Robert Novak

Bush three weeks ago was nagging Congress to quickly reconcile differences between separate FHA bills passed by the Senate and the House. But he is now going along with a bipartisan effort to pass a "first" stimulus bill and worry about a "second" measure later.

A footnote: The FHA legislation has been stalled partly because Sen. Christopher Dodd was missing in action last year as Senate Banking Committee chairman while he campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination. Dodd has abandoned that candidacy and returned to Washington, but there still has been no Banking Committee activity.

McCain in N.Y.

Sen. John McCain interrupted his crucial Florida primary campaigning Tuesday by flying to New York City for a $1,000- to $2,300-a-ticket fund-raising reception at the St. Regis Hotel that raised an estimated $600,000 to $1 million.

The event was chaired by longtime Republican finance powerhouse Lewis M. Eisenberg. The co-chairmen constituted an all-star New York establishment cast including Henry Kravis, James Forbes, Don Marron and Bob Mosbacher.

A footnote: McCain also launched his campaign for the Feb. 5 New York primary, challenging Rudy Giuliani in his home state. McCain's state chairman is Manhattan lawyer Ed Cox, Richard Nixon's son-in-law. Honorary co-chairmen are former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of Commerce Pete Peterson and former Deputy Secretary of State John Whitehead.

Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

©Creators Syndicate