Stephen Dinan and Bill Sammon of The Washington Times report that some Senate Republicans are offering their own recommendations on cuts today. LINK
The Hill has lots of details, including Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN) saying he doesn't want the Chinese owning more of America. LINK
The Houston Chronicle reports that Texas politicians disagree on whether NASA mission funding should be cut to pay for Katrina clean up. LINK
As much of Washington salivates for tax increases, the Wall Street Journal ed board, worried about a potential failure to keep dividend and cap gains rates low, write these three graphs of gold:
"But now some GOP Senators are suggesting that they should redo reconciliation and drop the capital gains and dividend tax cuts. We're told Ohio's George Voinovich, New Hampshire's Judd Gregg and Maine's Olympia Snowe are three of the troublemakers. As ominously, Majority Leader Bill Frist's chief budget aide, Bill Hoagland, has floated the idea on the record in this newspaper. If this is the kind of advice Mr. Frist is getting, much less listening to, he's going to have a hard time ever becoming President. One bit of good news is that Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley is so far holding firm on the extensions."
"Investment decisions are already being made with the year 2008 in mind, so failing to extend the lower rates will soon have economic consequences. Worse, dropping them from the budget would send markets the signal that Washington is back in a tax-raising phase. It would say that, even with their strong Congressional majorities, Republicans lack the political will to make any of the Bush tax cuts permanent. For that matter, it will signal that the entire Bush agenda is moribund, and that the political rout to 2006 is on."
"We can understand why some Democrats would want Republicans to repudiate their own tax policies. But why Republicans would want to join in this act of masochism is a mystery. President Bush has ruled out tax increases to finance Katrina relief, but we hope someone in the White House is telling him what Members of his own party are doing in the Senate. Katrina has already done enough damage, without the political class compounding it with policy blunders."
Katrina: Congress reacts:
But Roll Call reports that two Democratic Reps. Gene Taylor (MS) and Charlie Melancon (LA) may, in fact, take part in the investigation, at the invitation of its chairman, Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA). Taylor says he told Leader Pelosi he understands her refusal to name any Dems to the panel, but he feels his testimony as an eyewitness is vital. LINK
Lloyd Grove says the widows who successfully lobbied for a 9/11 Commission may join the fray pushing for a Katrina Commission. Kristen Breitweiser hopes a Republican will take the lead to make the effort nonpartisan. LINK
Here is a round-up of other Katrina-related congressional hearings taking place today:
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee holds a 10:00 am ET hearing, "Communications in a Disaster" in Dirksen 562.
The Senate's education and early childhood development subcommittee holds a 3:00 pm ET hearing on "Katrina's Displaced Schoolchildren" in Dirksen 430.