Top spy nominee says he'll keep Senate in loop
By TIMES WIRES
Published February 2, 2007
Retired Vice Adm. Mike McConnell told skeptical senators Thursday that he would keep them informed of undercover activities if he is confirmed as director of national intelligence. With a resume including nearly four decades of work in the intelligence community, President Bush's choice to be the nation's spy chief appeared headed for easy approval to become the second director of the newly established office. Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, McConnell was peppered with questions about the administration's perceived reluctance to share intelligence material with members of Congress. "I understand and am fully supportive of the role of the Congress in your oversight responsibilities," said McConnell.
White House aims to boost Pell Grants
President Bush's 2008 budget will include a proposal for the biggest hike in Pell grants for low-income college students in three decades. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said Thursday that the budget will contain a proposed increase of $550, to a maximum award of $4,600. That would exceed the $260 increase passed Wednesday by the House. Spellings, after announcing the proposal at an education conference at North Carolina State University, said the Pell increase would be paid for with increased revenues. The grants - which students don't have to pay back - are the federal government's main direct financial aid program for low-income families.
Hastert recovering after surgery
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert left a Chicago hospital on Thursday after spending nearly a week there recovering from surgery to remove his gallbladder, his office said. The 65-year-old entered Rush University Medical Center last Friday after he complained of abdominal pain caused by gallstones. A statement from his office Thursday said that Hastert returned home from the hospital and that he "is eager to return to his regular schedule in Washington, D.C., upon medical approval to travel." His office said Hastert, who represents a congressional district in Chicago's suburbs, is expected to make a full recovery.
[Last modified February 2, 2007, 01:41:12]
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