Daily Briefing: Talk’n Texan

* House, by narrow 216 to 214 vote, approves steep cuts in entitlement programs; viewed as victory for Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). [WP, NYT, W$J, USAT]
* White House has scaled back their agenda; “Bush has come around to the notion that a presidency can handle only one truly big thing at a time, and for now that thing is Iraq.” [WP, LAT]
* Rep. Blunt expected to win race for House majority leader today. [LAT]
* Many House Republicans believe their leadership is going too far with proposed reforms for lobbying. [WP, NYT]
* Administration is rejecting Senate requests for legal opinions on NSA eavesdropping. [NYT]
* “Disorganization of Senate Democrats” created smooth path for Samuel Alito‘s confirmation. [WP]
* U.S. Capitol Police chief apologizes for hassling Cindy Sheehan. [WP, NYT]
* Bush‘s rhetorical push for energy independence is greeted with skepticism and “a lack of enthusiasm” on the Hill. [NYT, W$J]


* Alito breaks with conservatives in first vote as Supreme Court justice. [USAT]
* Bush brings State of the Union themes to Nashville: “Let me put it to you in Texan. If al Qaeda is calling into the United States, we want to know.” [WP, NYT, USAT]
* Michael Chertoff is chided by the GAO for incompetent response to Katrina. [NYT, W$J, USAT]
* Many Katrina victims disappointed with content of the State of the Union. [USAT]
* White House defends Texas redistricting. [WP]
* Special lobbying exemption for tribes has not been addressed. [WP]

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