The Note: Political Grandstanding

In an event sponsored by the Center for Health Transformation and the American Legislative Exchange Council, Newt Gingrich is scheduled to speak today at 9:30 am ET about healthcare, consumerism, health information technology, and pandemic preparedness at the Florida State House in Tallahasee, FL

Sen. Bob Menendez is scheduled to deliver a major security address at the Center for American Progress at 10:30 am ET. The Senator will discuss how, in the wake of the collapse of the Dubai ports deal, the country has an opportunity to take real action to increase container scanning and inspection, help developing countries improve their security, and provide additional money for research and development to improve technology. Sen. Menendez will outline his plan to strengthen security at America's ports before offering a budget amendment in the full Senate that will substantially increase port security funding.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) delivered 9:45 am ET remarks to more than 700 members of the Communications Workers of America at their annual conference taking place at the Hyatt on New Jersey Ave. in Washington, DC. The CWA's legislative-political conference will also hear from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rep. John Spratt (D-SC), and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) at 9:10 am, 10:10 am, and 10:30 am, respectively.

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) is in New York City for Republican Governors Association finance meetings.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) delivered 7:30 am ET remarks to the American Medical Association. At 9:45 am ET in Arlington, VA, she makes remarks and receives the congressional award from the Development District Association of Appalachia. She attends a 10:30 am ET Armed Services Committee hearing with Gen. Bantz Craddock and US Northern Commander Admiral Timothy Keating to examine military strategy and operational requirements in review of the defense authorization request for fiscal year 2007 and the future years defense program.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean and RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman address the AMA between 1:15 and 3:15 pm ET. The AMA conference is taking place at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.

Gen. Wesley Clark and Admiral William Crowe are sponsoring a fundraiser for Eric Massa, a congressional candidate in New York's 29th district, with special guest former Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA) at 6:00 pm ET at the Stewart R. Mott House in Washington, DC.

Big Casino budget politics:

Washington Times' Charles Hurt reports that conservatives are demanding cuts be made in the budget and serious reforms be enacted to curb future spending, including limiting earmarks and budget caps. The GOP will pass the additional $92 billion spending on the Iraq war and Katrina this week, Notes Hurt. LINK

Roll Call reports that Leader Boehner and Whip Blunt are stepping up their involvement in crafting the 2007 budget resolution.

Sen. Feingold calls for censuring President Bush:

Vice President Cheney called Sen. Feingold's call to censure President Bush an "outrageous position" that "poses a key test for our Democratic leaders."

"Do they support the extreme and counterproductive antics of a few, or do they support a lawful program vital to the security of this Nation?" Cheney asked.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan dismissed Sen. Feingold's call for censure as having "more to do with 2008 politics than anything else," reports USA Today. LINK

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