The Week Ahead: The Week of April 21

By April 21, 2008General

The President and cabinet members are in New Orleans at the North American Leaders’ Summit, meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calder. (AP story), another opportunity to make the case for the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. The Democratic primaries wrap up — hah, just kidding — when Pennsylvania voters go to the polls Tuesday. And in Congress, is there a farm bill yet? Probably not, but conferees meet again.

The House is out today, observing Passover. The House suspends things Tuesday and Wednesday, and then considers H.R. 5819, to improve improve the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. The week’s floor schedule is here.

The Senate convenes at 3 p.m. today. At noon Tuesday there’s a motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 1315, the Disabled Veterans Act. Later in the week there should be a vote on cloture on S. 2831, the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, another word for eliminating all statutes of limitation on employment discrimination lawsuits — an invitation to endless, abusive litigation.

For the week’s committee hearings, go to Friday’s Daily Digest from the Congressional Record.

House hearings: The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Thursday holds a hearing on the EPA’s new ozone standards. The oversight subcommittee of Energy and Commerce considers FDA inspection of foreign drugs. On Wednesday, a Transportation subcommittee considers rail capacity. And on Wednesday, deja vu again at the House Committee on Energy Independence: `”Pumping up Prices: The Strategic Petroleum Reserve and Record Gas Prices.’

Senate hearings: On Tuesday, the Commerce Committee examines the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, focusing on a recent report on moving passengers and freight into the future. (Secret government “time travel” project revealed. Details.) Earlier in the day, the committee considers the future of the Internet. The HELP Committee holds a hearing Thursday on “restoring” the FDA. Also Thursday, a Homeland Security subcommittee considers “Reforming Export Licensing Agencies for National Security and Economic Interests.” Senate Finance considers the tax aspects of cap and trade Thursday.

Executive Branch: As noted above, it’s a tripartite summit in New Orleans on Monday and Tuesday. Also in Louisiana today is Energy Secretary Sam Bodman, attending the opening of the Cheniere Energy Sabine Pass Liquefied Natural Gas Regasification terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana – the first domestic onshore regasification terminal to be built in more than 25 years. Vice President Cheney speaks at 10 a.m. at the Manhattan Institute on Colombia.

And it’s Small Business Week, with many events. Nice punctuation for SBA Administrator Steve Preston, nominated last week to be HUD Secretary.

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