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Daily Briefing: A Big Wet Kiss

At presser, Bush proposes "progressive indexing" of Social Security benefits, shows concern about gas prices, and restates need for diplomacy in dealing with North Korea. [WP, WP, NYT, WSJ, WSJ, LAT, USAT, USAT, WT]


$2.56 trillion budget for 2006 approved, clearing way for tax cuts and ANWR drilling. Hillary: "It is unconscionable to balance the budget on the backs of our most vulnerable Americans, and that is exactly what the White House and congressional Republicans have decided to do." [WP, NYT, LAT]

Democrats denounce Frist's offer to cap senate debates at 100 hours. Reid: That's "a big wet kiss to the far right." [WP, WSJ, NYT, LAT, USAT]

Atmosphere at White House remains "unsettled" after risky presser; "one of Bush's most dramatic attempts to regain the initiative after a dreary spring." [NYT, WP, LAT]

Bolton reportedly punished State Department officials over disagreements. [WP]

Former head of National Intelligence Council advised staff not to listen to Bolton on Syria. [NYT]

Bush presses Senate to pass abortion notification bill. [WP]

Ties to DeLay test impartiality of ethics panel; lengthy inquiry expected. [NYT, LAT]

NBC had White House move presser to 8 o'clock. [NYT]

Bush has held monthly news conferences since re-election. [USAT]

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