Dispatch from the Front

Dispatch from the Front: The Week of April 8

President Obama releases his budget on Wednesday. Today, he travels to Connecticut to push for additional gun control laws. After releasing the budget on Wednesday, he meets with 12 GOP senators for dinner. On Thursday, he will award a posthumous Medal of Honor to Army Capt. Emil Kapaun for his service in the Korean War. On Friday, the Midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy visit the White House to receive the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, which recognizes the Academy’s football victories over Army and Air Force.

The Senate returns today and could spend the week debating gun control legislation.

The House returns on Tuesday and kicks off a light week. One measure the House will likely take up is the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act (H.R. 1120), which would prevent the National Labor Relations Board from issuing decisions or rulemakings pending Supreme Court review of the President’s recess appointments to the Board. The Majority Leader’s schedule for the week is available here.

Senate Hearings: TUESDAY—A Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing on campaign finance laws. The Energy and Natural Resources Committee considers the nomination of Ernest Moniz to serve as secretary of energy. WEDNESDAY—The Commerce Committee holds a hearing on “Expanding the Panama Canal: What Does it Mean for American Freight and Infrastructure?” THURSDAY—The Environment and Public Works Committee considers the nomination of Gina McCarthy to serve as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The Budget Committee reviews President Obama’s budget proposal.

House Hearings: TUESDAY—An Education and Workforce subcommittee holds a field hearing in Michigan on “Reviving Our Economy: The Role of Higher Education in Job Growth and Development.” An Energy and Commerce subcommittee considers the reauthorizations of the Animal Drug User Fee Act and the Animal Generic Drug User Fee Act. WEDNESDAY—An Appropriations subcommittee conducts oversight of the Small Business Administration. Another Appropriations subcommittee considers “Regulatory Approaches to Foster Economic Growth.” An Energy and Commerce subcommittee considers the Northern Route Approval Act (H.R. 3), which would approve the Keystone XL pipeline. An Education and Workforce subcommittee holds a hearing on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. An Energy and Commerce subcommittee considers “Our Nation of Builders: Powering U.S. Automobile Manufacturing Forward.” The Small Business Committee examines tax reform as it relates to small businesses. THURSDAY—A Financial Services subcommittee holds a hearing on derivatives. An Energy and Commerce subcommittee considers the Coal Ash Recycling and Oversight Act. The Ways and Means Committee looks at the President’s budget proposal. A Small Business subcommittee examines the implementation of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. The Budget Committee reviews the President’s budget. FRIDAY—An Energy and Commerce subcommittee reviews the Energy Consumers Relief Act. An Appropriations subcommittee examines the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s budget.

Executive Branch: Secretary of State John Kerry is in the midst of a trip across the Middle East and Asia, with a brief detour to London. Today, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius awards the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award to a number of businesses, including Lockheed Martin in the manufacturing category.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Data to be released include wholesale trade for February (Tuesday); weekly jobless claims and import prices for March (Thursday); and retail sales for March, the Producer Price Index for March, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for April and business inventories for February (Friday).”

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Dispatch from the Front: The Week of April 1

President Obama hosts the annual White House Easter Egg Roll today. On Tuesday, the Prime Minister of Singapore visits the White House. The President then travels to Denver on Wednesday to talk about gun control measures before heading to California for fundraising events. On Friday, he hosts the Easter Prayer Breakfast.

The House and Senate are off this week.

Executive Branch: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel welcomes the Prime Minister of Singapore to the Pentagon today. Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez is in China and Mongolia this week to discuss business opportunities arising from infrastructure projects in those countries. On Wednesday, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank will discuss the National Cybersecurity Framework.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Data to be released this week include the I.S.M. manufacturing index for March and construction spending for February (Monday); factory orders for February (Tuesday); A.D.P. employment and the I.S.M. nonmanufacturing index for March (Wednesday); weekly jobless claims (Thursday); and unemployment for March and the trade deficit and consumer credit for February (Friday).”

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Dispatch from the Front: The Week of March 25

Today, President Obama speaks at a naturalization ceremony. This evening, he hosts a Passover Seder at the White House. On Tuesday, the Stanley Cup champions, the Los Angeles Kings, and the Major League Soccer champions, the LA Galaxy, visit the White House. On Thursday, four African leaders meet with President Obama: President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Joyce Banda of Malawi and Prime Minister Jose Maria Pereira Neves of Cape Verde. President Obama rounds out the week with a trip to Miami, where he will talk about the economy.

The House and Senate are out this week.

