Dispatch from the Front: The Week of January 3, 2011

The first week of 2011 is a busy and ceremonial one in Washington. President Obama returns from his Hawaii vacation to the White House on Tuesday afternoon. The U.S. Senate and House convene at noon Wednesday for the opening of the 112th Congress.

In the House, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) will be elected Speaker of the House on Wednesday. On Thursday, the House floor session features a reading of the U.S. Constitution. Speculation builds about a House vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the health care law, and extension of the debt ceiling.

In the Senate, the session begins Wednesday with a presentation of the certificates of election and the swearing in of elected members. Morning business follows.

With the arrival of 2011, the National Association of Manufacturers now has a new chairman of the board of directors, Mary Andringa, president and CEO of the Iowa-based Vermeer. She began her two-year term as chairman on Jan. 1, 2011, succeeding Mike Campbell. Doug Oberhelman, CEO of Caterpillar, is the NAM’s new vice chairman.

Executive Branch: The White House and Executive Branch agencies have yet to release public schedules for the week, so we dig for this: The Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future on Thursday tours the Savannah River site for storage of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, and on Friday the Commission holds a public hearing in Augusta, Ga. (Details and news coverage.)

Economic Reports: The Institute for Supply Management today releases its manufacturing report. On Tuesday, the Commerce Department reports on factory orders in November. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announces the employment situation and unemployment rate for December. For more, see The Los Angeles Times, “Slew of economic data due could sway Wall Street.” You know, you can write that same headline nearly every week.

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) starts Thursday in Las Vegas, with manufacturers front and center. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer delivers the pre-show keynote address Wednesday. Other speakers during the week: Verizon’s CEO, Ivan Seidenberg; Robert Stadler, chairman of the board of Audi AG; Boo-Keun Yoon, president of Samsung; Cisco CEO John Chambers; GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt:  Xerox Chairman and CEO Ursula Burns; and Alan Mullaly, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company.

Congratulations to the new governors already sworn into office: Andrew Cuomo of New York, Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Rick Snyder of Michigan. Snyder enjoyed an auspicious beginning:  The Detroit Lions beat the Vikings. Today, Governor Jerry Brown retakes office in California, and Brian Sandoval is sworn in as governor of Nevada. In all, there will be 29 new governors in 2011.

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