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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) announced Tuesday that House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) will chair the committee’s annual spring dinner, which features President Bush as the star attraction.

Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.) will serve as co-chairman of the event, which will be held March 15 at the Washington Hilton Hotel.[IMGCAP(1)]

Cole also announced that the NRCC has set a goal of raising $6 million at the event. The committee raised more than $5 million at its last spring dinner in a presidential cycle, in March 2003.

It is unusual for the NRCC chairman to tap the House Republican leader to chair a committee fundraiser, but that could be a consequence of the GOP’s newfound minority status.

“John Boehner has done an excellent job of rallying the troops and leading our conference,” Cole said in a statement.

Delegate Drama. Republicans criticized a Democratic plan Tuesday that would grant the House’s five Delegates a vote in the Committee of the Whole.

The measure, expected to be voted on today on the House floor, would allow Delegates to vote on amendments to measures but not the final passage. If a Delegate vote were to affect the outcome of a vote, the House would revote without the Delegates.

At a Rules Committee hearing Tuesday, Democrats said the vote is a symbolic way for Delegates to take part in the democratic process. But Republicans criticized the move, saying more debate and study is needed on the issue, which has constitutional consequences.

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), who is not on the committee, spent much of his Tuesday lobbying Members to vote against the measure, which he said in an interview is a violation of process, policy and the Constitution.

“I believe that by allowing any individual that is not a Representative of a state to vote on the floor of House, it means anybody can vote on the floor of the House at the will of the majority,” Price said. “I mean, is [Democratic National Committee Chairman] Howard Dean next? He certainly has a constituency.”

— Josh Kurtz and Elizabeth Brotherton