Dispatch from the Front: The Week of June 21

The first week of summer in Washington, D.C., promises haze, heat and humidity — and that’s the political forecast. In Congress, the air is thick with financial regulatory legislation, tax extenders, the Deepwater Horizon spill, and the anti-speech DISCLOSE Act. It’s enough to make one want to flee to the temperate climes of Ontario, where the G8 and G20 summits take place.

On Tuesday, President Obama meets with health insurers and state insurance commissioners. On Wednesday he meets with Senators to pressure them to enact energy and climate-control legislation this year, otherwise you’ll get the EPA. On Thursday, President Obama welcomes Russian President Medvedev to the White House. The President flies to Muskoka, Ontario on Friday to attend the G-8 summit. (More schedule details here.)

The House convenes at 11 a.m. today for a pro forma session and returns at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday for some suspensions. Major items for possible floor action this week are H.R. 5175, the DISCLOSE Act to regulate the First Amendment,H.R. 4899, the war funding supplemental appropriations, and H.R. 2194, and Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act. See the Majority Leader’s floor schedule.

The Senate convenes at 2 p.m. and debates several U.S. district court nominations. Leadership is still trying to find a way to move the tax extenders/tax increasers bill, H.R. 4213. The Senate may also take up the FAA reauthorization bill, H.R.1586, including a test vote on imposing new union work rules on FedEx.

Conferees resume meeting Tuesday on H.R. 4173, the financial reform bill. For a full list of the week’s committee hearings, see the Daily Digest.

President John Engler of the National Association of Manufacturers participates in a Council on Competitiveness event Wednesday at the National Press Club on competitiveness and a CEO survey.

Senate Hearings: Tuesday — Senate Energy and Natural Resources holds a hearing on S. 3495, Promoting Electric Vehicles Act, with FedEx’s Fred Smith testifying. A subcommittee of Senate Commerce considers innovation. An Environment and Public Works subcommittee conducts oversight of the EPA’s Superfund program. Wednesday – Senate Judiciary holds an oversight hearing on the Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator; witnesses include Barry M. Meyer, CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment. An Appropriations subcommittee holds a hearing on the Minerals Management Service reorganization. Commerce Secretary Locke and U.S. Trade Representative Kirk testify at a Senate Commerce Committee hearings, “The U.S.-China Trade Relationship: Finding a New Path Forward.” Appropriations, the defense subcommittee, examines it bailiwick. Thursday – Energy and Natural Resources holds a hearing on S. 3497, to require OCS energy leases to include the means and timeline for containment and termination of an ongoing discharge of oil, and S. 3431, a bill to improve the administration of the Minerals Management Service. The Senate HELP Committee poses a loaded question,  “Emerging Risk? An Overview of the Federal Investment in For-Profit Education.” Somebody’s unhappy about competition. Senate Commerce, a hearing, “Universal Service: Transforming the High-Cost fund for the Broadband Era.” (Could “transform” possibly mean ” eliminate?” Probably not.) Senate Judiciary marks up bills including S.3466, the Environmental Crimes Enforcement Act. A Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on pipeline safety.

House Hearings: Wednesday – A House Transportation subcommittee holds a hearing, “Understanding FMCSA’s (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) New System of Motor Carrier Oversight.” The full House Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on H.R. 5479, the Coal Accountability and Retired Employee Act. A Science subcommittee holds a hearing on deepwater drilling technology and R&D. House Ed&Labor considers, “Worker Health and Safety from the Oil Rig to the Shoreline,” with OSHA’s David Michaels testifying. Thursday – A Natural Resources subcommittee, “State of Planning for Offshore Energy Development: Standards for Preparedness.” House Agriculture, the farm commodities and risk management subcommittee, holds another hearing on farm safety net programs. A Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing on Electronic Communications Privacy Act reform and location-based technologies and services.  A separate Judiciary subcommittee examines the Civil Division of the Department of Justice.

Executive Branch: Vice President Biden is in Midland, Mich., today for the groundbreaking of a $320 million Dow Kokam factory to produce lithium-ion batteries. The plant, aided by stimulus bill spending, is scheduled to begin production in 2012.

Economic Reports: Existing home sales for May are released Tuesday, and new-home sales come out Wednesday. Wednesday is also the close of the two day of meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee. On Thursday, we learn the durable goods order for May; Friday it’s the GDP revision for the first quarter 2010. More from MarketWatch, and Neil Irwin’s Washington Post summary is always good.

The G8 Muskoka Summit will be held Thursday and Friday, while the Toronto G20 summit is set for Saturday and Sunday. The Toronto gathering will confabulate on the bank tax, capital rules and Chinese currency, and the usual protesters and thugs will attack civil society.

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