The Week Ahead: The Week of September 15

By September 15, 2008Energy, Trade

Energy legislation comes to a head, again, this week. (A wellhead? We can hope.) House leadership is scheduling the Democratic bill, the Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act, for a vote as early as Tuesday. Senate votes on various alternatives are also expected. A continuing point of dispute: Offshore drilling. (Washington Post story.) Committees are busy, quite busy, with hearings.

The weekend’s financial news — Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy filing, Bank of America buying Merril Lynch, etc. — will obviously prompt a political reaction. The Washington Post’s lead story this morning proclaimed, “The U.S. financial system this weekend faced its gravest crisis in modern times…”

NAM President and CEO John Engler participates in an Aspen Institute education summit in Washington today, coinciding with news about modest improvements in education scores. Thursday morning he joins a panel discussion in Orlando at the Health Care at Risk conference.

The House convenes at 12:30 p.m. with legislative business to start at 2 p.m. Forty-three bills are on the week’s suspension calendar (RIP, Isaac Hayes), including S. 3406, the ADA Amendments Act, bipartisan legislation supported by the NAM. (ManuFacts summary.) Another high-profile bill, along with the energy measures, is H.R. 6691, lifting most restrictions on gun ownership in D.C., a reaction to the Heller decision. From the Majority Leader’s office, the floor schedule for the week. From the Congressional Record, the committee hearing schedule.

The Senate convenes at 3 p.m. and takes up consideration of S. 3001, the Defense Authorization Act, with a cloture vote planned for Tuesday. Once the DOD bill is done, look for a series of votes on energy proposals. (CQ Politics story.) For more, including the Senate hearing schedule, go to the Daily Digest.

House hearings: An Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing Tuesday on the status of the DTV transition. Separate E&C subcommittees on Thursday hold hearings, “America’s Need for Health Reform” and “Science Under Siege: Scientific Integrity at the EPA.” (Details. ) A Homeland Security subcommittee on Tuesday considers, “Cybersecurity, Recommendations for the Next Administration.” On Wednesday, another subcommittee considers the identification credentials for transportation workers. An Education and Labor subcommittee holds a hearing Wednesday, “Secret Rule: Impact of the Department of Labor’s Worker Health Risk Assessment Proposal.” On Thursday, salaciousness meets oversight meets politics at a House Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, “Recent Interior Department Inspector General Investigations on Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Collections.” House Small Business on Thursday a hearing, “Making Health Care Reform Work for Small Business.” A Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee hearing on Thursday, “Transportation Planning”; a separate subcommittee considers “Emerging Contaminants in U.S. Waters.” Details. On Thursday, the full Ways & Means Committee considers “Policy Options to Prevent Climate Change.” Details.

Senate hearings:  Senate Banking has a newsy review Tuesday of regulatory activities on the housing GSEs. On Thursday, a Banking subcommittee holds on a hearing, “Transparency in Accounting: Proposed Changes to Accounting for Off-Balance Sheet Entities.” The full Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday holds a hearing, “Why Broadband Matters.” The full Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday reviews vehicles powered by the electrical grid; also on Tuesday the energy subcommittee takes testimony on speculative investment in the energy markets. Environment and Public Works on Tuesday, “Oversight Hearing on EPA’s Children’s Health Protection Efforts. On Wednesday, the Special Committee on Aging holds a hearing to examine direct-to-consumer medical device advertising, focusing on marketing and medicine.

Executive Branch: President Bush spends today with the President Kufuor of Ghana (repaying the hospitality from February). Tuesday he travels to Texas to assess the Hurricane Ike damage. On Wednesday, the President has a White House meeting with the President of Panama, Martin Torrijos. On Monday, Commerce Secretary Gutierrez and U.S. Trade Rep. Susan Schwab tour the Port of Los Angeles. On Tuesday, they participate in a meeting of the U.S.–China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade; Vice Premier Wang Qishan represents China. Also Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Paulson testifies before the Senate Banking Committee on Freddie and Fannie; later that day he speaks at the Brookings Institution on housing and the economy. (Treasury’s schedule.) On Wednesday, HUD Secretary Preston speaks at the Exchequer Club on the housing market.

Economic Reports: Key economic data due this week are August’s CPI on Tuesday and housing starts on Wednesday. More details from Reuters.

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