The Note: Digging In

WASHINGTON, Mar. 21

House Democrats are not yet at 218 for the war funding bill, a defiant President Bush seems to have bought his Attorney General some time, and Gore mania sweeps Capitol Hill today.

In the Washington, DC version of "Deal or No Deal," a House Judiciary subcommittee meets at 10:00 am ET to vote on subpoenas for Karl Rove, Harriet Miers and others to testify about the controversial firings of eight US Attorneys. Be on the lookout for a Senate committee vote tomorrow and/or a possible deal between the White House and Congress.

Vice President Gore was scheduled to deliver 9:30 am ET testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Science and Technology Committee in Rayburn House Office Building. He then testifies before a 2:30 pm ET Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on global warming.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) attends a HELP Committee Hearing into 9/11 related health issues. Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R-NYC) plans to testify at the invitation of Sen. Clinton. The hearing is scheduled to start at 10:00 am ET. Sen. Clinton also plans to attend EPW Committee hearing featuring Al Gore.

(Gore and Bloomberg are two potential opponents, Sen. Clinton probably hopes remain on the sidelines of the 2008 presidential contest. Watch her body language toward both today.)

ABC News' Jake Tapper reports that tonight "at the posh Northern Virginia estate of local real estate magnate Albert Dwoskin, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will host one of its most expensive events in recent memory -- $28,500 per couple -- featuring access to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and 10 powerful House committee chairmen."

"The event will be one of the highest-dollar fundraisers since the McCain-Feingold campaign finance limits were enacted in 2002 and it opens Democrats -- who campaigned against the GOP's 'culture of corruption' last November -- to charges of hypocrisy," adds Tapper.

President Bush holds an 11:10 am ET Oval Office meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark in the White House.

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) hosts a 12:00 pm ET news conference in Cannon House Office Building in support of the Republican Study Committee's American Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) will ring the NYMEX Bell at 2:00 pm ET in the World Financial Center, New York, NY.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) attends a (closed press) 6:30 pm ET fundraising dinner at the Mandarin Hotel in Washington, DC after spending a day in Florida at various finance and political events.

Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) delivers 9:30 pm ET remarks to the Nevada AFL-CIO Legislative Conference at Carson Nugget in Carson City, NV. He will then speak at 10:45 pm ET as part of the Carson City Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Presidential Series at the Silver Oak Golf Club also in Carson City.

Must-reads: politics of prosecutorial independence:

On "Good Morning America," ABC News' George Stephanopoulos explained the White House's attempt to buy some time and said that the fear in the White House is that if Democrats score a Gonzales departure too quickly, they will smell blood in the water and go after White House officials too.

The President showed "he is willing to fight because he is afraid if he doesn't, the Democrats" will drum up one investigation a week, added Stephanopoulos.

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