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  • Congressional Republicans propose five-year, $70B tax bill; the main component is the extension of tax rates on capital gains and dividends. [WP, WSJ, NYT]

  • Bush's "political strength continues to dissipate," according to fresh CBS/NYT poll; his "overall job approval rating hit another new low, 31 percent, tying the low point of his father in July 1992, four months before the elder Mr. Bush lost his bid for a second term." [NYT]

  • Centrist Democrats say the party "should concentrate on charting alternative policies for fighting terrorism and succeeding in Iraq" instead of launching investigations of Bush's mistakes. [WP]

  • Rumsfeld, backing selection of Hayden to head the CIA, denies a power play is underway; nomination seen as setting "the stage for new wrangling with the Pentagon." [WP, NYT]

  • Bush stands by Monday deadline for Medicare program; plan is "emerging as a surprise plus for Republicans in a rocky election season." [WP, NYT, USAT]

  • GOP's '06 roster features three African-American candidates running for statewide offices. Ken Mehlman: "We've gone from a model of outreach to a model of inclusion. Outreach is a top-down approach. Inclusion says, 'Let's find some really good people and encourage them to run for office.'" [WP]

  • Ethics issue is "two-edged sword" for Democrats. [USAT]

  • House Republicans are still struggling to agree on '07 budget. [WSJ]

  • Pro-immigration groups aim to register 1M new voters by November. [WP]

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