Dispatch from the Front: The Week of January 26

By January 26, 2009General

President Obama undertakes his first full week in office, with economic stimulus legislation front and center and oval. Congress wraps up work on the anti-stimulus Ledbetter bill, while House Leadership plans to pass the purportedly stimulating American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. And bundle up! Al Gore comes to Capitol Hill, just in time for a Washington snowstorm.

The House convenes at 12:30 p.m. today, with business starting at 2 p.m.  The House will accept and pass the Senate version of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (S. 181), and on Wednesday it will debate and presumably pass the $825 billion spending cum stimulus bill. On Thursday and Friday, quiet on the House floor as Republicans hold an Issues Conference — Don’t call it a retreat! For more, see the House Majority Leader’s Weekly Leader.

The Senate convenes at 2 p.m. and is scheduled to vote on the nomination of Timothy Geithner to be Secretary of the Treasury at 4 p.m. Also planned is debate on H.R. 2, the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act. For the full schedule of Senate hearings, go here.

House Hearings: On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee marks up H.R. 200, the “Helping Families Save Their Homes in Bankruptcy Act of 2009.” The House Transportation Committee, subcommittee on highways and transit, on Tuesday holds a hearing, “Energy Reduction and Environmental Sustainability in Surface Transportation.” The subcommittee on railroads, pipelines and hazardous materials, holds a hearing, “Freight and Passenger Rail: Present and Future Roles, Performance, Benefits, and Needs.” Many organizational meetings, and for the House’s full committee schedule, see the Daily Digest.

Senate Hearings: On Tuesday the Senate Judiciary Committee considers Health IT and privacy. Also Tuesday, the Finance Committee marks up the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  On Wednesday, the Budget Committee holds a hearing on the federal response to the housing and financial crisis. Also Wednesday,  Chairman John Kerry’s Foreign Relations Committee welcomes former VP Al Gore to examine global climate change under the rubric, “The Road to Copenhagen.” There’s a road? On Thursday, the HELP Committee ponders, “Crossing the Quality Chasm in Health Reform.

Executive Branch: The White House is still getting up to speed, communicationwise, so all we know that President Obama goes to the Hill Tuesday to meet with Republicans to promote his stimulus plan. On Wednesday, he heads to the Pentagon. The White House has announced Obama’s intention to sign the Ledbetter bill, so that could be the first bill-signing ceremony. Valerie Jarrett, White House economic advisor, spends the week in the Swiss Alps, attending the World Economic Summit in Davos, “Shaping the Post-Crisis World.”

Economic Reports: CNBC reports, “The first look at fourth quarter GDP, which should show a severe contraction; new data on the real estate market, and a two-day Fed meeting are on the agenda in the week ahead, along with earnings from about a quarter of the S&P 500. ”


Leave a Reply