Time for the weekly roundup….
Both Houses of Congress are in session with a vengeance this week, as you’ll see from this hefty lineup of hearings in the Senate. The House, too, will be in for a full week of shenanigans. Some highlights:
The Defense Authorization bill will be the big news this week. We don’t have a horse in that race (though many of our members do.) Still, it will take up a chunk of the House’s time.
On Tuesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Air Quality Subcommittee will hold a hearing on energy efficiency standards, so expect climate change to come up in that one.
On Wednesday, the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Science and Transportation Interstate Commerce, Trade, and Tourism will hold a hearing on US-China trade relations. Not sure where that one’s going, will keep you posted.
Also on Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the Medicare prescription drug benefit. Hope somebody notices that it’s working and that the vast majority of seniors are happy with it.
The House will likely take up funding for the National Institute of Standards and Technology which will include funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a program we care about. This get probably a higher bang-per-buck ration than any other program in the federal government, helping thousands of small (and some large) manufacturers cut costs out of their system, find new markets and be more competitive. Let’s hope it gets fully funded this year. If you care about jobs and manufacturing, it is money well spent.
In the “hope” category, it springs eternal for a deal on trade promotion authority (keep your fingers crossed) and perhaps we might even see a bill introduced that expands and makes permanent the research and development tax credit, central to the innovation that is the lifeblood of manufacturing.
Expect another bunch of Q1 earnings out this week, too, from Verizon, Kellogg, GM and P&G, among others.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be in town the early part of the week, making a big splash and talking about transatlantic partnerships, as in US-EU.
Finally, for you Trekkies out there who might have missed it, Scotty got beamed up one last time this weekend. When you look up in the Western sky at dusk, you’ll see a brilliant planet Venus — can’t miss it. If you look closely, you just might see Scotty, beaming.