The Note: Intraparty Love and Warfare

In terms of the breakdown of support among groups, "[s]upport for stem-cell research is sharply lower among highly religious Americans, evangelicals and political conservatives. But that doesn't mean these groups all broadly oppose such research; weekly churchgoers favor it, but by less of a margin (50-40 percent), and evangelicals and conservatives are divided on the question, by 45-41 percent and 45-46 percent, respectively. In only one group we measured, people who say religion is the single most important thing in their lives, does opposition reach a majority, 53 percent.," Langer reports.

The Washington Post's Mike Allen and Ceci Connolly recap the vote, Noting that 50 Republicans broke ranks to join Democrats in the 238 to 194 vote, despite the return to the spotlight of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who led the opposition to the measure on the House floor and the White House event featuring children whose parents adopted them as embryos. As Senators push to get their identical version scheduled for a vote, the House margin, short of the 290 votes needed to override a veto, gave both sides a chance to claim victory and set up a familiar showdown possibility, with moderates looking to broker a deal. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar sizes up the potential tough spot President Bush could find his party in if he vetoes the legislation. LINK

Bush agenda:

Writes the Wall Street Journal editorial board on Sen. Chuck Grassley's AMT repeal legislation: "We're all for repeal, though we'd also like to know what Mr. Grassley is going to get in return for doing Senate Democrats this favor. Are they going to help him pass a broader tax reform, one that lowers rates in return for broadening the base? Or short of that, how about making permanent the 15% dividend and capital gains tax rate that has helped the economy so much since it passed in 2003?"

"As a policy matter, Mr. Grassley would be better off waiting until the bipartisan Bush tax commission puts more reform options on the table. Then again, the Iowa Senator is a 100% pure-bred pol. For him to put AMT repeal on the table so soon probably means that tax reform is a livelier prospect than most observers have thought."

Write two reporters in the Wall Street Journal "New legislation designed to tighten regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, expected to be debated today in the House Financial Services Committee, falls far short of the Bush administration's demands for reining in the two providers of funds for home-mortgage lending."

There's a must-read Journal front-pager on the housing boom as well.

First Lady Laura Bush, on her return from the Middle East, warns that the spread of democracy in the region will be slow, the Washington Post's Jim VandeHei reports. LINK

Roll Call's Chris Cillizza looks at a couple of appropriations bills that the House recently used to nudge the President and urge the White House to keep them better informed.

Bush in Rochester:

The Washington Post's Michael Fletcher wraps President Bush's Social Security campaign stop in upstate New York yesterday, and takes Note of AARP's drive to get its 2.5 million members to contact members of Congress urging them to overhaul Social Security, but not by setting up private accounts. LINK

"Except for the arrest of two protesters outside the school, Bush came and went without incident," writes Joseph Spector of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. LINK

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