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Hagan pushes infant mortality legislation

Sen. Kay Hagan Tuesday touted two bills designed to reduce infant mortality by improving screening of new borns and the training of those who care for new babies.

"As a mother, I can not imagine the pain of losing a child, especially when that death may have been easily prevented,'' Hagan, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families, said in a teleconference call from Washington.

One measure, that Hagan co-sponsored with Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, and Democrat Diane Feinstein of California, reauthorizes a program to provide training for child care providers on CPR, first aid, and other safe practices.

Hagan said the measure is designed to address what has historically been nearly 4,500 Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths(SUID) per year across the country including about 100 in North Carolina. The measure passed the Senate Health and Education Committee last week.

Hagan March of Dimes bill passes Senate

Sen. Kay Hagan's March of Dimes Commemorative Coin of Act of 2011 passed the Senate this week, in a program designed to push for research against birth defects.

Hagan, a Democrat, co-sponsored the bill with Republican Susan Collins of Maine, that will mint coins in recognition and celebration of the March of Dimes 75th anniversary. Proceeds will be used to raise awareness among health professionals and the public and find the causes of prematurity.

“Although progress has been made over past several decades on reducing and preventing birth defects and prematurity, we need organizations, such as the March of Dimes to continue to push for more research, more innovation, and more prevention efforts,” Hagan said in a statement.

The women's room

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan ran into Sonia Sotomayor in the women's room.

The Greensboro Democrat and Sens. Susan Collins and Barbara Boxer were using the facilities when the Supreme Court nominee came in today during a visit to Capitol Hill, MSNBC reports.

"There was a light-hearted conversation, they said, that women could also conduct official business in the restroom as men have for years," the new channel reported.

Hagan's named best Senate campaign

The Fix has named Sen.-elect Kay Hagan's campaign the best of 2008.

Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza named the Greensboro Democrat's successful run against Sen. Elizabeth Dole as the best Senate campaign in a post today.

He noted that Hagan got into the race after better-known candidates such as Gov. Mike Easley and Rep. Brad Miller passed it up, started as a virtual unknown and stayed on message despite attacks. He also added that she got a major boost from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Hagan got into the race as a virtually unknown candidate both in North Carolina and nationally, but quickly showed a capacity to raise money that opened the eyes of many people in Washington. On her first trips to the nation's capital, she wowed even the most cynical of party operatives with a charisma about campaigning and a no-nonsense approach to what needed to be done to beat Dole.

In the end, Cillizza notes, Hagan beat Dole 53-44.

He gave an honorable mention to Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican.

Dole cosponsors global warming bill

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole joined five other senators in co-sponsoring climate change legislation.

Sens. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and John Warner of Virginia have worked for several months to draft America's Climate Security Act, a bill introduced today that is designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions, Barb Barrett reports.

The bill's goal is to reduce total U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions by as much as 19% below the 2005 level in the next 13 years, and by as much as 63% below the 2005 level in 2050.

The bill allows companies to save, borrow and trade emission allowances. Companies could earn credits by "inducing" other non-covered businesses such as farms to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions.

"The solution to this serious problem is not inaction," Dole said in a statement. "We must ensure clean air for future generations, and this is a responsible, market-driven approach that strengthens our economy, competitiveness and security."

Other co-sponsors include Democratic Sens. Tom Harkin of Iowa, Benjamin Cardin of Maryland, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Republican Sens. Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Susan Collins of Maine.

The legislation is supported by both the National Wildlife Federation and Environmental Defense.

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