Dispatch from the Front: The Week of October 12

By October 12, 2009General

Today is Columbus Day, a federal holiday. The NAM is closed, and Congress is not in session. We’ll carry on, despite it all. Avanti!

Health care should again dominate the week politically, with the Senate Finance Committee expected on Tuesday to vote out the legislation to expand federal control and taxation of insurance, business and health care.

President Obama travels to New Orleans on Thursday for a “town hall” event. Officials are protesting the brief time he will spend in the city.

The House convenes at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, for legislative business at 2 p.m., and suspends the rules to pass miscellany. (Including a resolution to encourage children to study Christopher Columbus.) As the week goes on: H.R. 2442, the Bay Area Regional Water Recycling Program Expansion; the conference report on H.R. 2892, the Department of Homeland Security appropriations; and H.R. 2996, the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations. For the full week, seek the Majority Leader’s schedule.

The Senate convenes at 2 p.m. Tuesday and moves on to H.R.2847, the Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations. Following that, the debate will resume on the conference report for H.R. 3183, Energy and Water Development appropriations. Once the Senate Finance Committee votes out the health care bill, looks to be Tuesday, more healthy speculation will ensue.

For a full list of committee hearings, see the latest Daily Digest starting here.

Senate Hearings: A Banking subcommittee on Wednesday examines the state of the banking industry; regulators testify. The full Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday holds a hearing on the energy and economic effects of climate change legislation.  The HELP Committee on Thursdays posits equal health care for equal premiums, focusing on women. On Wednesday, Homeland Security and Government Affairs examines the past, present, and future of policy czars. (The first czar, by the way, was Simeon I of Bulgaria. The confirmation hearings were contentious.) The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday considers price fixing and other anticompetitive conduct in the health insurance industry. On Thursday, Judiciary may attempt to markup S. 448 and H.R. 985, the federal media shield, but they’ve been saying that for months. Small Business on Thursday will hold a hearing on health care.

House Hearings: House Financial Services on Wednesday marks up the Over-the-Counter Derivatives Markets Act; H.R. 3126, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act, and other bills. (Details.) A House Transportation subcommittee on Wednesday holds a hearing on high-speed rail; the full committee on Thursday considers the history of the Clean Water Act. An Armed Services Committee subcommittee on Thursday asks, perhaps rhetorically, “Can the Defense Department Protect Taxpayers When It Pays Its Contractors?” House Judiciary holds a hearing Thursday, “Ramifications of Auto Industry Bankruptcies, Part IV.” House Small Business on Wednesday holds a hearing, “Increasing Access to Capital for Small Businesses.” On Thursday, the Select Committee on Energy Independence, etc., paints with a broad brush at a hearing, “Fraudulent Letters Opposing Clean Energy Legislation.”

Executive Branch: Energy Secretary Chu is in London today and Tuesday at the multisyllabic Carbon Sequestration Leadership Stakeholder Forum; on Wednesday he’s in Paris at the International Energy Agency Governing Board Meeting. (Details.) Transportation Secretary LaHood joins Sen. Carl Levin in Detroit today to tout federal spending on the city’s passenger terminal and public dock, meant to attract cruise ships.  Secretary of State Clinton travels from Belfast to Moscow and back to D.C. Economic Adviser Christina Romer speaks to business economists in St. Louis on Tuesday.

Economic Reports: The Department of Commerce releases September retail sales figures on Wednesday. Projection: Not good. Labor releases the consumer price index on Thursday. The Philadelphia Fed issues the business outlook, with manufacturing data, on Thursday. Industrial production Firday. More details from Bloomberg and The Washington Post.

Leave a Reply