The Note: June Comes in Like a Lamb

Rep. Steve King shared his novel new IDEA (New Illegal Deduction Elimination Act) on border tightening with the "Iowa Press" on Friday. "The bill would punish employers who hire undocumented workers by forcing the business to pay taxes on wages and benefits paid to those workers." LINK

Bush agenda:

"After failing to pass an energy bill for years, Congress is positioned to send one to President Bush, but the legislation could be derailed before ever reaching the White House," writes John Fialka in the Wall Street Journal.

"Proposals for expanding offshore drilling and ethanol mandates are among potential 'deal killers' -- measures that could be inserted when the full Senate takes up the bill this month or that could block agreement between the more Republican-dominated House and the more consensus-oriented Senate."

"With compromise uncertain, the bill's fate could hinge on developments outside the energy-policy debate. If the price of gasoline steams toward $3 a gallon during the summer driving season, lawmakers will feel heat from voters to pass a bill. If the current d├ętente between Senate Democrats and Republicans over judicial nominees breaks down, the energy bill will become the first target of renewed delaying tactics."

"But after four years -- including a major regional electricity blackout and oil and natural-gas price increases -- some lawmakers are willing to set aside differences and get something done. 'I am not inclined to spend too much time in search of the ideal,' Sen. Pete V. Domenici, (R., N.M.), chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, explained during the panel's deliberations, as he accepted some Democratic proposals without much disagreement. He said he shaped the bill's contents 'always with an eye on the votes.'"

Bob Novak sounds a familiar tone: Bush "has not progressed in handling Congress. He seems as much at a loss in dealing with the legislative branch as the day he entered the White House." LINK

(Novak is no Neustadtian!)

"Bush is the only Republican president since the 1920s to enjoy protracted control of both houses of Congress by his own party. Yet, he seems less able to direct the legislative branch than Republican predecessors who had to handle a Democratic-controlled Congress. With Congress in its lengthy Memorial Day recess, GOP legislators and lobbyists tabulated the scorecard on items large and small."

The New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller writes about Laura Bush's outspokenness during her trip to Egypt and tries to assess the reasons and consequences of her (some would say unusual) solicitousness toward Hosni Mubarak's reforms. LINK

"At this point, it remains unclear why Mrs. Bush said what she said, even as some Egyptians have not ruled out graciousness to her hostess, Suzanne Mubarak, the wife of the Egyptian president. Mrs. Bush did echo much of her husband's positive encouragement to Mr. Mubarak, and the White House position is that her comments were not as out of step with her husband's as her critics have said. In any case, by the time Mrs. Bush was on a plane back to the United States, she had abandoned the word 'bold' and had instead adopted Mr. Bush's construction that Mr. Mubarak had taken a 'very important first step.'"

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