The Note: The Note

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1

NEWS SUMMARY

Before the President takes to the road to deliver the travel versions of his State of the Union address, he will be joined by Mrs. Bush when he signs a presidential proclamation in honor of "American Heart Month" at 10:20 am ET in the Oval Office.

President Bush then heads to Nashville, TN for his first public post-SOTU remarks at 12:50 pm ET from the Grand Ole Opry.

President and Mrs. Bush will host a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony for Associate Justice Alito at the White House at 4:00 pm ET.

There will be an on-camera briefing by Secretaries Gutierrez, Chao, Bodman, Spellings, and OSTP Director Dr. John Marburger on the President's "American Competitiveness Initiative" in EEOB Room 450 at 10:00 am ET.

National Economic Council Director Al Hubbard holds a conference call with reporters at 12:00 pm ET to discuss the President's health care initiative.

At 11:00 am ET at the Senate swamp, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will be joined by other Democrats and healthcare groups to rally for "real healthcare reform" in response to the President's health care proposals put forth in last night's speech.

Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) delivers his response to the President's speech at 1:00 pm ET in the House Radio/TV gallery.

The House Republican Conference began meeting at 9:00 am ET. All candidates for leadership positions will have an opportunity (should they choose) to address the conference and afterwards Rules Chairman Dreier will lead a discussion on reforms. Normally, conferences take about an hour but Chairman Pryce has advised members that this conference may be rather lengthy.

House Republican leaders will go before cameras immediately following conference at approximately 11:00 am ET. We reminder you that the vote for new leadership is scheduled for tomorrow.

Democratic Sens. Lieberman, Feingold, and Obama are scheduled to hold a 12:30 pm ET press conference in the Senate gallery on the Democratic lobbying reform efforts.

Immediately following the House Democratic Caucus meeting, Reps. Pelosi, Hoyer, and Clyburn will hold a 10:30 am ET press conference to introduce the newly elected Vice Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and to respond to the President's State of the Union address.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) responds to the SOTU in an 11:00 am ET speech at Northern Virginia Community College. Audiences at other community colleges, including LaGuardia (New York City) and Wake Tech (Raleigh, NC), will participate through Apple's iChat video conferencing technology. LINK

The Senate convened at 9:15 am ET and proceeded to H.R. 4297, the tax reconciliation bill.

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman will help sell the President's agenda at a 1:30 pm ET press conference with the North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Ferrell Blount in Raleigh, NC. The Chairman will also headline a North Carolina Victory 2006 fundraiser at a private residence in Raleigh, NC.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) attends a 10:30 am ET press conference on LIHEAP and an 11:00 am ET press conference on eye health.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) began chairing an Indian Affairs Committee hearing on off-reservation gaming at 9:30 am ET.

Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA) delivers a speech at Governing Magazine's 2006 "Outlook in the States Conference" at the National Press Club in Washington, DC at 12:30 pm ET.

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