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Dispatch from the Front: The Week of October 1

President Obama begins his week in Nevada, where he is preparing for Wednesday’s debate with Mitt Romney. On Thursday, the President holds a campaign event in Denver before taking his campaign to Columbus, Ohio. There’s more campaigning on Friday, with an event in Northern Virginia and then in Cleveland.

Executive Branch: Vice President Biden takes part in a program at the Pentagon highlighting the military’s use of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. Secretary of State Clinton remains in New York for meetings in conjunction with the gathering of the United Nations General Assembly, which concludes today.

Federal Courts: The Supreme Court begins its term today and will hear arguments in two cases, including Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. The NAM’s brief in the case is available here.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Data to be released include the I.S.M. manufacturing index for September and construction spending for August (Monday); A.D.P. employment for September, I.S.M. service index for September (Wednesday); weekly jobless claims (Thursday); and unemployment for September and consumer credit for August (Friday).” More information from The Washington Post.

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Keeping the Focus on the Fundamentals of Competitiveness

Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm recently wrote that she is “obsessed — obsessed — with cracking the code on how to get more manufacturing in the U.S.”

Strong language perhaps—she uses a variant of “obsess” three times in the first 10 words of her op-ed—but so far, so good.  We all want more manufacturing because it means more jobs, more innovation, and stronger productivity, to name just a few of the benefits.

But Granholm’s policy prescriptions won’t satisfy her self-described obsession, as NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons explains in a response to the former governor. He writes,

Granholm fails to note that it is 20 percent more expensive to manufacture in the United States compared with our major trading partners, and that differential does not include the cost of labor….

The Granholm agenda includes many “incentives” that involve budget expenditures. That won’t work, particularly in light of today’s fiscal constraints. Instead, let’s get the U.S. government on the side of manufacturers. Internationally competitive taxes, balanced and less costly regulations and affordable and reliable energy supplies are three prescriptions that will enable manufacturing to grow and thrive in the United States. These are common-sense solutions that will work. Instead, too many politicians simply offer plans that sound good but avoid the real solutions needed to encourage investment and create jobs right here at home.

With manufacturing in the spotlight, it’s no surprise that politicos and pundits are offering up their ideas for growing manufacturing in the United States.  The debate is constructive and worthwhile. But we can’t overlook the fundamentals of competitiveness as we sift through the multitude of ideas to revitalize manufacturing.  Pro-growth tax, regulatory, energy and trade policies are prerequisites to a manufacturing renaissance in America.

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Dispatch from the Front: The Week of September 24

President Obama begins his week in New York City. He is in New York for the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, which he will address tomorrow. On Wednesday, he is back on the campaign trail, making two stops in Ohio.

The Senate and House have left Washington and aren’t expected to return until November.

Executive Branch: Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are both in New York for the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. Secretary Clinton is also meeting with the presidents of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Libya.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Data to be released will include the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index for July and consumer confidence for September (Tuesday); new home sales for August (Wednesday); weekly jobless claims, durable goods for August, second-quarter gross domestic product (final) and pending home sales for August (Thursday); and personal income and spending for August, the Chicago purchasing managers index for September and Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for September (Friday).” More information from The Washington Post.

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Dispatch from the Front: The Week of September 17

President Obama has a busy week on the campaign trail. He is in Ohio today, with visits to Columbus and Cincinnati. Tomorrow, he campaigns in New York and will appear on The Late Show with David Letterman. On Thursday, he travels to Miami and Tampa and rounds out the week with a campaign event on Friday in northern Virginia.

The Senate has a short week and doesn’t return until Wednesday in observance of Rosh Hashanah. It will then continue its work on the Veterans Jobs Corps Act (S. 3457) and also take up the measure passed by the House last week to extend funding for government operations for six months.

The House also returns on Wednesday and considers a number of bills on the suspension calendar. For the remainder of the week, the House may consider a measure relating to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, as well as a bill (H.R. 3409) to stop regulations impacting coal development. See the Majority Leader’s schedule here.

