Daily Briefing: It's Only Money

Clean Air Is Good For You? Pentagon to request $80-90b for Iraq, Afghanistan; more than expected but Congress likely to agree. [WSJ]

Bush shifts Leavitt from EPA to HHS; safe pick already has strong support among senators. [WP, NYT, NYT, WSJ, LAT, USAT, WT]

Most Republican solutions for Social Security require cuts in benefits of future retirees. GAO official: "The creation of private accounts for Social Security will not deal with the solvency and sustainability of the Social Security fund." [NYT]

Democrats pledge to take on watchdog role, overseeing government expenditures. Reid: "We're going to try to be as fair as they have not been to us." Dorgan: "And if the Republicans decide to hold their own oversight hearings, there will be no need for this project." [WP, NYT]

McCain has "no confidence" in Rumsfeld; comments echo Hagel. [WP, NYT]

CIA reduced use of harsh interrogation tactics after concerns were voiced last year; disclosure pins blame on military. [NYT]

Rehnquist curtails involvement in court; will sit out about one-sixth of '04-'05 term. [USAT, WSJ]

Environmentalists dread upcoming moves by Bush over "Clear Skies" proposal; Leahy says revisions will make matters worse. [WP]

Ohio officially goes for Bush-Cheney. Governor: "The vast majority of people understand this election is over." [WP, WT]

McClellan denies fallout between Giuliani and Bush: "I don't think the president felt that [apology] was necessary." [LAT]

Gonzales' hearing could easily become debate on treatment of detainees. [WT]

NASA boss steps down citing family affairs. [WP, NYT]

White House statements of "full confidence" are mere rhetoric, writes Milbank. [WP]

[REUTERS/Larry Downing]


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