Executive Branch: Vice President Biden meets with the Foreign Minister of Australia today. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Afghanistan for meetings with President Hamid Karzai. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano attends the naturalization ceremony with President Obama.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Economic data to be released include durable goods for February, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller housing price index for January, new home sales for February and consumer confidence for March (Tuesday); pending home sales for February, weekly jobless claims, fourth-quarter gross domestic product (revised) and the Chicago P.M.I. for March (Thursday); and personal income and spending for February and the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for March (Friday).”

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Dispatch from the Front: The Week of March 18

President Obama meets with the Prime Minister of Ireland tomorrow. After celebrating a belated St. Patrick’s Day, the President heads to Israel. On Wednesday, he meets with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On Thursday, he meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas before meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah II on Friday.

The Senate meets today and resumes work on the continuing resolution (H.R. 933), which would fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year.

The House also meets today and will take up two bills on the suspension calendar. Its priority for the week is Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget resolution. The Majority Leader’s calendar is available here.

Senate Hearings: TUESDAY—The Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee marks up the nomination of Richard Cordray to serve as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Finance Committee examines the President’s trade plans. An Armed Services subcommittee holds a hearing on cybersecurity threats.

WEDNESDAY—The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee marks up the Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Reauthorization Act. The Judiciary Committee looks at “The Future of Drones in America: Law Enforcement and Privacy Considerations.” Later that day, the Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on “Building an Immigration System Worthy of American Values.”

House Hearings: TUESDAY—An Energy and Commerce subcommittee considers “The Role of Regulators and Grid Operators in Meeting Natural Gas and Electric Coordination Challenges.” An Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee examines natural gas exports. WEDNESDAY—The House Agriculture Committee marks up a number of bills amending the Dodd-Frank law. A Science, Space and Technology Committee considers “Improving EPA’s Scientific Advisory Processes.” The Education and Workforce Committee marks up the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act (H.R. 1120). An Appropriations subcommittee holds a closed hearing on “Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure.” THURSDAY—An Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on “Our Nation of Builders: The Strength of Steel.” A Small Business subcommittee looks at “Protecting Small Businesses Against Emerging and Complex Cyber-Attacks.”

Executive Branch: Vice President Biden is in Rome for the installation of the new pope on Tuesday. Today, he meets with the president and prime minister of Italy.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Data to be released include housing starts for February (Tuesday) and weekly jobless claims, existing home sales for February, the Philadelphia Fed index for March and leading economic indicators for February (Thursday).”

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Dispatch from the Front: The Week of March 11

On Tuesday, the President meets with the Sultan of Brunei. Later in the day, he heads to Capitol Hill to meet with Senate Democrats. The following day, he will visit House Republicans. On Thursday, he completes his Hill visits, meeting with House Democrats and Senate Republicans. (Here’s a roundup of his Hill trips.) President Obama rounds out the week with a trip to the Argonne National Laboratory to speak about energy policy.

The Senate meets today and will take up two judicial nominations. It is likely to consider the continuing resolution (H.R. 933) passed by the House during the week.

The House meets for regular business on Tuesday. It plans to consider two workforce-related bills this week: the Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs Act (H.R. 890) and the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act (H.R. 803). On Wednesday, the Budget Committee will mark up the fiscal year 2014 budget measure.

Senate Hearings: TUESDAY—The Banking Committee holds a hearing on the nomination of Richard Cordray to serve as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. THURSDAY—The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee considers “Keeping up with a Changing Economy: Indexing the Minimum Wage.” FRIDAY—The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee examines the “JPMorgan Chase Whale Trades: A Case History of Derivatives Risks and Abuses.”

House Hearings: WEDNESDAY—An Appropriations subcommittee holds a hearing on water infrastructure financing. The Homeland Security Committee considers cybersecurity and U.S. infrastructure. A Science, Space and Technology subcommittee examines science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. A Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing on abusive litigation. Another Judiciary subcommittee reviews the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act (H.R. 982). An Energy and Commerce subcommittee considers “Obamacare’s Impact on Jobs.” A Judiciary subcommittee looks at “Investigating and Prosecuting 21st-Century Cyber Threats.” A Science, Space and Technology subcommittee considers “Federal Financial Support for Energy Technologies.” THURSDAY—A Judiciary subcommittee looks at “Separation of Nuclear Families under U.S. Immigration Law.” An Education and Workforce subcommittee holds a hearing on lower-skilled guest worker programs. An Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee holds a hearing on sequestration. A Small Business subcommittee holds a hearing on the impact of regulations on small businesses. A Foreign Affairs subcommittee explores “U.S. Energy Security: Enhancing Partnerships with Mexico and Canada.” An Appropriations subcommittee holds a hearing on immigration enforcement. A Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee looks at the implementation of the surface transportation bill. A Natural Resources subcommittee holds a hearing on “America’s Onshore Energy Resources: Creating Jobs, Securing America and Lowering Prices.” A Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing on patent trolls.

