The Note: Membership Has Its Privileges, Part III

President and Mrs. Bush departed the White House at 7:30 am ET for their trip to South America. Karl Rove was not seen boarding Marine One on the South Lawn and it was still unclear to the press corps if he was on board Air Force One at the time of departure.

President and Mrs. Bush are expected to arrive in Argentina shortly after 6:00 pm ET with no public events planned for the rest of the day.

(President Bush 41 was kind enough to wave them off this morning from a White House balcony overlooking the South Lawn.)

After 5:00 pm ET, you will want to check out to see the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll results on President Bush's standing with the American people.

Trying to get some play in the political story of the day, Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid and Sen. Chuck Schumer will take to the Senate press gallery at 11:00 am ET to release a letter they are sending to Vice President Cheney calling on him to make "significant staff changes." The New York Daily News has a preview: LINK

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds her weekly press conference at 10:45 am ET.

As for the Alito nomination, the Gang of 14 met this morning at 8:45 am ET to assess where it stands on Judge Alito and whether or not he is deemed an "extraordinary circumstance" at this time.

Judge Alito's scheduled meetings with Senators today is tentative due to votes, but he is expected to meet with Sens. Chaffee (R-RI), Byrd (D-WV), Cornyn (R-TX), Pryor (D-AR), and McCain (R-AZ) at various times throughout the day.

Several Democratic women House members hold a 2:00 pm ET press conference on the steps of the Supreme Court to express "deep concern" over the Alito nomination which they will cast as a threat to women's rights.

When the Senate convenes this morning it will immediately hold a vote on passage of the Agriculture Appropriations Conference Report.

Following that vote, the Senate will resume consideration of S. 1932, the Deficit Reduction bill. The Senate will hold back-to-back roll call votes on approximately 17 amendments prior to a vote on passage.

Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) delivers a speech at the Heritage Foundation at 1:00 pm ET advocating fiscal discipline and government accountability.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan provides his economic outlook to the House of Representatives at 10:00 am ET.

Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA) will host a conference call for reporters, focusing on the future of economic development in Iowa at 11:00 am ET.

At 6:30 pm ET, Gov. Warner (D-VA) will be honored at the annual Edmund S. Muskie Distinguished Public Service Award Dinner hosted by the Center for National Policy. Sen. McCain will be honored at the event as well and both potential 2008 hopefuls will deliver remarks.

Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) holds a 4:30 pm ET news conference to announce his appointment of a new State Treasurer.

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) is introducing legislation to erect a statue of Rosa Parks and to place it in the U.S. Capitol in National Statuary Hall. The Parks statue would be the first statue of a woman ever placed in Statuary Hall. Kerry's bill will be co-sponsored by Sens. Obama, Levin, Stabenow, and Kennedy.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R-NYC) will begin to deliver his closing arguments to New Yorkers at a campaign speech set to take place at City College at noon ET.

Fernando Ferrer (D-NYC) does some meeting and greeting today and holds an 11:30 am ET policy announcement in Manhattan.

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