The Note: The Note

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30

NEWS SUMMARY

President Bush holds a pre-State of the Union meeting with his Cabinet at 10:00 am ET. This afternoon, President Bush will sign the Presidential Proclamation in Honor of the 4th Anniversary of the USA Freedom Corps at 1:15 pm ET.

At 3:50 pm ET, DSCC Chairman Sen. Schumer (D-NY) and DCCC Chairman Rep. Emanuel (D-IL) will host a conference call with reporters to discuss what they see as the ramifications of the State of the Union address on the 2006 midterm elections.

The "Conservative Members Retreat" sponsored by the Heritage Foundation gets underway in Baltimore, MD this morning, with the House leadership voting scheduled for Thursday. Rep. Blunt (R-MO) makes his pitch to his colleagues at 3:00 pm ET, followed by Rep. Boehner (R-OH) at 4:00 pm and Rep. Shadegg (R-AZ) at 4:30 pm. The four candidates for Mr. Blunt's whip position will also make presentations today. Newt Gingrich, Former Sen. Phil Gramm, and columnist George Will all address the group tomorrow.

The closed-door session with the entire House Republican Conference where Members will be able to question the Majority Leader candidates will take place on Wednesday. The conference will also hear any motions for additional leadership elections on Wednesday, a day before the voting.

The budget cutting bill the Senate shipped back over to the House before the holiday break comes up for an anticipated close vote on Wednesday -- an opportunity for Rep. Blunt to demonstrate his vote counting abilities.

Sen. Ted Kennedy takes to the Senate floor at 10:00 am ET to explain why he believes filibustering the Alito nomination is the right thing to do. The cloture vote -- the vote to end the filibuster and cut off debate -- is scheduled for 4:30 pm ET and is expected to succeed. The final vote on confirmation is currently scheduled for 11:00 am ET tomorrow.

At 2:00 pm ET, Cindy Sheehan, Ralph Nader, Ramsey Clark, and others will hold a forum at Bus Boys and Poets to discuss impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Democratic Reps. Dingell, Stark, Waxman, and Wasserman Schultz hold a 1:00 pm ET press conference to introduce "emergency legislation" related to the new Medicare prescription drug benefit.

First Lady Laura Bush will deliver remarks at the "National Awards for Museum and Library Services" in the East Room of the White House at 10:20 am ET.

Secretary of State Rice is London meeting with fellow representatives of the permanent members of the UN Security Council to discuss their continued strategy in dealing with Iran.

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) is in Washington, DC today for Republican Governors Association finance meetings.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) holds a town hall meeting in Wheeling, IL at 11:30 am ET.

Democratic candidate for the US Senate Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) holds a 12:30 pm ET press conference in St. Paul, MN in advance of the President's State of the Union address.

Would you like to give your own State of the Union address? ABC News and AOL.com/news would like you to participate in our coverage of the speech by telling us what issues matter the most to you this year. Send in digital video of your own State of the Union speech, and it may be included in an ABC News broadcast. LINK

See below for our look at the week ahead.

Thanks to all of you who have sent your prayers and best wishes for our colleagues Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt.

SOTU: political analysis:

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