Too Close for Comfort? As Congress prepares for the start of hearings on Toyota's rash of safety problems, government watchdog groups are raising questions about whether deep financial and personal connections between lawmakers and the carmaker could taint the inquiries, The New York Times reports. The car company has 32 lobbyists working the Hill, including eight former members of Congress and the executive branch.
Cheney Hospitalized: Former Vice President Dick Cheney is in the hospital after experiencing chest pains. He is "resting comfortably" at George Washington Hospital in D.C., Fox News reports.
Senate Advances Jobs Bill: Five Republicans, including recently elected Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, joined Democrats in voting to advance a $15 billion job-creation package yesterday. The Wall Street Journal reports that while few senators took issue with the jobs package forwarded Monday, several Republicans said they were unhappy that Majority Leader Harry Reid had blocked a larger $85 billion program.
Jury Awards $9.45 Million in Damages Over Prempro Drug: The Legal Intelligencer reports via Law.com that a Philadelphia jury has decided that drugmaker Wyeth should be punished with punitive damages for the warnings provided to a plaintiff and her doctor over the risk of breast cancer from Wyeth's hormonal drug Prempro. The jury awarded $6 million in punitive damages and $3.45 million in compensatory damages Monday in Singleton v. Wyeth.