News May 22

Senator Sanders

Nuclear Safety Sen. Bernie Sanders said he was "extremely disappointed" that Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko is stepping down. Sanders said Jaczko understood that the NRC's job is to regulate, not to promote nuclear power, The Associated Press, Rutland Herald, Times Argus, WCAX-TV, Vermont Public Radio, Huffington Post, Bloomberg News, Politico, E&E News, The Nation and the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, VIDEO

Senior Housing Sen. Sanders on Monday toured a new senior housing center in Vergennes, Vt. The center consists of 25 apartments and uses efficient energy sources to reduce energy costs, WPTZ-TV and Fox 44 reported. VIDEO, VIDEO

JPMorgan Is there a conflict of interest when bankers like JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon serve on the board of the same institution that regulates them? According to CNN Money, Sen. Sanders has used the uproar over the bank's $2 billion trading loss to promote the idea of overhauling the Federal Reserve. "The conflicts of interest are so apparent that they're laughable." LINK

The Fed Sens. Sanders and Barbara Boxer will hold a news conference today on legislation to prohibit banking industry executives from serving as directors of the 12 Federal Reserve regional banks, according to The Associated Press daybook and Congressional Quarterly. LINK

FDA The Senate on Tuesday is likely to consider legislation to reauthorize user fees that pharmaceutical companies pay to offset the cost of the federal approval process for drugs. A Democratic aide said there was no deal on amendments. According to Politico, a Sanders amendment would punish drug makers that commit fraud.  

Rx Regulation "Despite a Senate hearing Tuesday over the high price of HIV treatments, industry onlookers say any price controls on the drugs are unlikely in the near future," the pharmaceutical trade publication FDA News reported. It said Sen. Sanders' bill would eliminate exclusive marketing rights for HIV treatments. LINK

Citizens United Sen. Patrick Leahy has called for a hearing on an array of proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution, including one by Sen. Sanders, that would reverse the Supreme Court ruling that allowed unlimited corporate campaign spending, the Burlington Free Press reported. LINK

Polluter Welfare Sen. Sanders proposed legislation to end fossil-fuel subsidies would save more than $110 billion over the coming decade, he said in a column published online Monday at Green Mountain Daily, MichaelMoore.com, OpEdNews.com and Grist.org.  LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK

World

Iran Nukes The chief of the U.N. nuclear agency said Tuesday that he has reached a deal with Iran on probing its suspected work on nuclear weapons, AP reported. LINK

Envoys to Step Down Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, will step down from his post this summer, after a year of service, CNN reported. Cameron Munter, the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, will also leave his post this summer. LINK

National

Space X A private cargo rocket headed to the International Space Station blasted off early Tuesday morning. If the cargo capsule known as SpaceX makes it all the way to the space station, it would be the first commercial spacecraft to dock at the space station, The New York Times reported. LINK

Regulators at Senate Hearing Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Schapiro will testify before the Senate Banking Committee today on implementing derivatives reform. Both are sure to face questions on JPMorgan Chase's trading losses, which SEC and CFTC are investigating, National Journal reported. LINK

Catholics vs. Obama Catholic University, the University of Notre Dame, and the Archdiocese of Washington are suing the federal government over a rule which requires employers to include birth control coverage in employee health insurance plans, National Journal reported. LINK

Vermont

F-35s The South Burlington City Council voted against a proposal that would base military flight jets at Burlington International Airport. The council voted 4 to 1 on Monday night to reject locating the new F-35 jet fighters at the airport. Similar meetings also were being held in Burlington, Williston and Winooski, Vermont Public Radio reported. LINK

Vermont Yankee The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant is not needed for the stability of the New England electric grid, according to grid operator ISO New England. ISO reversed its decision from last year, when it said Vermont Yankee had to keep operating to keep the transmission grid stable, Vermont Public Radio reported. LINK