The Week Ahead: The Week of February 11

By February 11, 2008General

UPDATE (12:20 p.m.): The death of Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) may change the House’s schedule this week as members travel to memorial services.

President Bush signs the economic stimulus bill, even as the House considers destimulating the economy with a tax increase on energy production. The Senate fusses over FISA. Busy week of hearings, including two on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) at 15 years. The father of abusive, excessive, extortive class-action lawsuits, Bill Lerach, is sentenced today for his role in a kickback scheme at Milberg-Weiss.

The House starts business Tuesday at 2 p.m., if by business you mean endorsing the National Quilting Museum in Paducah, Ky. On the floor this week are H.R. 3521, about HUD’s public housing program, and the Democratic plan to raise taxes on the oil industry to subsidize alternative energy. Here’s the House floor schedule for the week.

The Senate convenes at 2 p.m. today and moves to S. 2248, the FISA amendments, revising the laws on collection of foreign intelligence. The schedule of the week’s hearings is here.

House Hearings: On Tuesday, an Education and Labor subcommittee reviews workplace discrimination. On Wednesday, an Appropriations subcommittee plows the USDA budget, with new Ag Secretary Ed Schafer testifying, and the Labor/HHS subcommittee weighs economic trends. House Energy and Commerce Committee holds a hearing Wednesday on H.R. 3754, environmental projects to incent [transitive verb!] reductions of diesel emissions. The Budget Committee review Treasury’s budget; a House Transportation subcommittee considers that national infrastructure report, with DOT Secretary Peters testifying. Ways and Means starts the morning hearing from OMB Director Nussle on the FY09 budget, and that afternoon focuses on HHS’s budget.

Now for Thursday… The Labor/HHS subcommittee of Appropriations treats the social and economic burden of disease, injuries and disabilities; that afternoon HHS Secretary Leavitt testifies on the agency’s budget. (Details here.) The Energy and Water Development Subcomittee overviews vehicle technology and gas prices, with testimony from GM and Toyota executives. An Education and Labor subcommittee commemorates FMLA. Energy and Commerce also looks at HHS budgets. A Judiciary subcommittee topic is “Design Law – Are Special Provisions Needed to Protect Unique Industries”. The full Science and Technology Committee holds a hearing on funding the America COMPETE Act (science and tech education). A Transportation subcommittee ponders EPA’s Brownfields program. And on Friday, Secretary Leavitt testifies to the House Budget Committee.

Senate Hearings: The big event is Thursday’s Senate Banking hearing on the economy, with testimony from Secretary of Treasury Paulson, SEC Chairman Cox, and the Fed’s Bernanke. Budget hearings continue with an Appropriations subcommittee considering the DOT on Tuesday, and another subcommittee reviewing the EPA on Thursday; the Budget Committee monitors health IT on Thursday.

The HELP Committee on Tuesday is “Addressing Healthcare Workforce Issues for the Future” with a cast of thousands testifying. On Wednesday, HELP’s Subcommittee on Children and Families does its “FMLA thing. On Thursday, the Finance Committee ganders at international aspects of carbon cap and trade.

Executive Branch: President Bush will sign H.R. 5140, the economic stimulus bill on Wednesday. At 1:05 p.m. today, President Bush is signing the Economic Report of the President, the annual report by the Council of Economic Advisors. The rest of the week is devoted to Valentine Days stuff and events related to his trip to Africa; he departs Friday for Benin. (More details at Friday’s press gaggle .)

NAM President John Engler is in Pierre, Tuesday and Wednesday to speak with the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It’s pronounced PEER, one syllable, with a dipthong.

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