Dispatch from the Front: The Week of October 5

By October 5, 2009General

It’s the first Monday in October, and thus the Supreme Court opens its term with oral arguments. For a review of the pending cases concerning manufacturers see the September issue of “NAM in the Courts.” And here’s AP’s summary of the top cases.

Otherwise, it’s health care and the economy this week, followed by the economy and health care, with a leavening of Afghanistan. The Senate Finance Committee votes out its health care bill, and then the maneuvering really starts. President Obama meets with doctors in the White House today. Judging by the Sunday TV news chat shows, we’ll also hear more about a second round of stimulus, or at least extended unemployment compensation and maybe the housing tax credit.

The Senate convenes at 2 p.m. today.  Circa 4 p.m. it begins consideration of H.R. 2847, Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations, and on Tuesday the Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 3326, the DOD appropriations. Somewhere along the line, there will be a vote to extend unemployment insurance again.

The House convenes at noon Tuesday, for business at 2 p.m., and along with a mess o’ suspensions has a full floor agenda for the week: the conference report on H.R. 2997, the Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA appropriations; H.R. 2442, the Bay Area Regional Water Recycling Program Expansion Act; and possibly conference reports on H.R. 2892, the Department of Homeland Security appropriations; H.R. 2647, the defense authorizations. For more, see the Majority Leader’s weekly report.

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

Senate Hearings:  Senate Banking on Thursday to examine the mortgage market and housing enterprises. On Friday, Banking’s subcommittee on economic policy holds a hearing on restoring credit to manufacturers. On Tuesday, a Commerce subcommittee holds hearings on promoting exports by small and medium-sized businesses. Senate Judiciary on Wednesday, a hearing to examine “workplace fairness,” more specifically, Supreme Court decisions in Circuit City v. Adams, which extended the Federal Arbitration Act to cover employment contracts, and Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., on age discrimination in the workplace. On Thursday, Judiciary takes yet another run at S. 448 and H.R. 985, the federal media shield bills. A Small Business committee on Tuesday ponders the stimulus bill, what works, and what might come next. The full Small Business committee considers health care on Thursday.

House Hearings: A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Wednesday holds a hearing, “Growing U.S. Trade in Green Technology.” Financial Services on Tuesday, a hearing on capital markets regulatory reform. On Wednesday, Financial Services, “Reform of the Over-the-Counter Derivative Market: Limited Risk and Ensuring Fairness.” (The NAM and other business groups last week sent a letter to Congress about OTC derivatives as an important risk-management tool.) On Thursday, a Judiciary subcommittee posits, “Civil Rights Under Fire: Recent Supreme Court Decisions.” A separate Judiciary subcommittee reviews H.R. 3596, the “Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009” A House Science and Technology subcommittee on Thursday holds a hearing on investing in high-risk, high-reward research.

Executive Branch: President Obama visits the National Counterterrorism Center on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the President and First Lady welcome middle schoolers to the White House to promote math and science education. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk this morning holds a news conference at USTR to unveil efforts to boost trade by small- and medium-sized U.S. firms. Post-G7 and other global finance meetings, Treasury Secretary Geithner remains in Istanbul today for a meeting of the Joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee.  (The IMF meets through Wednesday.) Secretary of State Clinton departs Friday for  London, Dublin, Belfast, and Moscow. Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan travel to Chicago this week at the President’s instructions to address youth violence.

Economic Reports: Light week, but not sweetness and light. ISM’s services report comes out today; the government reports on August consumer credit on Wednesday and wholesale inventories Thursday. On Friday, it’s August trade figures.  More from CNN and Dow-Jones, and The Washington Post this morning runs down both Congressional hearings and economic reports.

Leave a Reply