Senate Hearings: WEDNESDAY—The Foreign Relations Committee marks up a number of bills, including the Increasing American Jobs Through Greater Exports to Africa Act (S. 2215). The Commerce Committee looks at the results of the America COMPETES Act. THURSDAY— The Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee hold a joint hearing on “Tax Reform and the Tax Treatment of Capital Gains.” The Judiciary Committee marks up legislation, including the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act (S. 3486) and the Innovative Design Protection Act (S. 3523). The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee looks at pension modernization. A Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee holds a hearing on “Offshore Profit Shifting and the U.S. Tax Code.”

House Hearings: WEDNESDAY—An Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee looks at trade adjustment assistance. THURSDAY—An Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on a bill (H.R. 6172) to limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate carbon emissions. An Appropriations subcommittee examines the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Program. The Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on “Regulation Nation: The Obama Administration’s Regulatory Expansion vs. Jobs and Economic Recovery.” The Financial Services Committee conducts oversight of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The House Small Business Committee holds a hearing on “Sequestration: The Threat to Small Businesses, Jobs and the Industrial Base.” A Science, Space and Technology subcommittee considers “The Impact of International Technology Transfer on American Research and Development.” A Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing on intellectual property enforcement.

Executive Branch: Vice President Biden is campaigning in Iowa today. Energy Secretary Steven Chu is in Vienna, Austria, for a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is in the midst of a foreign trip that takes him to Japan, China and New Zealand.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Data to be released include the current account deficit for the second quarter (Tuesday); housing starts for August and existing home sales for August (Wednesday); and weekly jobless claims, the Philadelphia Fed index for September and leading economic indicators for August (Thursday).” Additional information from The Washington Post here.

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Dispatch from the Front: The Week of September 10

On Tuesday, President Obama marks the 11th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. On Wednesday, he hits the campaign trail with trips to Las Vegas and Denver. He concludes the week by hosting the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House.

The Senate returns after a month off this afternoon. It will consider a judicial nomination this evening. On Tuesday, it will take up the Veterans Jobs Corps Act (S. 3457).

The House is back as well, and there are a number of bills on its agenda. One is a measure to extend government funding for six months after the end of this fiscal year (September 30). Another bill would replace the automatic defense spending cuts that will take effect in 2013. You can view the Majority Leader’s calendar here.

Senate Hearings: WEDNESDAY—The Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on the Nuclear Waste Administration Act (S. 3469). The Environment and Public Works Committee holds a hearing on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s efforts to improve nuclear reactor safety. The Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee examines the Mars Curiosity Mission. THURSDAY—The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee looks at college affordability.

House Hearings: TUESDAY—An Energy and Commerce subcommittee examines the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program. The Ways and Means Committee looks at the taxes in the President’s health care law. A Small Business subcommittee holds a hearing on “Medicare’s Durable Medical Equipment Competitive Bidding Program: How are Small Suppliers Faring?” An Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on the Accountability in Grants Act (H.R. 4255), which would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from offering financial assistance to projects outside the United States. The Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on “The Chu Memorandum: Directives Could Increase Electricity Costs for Over 40 Million Families and Small Businesses.” WEDNESDAY—An Energy and Commerce subcommittee considers “Where the Jobs Are: There’s an App for That.” Another Energy and Commerce subcommittee examines the nuclear weapons complex. A Transportation subcommittee holds a hearing on the NextGen program. The Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on “The Obama Administration’s Abuse of Power.” A Ways and Means subcommittee looks at the health insurance exchanges created by the health care law. THURSDAY—A Transportation subcommittee looks at the Department of Transportation’s truck and bus safety program. An Energy and Commerce subcommittee considers the “Outlook for Achieving North American Energy Independence Within the Decade.” The Oversight and Government Reform and Financial Services Committees hold a joint hearing on the JOBS Act. The Intelligence Committee considers the national security implications of Chinese telecommunications companies operating in the United States. A Small Business subcommittee holds a hearing on “Adding to Uncertainty: Small Businesses’ Perspectives on the Tax Cliff.” An Energy and Commerce subcommittee considers “Creating Opportunities through Improved Government Spectrum Efficiency.” FRIDAY—The Energy and Commerce Committee looks at H.R. 6172, which would limit the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon emissions.