Executive Branch: Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel concludes his trip to Afghanistan today.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Information to be released includes retail sales for February, import prices for February and business inventories for January (Wednesday); weekly jobless claims, the Producer Price Index for February and the current account deficit for the fourth quarter (Thursday); and the Consumer Price Index for February, industrial production for February and the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for March (Friday).”

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Dispatch from the Front: The Week of March 4

Today, President Obama is expected to announce his picks to head the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. On Wednesday, the Alabama Crimson Tide roll into the White House to celebrate their national championship.

The Senate gavels in this afternoon and will take up two judicial nominations.

The House convenes this afternoon and will take up a bill (H.R. 307) intended to thwart chemical threats and biohazards. The House’s top priority for the week is approving a measure that would fund the government for the rest of the year. The current funding measure expires at the end of the month.

Senate Hearings: TUESDAY—The Budget Committee looks at wasteful spending in the tax code. THURSDAY—The Commerce Committee and the Homeland Security Committee hold a joint hearing on “The Cybersecurity Partnership Between the Private Sector and Our Government: Protecting our National and Economic Security.”

House Hearings: TUESDAY—An Energy and Commerce subcommittee considers “The Role of a Diverse Electricity Generation Portfolio.” A Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing on skilled immigration. A Natural Resources subcommittee looks at “America’s Offshore Energy Resources: Creating Jobs, Securing America, and Lowering Prices.” An Education and Workforce subcommittee looks at pension plan challenges. A Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee holds a hearing on “Freight and Passenger Rail in America’s Transportation System.” A Ways and Means subcommittee examines the tax provisions in the health care law. A Judiciary subcommittee considers the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (H.R. 367). Another Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing on excessive litigation. WEDNESDAY—An Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on “Our Nation of Builders: Powering U.S. Automobile Manufacturing Forward.” A Science, Space and Technology subcommittee examines climate policy. The Education and Workforce Committee marks up the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act (H.R. 803). The Small Business Committee holds a hearing on the implementation of the health care law. THURSDAY—A Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing on patent trolls.

Executive Branch: Vice President Biden speaks to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee today. Secretary of State John Kerry is on the last leg of his first trip as the nation’s top diplomat. He visits Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates today.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Information to be released includes the ISM nonmanufacturing index for February (Tuesday); ADP employment for February, factory orders for January and the Federal Reserve beige book (Wednesday); weekly jobless claims, the trade deficit for January, fourth-quarter productivity (revised) and consumer credit for January (Thursday); and unemployment for February and wholesale trade inventories for January (Friday).”

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Dispatch from the Front: The Week of February 25

President Obama addresses the National Governors Association today. Tomorrow, he travels to Newport News, Va., to visit Newport News Shipbuilding. The event is part of the President’s effort urging Congress to avert the sequester, which will take effect at the end of the week.

The Senate gavels in at 2:00 p.m. when Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) will read Washington’s Farewell Address. Later this afternoon, the Senate will vote on a judicial nomination. The Senate could consider legislation addressing the sequester during the week.

The House convenes today and looks to have a fairly light schedule for the week. You can see the Majority Leader’s schedule here.

Senate Hearings: TUESDAY—The Finance Committee looks at the 10-year budget and economic outlook. The Banking Committee receives the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. WEDNESDAY—The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee holds a hearing on “Animal Drug User Fee Agreements: Advancing Animal Health for the Public Health.” The Agriculture Committee conducts an oversight hearing for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

