WASHINGTON, Mar. 2
President Bush held a press availability with the Indian Prime Minister while you were sleeping this morning (details below). At 10:00 am ET, President and Mrs. Bush attend a state dinner at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential palace in New Delhi.
Meanwhile, the American people, the Gang of 500, and the House Republicans all want straight talk on Iraq and on the federal budget.
(Pause two beats for optional eye rolling and/or laughter.)
You must read:
1. George F. Will asking for -- and doling out -- straight talk on Iraq. LINK
2. Jim Hoagland on same. LINK
3. The Wall Street Journal's David Rogers -- the 536th Member of Congress -- says (a) Senate Republicans are not going to abide the restraints in the growth of entitlement spending that the White House asked for and (b) Senate Republicans are sick up and fed with "routine" "emergency" spending bills. LINK
Note-y summaries can't do them justice; read them in full.
Vice President Cheney delivers 9:30 am ET remarks to the SAVER Summit at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC. See here for more from the Department of Labor on the summit's mission to encourage retirement savings. LINK
Speaker Hastert and Leader Pelosi lead a three-day CODEL to the Gulf Coast to observe progress in cleanup and rebuilding efforts from the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.
Rep. Pelosi holds her weekly presser at 10:45 am ET before departing for the Gulf Coast.
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) addresses the Kaiser Foundation at 2:00 pm ET where she is expected to discuss evidence-based medicine and comparative effectiveness, and the work of Consumers Union to aid patients and doctors identify "effective, safe, affordable drugs." Sen. Clinton then heads to a press conference for Citizens Campaign for Environment. Earlier in the day, Clinton is expected to attend Armed Services and HELP Committee hearings.
At 10:00 am ET, the Senate will resume consideration of the Patriot Act conference report. A vote on the conference report is expected at 3:00 pm ET.
Also at 10:00 am ET, the House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the Dubai ports deal, with Edward H. Bilkey, chief operating officer, Dubai Ports World -- who probably feels he deserves a Member's pin by now.
Chairman Shelby (R-AL) holds a Banking Committee hearing on foreign management of US ports at 10:00 am ET.
The Judiciary Committee marks up Chairman Specter's immigration reform proposal at a 9:30 am ET hearing.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee marks up lobbying reform legislation at 10:00 am ET. Sens. Reid (D-NV), Dorgan (D-ND), and Leahy (D-VT) hold a 10:30 am ET press conference on ethics reform.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee was scheduled to have received a closed briefing from DNI Negroponte on Iran's nuclear capabilities at 9:00 am ET.
Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) heads to the Palmetto State for back-to-back county GOP conventions. First up is the York County convention at 5:30 pm ET in Rock Creek, SC and then he heads to Mt. Pleasant, SC for the Charleston County convention.
Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) signs legislation at 1:00 PM et to transition New Mexico to a statewide system of voter verifiable paper ballots.
DNC Chairman Howard Dean addressed the 7th Annual Interethnic Congressional Awards Ceremony and Reception at 9:00 am ET.