* Tony Snow will be appointed White House press secretary as soon as today; he intends to "function as an advocate for reporters." Brit Hume: "I think he's excited by the idea of being on the inside. He believes he will be at the table when decisions are made. For someone of his bent, that's too good to pass up." [WP, NYT]


* Bush, "amid growing Republican unrest about the politics of $3-plus gasoline," offers to investigate price gouging, stop shipments to the reserve, and ease environmental regulations. [WP, NYT, W$J, USAT]

* Bush seeks $2.2B for levee reconstruction and $14B in cost reductions from non-emergency spending. [NYT, W$J]

* Republicans block tax hike on oil company profits. [WP]

* Rumsfeld makes surprise trip to Baghdad; Senate Armed Service Committee may invite testimony from former generals who have called for his resignation. [WP, WP]

* Frist, Reid are optimistic that compromise on immigration can be reached by Memorial Day. [NYT]

* CIA defends the firing of officer accused of leaking without providing specifics. [NYT]

* Democrats call for the inspection of every incoming container ship. [NYT]

* Director of the Small Business Administration resigns and is immediately replaced by an executive from Chicago. [NYT]

* With "decider" term, Bush "has unwittingly added to the lexicon of marital relations." [NYT]

* Michael Brown is making "significantly more" as a consultant than he did as FEMA director. [NYT]

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