Dispatch from the Front: The Week of September 28

By September 28, 2009Economy, General

Foreign policy seems likely to dominate President Obama’s schedule this week: Iran, Afghanistan, and China marks the 60th anniversary of one-party Communist rule. Health care dominates Congress, although there is the little matter of the continuing resolution to keep the federal government open. The bill is in the Senate.

The House convenes at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday with 28 bills on the suspension calendar. Congratulations to Hillerich & Bradsby Co. on the 125th anniversary of the Louisville Slugger. The major floor debate of the week will be on the conference Report on H.R. 3183, the Energy and Water Development appropriations. For more, see the Majority Leader’s week ahead.

The Senate convenes at 11:30 a.m. today and marches forward with debate on H.R. 3326, the Defense appropriations bill. The Senate Finance Committee continues its mark up of health care legislation on Tuesday.

For a full list of committee hearings for the week, see the Congressional Digest here.

And here in Washington, The NAM and Department of Commerce cosponsor the U.S.-China High Technology Working Group Public-Private Sector Dialogue on Tuesday. NAM President John Engler speaks.

Senate Committees: Senate Homeland Security on Tuesday holds a hearing on federal contracting databases. Senate Small Business, a hearing Tuesday on health care. The full Judiciary Committee on Wednesday holds a hearing, “Advancing Freedom of Information in the New Era of Responsibility. (As opposed to the Old Era of Irresponsibility.) Senate Agriculture considers nominations of Bartholomew Chilton, Jill Sommers and Scott O’Malia to the CFTC.  Among many nominees the Senate HELP Committee considers Wednesday is George Cohen to head the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.  A Senate Banking Committee Wednesday considers international financial regulation. On Thursday, Small Business looks at the reauthorization of SBA finance programs. Senate Judiciary tries yet again to markup the federal media shield bill,  among other things. Senate Energy and Natural Resources on Thursday morning, a full committee hearing on energy and global climate change legislation. An Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee later that day, managing federal forests in response to climate change.

House Committees: House Transportation subcommittee on Tuesday, a hearing on “Katrina Infrastructure Logjam.” An Agriculture subcommittee on Wednesday, a hearing on the research title of the 2008 Farm Bill. House Science on Wednesday marks up bills including H.R.3585, the Solar Technology Roadmap Act, and H.R.3598, the Energy and Water Research Integration Act. The full Financial Services Committee Wednesday, “Perspectives on the Consumer Financial Protection Agency“; a subcommittee Wednesday, “Reforming Credit Rating Agencies; on Thursday, full committee, “Federal Reserve Perspectives on Financial Regulatory Reform Proposals.” House Small Business subcommittee hearing on Wednesday on expiring tax incentives.  House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, more on credit rating agencies. House Transportation on Thursday, a full committee hearing on stimulus infrastructure spending. Ed&Labor, a hearing Thursday, “Ensuring Economic Opportunities for Young Americans. An Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing Thursday on H.R. 3258, The Drinking Water System Security Act,  and H.R. 2868, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act.

Executive Branch: The Rural Tour hits Gering, Neb., today with Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE). Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is in Chile, leading a U.S. delegation to the Americas Competitiveness Forum. (Gracias for eschewing the overused “summit.”)

Economic Reports: The big report of the week will be Friday’s BLS release of the September unemployment figures. Prediction: It will be sold as good news when joblessness comes in under 10 percent. More, from Reuters: “Final second-quarter GDP data also is on tap for Wednesday, and investors will be anxious to see if the report shows any downward changes from the prior estimate of a 1.0 percent contraction….Also expected next week are data on home prices from S&P/Case-Shiller, consumer confidence from the Conference Board and factory activity from the Institute for Supply Management.”

Finally, pre-Copenhagen United Nations climate talks begin in Bangkok. (This is an atmospheric video.) And speaking of Copenhagen, the International Olympic Committee votes there Saturday on the host city for the 2016 Summer Games. Speculation abounds about President Obama traveling there to tout Chicago. First Lady Michelle Obama, White House factotums and Mayor Daley are there. Will the City of Broad Shoulders Become the City of Broad Jumpers?

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