Politics: The New York Times ' Robert Pear reports the federal government will give $1 billion to hospitals who take care of undocumented immigrants — as long as they ask their patients about their immigration status. Pear Notes the list of states who take care of the most illegal immigrants and who will benefit from the grants, including battleground states Arizona ($42 million) and Florida ($9 million). Opponents say complying with the request could cost some hospitals more than they get, and that the questions may deter immigrants from getting health care. LINK Jerry Seper of the Washington Times ledes, "Millions of illegal aliens in the United States would be free from arrest and deportation, have access to tax-deferred savings accounts and Social Security credits, and get unrestricted travel to and from their home countries under President Bush's guest-worker program." Homeland Security Undersecretary Asa Hutchinson detailed the president's plan to provide "incentives" for the 8 million to 12 million illegal aliens to come "out of the shadows, " before a Senate panel yesterday. LINK The New York Daily News reports Muslims and Arabs are "eager to vote" this year as the voting block gains influence. Leslie Casimir writes that in New York City, "A flurry of voter activity drives is underway in Muslim and Arab enclaves throughout the city. A patchwork of organizations is hitting the streets to galvanize Muslims into what they say could become a potent voting bloc." Zogby predicts civil liberties, U.S. involvement in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be the issues that influence them most at the polls. LINK "The centerpiece provision of the sweeping corporate tax cuts steaming through Congress would help only about 1.1 percent of the nation's 2.2 million corporations, leaving some of the most troubled domestic manufacturers with no benefit at all," report the Washington Post 's Jonathan Weisman and Jeffrey Birnbaum. LINK "The new analysis is fueling a quiet war between major, profitable companies that stand to gain from $63.3 billion in reduced manufacturing income taxes over the next 10 years and old-guard steel and automobile giants that already pay little or no tax under the current system. The steelmakers and auto giants instead want the government to pay as much as 10 percent of their burgeoning health care bills by granting billions of dollars in tax credits."
George Soros' son is getting into the business of donating for Democratic victory as well. The younger Soros has his sights set on electing a Democratic majority to the New York State Senate according to the New York Post 's Fred Dicker. LINK Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ford: In Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol last evening, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld joined their former boss, former President Gerald Ford, on the 30th anniversary of his swearing-in and recalled that time in history and the challenges the nation faced, ABC's Karen Travers reports.
Cheney and Rumsfeld were presented with the 2004 Gerald R. Ford Medal for Distinguished Public Service. Cheney and Rumsfeld both served as Chief of Staff under Ford.
In accepting his medal, Vice President Cheney said that Ford "turned out to be a natural executive" and Noted that yesterday marked only the second time in history that an American president had seen the 30th anniversary of his swearing in.