Dispatch from the Front: The Week of August 10

By August 10, 2009Economy, Energy, General

Congress is gone, the President travels, Washington goes quiet as the heat descends, and townhall protests are this year’s media pick to fill the August news vacuum.

The Senate holds a pro forma session today and then returns on Tuesday, September 8. The House also returns Sept. 8.

Members of Congress head overseas this month, and Foreign Policy has the itineraries of the Congressional delegations, i.e., CODELs.

President Obama returns this evening from Guadalajara, where topics included swine flu, Mexican trucks and “Buy American” provisions. Tuesday he travels to Portsmouth, N.H., for a town hall meeting on “health insurance reform.” (Not “health care reform.” The preferred terminology is changing…) Wednesday morning, the President welcomes new Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor to the White House. That afternoon, he holds the Medal of Freedom ceremony. (Recipients.) On Friday, he and the First Family travel to Bozeman, and visit Yellowstone and Grand Junction, Colo., Saturday. On Sunday, it’s the Grand Canyon and Phoenix, where he will address the VFW’s annual convention.

CPSC: On Thursday, the new product tracking labels requirements imposed by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act go into effect.

Economic Reports: Second-quarter productivity figures are released Tuesday, and the June report on the U.S. trade deficit is out Wednesday. On Thursday, the government reports July retail sales. Friday it’s the CPI report along with July industrial production. (More from CNNMoney.com.)

The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee convenes Tuesday and Wednesday, and is expected to maintain interest rates. Reuters: “Policy-makers are also likely to allow a controversial scheme to buy $300 billion of longer-dated Treasuries to end on schedule in September. But they may discuss extending a separate program to support the flow of credit to consumers and business, with an eye on propping up commercial real estate.”

And today Senate Majority Leader Reid and the Center for American Progress Action Fund sponsor the National Clean Energy Summit at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. Energy Secretary Chu is on hand, and the Summit reports, “This year’s summit will bring together the nation’s top minds including former President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, energy executive T. Boone Pickens, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, White House Council on Environmental Quality Special Advisor Van Jones, Nevada State AFL-CIO executive Danny Thompson.” Check out the Center’s website for a better sense of its “progressive” agenda for the U.S. economy. Clean energy is just a piece.

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