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SENATE

Snowe, Brown back regulation overhaul

Sens. Olympia J. Snowe and Scott Brown pushed sweeping financial legislation to the edge of final passage Monday, both announcing that they intend to support the regulatory overhaul despite initial misgivings.

Mrs. Snowe of Maine and Mr. Brown of Massachusetts joined Susan Collins of Maine as three crucial Republican votes for the legislation.

“While not perfect, the legislation takes necessary steps to implement meaningful regulatory reforms, create strong consumer protections and restore confidence in the American financial system,” Mrs. Snowe said in a statement Monday evening.

In breaking with the rest of the Republican Party, the three lawmakers appeared to give Democratic leaders the 60 votes needed to overcome procedural hurdles facing the legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, hopes to finish the bill by the end of the week, spokesman Jim Manley said late Monday.

NASA

White House denies order for outreach

The White House is contradicting the NASA administrator’s claim that President Obama assigned him to reach out to Muslims on science matters.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden recently told Al Jazeera network that one of the charges Mr. Obama gave him was “to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science and engineering.”

Some conservative activists criticized the remarks.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday that such activities are not among Mr. Bolden’s assigned tasks. He said administration officials have spoken with NASA about the matter.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Unlikely candidate to make first speech

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