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Healing Time

House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) has appointed Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) to be the Deputy Whip liaison to the Appropriations Committee. [IMGCAP(1)]

In a move that surprised many GOP insiders, Blunt passed over Tiahrt and Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Kay Granger (R-Texas) in selecting Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to be Chief Deputy Majority Whip back in December.

While Blunt later appointed Rogers as Deputy Whip in charge of coalitions, Tiahrt turned down a similar, largely symbolic role with family groups, an important Republican constituency.

Now, though, Blunt and Tiahrt seem to have patched up their relationship, at least publicly.

Rolling in It. When Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) asked House Republicans last week to give to President Bush’s re-election effort, Rep. Heather Wilson (N.M.) took that plea to heart — and then some.

Wilson says not only will she be giving $1,000 to the campaign, she and her husband will also organize 100 friends to do the same at a fundraiser they are putting together. She also plans to ask her 229 colleagues in the Conference to follow suit.

“If each of us gives $1,000, that comes out to $229,000,” Wilson said. “But if each of us can find 100 other people to do it, we could raise $22 million.”

Wilson indicated she was grateful for Bush’s help with her 2002 campaign, but said she and her husband were acting primarily out of their belief that Bush, who expects to raise at least $200 million, has been a “great” president. “We’ll see how far we can get this to spread,” Wilson said.

No More Dial-up. Beginning in late June, House Members will no longer have to test their patience with slow Internet connections in their main district offices.

In a “Dear Colleague” letter Tuesday, House Administration Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio) and ranking member John Larson (D-Conn.) informed offices of the upgrade from 256K bps connections to 512K. The upgrade will take four to six months.

Members who currently have 512K connections at their main district offices will no longer be charged for the service. Costs for secondary connections have also been significantly reduced.

“This upgrade reflects one of the Committee’s highest priorities, as it directly impacts the methods and speed of district office functions,” the two said in the letter.

Escape Hoods. A training session will be held today to show members of the media how to use protective hoods.

It is scheduled for 10 a.m. in the Senate Press Gallery. The session, which will include a short film, will be conducted by Pete Hull of the Office of Security and Emergency Preparedness of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms. The Capitol Police have provided Quick2000 escape hoods for each of the press galleries for use in a biological or chemical attack.

— John Bresnahan, Ethan Wallison and Suzanne Nelson

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