The Note

Big Casino budget politics: Mutiny by four Senate Republicans — we bet you can guess 'em — forces Senate GOP leaders to concede "they could not muster enough votes to pass a $2.4 trillion budget plan and abruptly postponed a vote until at least next month," the New York Times ' Edmund Andrews reports. LINK The House voted to expand and extend the $1,000 per child tax credit, reports the Wall Street Journal 's Shailagh Murray, who goes on to call the Senate GOP quartet's defection a "snub to President Bush."

The Washington Post 's Jonathan Weisman tallies up the 10-year cost of the child tax credit that the House voted to make permanent yesterday: $569 billion, lowering the odds that it will pass muster with the deficit hawks in the Senate. LINK

Big Casino budget politics: Medicare:

The Washington Post 's Bill Brubaker Notes that patient advocacy groups are concerned that as the June 1 date for the Medicare discount drug card program nears, drug manufacturers have been shifting prices making it extremely difficult for consumers to choose a card. LINK Environmental politics:

The Los Angeles Times' Miller and Harburger report on the EPA's approval of an air pollution regulation that "could save the wood products industry hundreds of millions of dollars" that "relied on a risk assessment generated by a chemical industry-funded think tank, and a novel legal approach recommended by a timber industry lawyer." LINK

The Washington Post 's Juliet Eilperin reports that the attorneys general of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania "will sue five West Virginia power plants for violating the Clean Air Act's pollution-control rules." LINK The politics of same-sex marriage:

The Boston Globe 's Yvonne Abraham and Raphael Lewis report that Gov. Romney asked state Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly, "a likely Democratic opponent to Romney in 2006," "to stop municipal clerks from issuing marriage licenses to samesex couples from other states and said Massachusetts would refuse to officially record the licenses of those couples who do not intend to live here." LINK

The New York Times chimes in on Massachusetts Gov. Romney's effort to invalidate same-sex marriages by out-of-state couples. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Senate:

The Los Angeles Times' Simon Notes that Senator Frist will campaign against Senator Daschle in South Dakota this weekend while writing that "Democrats now appear to have a fighting chance at gaining the majority" in the Senate. LINK

Knight Ridder's James Kuhnhenn writes about Senator Frist's plans to campaign against Senator Daschle. LINK The Chicago Sun-Times' Dave McKinney and Scott Fornek report that Democratic Senate hopeful Barack Obama is less than thrilled with the tracker for rival Jack Ryan's campaign — particularly that following him to the bathroom thing. LINK The New Republic on Mr. Obama. LINK

From the outside:

Conservatives of the world unite! Now that the FEC has passed on deconstructing the Dem-leaning 527s, folks on the other side are prepping for battle. Washington Wire gives Club for Growth some good press (We know Kevin McVicker will be pleased … ) and says the group has set a "$20 million goal for pro-Bush advertising."

Our only question: When will PHARMA and Co. join in the fun?

The conventions:

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