Daily Briefing: Ramp-Up to Crisis

Powell offered "frank" opinions to Chafee, Hagel about Bolton; said nominee is smart but problematic. Bush: "I urge the Senate to put politics aside and confirm John Bolton to the United Nations." [WP, NYT, WT, USAT, USAT]

Senate inches closer to nuclear showdown as two controversial judicial nominees are approved by the Judiciary Committee. Schumer: "We're in the ramp-up to a great constitutional crisis." [WP, NYT, LAT, WT]

House approves 1,000-page energy bill; nominal support of alternative fuels and conservation. [WP, NYT, LAT]

Former colleague says Bolton exaggerated his involvement in 2003 speech on North Korea. [LAT]

Grassley on Social Security: "I'm going to put together a Republican-only bill as a first step to getting bipartisan support because I can't lose time waiting for the Democrats to come to the table." [NYT]

Greenspan calls federal budget "unsustainable": "Unless that trend is reversed, at some point these deficits could cause the economy to stagnate or worse." [NYT]

Senate unanimously approves additional $81b for Iraq, Afghanistan, tsunami victims. [WP, NYT]

Negroponte confirmed as DNI, 98-to-2. [NYT, WT]

Some religious groups criticize Frist for participation in upcoming telecast: "Elected officials should not be portraying public policies as being for or against people of faith." [NYT]

Republicans question who paid for a trip Pelosi took in 2001. [WT]

Scalia says partisanship over judges is "unprecedented." [USAT]


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