Dispatch from the Front: The Week of September 21

By September 21, 2009General

It’s the season for health care in Washington, United Nations confabulation in NYC, G20 palavering in Pittsburgh, and the autumn equinox in the Northern Hemisphere.

President Obama spends time in NYC this week, ubiquitizing with David Letterman tonight and then participating in UN-related activities. Tuesday he delivers remarks at the Secretary General’s parley on climate change. Also Tuesday meets with leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, hosts a lunch for leaders from sub-Saharan Africa, meets with Chinese President Hu Jintao, and attends a climate change dinner. (On the menu: gazpacho and guilt.) Wednesday he confers with Prime Minister Hatayoma of Japan, and then delivers his first speech to the UN General Assembly. (For more, see UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s briefing.)

The G20 meets at the Pittsburgh Summit Thursday and Friday, with President Obama hosting the gathering of government leaders. Activists also gather. Get there early to attend the G-20 Beer Summit!

The House convenes for a pro forma session today and on Tuesday at 2 p.m. for business. Included in the 28 items on the suspension calendar are H.R. 3548, to extend unemployment compensation for states hit hardest by the recession; separate temporary extension of the FAA and highway reauthorizations. And, as the fiscal year nears an end, the House will consider a continuing appropriations resolution. For the week’s floor schedule, see the Majority Leader’s report.

The Senate convenes at 2 p.m. today and continues debate on H.R.2996, the Interior Appropriations bill. The Finance Committee’s mark up of Senator Baucus’ so far unipartisan health care bill starts Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Senate Hearings: The Senate Homeland Security Committee holds a full committee hearing Wednesday, “Defense Contract Audit Agency: Who is Responsible for Reform?” Senate Commerce on Wednesday holds confirmation hearings for Anne Ferro to head the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; and Cynthia Quarterman to head DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Senate Banking on Thursday, a hearing, “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act: One Year Later.” Also, “Securitization of Assets: Problems and Solutions.” Senate Judiciary on Thursday marks up (yet again) S. 448 and H.R. 985, the federal media shield bills; S. 369, the Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act; and S. 1670, the Satellite TV Modernization Act.

Witness(es): TBA

Location: 538 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Contact: 202-224-7391 http://banking.senate.gov

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Witness(es): TBA

Location: 342 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Contact: 202-224-2627 http://www.hsgac.senate.gov

Add to my calendar

House Hearings: House Agriculture on Tuesday holds a full committee hearing on regulation of over-the-counter derivatives. On Wednesday, Education and Labor holds a hearing on H.R.3017, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, to prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. (Bill details.)   Also Wednesday, a Science subcommittee considers cybersecurity R&D legislation; on Thursday, a separate subcommittee considers R&D of biologic drugs. A Judiciary subcommittee on Wednesday, a hearing, “Expansion of Top Level Domains and its Effects on Competition.” House Small Business Wednesday, a hearing on financial regulatory restructuring. Financial Services on Wednesday holds a hearing on financial regulatory reform proposals; Secretary Geithner testifies.  On Thursday, the committee considers experts’ views on system risk and resolution. On Thursday, an Armed Services subcommittee reviews DOD supply chain management.

Executive Branch: FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski proposes a new net neutrality rule today at a speech at the Brookings Institute. (Details.) Energy Secretary Chu speaks this morning at the GridWeek 2009 Conference in D.C.  National Journal reports that Commerce Secretary Gary Locke meets this afternoon at the Pentagon with Defense Secretary Gates on export controls, visas.

Economic Reports: The Conference Board releases its leading indicators for August this morning. On Wednesday, the Realtors release existing home sales for August. On Friday, Commerce releases durable goods and new home sales for August. (AP’s week, and Dow-Jones.) The Federal Open Market Committee meets Tuesday and Wednesday, releasing its statement on the economy on Wednesday.

Also, today is the deadline for submitting comments to the Minerals Management Service on its proposed five-year management plan for Outer Continental Shelf oil and natural gas development. The NAM has an online form that makes commenting easy.

Germany holds its federal elections Sunday, with the question being whether Angela Merkel’s CDU wins by enough to form a tax-cutting center-right coalition with the FDP.


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