President Obama receives the credentials from a number of new foreign ambassadors today. The President’s schedule for the rest of the week is to be determined, though he is scheduled to be in Washington.

The Senate is out this week.

The House meets this afternoon and will take up the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act, which would expedite the payment of disaster relief funds. (More information about the bill is available here.) Later in the week, the House will consider a measure providing funds for the Hurricane Sandy recovery, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (H.R. 152). You can see the Majority Leader’s schedule here.

Executive Branch: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta leaves for Europe today and is set to visit Portugal, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom. Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank is attending the Detroit Auto Show. On Friday, she addresses the Advanced Manufacturing Task Force, an initiative of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Data scheduled to be released include retail sales for December, the Producer Price Index for December and business inventories for November (Tuesday); the Consumer Price Index for December, industrial production for December and the Federal Reserve Beige Book (Wednesday); weekly jobless claims, housing starts for December and the Philadelphia Fed index for January (Thursday); and the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for January (Friday).” Here is more information from The Washington Post.

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