A consequential week dawns hazy, hot and humid in Washington, D.C. — and that’s just the weather! In the torrid congressional schedule, both the House and Senate convene today for five days of business that could dramatically affect — read, harm — the manufacturing climate. Top issues on the floor: Energy and the Employee Free Choice Act, the deceptively titled bill that would destroy the secret ballot in the workplace.
The Senate continues its debate on H.R. 6, the energy bill. There’s some good and way too much bad: renewable portfolio standards, unworkable CAFE standards and anti-price gouging provisions. Restricting supplies and raising energy prices haven’t helped U.S. competitiveness in the past. Has the law of supply and demand suddenly changed?
And then it’s the H.R. 800, the Employee Free Choice Act, i.e., card check, organized labor’s No. 1 priority and a direct assault on the secret ballot and management’s ability to…well, manage. Expect a motion to proceed on the Senate floor today or Tuesday, and then a cloture vote, most likely Thursday. To contact your Senator on this critical vote, please click here. (Check back on the blog for regular updates, too.)
It’s alive! (For now.) S. 1348, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, is expected to return to the Senate floor.
The House, after recognizing Stax Records for “50 years of soul” — Otis Redding! — will consider a bill (H.R. 885) to establish an international nuclear fuel bank for peaceful development of atomic energy. And then back to appropriations for the rest of the week: Energy and Water; Legislative Branch; and State/Foreign Operations Appropriations.
HEARINGS: Melissa Lindsay, a bookkeeper at NAM-member Marlin Steel Wire Products, will testify before the House Workforce Protections Subcommittee on Thursday about Marlin’s flexible work schedules. Hearing details here.
The House Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health will mark up nine bills on health care at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Details of the hearing are here. There are significant FDA-related measures that would create a more unpredictable regulatory climate by weakening federal authority through anti-preemption language.
A House Science subcommittee examines the “skills gap” at 3 p.m. Tuesday: “The Role of Community Colleges and Industry in Meeting the Demand for Skilled Production Workers and Technicians in the 21st Century Economy.” Details here.
Over to the Executive Branch: President Bush’s schedule features state visits with trade implications: Tuesday morning in the Oval Office with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel; Wednesday at the State Department with Caribbean heads of state; and Friday with Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet.
The House schedule for the week is here in a .pdf format. The Senate’s list of upcoming committee hearings and mark-ups (marks-up?) is here.
And since we’re talking about Congress, you have noticed the NAM’s new manufacturing profiles for each congressional district, haven’t you? Great resource for judging the manufacturing intensity of your district and whether your member of Congress votes accordingly.