Briefly: Debt Limit; HHS Regulation Explosion; Sheriff Arpaio’s Eye in the Sky

By Staff | March 30, 2011 | 10:55 AM EDT

Conservative Senators Will Filibuster Vote to Increase Debt Limit

From The Hill: Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has told supporters in Utah that he will filibuster a bill authorizing Treasury Department officials to add to the nation’s multitrillion-dollar debt, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday. Other conservatives may join him. Failure to increase the debt limit could force the federal government to default on its bonds for the first time in history.

See Newspaper Roundup and The Hill report


6 Pages of Health Law May Produce 1,000 Pages of Federal Regulations

From Politico: Health care lobbyists and advocates are bracing for six pages of the health care reform law to explode into more than 1,000 pages of federal regulations when the Department of Health and Human Services releases its long-delayed rules for “accountable care organizations” this week. The regulations involve definitions and formulas for accountable care organizations – networks of hospitals and doctors that are supposed to drive down costs and improve care by sharing responsibility for patients, Politico reported.

See Newspaper Roundup and Politico report


Sheriff Joe Arpaio Using Aircraft in Huge Drug-Smuggling Operation

From The Arizona Republic: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Tuesday announced the launch of "Operation Desert Sky," which is targeting drug-smuggling corridors in his territory. Unlike previous crime sweeps, Operation Desert Sky will use 30 fixed-wing aircraft to report suspicious activity to deputies on the ground, Arpaio said. Operation Desert Sky also involves drug sniffing dogs, armed posse members, human-smuggling and drug-enforcement units and SWAT teams equipped with M-16s. "I don't go along with the theory that the border is more secure than ever before," Arpaio said -- a reference to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's recent remarks. "I'm not going to blame the federal government because they are never going to secure the border. I blame the politicians that say we must secure the border first," he said.

See Newspaper Roundup and Arizona Republic report