Dispatch from the Front: The Week of November 9

By November 9, 2009General

The House is out during this holiday-shortened workweek, while the Senate is in session today and Tuesday. Wednesday is Veterans Day, and the NAM will be closed.

President Obama meets with Israeli PM Netanyahu at the White House tonight, and on Tuesday attends at the memorial ceremony for those murdered at Fort Hood. On Thursday he departs for Japan, stopping at Elmendorf AFB, and arriving in Tokyo Friday. On Saturday, President Obama travels to Singapore for the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation. (Schedule of Asia trip.)

Today is the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Secretary of State Clinton represents the United States in Berlin.

NAM President John Engler speaks in Atlanta today at the annual convention and trade show of the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association. In Indianapolis Wednesday, Engler addresses the Japan-America Society of Indiana’s annual dinner.

The Senate convenes at 2 p.m. today and resumes consideration of H.R.3082, the Military Construction and VA appropriations. For more, see the Senate Calendar.

The House schedule of committee hearings is brief, indeed. For a full list of the Senate hearings, see the Congressional Record, Page D1306.

House Hearings: A House Ed&Labor subcommittee holds a field hearing Friday in Marin County, “The Impact of Women’s Growing Participation in the Workforce: ‘the Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything’.” On Saturday in Bellingham, Wash., the House Homeland Security Committee considers “U.S. Security and Preparedness for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.”

Senate Hearings:   An Environment and Public Works subcommittee today holds a hearing on bills to amend federal water pollution laws to further control the Chesapeake Bay (S. 1816) and the Gulf of Mexico (S. 1311). The following committee hearings are on Tuesday: The Budget Committee delves into “bipartisan process proposals for long-term fiscal stability.” Energy and Natural Resources examines policy options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. (Details.) The Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing, “Climate Change Legislation: Considerations for Future Jobs“; among the witnesses is Margo Thorning of ACCF, which joined the NAM in commissioning the study of Waxman-Markey.  Senate Foreign Relations reviews a raft of tax treaties. A HELP subcommittee holds a hearing, “The Cost of Being Sick: H1N1 and Paid Sick Days.”

Executive Branch: Representing the Obama Administration at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Singapore are Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. (NPR story.) Secretary Clinton later travels to Manila.

Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar is in Bismarck today, participating in the Great Plains Energy Expo and Showcase organized by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND). We look forward to the speech of Harold Hamm of Continental Resources, Inc., who says, “It would probably be a revelation to a whole lot of people that we can still find oil at home.” And more to come, if the right policies are put in place.

Judicial Branch: The U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments today on Bilski v. Kappos on the patentability of business processes. See Legal Beagle entry for description. Also before the Supreme Court this week is a challenge to Tuesday’s scheduled execution of the D.C. sniper, John Allen Muhammad.

Economic Reports: It’s a big week for trade numbers. CNNMoney.com reports that on Friday, the September trade balance is due out before start of trading. Government readings on October import and export prices are also due in the morning. See also Washington Post, “Twin deficits will help gauge economic health.”

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