Executive Branch: Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is in Pennsylvania today visiting the Flight 93 memorial. Vice President Biden is slated to visit tomorrow. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank is in Chicago today to address the International Manufacturing Technology Show. After that, she’ll head north to deliver remarks on the economy in Milwaukee.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Data will include consumer credit for July (Monday); the trade deficit for July (Tuesday); import prices for August and wholesale trade for July (Wednesday); weekly jobless claims and the producer price index for August (Thursday); and retail sales for August, the Consumer Price Index for August, industrial production for August, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for September and business inventories for July (Friday).”

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Dispatch from the Front: The Week of September 3

President Obama holds a campaign event today in Toledo, Ohio.  From Toledo, he travels to New Orleans to view the hurricane damage and response.  On Tuesday, he will campaign in Norfolk, Virginia.  The President departs on Wednesday for the Democratic National Convention, where he will give his acceptance speech on Thursday.

Congress is in recess.

Executive Branch: Vice President Biden is in Detroit today to address an AFL-CIO Labor Day event. Secretary of State Clinton is in Indonesia today as part of a trip including visits to Cook Islands, China, Timor-Leste, Brunei, and Russia.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Data will include the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index for August and construction spending for July (Tuesday); revised second-quarter productivity, Automatic Data Processing employment for August, weekly jobless claims, and the I.S.M. service index for August (Thursday); and unemployment for August (Friday).” More from The Washington Post.

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Dispatch from the Front: The Week of August 27

As Republicans hold their convention in Tampa, President Obama is hitting the campaign trail visiting college towns this week. On Tuesday, the President will hold rallies in Ames, Iowa (Iowa State) and Fort Collins, Colorado (Colorado State). On Wednesday, he will be in Charlottesville, Virginia (University of Virginia).

The House and Senate are in recess.

Executive Branch: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will likely attend the Pacific Island Forum this week in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

Economic Report: From The New York Times: “Data will include the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index for June and consumer confidence for August (Tuesday); second-quarter gross domestic product (revised), pending home sales for July and the Federal Reserve’s so-called beige book report on current economic conditions (Wednesday); weekly jobless claims, and personal income and spending for July (Thursday); the Chicago purchasing managers index for August, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for August and factory orders for July (Friday).”

 

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Dispatch from the Front: The Week of August 20

President Obama conducts interviews at the White House with local media from California, Florida and Virginia today. On Tuesday, it’s back to the campaign trail, with visits to swing states Ohio and Nevada. Wednesday includes campaign stops in Las Vegas and New York City.

The House and Senate are in recess.

Executive Branch: Vice President Biden is meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan at the Vice President’s residence this afternoon. On Tuesday, Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank meets with manufacturers in Allentown, Pa.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Chicago Fed National Activity Index for July (Monday); existing home sales for July and Federal Open Market Committee minutes for August meeting (Wednesday); new home sales for July and weekly jobless claims (Thursday); durable goods orders for July (Friday).” More information from The Washington Post.

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Dispatch from the Front: The Week of August 13

President Obama kicks off a bus tour today. The three-day trip will take him across Iowa.

The House and Senate are still in recess. They will be back on September 10.

Executive Branch: Vice President Biden is campaigning in North Carolina today.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “The data will include retail sales for July, the producer price index for July and business inventories for June (Tuesday); the Consumer Price Index for July and industrial production for July (Wednesday); weekly jobless claims, housing starts for July, and the Philadelphia Fed index for August (Thursday); and the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for August and leading economic indicators for July (Friday).” More information from The Washington Post.

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Dispatch from the Front: The Week of August 6

President Obama has a busy week on the campaign trail. Today, he will be in Connecticut. After a day at the White House on Tuesday, he heads to Colorado for campaign events on Wednesday and Thursday.

The House and Senate are on their August recess (though technically they will be holding pro forma sessions since the House voted against adjourning). Due to construction in the Senate chamber, the Senate will be holding some of these sessions outside of the Capitol in the nearby Hart office building.

Executive Branch: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in South Africa today. She is in the middle of a week-and-a-half-long trip to Africa. Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez will also be in South Africa this week for the U.S.-South Africa Business Summit.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Data will include consumer credit for June (Tuesday); second-quarter productivity (Wednesday); weekly jobless claims, the trade deficit for June and wholesale trade inventories for June (Thursday); and import prices for July (Friday).” And more from The Washington Post.

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