Dispatch from the Front: The Week of December 5

President Obama meets with college presidents today to discuss the cost of higher education. Tomorrow, President Obama travels to Osawatomie, Kansas, to deliver a speech on the economy. On Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper visits the White House.

The Senate convenes this afternoon and will consider four judicial nominations.

The House gavels in at noon and will consider a number of bills on the suspension calendar. At some point during the rest of the week, it is expected to take up a regulatory reform bill, the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (H.R. 10), and the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act (H.R. 1633). See the Majority Leader’s calendar here.

Senate Hearings: TUESDAY—The Banking Committee conducts an oversight hearing on the Dodd-Frank financial services law. A Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee examines “Whistleblower Protections for Government Contractors.” WEDNESDAY—The Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on “Reauthorizing the EB-5 (Immigrant Investor) Regional Center Program: Promoting Job Creation and Economic Development in American Communities.” The Finance Committee looks into drug shortages. A Banking subcommittee holds a hearing on the supervision of large financial institutions. THURSDAY—The Energy Committee holds a hearing on the nomination of Arunava Majumdar to serve as Under Secretary of Energy. The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee considers long-term unemployment. The Special Committee on Aging holds a hearing on the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, which requires pharmaceutical and medical device companies to report payments made to doctors.

House Hearings: MONDAY—The Financial Services Committee holds a field hearing on “Regulatory Reform: Examining How New Regulations are Impacting Financial Institutions, Small Businesses and Consumers in Illinois.” TUESDAY—The Financial Services Committee holds a hearing on the congressional insider trading bill (H.R. 1148). The Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on “The Endangered Species Act: How Litigation is Costing Jobs and Impeding True Recovery Efforts.” A Homeland Security subcommittee holds a hearing on cybersecurity. The Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee hold a joint hearing on “Tax Reform and the Tax Treatment of Financial Products.” WEDNESDAY—A Science, Space and Technology subcommittee looks at “Energy Critical Elements: Identifying Research Needs and Strategic Priorities.” A Judiciary subcommittee conducts oversight of agencies charged with enforcing antitrust laws.

Executive Branch: Vice President Biden is in Greece today. Tomorrow, Commerce Secretary John Bryson speaks to a meeting of the US-ASEAN Business Council. Also Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Geithner heads to Europe for meetings on the debt crisis.

Economic Reports: From the New York Times: “Data will include the ISM nonmanufacturing index for November and factory orders for October (Monday); consumer credit for October (Wednesday); weekly jobless claims and wholesale trade inventories for October (Thursday); the trade deficit for October and the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for December (Friday).” More from the Washington Post.

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