The Week Ahead: The Week of February 18

By February 18, 2008General

Happy Presidents’ Day! Especially you, William Henry Harrison, the forgotten February-born president. How soon you were gone.

The federal holiday means Congress is (mostly) on recess this week and President Bush is touring Africa. The Supreme Court begins two weeks of hearing oral arguments on Tuesday. (Schedule here.) The Wisconsin presidential primary is Tuesday. (And Hawaii.)

Congress: The Senate holds yet another President-appointment-thwarting pro forma session on Tuesday. A few field hearings are on tap. In New Orleans, the Senate Small Business committee will hold a hearing in New Orleans, “Rebuilding the Gulf Coast: Small Business Recovery in South Louisiana.” Sens. Landrieu and Vitter are both on the committee. Up in Miami, Okla., the House Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on Oklahoma Indian issues, regulations concerning economic development. List of Senate hearings is here.

Executive Branch: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is also in Africa, traveling to Tanzania, Rwanda and Ghana. And we’ll dig deeper into the cabinet agency schedules to pull up this event, today in Washington: “Department of Energy (DOE) Director of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Ward Sproat will deliver remarks on the Yucca Mountain Project during the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissions Annual Winter Meeting.”

Economic Data: Consumer prices are released Wednesday. CNBC says watch for the Fed’s reaction to any data indicating inflation.

Supreme Court: You want to delve into the details of electricity regulation, pay attention to Tuesday’s oral arguments in Morgan Stanley Capital Group v. Public Utility and American Electric Power Service Corp. v. Public Utility District 1. (That’s Snohomish County, Wash.) As the ScotusWiki explains, the cases grew out of the 2000-2001 western energy crisis. “In each case, a purchaser of wholesale electric energy filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “the Commission”) seeking reformation of a long term contract with a market based rate that was entered into during the western energy crisis.” You don’t want to delve? We understand.

And Canada’s foreign minister, Maxime Bernier, is in Colombia this week, forging trade and economic ties. Seems far-sighted.

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