The Washington Post's Mike Allen has the details of the contentious vote yesterday in the House that defeated provisions in the USA Patriot Act allowing the FBI to seize library and bookstore records in terror investigations -- the provisions that President Bush has been traveling the country to build support for. Bush has threatened to veto any bill that weakens the FBI's investigative powers. Passed by a vote of 238 to 187, the House version would require the Bureau to get a search warrant or a grand jury subpoena to get the records. And boy are House Republican leaders not happy about it. LINK
"Wednesday's vote in the House suggests that the effort to renew the law, though not necessarily in serious jeopardy, may face tougher sledding than once thought," writes Richard Schmitt of the Los Angeles Times. LINK
Richard Simon and Warren Vieth of the Los Angeles Times look at the provision added to the Senate's energy bill yesterday requiring the amount of ethanol added to the nation's gas supply be doubled to 8 billion gallons by 2012. LINK
Mike Allen and Brian Faler of the Washington Post delve a little deeper into the disclosure reports detailing travel by members of Congress paid for by outside groups. LINK
The Chicago Tribune's Andrew Martin and Jeff Zeleny report that the Bush Administration is promoting CAFTA through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with three dozen radio and television news segments distributed to broadcasters nationwide, including a third dealing specifically with the sugar industry. The reports were produced while the Administration was dealing with the fallout over its payments to journalists to tout its policies, the duo write. LINK
David Broder takes a look at the much larger implications of the Central American Free Trade Agreement. LINK
Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times write that Democratic centrists who aren't high on the idea of CAFTA are the ones the White House needs to court in order to get passage, which it's pushing before early July. Democrats' resistance betrays not only "short-term hostility to Bush's economic strategy," but also "a long-term shift away from the free trade views embodied by Clinton's support for NAFTA." LINK
And getting a lot (read: "enough") of Democratic votes is going to be tough.
Get some rest, Dan Allen:
The Hill's Patrick O'Connor on Dan Allen's resignation as Tom DeLay's communications director: "Allen's departure appears to be attributable to a combination of the office's around-the-clock schedule and a conflict of personalities between Allen's laconic but steely manner and the rest of DeLay's hard-driving staff." LINK
"Through much of Allen's tenure, DeLay's media strategy has required the input of several senior aides as well as a coterie of lawyers. DeLay has skipped several leadership press conferences to avoid becoming the center of attention, and he has had to establish 'ground rules' at his weekly pen-and-pad briefings to prevent reporters there from focusing only on ethics-related questions," reports Roll Call's Ben Pershing.
"Since DeLay's office has not yet filled the position of press secretary, Allen was handling the work load previously done by two people, Grella and Roy."
We wish Dan and his family the best. And we congratulate Scott Howell on his new hire.
Big casino budget politics: Medicaid: