Dispatch from the Front: The Week of October 19

By October 19, 2009General, Labor Unions

A week of closed-door talks among Senate Democrats may set the stage for health care reform legislation. Or not. Next week. Or 2010. Depending on what the House Democrats and Obama Administration say.

It’s a week to watch the Fed. Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke speaks Monday in San Francisco on “Asia and the Global Financial Crisis,” and on Friday he speaks at a Boston conference, “”Financial Regulation and Supervision After the Crisis.” The Beige Book is out Wednesday. The Washington Post has the rundown.

The House convenes at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. On the floor this week are H.R. 3585, the Solar Technology Roadmap Act, and H.R. 3619, the Coast Guard authorization. For the floor schedule, see the Majority Leader’s weekly report.

The Senate convenes at 2 p.m. today and takes up S. 1776, the Medicare Physicians Fairness Act. (For a roundup on this bill, see this Kaiser Health News article.)

For the week’s full committee schedule, see the Daily Digest, starting here.

Senate Hearings: Senate Banking on Tuesday examines the state of the nation’s housing market, with HUD Secretary Donovan testifying.  A Commerce subcommittee on Wednesday holds a hearing, “The Case for Space: Examining the Value.” (Well, that’s oblique.) Energy and Natural Resources on Wednesday considers the effects on consumers of various schemes for allocating greenhouse gas emissions allowances. Finance Committee on Tuesday reviews S. 1631, the Customs Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act. (Details.) The Senate HELP Committee on Wednesday marks up the nominations of NLRB nominees, Craig Becker, Mark Pearce and Brian Hayes; and OSHA nominee David Michaels. HELP Committee on Thursday considers reforming the nation’s food safety system. Homeland Security and Government Security Wednesday holds hearing on H1N1 flu, with Secretaries Sebelius, Napolitano, Duncan testifying. On Thursday the committee mulls policy czars. Judiciary on Wednesday ponders preventing health fraud. The Small Business Committee on Tuesday ruminates on health care solutions for small business.

House Hearings: House Agriculture on Wednesday considers derivatives legislation. An Ag subcommittee, also Wednesday, looks at USDA’s rural business programs. On Thursday, another Ag panel examines the pork industry. On Tuesday, an Energy and Commerce subcommittee considers why health insurance is so expensive for small businesses. On Thursday, the communications subcommittee holds a hearing, “Video Competition in a Digital Age.” A House Judiciary subcommittee examines the state of judicial recusals after Caperton v. A.T. Massey on Tuesday.  On Thursday, a separate subcommittee looks at bankruptcy, antitrust and financial regulation. The Oversight Committee on Thursday asks about Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, “How did a private deal turn into a federal bailout?” It may be a rhetorical question. A Science subcommittee on Wednesday holds a hearing on biomass applications for energy; on Thursday, another subcommittee looks at engineering in K-12 education, and there’s a review of NIST’s cybersecurity activities. Ways & Means Oversight Subcommittee on Thursday reviews the administration of the first-time homebuyer tax credit. The Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee on Thursday holds a hearing, “Building U.S. Resilience to Global Warming Impacts.” (We need a verb: To resilify. As in: “The committee claims to be resilifying the United States, but the proposals seem more deresilifying in nature.”)

Executive Branch: At 10 a.m. this morning Vice President Biden joins Energy Secretary Chu, Labor Secretary Solis, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and SBA Administrator Mills at a news conference at the EEOB to release a report, “Recovery through Retrofit.” It’s about green jobs and the stimulus. (Preview story, and background.)

Economic Reports: Tuesday sees release of the Producer Price index, September housing starts and building permits. On Friday, September existing home sales figures are released. For more, see this AFP story.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • A reader in Norfolk says:

    I stopped by the local Pep Boys the other night. I saw a display of eight four-wheel off-road cycles. All had bold signs on them “NOT FOR SALE”. It makes you wonder if the liability lawyers forced the chain to pull the product. How sad.

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