Cheney to meet Tuesday with GOP leaders in Congress
Republican transition team to receive daily national security updates
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Republican vice presidential nominee Dick Cheney was scheduled to meet Tuesday with GOP leaders in Washington as Texas Gov. George W. Bush pressed ahead with efforts to form an administration amid the ongoing Florida election dispute.
Cheney planned to meet Tuesday morning with the House Republican Conference in the Capitol for about an hour, then join GOP senators for their weekly policy luncheon. Cheney will discuss Bush's legislative agenda and take questions during the sessions.
Cheney, who serves as chairman of the Republican transition effort, will exchange ideas with House and Senate Republicans on outstanding issues in the lame-duck 106th Congress, senior GOP sources said.
In addition, a Clinton administration official said Monday that representatives of the GOP ticket -- either Bush or his designated national security and intelligence advisers -- would begin receiving daily national security and CIA briefings Tuesday.
Both meetings are meant to further convey the inevitability of a Bush presidency and prepare for the 107th Congress, which senior GOP congressional leaders and advisers to the Texas governor see as a difficult challenge for Congress and Bush.
Transition planning has gone ahead despite Vice President Al Gore's contest of Bush's certification as the winner of Florida's 25 electoral votes. The vice president is challenging his GOP rival's 537-vote margin, arguing that hand counts of more than 14,000 disputed punch-card ballots would show him the winner.
Gore has met with his own transition advisers and has rejected GOP calls to concede the race to Bush.
Bush returned to Austin on Monday after spending the weekend at his ranch, focusing on possible Cabinet choices. Cheney said Sunday that he and Bush "have not yet set a timetable" for making any announcements, "But I would expect that certainly within the next couple of weeks we'll be able to start making some announcements."
Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Cheney also raised the possibility that some Democrats might be included in a Bush Cabinet in an effort to build bipartisan support.
"We are casting the net very broadly," he said. "Governor Bush has given us directions to do exactly that ... He wants a Cabinet that represents the best in America."