President Bush's official schedule is dominated by Hurricane Katrina related events today, all of which are scheduled to take place at the White House. His first public event is a cabinet meeting at 10:00 am ET. Later this morning (at 11:15 am ET) he meets with representatives from national voluntary and charitable organizations. Both of those events will be pool coverage at the bottom. President Bush will take to the Rose Garden at 2:10 pm ET to make a statement on efforts to assist students and school districts displaced by the hurricane. The event is open press.
In the Oval Office at 2:35 pm ET, President Bush will meet with the bipartisan leadership from the House and Senate to discuss the federal government's continued efforts to aid the victims of the hurricane. The meeting will be closed press.
At the morning gaggle, White House spokesman Scott McClellan refused to directly answer questions about whether President Bush would fire FEMA Director Mike Brown. McClellan said that while the press is interested in playing the blame game, the White House is focused on helping people.
The confirmation hearings on the (initial) Roberts nomination, originally scheduled to begin today in the Judiciary Committee, have been postponed. The Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination of John Roberts to Chief Justice of the United States may begin as early as Thursday and as late as next Monday. Sens. Frist and Specter are expected to make a 10:45 am ET announcement regarding the scheduling of the postponed hearings.
The Senate convenes for morning business at noon ET with lots of floor speeches on Katrina and Rehnquist. At 5:30 pm ET there will be a vote on a resolution supporting those affected by Hurricane Katrina. The Senate will also authorize federal and bankruptcy courts to convene outside their jurisdiction before being briefed at 6:00 pm ET by Secretaries Chertoff, Snow, Leavitt, Jackson, and possibly others.
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist will lie in repose in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court today and tomorrow. The public is invited to pay respects from 10:30 am ET until 10 pm ET today and from 10 am ET until noon ET tomorrow.
The casket carrying Chief Justice Rehnquist will arrive at the Supreme Court at 10:00 am ET. The Associate Justices will line up on the steps of the Court to the south of the entrance, and former Rehnquist clerks will line up on the north side with the casket passing between them.
Former Rehnquist clerk and potential successor, John Roberts, will be among the clerks participating as a pallbearer.
The 2:00 pm ET funeral service on Wednesday at St. Matthew's Cathedral will be open to friends and family and print reporters. There will be no television coverage inside the funeral, at this writing.
The burial service at Arlington National Cemetery will take place later Wednesday afternoon and closed to the press.
At 11:15 am ET, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) hold a news conference on Hurricane Katrina relief.
Both the Republican and Democratic caucus policy committees will meet at 12:30 pm ET. We expect to hear from both parties at the Ohio Clock stakeout.
Sen. Domenici (R-NM) is scheduled to hold a hearing on gasoline prices and factors contributing to current high prices at 2:30 pm ET. We wonder if he will be asked about his aide's recent remarks to the Los Angeles Times on the future of the President's agenda.