From NBC's Jim Miklaszewski, Mike Viqueira, and Elizabeth Wilner
Even as President Bush speaks in the Rose Garden, there are developments on the two issues that are weighing down his party's midterm election chances: the Iraq war and the Mark Foley scandal.
The Army Chief of Staff, General Pete Schoomaker, told reporters this morning that the Army is planning to keep the US troop level in Iraq at its current level through the year 2010. Schoomaker said "this is not a prediction," but that based on current requirements, it's more prudent to plan future troop rotations into Iraq at the current level. There are now some 145,000 US troops on the ground there.
And up on Capitol Hill, Peggy Sampson, chief page supervisor for the majority, has entered the House Ethics Committee chambers. While it's not absolutely certain that she is there to testify, it's highly likely that she is. Sampson is alleged to have, at some point, gone to the Clerk of the House to complain about Foley's contact with pages. A fixture around the House chamber, she's known to keep strict discipline among the GOP pages.