Time for the fastest three minutes (actually may be more like 5 this week…) in Washington:
First and foremost, this is the week of the NAM’s biennial “72 Hours to Educate and Celebrate,” a three-day extravaganza of events and driving the manufacturing message. On these three days, manufacturers large and small will descend in droves throughout the halls of Congress to remind them all that we power this economy and that we make a lot of stuff, but first among it is prosperity. We will have some key messages during the fly in: Make permanent the R&D tax credit, the continuing need for energy legislation that creates more options for America’s manufacturers, stopping the ill-advised anti-democracy card check bill and opening more markets to US manufacturers by supporting trade promotion authority. For those of you who can’t attend, not to worry. You can click here and provide a message of support for the manufacturing troops on the ground.
The week’s events include:
The kick off on Tuesday is a dinner with a Fred Barnes, Executive Editor of the Weekly Standard.
Wednesday is a full day, beginning with a breakfast with Vice President Dick Cheney, a number of regional fly-ins (on Wednesday and Thursday both) and ending with a reception on Capitol Hill for Freshmen and for winners of the NAM Award for Legislative Excellence. Remember, anyone — regardless of party — who votes with us 70% of the time or more on NAM Key Votes wins the Award. As this is Valentine’s Day night, we’ll find out who really loves us when we see who turns out for our event.
Thursday opens with a Congressional Women’s Caucus Breakfast, featuring Rep. Melissa Bean (D-IL) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME).
Also on Thursday we have lunch with new House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC).
There’s also a lot of other activity unrelated to the “72 Hours” this week:
On Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. we will unveil our comprehensive energy strategy for the 110th Congress. This will be, as we say in New Jersey, “Yuge.” More details to follow in this space.
In the Congress this week:
On Monday, the House Ways and Means Committee aims to markup H.R. 976, the “Small Business Tax Relief Act.”
On Tuesday, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will have hearings on the issue of climate.
On Tuesday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold hearings on a bill proposed by Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) that would provide seven paid sick days a year to employees for their own health needs or those of a family member.
On Wednesday, the House Education and Workforce Committee will hold a mark-up of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act.
Also on Wednesday, the Senate HELP Committee will hold a mark-up of the Mental Health Parity bill.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, various subcommittees of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will also have hearings on various aspects of the climate issue. Sure does seem to be a lot of climate out there these days.
On Thursday, our own trade expert Frank Vargo will testify before the House Ways and Means Committee Subcommittee on Trade on the topic of trade with China, always a hot topic.
Finally, there’s a winter storm watch in the DC area for Tuesday and Wednesday, so not sure how that will impact any of the above schedule, or folks’ travel in and out of this city. Who knows? Maybe we’ll be rescued by a burst of global warming between now and then, and only need our umbrellas. Stay tuned.