The Note: New Verse, Same As the First

In an exclusive interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that the Congress would not be cutting any funding for the US troops in Iraq, saying, "The president knows that because the troops are in harm's way, that we won't cut off the resources. That's why he's moving so quickly to put them in harm's way."

Check out the link for an interview excerpt. LINK

Bloomberg's Heidi Przybyla on Pelosi forming a more positive impression than Gingrich at the start of her tenure as Speaker. LINK

Democratic agenda:

In a piece looking at Pelosi's interest in creating a new Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, the Washington Post's Steve Mufson Notes that Pelosi "needs a majority vote of the House to create the new committee, and congressional sources said there was talk yesterday of unhappy Democrats joining with Republicans to quash her proposal." LINK

Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee who would have oversight of global warming if the new panel is not created, held a two-hour meeting with Democrats on his committee to discuss Pelosi's initiative.

"'It is unclear what this committee will do besides serve as a distraction to the substantive work already being done by the committee of expertise on this issue,' Dingell said later."

Bloomberg's Laura Litvan puts Pelosi's tussle with Dingell in a broader context. LINK

A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll reveals that the Americans do not seem to think that Democrats have formulated a clear direction for the country, even though a large number of respondents approve of their 100 hour legislative items. Janet Hook has the story. LINK

Though somewhat overshadowed by the debate over the president's increase in troop levels, the Democratic House completed its promised "first 100 hours" of legislative work with the passage of their energy bill, ABC News' Jake Tapper reports. The President waits with his veto pen in hand. LINK

Check out Tapper's Webcast feature offering a report card of sorts on the Democrats "Six for '06" agenda. LINK

"Senate Democrats and Republicans broke a difficult stalemate last night and approved 96 to 2 expansive legislation to curtail the influence of lobbyists, tighten congressional ethics rules and prevent the spouses of senators from lobbying senators and their staffs," reports the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman and Jeffrey Birnbaum. LINK

In the New York Times' look at the Senate bill that overhauls ethics rules, David Kirkpatrick writes that the Senate's action "makes the start of the 110th Congress a watershed moment in the history of K Street and Capitol Hill." LINK

SOTU:

Without much substance to work with, David Jackson of USA Today previews the atmospherics surrounding President's State of the Union address. LINK

Bush Administration agenda/personality:

The New York Times' Thom Shanker sees President Bush's move sending Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the Middle East to restart talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis as a sign Mr. Bush is thinking about his legacy. Read his news analysis here. LINK

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