Dispatch from the Front: The Week of February 7, 2011

Issues involving competitiveness, business and regulations will get a good airing this week, but Egypt will continue to lead the news — unless more unrest breaks out elsewhere, sweeping across the Middle East and further demonstrating the imperative of developing U.S. domestic oil, gas and other energy supplies.

Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM),  testifies Thursday at a House Oversight Committee hearing on regulatory impediments to job creation. Also Thursday, NAM Board Member Richard Gimmel, president of Atlas Machine & Supply, testifies before a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing, “Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011” – Unleashing Small Businesses to Create Jobs.”

President Obama speaks at the U.S Chamber of Commerce this morning and then lunches with Paul Volcker. On Thursday, he travels to Marquette, Mich., to promote the expansion of federally subsidized broadband access and the National Wireless Initiative. More on the weekly schedule.

The Senate convenes at 2 p.m. today and continues consideration of the FAA authorization, S. 223. Two votes on confirming U.S. District Court nominees are also scheduled.

The House convenes at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Major items on the suspension calendar are H.R. 514, extending expiring provisions of USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform of Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 relating to access to business records; and to extend trade adjustment assistance and the Andean Trade Preference Act. On Thursday, the House considers the resolution requiring standing committees to review executive branch regulations, past, present and future. The week’s schedule is here.

House Hearings: Tuesday — A Transportation subcommittee hears testimony from FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. House Rules considers a resolution to direct committees to review federal regulations, jobs and growth. Wednesday: A House Financial Services subcommittee asks obliquely, “Can Monetary Policy Really Create Jobs?” House Budget holds a hearing on the U.S. economy, with Fed Chairman Bernanke testifying. The full Ed & Workforce Committee reviews the health care law’s impact. An Energy & Commerce subcommittee considers the Energy Tax Prevention Act, to block EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. Ways & Means holds a hearing on President Obama’s trade policy agenda, with Ambassador Ron Kirk testifying. Transportation’s Aviation Subcommittee hears from stake holders on FAA reauthorization. (And really, doesn’t everyone hold a stake in the FAA’s budget?) Small Business weighs the burden of the health care law’s 1099 reporting requirements. A Financial Services subcommittee holds a hearing on GSE reform “to protect taxpayers and the end the bailout,” focusing on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Thursday – House Agriculture chews on OTC swaps markets regulations under Dodd-Frank. A Ways & Means subcommittee considers how to help unemployed Americans find jobs. House Budget reviews the CBO’s budget and economic outlook, with Doug Elmendorf testifying. A Homeland Security subcommittee holds a hearing on terrorism and transportation security. Ed & Workforce reviews education in classrooms. An Energy & Commerce subcommittee looks at stimulus bill broadband spending. A separate subcommittee asks what effect the Middle Eastern unrest will have on U.S. energy prices. A Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing on E-Verify. A Judiciary subcommittee discusses the “Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011,” and small business. Friday — An Ed & Workforce subcommittee reviews emerging trends at the NLRB. A Transportation subcommittee considers the BP Oil Spill Commission recommendations. A Homeland Security subcommittee holds a hearing, “Preventing Chemical Terrorism: Building A Foundation of Security At Our Nation’s Chemical Facilities.” An Armed Services subcommittee mulls over the DOD’s role in cybersecurity.

Senate Hearing: The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday considers the Chairman’s Mark entitled, “Airport and Airway Trust Fund Reauthorization Act of 2011.” More detail here.

Executive Branch: Secretary of Treasury Geithner is in Brazil to discuss bilateral economic and Group of 20 issues. Energy Secretary Chu and Interior Secretary Salazar are in Norfolk, Va., today to promote permitting of off-shore wind farms. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is leading a business delegation to India, with export controls a major issue. On the USTR schedule, Ambassador Sapiro travels to Europe for meetings, remarks.

Economic Reports: It’s a light week. Commerce releases wholesale trade figures Thursday and December’s international trade figures on Friday. Also on Friday, the release of consumer sentiment figures. For more, see Neil Irwin’s column at The Washington Post.

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