Members of Congress have slipped the surly bonds of Washington for their home districts — or Greenland, as the case may be — for the Memorial Day recess/district work period/CODEL time. The Senate will reconvene at 2:30 p.m., Monday, June 4nd, to take up the immigration bill, S. 1348. The House gets an extra day by the pool, reconvening at 2 p.m., Tuesday, June 5th. Until then…
President Bush is headed to Glynco, Ga., today for remarks about immigration at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. On Thursday, he’s giving a speech on international development at the Ronald Reagan Building, setting the stage for next week’s G8 meeting in Heiligendamm — a Baltic Sea resort town in the former East Germany. Ponder history for a moment, if you will.
NAM President John Engler is the keynote speaker today in Greensboro, N.C., at the 2007 Manufacturing Council Summit — a new council being kicked off by the North Carolina Chamber (formerly the North Carolina Citizens for Business & Industry). It’s a major event, with Senator Elizabeth Dole, R-NC, and Governor Mike Easley, a Democrat, also on hand.
On Saturday, the NAM’s boss will be in Puerto Rico for the annual conference of the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association. Engler will talk about maintaining manufacturing’s preeminent position in the Commonwealth’s economy.
With Congress back home, it’s a fine opportunity to contact them about the top manufacturing-related issues of the day. The Senate is expected to vote in June on organized labor’s No. 1 priority, the ill-named Employee Free Choice Act, so the time to strike is now. (Strike in the sense of taking action, that is.) The NAM has compiled a variety of resources on the card-check bill here, and to contact your senator, please click here.
Senators are expected to debate energy legislative (S. 1419) the week of June 13. House Energy and Commerce Committee action is also likely in June, so please feel free to put in a plug for the NAM’s comprehensive energy strategy, ““Energy Security for American Competiveness.”
We’re also expecting hearings in June on the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement, the first FTA to be considered in the wake of the new Administration-Congress framework on trade. A vote follows in July, and Peru’s fate will set the stage for future action on agreements with Colombia and Panama as well as reauthorizing Trade Promotion Authority. The Latin American Trade Coalition has useful fact sheets and backgrounders available here.
Finally, with Congress out of town, the Washington Nationals apparently feel safe to return home, fresh off a 5-2 road trip. They open a three-game series against the Dodgers tonight, inspired by headlines like, “Surprising Nationals Aren’t So Bad After All.” Great day for a ballgame!