Congress was supposed to wrap up business this week, but it’s hard to see how you can address the financial crisis, pass a continuing resolution, dispose of a second economic stimulus bill, and deal with tax and energy legislation in the space of four or five days. In any case, a heavy week, topped off with the presidential debate on foreign policy Friday in Oxford, Miss. President Bush heads to New York City to address the United Nations on Tuesday, but Wall Street’s the real hot spot in NYC.
The House convenes at 10:30 a.m. today, legislative business starts at noon, and votes start at 6:30 p.m. Sixty-nine bills on the suspension calendar today and Tuesday (two named after the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones). On tap, the Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2008; H.R. 2095, Federal Railroad Safety Improvement Act of 2007 bill; the Integrated Deepwater Program Reform Act; and the Hazardous Materials Transportation Reauthorization Act.
Essential action is the continuing resolution and legislation addressing the financial turmoil (Treasury’s language here.) The floor schedule for the week is available from the House Majority Leader here.
The Senate convenes at 3 p.m. today, with debate to begin Tuesday on H.R. 6409, the tax extenders bill. For the consent agreement outlining the acceptable amendments, scroll down in the Daily Digest. Action on continuing resolution and the legislative response to the financial crisis are priorities, otherwise. (Senator Reid’s comments on the schedule.)
House hearings: House Education and Labor’s Workforce Protections Subcommittee holds a hearing Tuesday, “Child Labor Enforcement: Are We Adequately Protecting Our Children.” Also Tuesday, Ways & Means’ Health Subcommittee examines “The Health of the Private Health Insurance Market.” An Energy & Commerce subcommittee on Wednesday examines hazardous substance releases and reporting. (Details.) House Financial Services examines the market crisis on Wednesday, hearing from Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed Chairman Bernanke. The two are back with the committee on Thursday, along with the FHFA Director Lockhart, for an oversight hearing on Treasury and FHFA’s actions regarding the housing GSEs. On Wednesday, a Small Business subcommittee hearing on recovery from the Midwestern disasters of 2008. (Think floods.) On Thursday, the full Education and Labor Committee considers, “Safeguarding Retiree Health Benefits.”
Senate hearings: Senate Banking holds a full committee hearing Tuesday, “Turmoil in US Credit Markets: Recent Actions Regarding Investment Banks and Other Financial Institutions.” Paulson, Bernanke, Cox and Lockhart to testify. The Commerce Committee on Tuesday, a hearing on the transition to digital television. FCC Chairman Martin to testify. Also Tuesday, the full Energy and Natural Resources Committee considers diesel fuel prices. The full Environment and Public Works Committee on Tuesday holds a hearing, “Regulation of Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act.” It’s a big week for EPW’s bully pulpit: On Wednesday, “Bush Administration Environmental Record at Department of Interior and Environmental Protection Agency”; on Thursday, an oversight hearing, “EPA’s Cleanup of the Superfund Site in Libby, Montana.” The full Finance Committee on Tuesday, “Covering the Uninsured: Making Health Insurance Markets Work.” On Wednesday, Finance considers “Infrastructure Needs, and the Consequences of Inaction.” On Tuesday, the HELP Committee’s employment and workplace subcommittee on Tuesday looks at “Investing in a Skilled Workforce: Making the Best Use of Tax-Payer Dollars to Maximize Results.” Senate Judiciary on Tuesday holds a hearing, “Barriers to Justice: Examining Equal Pay for Equal Work.” Lilly Ledbetter testifies. Judiciary’s human rights and the law subcommittee on Wednesday meets on “Extracting Natural Resources: Corporate Responsibility and the Rule of Law.” On Wednesday, a Commerce subcommittee reviews “The Imbalance in U.S.-Korea Automobile Trade.”
Executive branch: The President is in New York City on Tuesday and Wednesday for United Nations-related events. (Director Hadley’s briefing on the trip here.) On Tuesday, he meets with the new president of Pakistan then speaks to the General Assembly; on Wednesday, he holds a meeting with Western Hemispheric leaders on trade. Back at the White House Thursday, President Bush meets with the president of Lebanon, the head of the Palestinian authority, and the Prime Minister of India. Separately. These are all separate meetings. On Friday, he meets with the president of Afghanistan.
Commerce Secretary Gutierrez speaks today at the CEO Innovation Forum at Carnegie-Mellon in Pittsburgh, with energy the topic. On Tuesday, Labor Secretary Chao is in New York to speak at a US-China Business Council Luncheon. Treasury Secretary Paulson is on the Hill several times; for Treasury’s public schedule, go here.
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