The Week Ahead: Obama at the Chamber

President Obama will address the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the powerful business lobbying group, Monday morning.

His speech is a high-profile example of the outreach efforts the administration has extended to the business community after the two sides sparred publicly in the closing weeks of the 2010 midterm election.

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Meanwhile, most of the potential 2012 Republican presidential nominees will be in town later in the week for the 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), Sen. John Thune (S.D.), Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) will address the annual conference, which starts Thursday and goes through Saturday.

But one big name will be missing: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin turned down an opportunity to keynote the conference, citing scheduling conflicts.

CPAC sparked controversy this year when several prominent conservative groups decided not to attend the event after conference leaders announced GOProud — a conservative gay-rights group — would be participating.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) announced he would not attend after the groups — including the Heritage Foundation and the Family Research Council — withdrew their support for the conference. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also declined an invitation to the event. Rubio headlined last year's conference.

And first lady Michelle Obama will mark the first anniversary of her Let’s Move! campaign with several events scheduled throughout the week, including Wednesday stops on the “Today Show” and “Live With Regis and Kelly.”

Monday, Feb. 7

Obama addresses the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at 11:30 a.m.

The Senate is in session only two days this week — Monday and Tuesday.

The Brookings Institution will hold a discussion on “Immigration Policy: Highly Skilled Workers and U.S. Competitiveness and Innovation" at 9 a.m. at the Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW.

Former White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer, Joe Lockhart, Mike McCurry, Dee Dee Myers and Dana Perino will discuss their experiences managing a president’s message at George Washington University’s Jack Morton Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW, at 7 p.m. Tickets are required in advance.

Tuesday, Feb. 8

Michelle Obama joins a series of afternoon calls speaking directly to the Let’s Move! community; including calls with Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack; Interior Secretary Ken Salazar; and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

The House is back in session at 2:30 p.m., with votes expected in the evening.

Senate Democrats head to Charlottesville, Va., in the afternoon for a retreat that will last through Thursday.

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s memoir, Known and Unknown, hits bookstores.

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the constitutionality of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” at 4 p.m. in 2141 Rayburn.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, will discuss his policy goals over the next two years at a forum at the Newseum at 8:30 a.m. RSVP required.

Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), along with Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Steve King (R-Iowa), will attend a town hall meeting organized by the Tea Party Express to discuss Tea Party issues. The town hall starts at 7 p.m. at the National Press Club.

Wednesday, Feb. 9

Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke will testify on the state of the economy at a hearing with the House Budget Committee. The hearing starts in 210 Cannon House Office Building at 10 a.m.

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) will begin exploring the Fed’s policies from his new position as chairman of the Domestic Monetary Policy subcommittee. The longtime Fed critic will hold his first hearing on the impact of the central bank’s monetary policy on the nation’s efforts to create jobs at 10 a.m. in 2128 Rayburn House Office Building.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk will testify before the House Ways and Means Committee to discuss the president’s trade policy agenda at 10 a.m. in 1100 Longworth House Office Building.

The House Education and Workforce Committee will hold a full committee hearing on “The Impact of the Health Care Law on the Economy, Employers, and the Workforce.” The hearing will take place in 2175 Rayburn House Office Building at 10 a.m.

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs begins a two-day hearing on the “Recent Developments in Egypt and Lebanon: Implications for U.S. Policy and Allies in the Broader Middle East.” The hearings take place Wednesday and Thursday beginning at 10:30 a.m. in Room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Michelle Obama will appear live on NBC’s “Today Show” and on “Live With Regis and Kelly.” She will host an afternoon conference call with online media to discuss the new Let’s Move! public service announcements. She will also visit Burgess Peterson Academy in Atlanta and give a speech on childhood obesity at North Point’s congregation in Alpharetta, Ga.

Thursday, Feb. 10

The president heads to Marquette, Mich., to talk about his administration’s National Wireless Initiative to help businesses extend wireless coverage to 98 percent of the population.

CPAC begins at 9 a.m. at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel (2660 Woodley Road NW). Bachmann is the opening speaker. Gingrich will speak in the Marriot Ballroom at 12:30 p.m. and Santorum speaks at 2 p.m. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) also address the conference.

Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf testifies before the House Budget Committee in 210 Cannon House Office Building at 10 a.m.

The House Select Intelligence Committee will hold a full committee hearing on “World Wide Threats” at 10 a.m. in HVC-201 in the Capitol. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and FBI Director Robert Mueller, among others, will testify.

The 67th Annual Congressional Dinner, sponsored by the Washington Press Club Foundation, takes place at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (1330 Maryland Ave. SW). Speakers include Reps. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) and Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) and Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.).

Friday, Feb. 11

Romney will speak at CPAC in the Marriott Ballroom at 10:30 a.m., followed by Thune at 1:30 p.m.; Pawlenty at 3 p.m.; Perry at 4 p.m.; and Daniels at 7:30 p.m. The results from CPAC’s straw poll will be announced Saturday.

The Brookings Institution will hold a discussion on restructuring the U.S. residential mortgage market. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is the keynote speaker at 12 p.m. The event begins at 9 a.m. in the Falk Auditorium at Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW.


Peter Schroeder and Emily Goodin contributed to this article.