The Note: End Game

Donald Lambro of the Washington Times looks at the spending of the Bush Administration and comes to the conclusion that tax cuts are the way to rein it in, because in regards to Congress, "When you take away their money, they have less to spend." LINK

David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register surmises that it could be close to the worst of times for the President -- and proceeds to count the ways in which the Bush Administration needs to shape up. LINK

The White House will reinstate a law that requires federal construction projects to pay the local prevailing wage, reports the New York Times. The Administration was criticized by Democrats and some union-friendly Republicans when it suspended the Davis-Bacon Act following Hurricane Katrina. "'With all the political problems the administration has, why pick this fight?' asked Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York." LINK

The Wall Street Journal's ed board scolds President Bush's decision to reinstate Davis-Bacon wage standards as an act of "unprincipled political calculation" that "ranks right up there with the decision to impose tariffs on imported steel during Mr. Bush's firs term."

Big Casino budget politics:

"The Senate Budget Committee approved a $39 billion deficit-reduction package that promises $71 billion in five-year savings but then spends almost half to win passage on the floor next week," the Wall Street Journal's David Rogers reports.

Rogers calls the plan the "most sweeping single piece of legislation this year," touching on everything from Medicare to milk subsidies. He also Notes that the White House hopes to use the bill to open up portions f the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration.

President Bush calls for cuts in spending to offset the costs of Hurricane Katrina, which Karen Finney, spokeswoman for the DNC, called "empty rhetoric" reports Joseph Curl of the Washington Times. LINK

The politics of Katrina:

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the GOP sees an opportunity to pick up seats in the Democratic stronghold of Louisiana reports Audrey Hudson of the Washington Times. LINK

As the weather outside gets colder, the more than 1,000 people still living in tents in Biloxi, Miss., are starting to vent their frustration with the continued slow pace of FEMA's assistance efforts, reports the Los Angeles Times. LINK

Per the New York Times, Congress' broadly worded hurricane tax relief package proves a boon to wealthy Katrina donors. LINK

The politics of energy:

A House committee approved new offshore oil drilling rules yesterday, but Sen. Frist's office tells the Los Angeles Times the measure faces a "steep uphill battle" in the Senate, where a bipartisan group opposes it. LINK

DeLay:

John Bresnahan reports in Roll Call that Tom Delay's legal expense trust fund failed to report more than $22,500 in late 2000 and 2001.

Jennifer Yachnin writes in Roll Call that, because Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) is not only the House Majority Leader but also Majority Whip, he appears to have greater influence over the Republican Steering Committee than Tom Delay did.

The economy:

The Wall Street Journal's Murray Hiebert reports that China's rising clout is splitting Republicans in Congress with one faction stressing the benefits of trade while another focuses on the military threat posed by the country.

2008: Republicans:

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