The Week Ahead: The Week of February 25

By February 25, 2008General

No primary elections this week, but Congress is back in town. The House votes on an energy tax increase and perhaps authority to gather intelligence on foreign terrorists. The Senate re-re-revisits Iraq. The Supreme Court hears oral arguments over Exxon Valdez damages, lo these 19 years later.

This afternoon at the National Press Club, National Association of Manufacturers’ President John Engler speaks at a Health IT Now! news conference urging congressional action on legislation to promote information technology in health care. Speaking are Gov. Chet Culver (D-IA), Gov. Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Gov.Gov. Jim Douglas (R-VT).

The House convenes Monday at 4 p.m. and the major bill on the floor schedule H.R. 5351, the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act, raising taxes on oil and gas production by $18 billion to incentifizicate alternative fuels. Expect a vote Wednesday. Although not on the schedule, anticipate rhetoric on foreign intelligence surveillance and immunity for telecom companies. House schedule here.

The Senate convenes at 3 p.m., hears the reading of Washington’s Farewell Address, and considers S. 1200, the Indian health bill. A housing bill is being described as a second stimulus bill, and there could be several votes on troop deployment in Iraq starting Tuesday. Senate committee hearings here.

House hearings: House Financial Services holds Humphrey-Hawkins hearings (how’s that for nostalgia?) Tuesday and Wednesday on the economy and monetary policy (details); Fed Chairman Bernanke is up Wednesday. Also Wednesday, the telecommunications subcommittee of Energy and Commerce considers legislation called “Wireless Consumer Protection and Community Broadband Empowerment.” On Thursday, there’s a separate subcommittee hearing on S. 742 and draft legislation to ban asbestos. On Friday, there’s a field hearing at Rice University by the Energy and the Environment Subcommittee of Science and Technology, considering Houston and energy. John Hofmeister of Shell is scheduled to testify.

Senate hearings: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources holds a full committee hearing Tuesday on U.S oil inventory policies. Also Tuesday, Senate Finance holds a full committee hearing on the economic and fiscal conditions of the states. Senate Judiciary holds a hearing Wednesday on the False Claims Correction Act (S. 2041). On Thursday, the ag subcommittee of Senate Appropriations holds a hearing on food safety and the recent beef recall. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies Thursday to the Senate Banking Committee on money policy. An Environment and Public Works subcommittee holds a hearing Thursday on NRC oversight of U.S. nuclear plants; Christopher Crane, Exelon’s COO testifies.

Executive Branch: President Bush meets with governors at the White House today. On Wednesday, he visits with the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and the Boston Red Sox, but separately. Friday, it’s a meeting with the Secretary General of NATO, and then off to Crawford with the Prime Minister of Denmark.

Secretary Rice is peregrinating to South Korea, China and Japan; in Seoul today she attends the inaugural ceremonies for President Lee Myung-bak.

Supreme Court: On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments on Exxon Co. v. Baker, determining whether whether $2.5 billion in punitive damages for the Exxon Valdez oil spill is justified. The NAM joined in an amicus brief in the case, and you can read the news release and brief here.

And at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, an event that caught our eye: A conference Wednesday, “Building Blocks: How Schools and Businesses Can Partner to Improve American Education.”

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Craig says:

    Regarding the Exxon Valdez grounding, if you really want to know what happened, I’ll tell you. I was a radio officer on a Texaco tanker when this all happened. Here’s the story about what happened on the bridge and also some of the Exxon decisions that lead up to it IMHO. It opens very fast, and it will only take about 3 minutes to read:

    http://home.earthlink.net/~craigcoffaro/Exxon.htm
    2/25/2008 7:03:22 PM

Leave a Reply