Dispatch from the Front: The Week of December 21

By December 21, 2009General

The only game in town, Washington, D.C., this week is the Senate health care debate. And snow removal.

The National Association of Manufacturers is closed today, as are D.C. area offices of the federal government. The NAM will also be closed Thursday and Friday for Christmas.

The Senate convenes at noon today and continues the maneuvering around H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the health care bill. Final vote on passage of the bill and its sugar plums is expected Christmas Eve. NAM President John Engler issued a statement Saturday criticizing the Senate’s advancement of the bill, saying it would add costs to manufacturers while limiting employers’ health care options.

President Obama today deliver remarks at the White House about making governments more efficient and effective. OMB Director Peter Orszag attends.  On Tuesday, the President meets with community bankers. The President and his family are expected to spend Christmas in Hawaii.

Senate Hearings: The Senate Judiciary Committee convenes Dec. 24 for a business meeeting to consider bills, most prominently, S. 1624, Medical Bankruptcy Fairness Act.

Economic Reports: The National Association of Realtors on Tuesday reports existing-home sales for November, and the Commerce Department reports new-home sales on Wednesday. Also Wednesday, Commerce releases November data on personal income and commerce. Finally, on Thursday Commerce releases November durable goods orders. (From Washington Post, “This Week.”) OPEC meets Tuesday in Luanda, Angola.

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