The Week Ahead: The Week of October 8

By October 8, 2007General

UPDATE (2:30 p.m. Tuesday): The House has cancelled floor votes Thursday so members can attend the funeral of Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-VA), who died October 6 of breast cancer.


Federal holiday today, so for Congress and the NAM, a short work week. The Senate celebrates America’s Italian heritage by taking the week off, returning next Tuesday. Question: Do kids still learn the ditty, “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue?”

The week’s big news at the nexus where government and manufacturing meet is the U.S. Supreme Court’s hearing of oral arguments Tuesday morning in Stoneridge v. Scientific Atlanta. This is the securities fraud case that, if the court sides for the plaintiffs, could expand class-action litigation against companies only remotely connected to wrongdoing. A good Wall Street Journal editorial lays out the issues, and here are the NAM’s news release and amicus brief. The Supreme Court’s day call lists the attorneys arguing the case.

Tuesday is the deadline for commenting on the EPA’s proposed new standards for ground-level ozone. The NAM supports maintaining the current standards, which have yet to be fully implemented but are still producing cleaner air. The NAM’s support materials are available here, including a form to contact the EPA.

Tuesday afternoon the Republican candidates for president debate business and economic issues in Dearborn, Mich., a forum sponsored by CNBC, MSNBC, and the Wall Street Journal. Expect much rebuking of immoderator Chris Matthews.

NAM President John Engler talks transportation infrastructure Tuesday at the national convention of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association in Fort Lauderdale.

The House convenes Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. with business to start at 2 p.m. (The majority leaderr’s schedule for the week is available here.) After honoring the Warner Robins Little League Baseball Team from Georgia, record-setting QB Brett Favre, and WNBA champions the Phoenix Mercury, three bills are on the week’s floor agenda: H.R. 2895, National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act; H.R. 3056 Tax Collection Responsibility Act ; and H.R. 2095, the Federal Railroad Safety Improvement Act.

H.R. 3056 would eliminate the IRS use of private debt-collection agencies, increase penalties on businesses for lately filing of information returns, such as 1099s, and imposes a new tax on people who attempt to renounce their citizenship. (Ways & Means Committee report on the bill here.)

House committees: Light week for the committees. Of note to manufacturers: House Science and Technology holds a hearing Wednesday on the National Science Board’s STEM education action plan. (Details). Homeland Security holds a hearing on port security and worker IDs at 2 p.m. Thursday. (Details).

Senate committees: The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a full committee hearing Wednesday in Newport, VT, “Economic and Community Implications of Northern Border Security.” And an Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee holds a hearing on Thursday on environmental threats facing the Great Basin. And what a great basin it is.

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