House Hearings: TUESDAY—An Energy and Commerce subcommittee considers “Private-Sector Successes and Opportunities in Energy-Efficient Technologies.” A Science, Space and Technology subcommittee looks at “Cybersecurity R&D Challenges and Solutions.” An Education and Workforce subcommittee holds a hearing on “Putting America Back to Work: Reforming the Nation’s Workforce Investment System.” A Science, Space and Technology subcommittee holds a hearing on ethanol blends. WEDNESDAY—An Energy and Commerce subcommittee asks “Is the Broadband Stimulus Working?” The Financial Services Committee receives the monetary policy report from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee examines the “Implementation of the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act: One Year Later.” A Judiciary subcommittee looks at the E-Verify program. THURSDAY—A Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing on “The Obama Administration’s Regulatory War on Jobs, the Economy and America’s Global Competitiveness.” An Energy and Commerce subcommittee looks at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Executive Branch: Acting Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin delivers an address to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs about the President’s jobs plan. Vice President Biden speaks at a meeting of the National Governors Association. Secretary of State John Kerry is in the United Kingdom meeting with government officials there. Secretary Kerry is on a week-and-a-half-long trip that will take him through Europe and the Middle East.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Data to be released this week include the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller housing price index for December and the fourth quarter, new home sales for January and consumer confidence for January (Tuesday); durable goods for January and pending home sales for January (Wednesday); weekly jobless claims, fourth-quarter GDP (revised) and the Chicago PMI for February (Thursday); and personal income and spending for January, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for February, the ISM manufacturing index for February and construction spending for January (Friday).”

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Dispatch from the Front: The Week of February 19

President Obama speaks about the sequester this morning. He will urge Congress to avert the automatic budget cuts set to take effect at the end of next week. On Friday, the President meets with Japan’s prime minister.

The House and Senate are out this week.

Executive Branch: Vice President Joe Biden takes part in an event on gun violence today. On Thursday, he travels to Connecticut to deliver remarks on gun control. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers his first speech as the nation’s top diplomat on Wednesday.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Economic data to be released include the Producer Price Index for January and housing starts for January (Wednesday); and weekly jobless claims, the Consumer Price Index for January, used home sales for January, the Philadelphia Fed index for February and leading economic indicators for January (Thursday).”

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Dispatch from the Front: The Week of February 4

President Obama is in Minneapolis today to deliver remarks on gun control. On Wednesday, he joins Senate Democrats at their annual retreat. He speaks at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday before addressing the House Democratic Issues Conference.

The Senate convenes this afternoon and takes up the Violence Against Women Act (S. 47). A procedural vote on the measure will be held at 5:30 p.m. Senate Democrats go on their annual retreat on Tuesday and Wednesday, so the Senate will not be in session.

The House gavels in this afternoon. Its priority for the week is consideration of the Require a PLAN Act (H.R. 444), which would require the President to present a plan to balance the budget.

The Majority Leader’s calendar for the week is available here.

House Hearings: TUESDAY—An Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on North American energy resources. The Education and Workforce Committee holds a hearing on “Challenges and Opportunities Facing America’s Schools and Workplaces.” National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons testifies. The Judiciary Committee examines the country’s immigration system. The Oversight and Government Reform Committee looks at government waste. WEDNESDAY—The Science, Space and Technology Committee holds a hearing on “American Competitiveness: The Role of Research and Development.”

Executive Branch: Secretary of State John Kerry starts work at his new job today. Attorney General Eric Holder joins the President at the gun control event in Minnesota. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius delivers remarks on the “Administration’s Health Policy Priorities” today.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Data to be released include factory orders for December (Monday); the Institute for Supply Management nonmanufacturing index for January (Tuesday); weekly jobless claims, fourth-quarter productivity and consumer credit for December (Thursday); and the trade deficit for December and wholesale trade inventories for December (Friday).”

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Dispatch from the Front: The Week of January 28

The Miami Heat visit the White House today as President Obama honors their NBA championship last year. He also holds a meeting at the White House with members of the Major Cities Chiefs Association and Major County Sheriffs’ Association on gun control. On Tuesday, the President will deliver remarks in Las Vegas. The President closes out the week by hosting an awards ceremony for recipients of the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

The Senate convenes this afternoon and will take up the Hurricane Sandy emergency aid bill (H.R. 152). Later in the week, the Senate may vote on the confirmation of Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) as Secretary of State. It may also take up the House-passed measure that raises the debt limit for three months.

The House is out this week.

Senate Hearings: WEDNESDAY—The Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on “What Should America Do About Gun Violence?” THURSDAY—The Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) to serve as Secretary of Defense. The Environment and Public Works Committee examines the nation’s port infrastructure.

Executive Branch: Vice President Biden joins the President in the meeting with members of the Major Cities Chiefs Association and Major County Sheriffs’ Association.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Data to be released this week include durable goods for December and pending home sales for December (Monday); the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller housing price index for November; consumer confidence for January (Tuesday); A.D.P. employment for January (WEDNESDAY); fourth-quarter weekly jobless claims and personal income and spending for December (Thursday); and unemployment for January (Friday).” The Washington Post has additional information here.

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