The Note: House Rules, Part II

"White House spokesman Alex Conant said that it has been the policy in almost all cases to restrict press access at fund-raisers held at private homes. He said the decision is the policy of the White House, not Blackwell's, 'regardless of poll numbers.'" LINK

Today's White House briefing will be the last one before extensive renovations get underway. Following the briefing, former White House Press Secretaries Jim Brady, Marlin Fitzwater, Jody Powell, Ron Nessen, Joe Lockhart, and Dee Dee Myers are expected to join Tony Snow to bid adieu to the "ratty" old press room in the West Wing, the Washington Post's Reliable Source reports. LINK

Speculation abounds as to whether the President will hold a surprise press conference.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) set to be released later today, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), DSCC Chairman Chuck Schumer, and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) tell the Dr./Leader/Senator that they were "deeply disturbed" to hear him say yesterday that he does not intend to permit the Senate to consider "crucial tax provisions like the tuition deduction, R&D tax credit and state and local sales tax deduction" if the Senate fails to enact legislation to "virtually repeal the estate tax." The Senate Democratic leadership also writes in the letter: ". . . should know that we will also oppose any motion to adjourn the Senate at the end of September until the Senate deals with these measures."

To mark the 10th anniversary of the last time Congress voted to raise the minimum wage, Sen. Reid, Sen. Durbin, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Sen. Schumer, and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) hold a 10:30 am ET press conference in the Lyndon Baines Johnson room of the Capitol.

At 1:35 pm ET, check out Politics Live on ABC News Now as Sam Donaldson looks back on years gone by in the briefing room with Marlin Fitzwater.

One day after Carlos Gutierrez issued a pledge on behalf of the Bush Administration to "discourage third parties from obstructing the will of the Cuban people," the Secretary of Commerce is slated to discuss economic issues in the Western Hemisphere with the Miami Herald in Washington, DC. Across the river, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Peter Pace hold a 1:55 pm ET briefing.

Lawyers for SSGT Frank Wuterich, the leader of the squad that allegedly murdered Iraqi civilians in Haditha on Nov. 19, 2005, plan to go on the offensive at 11:30 am ET today by filing a lawsuit against Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) for "defamatory statements." The presser takes place outside of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. More from the Washington Post: LINK

At 10:00 am ET, Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, will inform the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that "the corruption that has plagued Iraq's reconstruction -- described by U.S. officials as the 'second insurgency' -- is worsening, complicating American reconstruction efforts and shattering public confidence in the Baghdad government," the Wall Street Journal's Yochi Dreazen reports. LINK

Bowen estimates in his quarterly audit that the Iraqi government estimates that corruption costs the country at least $4 billion a year.

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