Dispatch from the Front: The Week of November 2

By November 2, 2009General, Labor Unions

After a cool, rainy weekend, high pressure builds over Washington. And that’s the political forecast! The Senate debates extending key tax provisions as part of the unemployment extension bill, while the Environmental and Public Works Committee begins mark-up Tuesday of  the bill to expand government control of carbon dioxide. On Thursday, the House is expected to start floor debate on H.R. 3962, leadership’s bill to expand government control of health care.

Virginia and New Jersey elect governors Tuesday, NYC elects a mayor, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court race has big implications for the state’s business climate.

The House convenes at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. for business, and rummages through the consent calendar for 30 items to please constituents. Major legislation on the floor this week is H.R. 3639, Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act; H.R. 2868, Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act; and H.R. 3962, Affordable Health Care for America. For the full floor schedule, see the Majority Leader’s week ahead.

The Senate convenes at 2 p.m. and resumes consideration of H.R. 3548, Unemployment Compensation Extension Act, with a 5 p.m. cloture vote on the Baucus/Reid substitute, Amendment 2712, which also extends the home buyer tax credit and NOL carry-back. (WSJ article on the tax deal.) For more, see the Senate Calendar.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, noting the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

NAM Executive Vice President Jay Timmons testifies Wednesday at a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee meeting, “Protecting Intellectual Property Rights in a Global Economy: Current Trends and Future Challenges.” For full listing of committee hearings, see the Daily Digest.

NAM President John Engler speaks Friday in Louisville at the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers’ Manufacturer/Employee of the Year Awards.

House Hearings: Two House Energy and Commerce subcommittees holds a hearing Tuesday, “Driven To Distraction: Technological Devices and Vehicles Safety.” Two other subcommittees hold a hearing Wednesday on H1N1 vaccine production and distribution. Financial Services on Tuesday continues considering Investor Protection Act, H.R. 3817. House Foreign Affairs on Wednesday contemplates successors to the Kyoto Protocol. Two Natural Resources subcommittees hold a joint hearing, “Getting Past Gridlock: Models for Renewable Energy Siting and Transmission.” A Science subcommittee Wednesday marks up the Cybersecurity Coordination and Awareness Act. The full committee on Thursday reviews the possibility of geoengineering as large-scale climate intervention The Small Business Committee on Wednesday ponders the estate tax, small firms and family farmers. A Transportation subcommittee on Wednesday looks at the Recovery Act and water resources infrastructure. A Ways & Means subcommittee on Thursday holds a hearing on foreign bank account reporting and tax compliance. (Details)

Senate Hearings: Senate EPW on Tuesday begins the mark up of S. 1733, the Kerry-Boxer climate bill. Senate HELP Committee on Tuesday examines health costs facing small business (Chairman Harkin news release). The Finance Committee on Wednesday holds confirmation hearings on several USTR nominees. On Thursday, HELP considers the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression. Homeland Security Committee on Thursday looks at business formation and financial crime. The Senate Judiciary Committee marks up numerous bills Thursday, including – they’re finally, really getting to it! – S. 448 and H.R. 985, the federal media shield bill. Also two identify-theft bills, S. 1490 and S. 139, to require persons engaged in interstate commerce to report breaches of data with personal information; and S. 1147, to prevent tobacco smuggling by expanding federal regulation even more. Of tobacco, that is.

Executive Branch:President Obama today attends the second quarterly meeting of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. On Tuesday he meets German Chancellor Merkel and, later, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the White House.  In the afternoon the President will participate in the U.S.-European Union Summit with the Prime Minister of Sweden, Frederik Reinfeldt, President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, and the European Council High Representative Javier Solana. (Bloomberg.) Wednesday he travels to Madison, Wisc., for an education event. Thursday he hosts the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Interior Department; in the afternoon he meets newly inaugurated President Ian Khama of Botswana. Pula!

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar today hosts the Clean Energy Ecnonomy Forum today at the EEOB. (Meanwhile, in Denver, it’s the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) 22nd Industry Growth Forum.)

Economic Reports: The big report this week is the October employment report to be released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Washington Post reports on the meeting of the Federal Reserve’s rate-setting body on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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