Dispatch from the Front: The Week of May 10

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, Wall Street volatility, financial regulation, and the oil spill look will be the foci of the week unless volcanoes erupt in Greece and riots break out in Iceland. A slew of hearings takes place on the Gulf of Mexico oil rig accident and spill.

The Senate convenes at 2 p.m. today and continues consideration of S.3217, the financial regulation bill.

The House convenes at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Usual assortment of suspensions follows. Major item on the floor this week is H.R. 5116, America COMPETES Reauthorization Act. Majority Leader Hoyer last week said the tax extenders might come up, as well.

President Obama today announces his nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. Otherwise, his weekly schedule has him mostly sticking close to the White House, including a meeting and news conference Wednesday with Afghanistan President Karzai. On Thursday, the President travels to Buffalo to talk about the economy before heading to NYC for a party fundraiser.

NAM President John Engler introduces Jim Owens, Caterpillar CEO and chairman, at the Detroit Economic Club Tuesday.

For the full list of committee hearings, go to Friday’s Congressional Daily Digest.

House Hearings: Tuesday — House Financial Services holds a hearing, “TARP Oversight: An Update on Warrant Repurchases and Benefits to Taxpayers.” House Administration holds its second hearing on legislation to limit First Amendment rights, H.R. 5175, the acronymically fiendish Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act.  A Financial Services subcommittee reacts quickly with a hearing, “The Stock Market Plunge: What Happened and What Is Next?Wednesday – An Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on the Deepwater Horizon rig oil spill. The Small Business Committee holds a hearing on broadband. Thursday – House Agriculture talks to economists and academics in advance of the 2012 Farm Bill. An Energy and Commerce subcommittee looks at the Assistance, Quality and Affordability Act, which spells AQUA, sort of, so it’s a drinking water bill. A Natural Resources subcommittee holds a hearing on the BLM’s “Disappearing Helium Program.” Another Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on the National Broadband Plan. Ways and Means, the Select Revenues Measures Subcommittee, holds a hearing on establishing an infrastructure bank. The Commerce subcommittee of Energy and Commerce holds a hearing on online jewelry sales, H.R. 4501, and H.R. 2480, the Truth in Fur Labeling Act. (Net Nutria-lity!) Friday – House Agriculture holds a field hearing in Morrow, Ga., in advance of the 2012 Farm Bill; on Saturday, the committee’s in Troy, Ala.

Senate Hearings: Tuesday — Senate Energy and Natural Resources holds a hearing on offshore oil and gas development, including Interior’s five-year planning announcement, in wake of the Deepwater Horizon accident and spill. Witnesses include Lamar McKay , President and Chairman, BP America, Inc., and Steven Newman, president and CEO of Transocean. Two subcommittees of Senate EPW hold a joint hearing, “EPA’s Role in Protecting Ocean Health.” The Senate Finance Committee holds its third hearing on the President’s proposed tax on financial institutions to repay TARP. The full Senate EPW holds a hearing on the environmental impacts of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, with BP’s McKay and Transocean’s Newman testifying. Wednesday – Senate Homeland Security asks rhetorically, “Iran Sanctions: Why Does the U.S. Government Do Business With Companies Doing Business in Iran?” Appropriations’ Defense Subcommittee looks at USAF’s FY2011 budget estimates. Commerce Committee ponders the future of U.S. human space flight. Thursday – Senate HELP holds a hearing, “Building a Secure Future for Multiemployer Pension Plans.” Senate Finance holds a hearing on nomination of Alan Bersin to be Commissioner of Customs. At 10 a.m., Judiciary marks up nominations, including the controversial Goodwin Liu to be a Ninth Circuit Judge.

Executive Branch: Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan will travel to Nashville and Memphis today to talk about flood recovery. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis address the Conference on the Americas in Washington, Tuesday and Wednesday. Many top foreign ministers are in town, including those of Colombia and Panama. What a propitious moment to submit the respective Free Trade Agreements to Congress.

Economic Reports: Wholesale inventories are due out from Commerce Tuesday morning. Wednesday it’s the March trade balance. On Friday, April retail sales will be released, and industrial production figures are due. For more, see CNNMoney.com’s preview. For more, see Neil Irwin’s Washington Post column.

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