On Capitol Hill, Republican Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi has announced he will step down next month. Lott says he plans to pursue a career in the private sector. His year-end resignation means he’ll avoid an incoming law forcing senators wanting to become paid Capitol Hill lobbyists to wait two years instead of one. Lott has resisted pressure to leave office since December 2002 when he praised the 1948 pro-segregation presidential campaign of Senator Strom Thurmond.
- Sen. Trent Lott: "I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."
Hamas Rejects Annapolis Summit
On Monday, dismissed Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh of Hamas denounced the talks as a sham.
- Ismael Haniyeh: "The lawmakers of the Palestinian people today sign a document which stresses the commitment of the Palestinian people to their full rights and their commitment to the full rights of the nation on the Palestinian land and their rejection to any concessions that harm these rights.”