The Note: New Verse, Same As the First

And be sure you don't miss Sen. Reid's warning on Iran. "This morning, I'd like to be clear: The President does not have the authority to launch military action in Iran without first seeking Congressional authorization," Reid plans to say. You can read more on ABC News' Political Radar. LINK

The Republican National Committee continues its annual winter meeting today and tomorrow, with outgoing RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman presiding over the election of new RNC officers at 10:15 am ET, followed by a 12:30 pm ET media availability with those newly elected officers (likely to be Mike Duncan and Sen. Martinez), before Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivers luncheon remarks at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC. The meeting concludes with White House Press Secretary Tony Snow's breakfast remarks on Saturday, January 20 at 8:30 am ET. (Don't miss Ralph Z. Hallow's Washington Times story about a push for a secret ballot. LINK

) Sen. McConnell is expected to say that the Senate "got off on the right foot with the lobby reform bill. . . The bill isn't perfect, but it goes a long way toward showing that the Republican Party will hold itself to the highest standards."

"Immigration, Social Security, healthcare, education, energy independence -- we can pass meaningful reforms in all these areas, and we can do it with divided government. Cooperation, as I've said, does not mean capitulation. But failing to find solutions on pressing issues like these does contradict the spirit of our party, and it further jeopardizes our being the party of reform," McConnell is expected to add, according to his prepared remarks.

As Republicans continue to recommit themselves to reform, former Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) is scheduled to be sentenced at 9:30 am ET in Washington, DC for his role in the Jack Abramoff scandal. Last October, Ney pleaded guilty to conspiracy and making false statements for trading official actions for trips, sports tickets, meals and campaign donations from Abramoff.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is expected to preside over the Senate at 9:15 am ET and then attend a joint HELP/Appropriations Committee hearing on stem cell research at 11:10 am ET.

The House meets to consider legislation to deny pensions for former members of Congress convicted of felonies, as well as legislation to overhaul the Congressional Page Board, at 10:00 am ET.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee hears from former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN), co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group, and former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger on recommendations for Iraq policy at 10:00 am ET.

Members of the Democratic Party's conservative Blue Dog Coalition hold a press conference on the Iraq war at 11:30 am ET at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, featuring Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), Rep. John Tanner (D-TN), Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), Rep. Jim Marshall (D-GA), Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR), Rep. Allen Boyd (D-FL), Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS), and Rep. Stephanie Herseth (D-SD).

The Blue Dogs plan to unveil a resolution tomorrow to deal with "fiscal responsibility and accountability" for the Iraq war.

Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) delivers the first ever Spanish language Democratic preview address on the "State of Our Union" at 1:00 pm ET in the Capitol. The Senator will be available for questions after the speech.

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