January 10, 2006
Vol. 41, No. 1b
To: Our Readers
1) There is much talk on the Hill about Majority Whip Roy Blunt’s (R-Mo.) future if he loses the race for Majority Leader. Many Republicans believe that he would have to resign as Majority Whip, lest a very uncomfortable and embarrassing situation ensue between him and the other candidate, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio). If Blunt loses the race for leader and does not resign as whip, there could be a move to push him out.
2) Blunt and House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) both cancelled their appearances on a congressional junket to Asia because of the new leadership race.
3) Republicans began the Alito hearings with no momentum, having lost a series of critical Senate votes just before adjournment. Democrats still appear to lack a strong case against the nominee, but they were aggressive in their opening statements, even to the point of questioning Alito’s integrity.
4) On the other hand, Democrats’ eleventh-hour magic bullet fell flat before the hearings even began. They had hoped to hang Alito with his membership in the group Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP). But they dropped their witness to this episode from the list when it was revealed that he had recently written a column comparing the eating of animals to the Nazi Holocaust.
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