"Referring to the day's accumulation of spending proposals in the Senate budget resolution, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, 'We're not yet ready to face up to the realities of having to make some tough decisions,'" write the Los Angeles Times' Simon and Havemann. LINK
"But McCain, who like Frist is eyeing a run for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, joined the majority leader in voting for the budget resolution, which passed 51 to 49." LINK
Politics of immigration:
Carolyn Lochhead of the San Francisco Chronicle takes a look at the unusual coalition formed yesterday within the Senate Judiciary Committee in response to Dr./Sen./Leader Frist' threat to bypass the committee and introduce his border security bill, stating that "the key compromise came when Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA)., embraced the thrust of" the Kennedy-McCain bill. LINK
A compromise on legislation to let illegal immigrant workers apply for legal status came one step further after Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) proposed an amendment requiring workers to go home after two years to apply for green cards, reports Gebe Martinez of the Houston Chronicle. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) is pushing for a waiver of the provision if employers say the workers are essential. LINK
Per, Michelle Mittelstadt of the Dallas Morning News, Sen. Kennedy agreed yesterday to a request by Sen. Arlen Specter, (R-PA), "to make explicit that illegal immigrants couldn't cut in front of the more than 3 million 'green card' applicants who have obeyed the law, remaining overseas while their paperwork is processed."
"There is no moving to the front of the line. There is no free ticket," Sen. Kennedy said. "This is not amnesty."
The Los Angeles Times Gaouette and Curtius write of the Judiciary Committee agreements on proposals dealing with a guest worker program and "a path to citizenship" for undocumented workers. LINK
"The measures face many hurdles to becoming law and significant opposition in both chambers of Congress, but their progress Thursday makes it increasingly likely that the Republican Party will be forced into a prominent election-year showdown over the most divisive aspects of immigration law."
Note, too, their reporting on "Capitol Hill observers" observing the Frist move yesterday.
Bush Administration agenda:
Steven Weisman of the New York Times looks within the Republican ranks at the "realists" vs. the "neo-conservatives" over the Bush Administration's goal to spread democracy and freedom throughout the world. (2008 watchers will Note the questioning coming from Sen. Hagel and former Speaker Newt Gingrich.) LINK
The nuclear deal with India announced during the President's recent trip to New Delhi is not going to be a congressional slam dunk, reports the New York Times' Brinkley. LINK
USA Today adds more on Bush's pre-emptive strike policy. LINK
In a time period when President Bush is facing struggling approval numbers, the Washington Times reports that at last night's NRCC dinner Bush was met by a "polite but tepid applause." LINK
Politics of national security:
Keying off of the Administration's national security strategy document, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman writes, "since we are not going to invade Iran, the best way we can influence it is by what we do in Iraq." LINK