Time for the weekly round up…
The big news here in DC is that the Queen’s in town, will be at the White House today. The blogger-in-chief will be in the Irish-American cheering section, a relatively small group. But that’ll be the big buzz in town today as everyone tries to get a glance at HRH. Big woop.
Both houses of Congress are in again this week (will we never be safe..?). Here’s a link to the House lineup, including the all-important H.R. 1737, City of Oxnard Water Recycling and Desalination Act of 2007. Right on! Let’s get those Oxnardians recycled and desalinated, we say. Here’s a link to the full schedule of Senate hearings this week.
The House will continue to focus on the Defense authorization bill again this week. The NAM doesn’t have an official position on this bill, but many of our members are busy working on it. It’ll take up a bunch of Congressional time this week.
The Senate will be taking up the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reauthorization bill this week. As part of it, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) will offer an amendment that would allow folks to “reimport” non-FDA-approved drugs from other countries back into the US, a pretty lousy idea but one with great populist appeal which of course is why Dorgan is offering it. Sen Thad Cochran (R-MS) is expected to offer an amendment that will require any and all “reimported” drugs to be FDA-approved. The World’s Greatest Deliberative Body can of course pass both amendments — Dorgan giveth, Cochran taketh away — and call it a day, which is the likely outcome.
On Tuesday, the House Education and Labor Committee is having a hearing to figure out what the NLRB was thinking when they brought the law into the 21st century in their Oakwood decision last year. That was the decision where they found that supervisors should be treated as, well, supervisors. A radical notion we know, but one that brought the law out of the dark ages and of course angered the unions in the process. The labor skates want the genie back in the bottle, want progress reversed, and the House Labor Committee will do their level best to make that happen, starting this week.
On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the Medicare prescription drug benefit. Actually, this is postponed form last week. The benefit is working, seniors are happy with it, so that oughta set off some fireworks in th Senate.
On Tuesday, the NAM China Task Force is in town with an impressive lineup of high-level meetings. More on that to follow.
On Wednesday is the long-awaited Trifecta lollapalooza three-committee hearing on Chinese currency. The House Ways and Means, Commerce and Financial Services Committees are combining into one huge harmonic convergence of a hearing on this topic. (They’ll need a big room — Wonder if they’ll hold it at FedEx field…?)
On Thursday, NAM President John Engler will be in Indiana, participating in the Advanced Manufacturing Summit,
In case you didn’t catch this, on Friday, the President nominated Woody Sutton to be the new Assistant Secretary of Manufacturing. We know Woody pretty well. A former Admiral, and former President of the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute, he was a leader in our Council of Manufacturing Associations, too. He’s a first-rate guy who knows manufacturing very, very well. It’ll be great to have him on board. Here’s a link to our press release, applauding the nomination.
Last but not least, Roger Clemens is coming back to major league baseball at the tender age of 45 to pitch once again for America’s Team, the New York Yankees. This gives hope to every gaining overweight guy in the country. Were we to try this, we would like leave the field feet first with a myocardial infarction. Great to have the Rocket back in baseball.