1. GAS PRICES:
Falling prices complicate GOP push for regulatory rollbacks
A month ago, as gasoline prices were hovering around $4 a gallon, House Republican leaders gathered in front of the Capitol to decry Obama administration policies they said were to blame for the pain drivers were feeling at the pump -- and to advance their own solutions, such as a bill to delay U.S. EPA air pollution rules that would apply to refineries. That bill is now stalled in the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Republicans don't seem to be in as much of a hurry to pass it as they were when prices were climbing. Part of the delay stems from House Republicans' frustration that their agenda faces a dead end in the Senate, where Democrats have the majority; meanwhile, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said he is planning to introduce a bill that would address gas prices, among other energy issues. But there is also a sense that House Republicans have less of a case to make with prices lower and expected to avoid the record highs that were feared earlier this spring.