Tuesday Afternoon Federal Newscast - May 11

Tuesday - 5/11/2010, 2:00pm EDT

The Afternoon Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Daily Debrief hosts Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris discuss throughout their show each day. The Newscast is designed to give FederalNewsRadio.com users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • The Obama administration is proposing to split up an Interior Department agency that oversees offshore drilling, as part of its response to the Gulf Coast oil spill, The Associated Press has learned. An administration official who asked not to be identified because the plan is not yet public said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will urge that Congress approve splitting the Minerals Management Service in two. One agency would be charged with inspecting oil rigs, investigating oil companies and enforcing safety regulations, while the other would oversee leases for drilling and collection of billions of dollars in royalties.

  • A recall of romaine lettuce that has sickened students with E. coli poisoning is expanding as the government tries to find out where the contamination occurred. A food distributor in Moore, Okla., recalled romaine lettuce on Monday that came from the same farm in Yuma, Ariz., that grew lettuce that sickened students in Michigan, Ohio and New York. Ohio-based Freshway Foods announced a widespread recall of romaine lettuce last week related to those outbreaks.

  • President Barack Obama planned to resubmit to Congress on Tuesday a nuclear power pact with Russia that his predecessor angrily canceled two years ago after Russia invaded neighboring Georgia. The move is another sign of warming relations between the U.S. and Russia, which have previously clashed over NATO expansion plans and Moscow's claim of a zone of "privileged interest" along its borders. The White House released a letter from Obama to Congress late Monday saying that the situation in Georgia "need no longer be considered an obstacle" to the agreement.

  • President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced a revised approach to "confronting the complex challenge of drug use and its consequences," putting more resources into drug prevention and treatment. The new drug control strategy boosts community-based anti-drug programs, encourages health care providers to screen for drug problems before addiction sets in and expands treatment beyond specialty centers to mainstream health care facilities. The plan -- the first drug plan unveiled by the Obama White House -- calls for reducing the rate of youth drug use by 15 percent over the next five years and for similar reductions in chronic drug use, drug abuse deaths and drugged driving.

  • The White House says Vice President Joe Biden's son Beau Biden is undergoing treatment at a Delaware hospital. The White House says the younger Biden is awake and alert, and communicating with his parents and wife, who are with him. Beau Biden is Delaware's attorney general. He had considered running for the Senate seat his father held before becoming vice president, but ultimately decided against it.
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** Jodi Schneider, senior editor in the Washington Bureau of the American Banker, fills us in.