Dispatch from the Front: The Week of July 18

The White House and Congress continue to look for a way forward on raising the debt ceiling.

President Obama meets this morning with Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates and others who have taken the “Giving Pledge.” This afternoon, he will host an education forum with members of the business community, the Secretary of Education and General Colin Powell. On Friday, he will host the Prime Minister of New Zealand at the White House.

The Senate convenes today at 2 p.m. and will continue its consideration of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill (H.R. 2055). A vote on a judicial nominee is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

The House canceled its recess that was scheduled for the week. At some point this week, the House is expected to vote on the Cut, Cap and Balance plan, which would raise the debt ceiling pending approval of a balanced budget amendment by Congress. (The measure would also cut spending and cap spending, as the name suggests.) The House will consider various appropriations bills and is also expected to take up the Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act (H.R. 1315), which would make changes to the Dodd-Frank law.

More from The Hill.

Senate Hearings: MONDAY—The Banking Committee holds a hearing on “Enhanced Consumer Financial Protection After the Financial Crisis.” The Energy and Natural Resources Committee examines the “Future of Natural Gas.” WEDNESDAY—The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee looks at legislative proposals dealing with federal regulation. A Banking subcommittee holds a hearing on “Access to Capital: Fostering Job Creation and Innovation through High-Growth Startups.” The Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee considers innovative funding schemes for transportation infrastructure. An Environment and Public Works subcommittee holds a hearing on the oil spill in the Yellowstone River. A Commerce subcommittee considers the lessons of the Gulf oil spill. THURSDAY—The Energy and Natural Resources Committee marks up the Oil and Gas Facilitation Act of 2011 (S. 916) and the Outer Continental Shelf Reform Act of 2011 (S. 917). The Agriculture Committee holds a hearing on the nomination of Mark Wetjen to serve as a commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The Banking Committee considers “Enhanced Oversight After the Financial Crisis: The Wall Street Reform Act at One Year.” The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee looks at for-profit higher education. A Commerce subcommittee considers the reauthorization of motor carrier safety programs.

House Hearings: WEDNESDAY—An Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on “FDA Medical Device Regulation: Impact on American Patients, Innovation and Jobs.” THURSDAY—The Agriculture Committee looks at derivatives reform from the perspective of Main Street.

Executive Branch: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Greece today and will travel to Asia later in the week to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Post Ministerial Conference and meet with leaders of countries in the region. Secretary Tim Geithner attends a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council today. On Wednesday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission holds a public hearing on its agenda and priorities for 2013.

Economic Reports: From the New York Times: “Releases will include housing starts for June (Tuesday); existing home sales for June (Wednesday); weekly jobless claims, the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index for July, and leading economic indicators for June (Thursday).”

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