar, D-Colo., is a new member of the House Appropriations Committee. Congressman Ed Perlmutter D-Colo., and Congressman Jared Polis, D-Colo., were both appointed to the House Rules Committee.
Weissmann’s comments came as the three federal representatives met with state lawmakers in Denver today.

Friday 1:08 p.m.

At least one Washington insider has not pegged Colorado’s as one of the country’s top gubernatorial seats likely to flip parties come November 2010.
Indeed, in today’s edition of The Fix, Gov. Bill Ritter’s seat did not make the top 10 list of seats where an electoral flip seems likely. The only Western states that did fit this bill were Arizona, Nevada and Wyoming.
Obviously Ritter’s performance over the next two years coupled with the candidate the Colorado Republican Party fields could affect this, but for Colorado Democrats this is a good start.

You can read more of Sentinel staff writer Mike Saccone’s Political Notebook at GJSentinel.com/politicalnotebook.


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