Dispatch from the Front: The Week of April 6

By April 6, 2009General

Congress is on a two-week break from Washington work. Passover starts Wednesday, and the markets are closed on Good Friday. President Obama returns from Europe on Tuesday.

The Senate reconvenes 2 p.m. Monday, April 20th, and debates whether to debate S. 386, Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act. Until then, the Senate is NOT holding any 27-second pro forma sessions to prevent President Obama from making recess appointments.

The House reconvenes at 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 21st.

This morning in Los Angeles, Governors Schwarzenegger of California and Gregoire of Washington host the fifth White House Forum on Health Reform, concluding the series. (That’s an ambitious agenda — reforming health as opposed to just health care.)

During the two-week recess, organized labor is trying to breathe new life into the political campaign for the anti-democratic Employee Free Choice Act.  (See news release from the union alliance, Change to Win.) So if you encounter members of Congress during the break, stress the importance of defeating the jobs-killing legislation. (For more, see Shopfloor.org’s “card check” posts.)

Field Hearings: In Van Nuys, Calif., today, House Foreign Affairs holds a hearing, “Sinking the Copyright Pirates: Global Protection of Intellectual Property.” Steven Soderbergh testifies. (Insert Sex, Lies and Videotape joke here.) At Joshua Tree National Park on Tuesday, a House Natural Resources Committee subcommittee considers, “The Impacts of Climate Change on America’s National Parks.” Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Lieberman, holds a hearing Tuesday in Hartford, “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Making the Economic Stimulus Work for Connecticut.”

Economic Reports: The Federal releases minutes of the March policy meeting on Wednesday, and on Thursday the trade deficit figures for February are released. For more, see this Reuters story. First-quarter earnings reports start coming out this week, starting Tuesday with Alcoa.


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