The Week Ahead: Feb. 27-March 4, 2012

February 25, 2012 11:35 AM
 
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via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

TOPICS: Bernanke testimony | Farm bil hearing | CFTC | Transportation bill


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


Both the House and Senate return from their latest week off for the Presidents' Day recess.

The Senate opens its week with the annual reading of George Washington’s farewell address. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) will deliver the address this year.

The Senate will likely spend much of its time in the coming weeks on its $110 billion surface transportation bill (S 1813), as Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) negotiates restrictions on amendments. The Senate goal is to have it passed well before March 31, when a current stopgap highway extension expires and the two-week spring recess is set to begin. Reid meets Feb. 28 with members of the Democratic Caucus to discuss the amendment process on the bill. Out of the total cost, $100 billion would be paid for by gas tax revenues deposited into the Highway Trust Fund and a continuing general fund transfer to support transit programs.

House Republicans last week abandoned their bid for a long-term highway bill (HR 7), dropping changes that drew opposition from both sides of the aisle. The House will now attempt to pass a shorter-term measure.

The House will consider several measures, including a bill to secure water supply in California (HR 1837) and legislation to protect academic freedom (HR 2117). The water bill would prevent California man-made droughts by securing water supply certainty in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will appear before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday morning for a hearing to present the Fed's “Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress,” also referred to as the Humphrey-Hawkins report. Bernanke will give his updated outlook for the US and global economy. Bernanke returns to the Capitol March 1 to testify before the Senate Banking Committee on the Fed's semiannual economic report.

The House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday morning on the 2012 agenda for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

On the environmental front, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a Tuesday morning joint hearing with the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy on the Fiscal 2013 budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is scheduled to testify. Jackson will also testify on Wednesday afternoon before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies during a hearing on the budget for the EPA.


This week's Washington-related agenda: Several committees in both chambers plan to hold hearings on the Fiscal 2013 budget. In addition, congressional hearings are set on the state of the US economy, tax reform, the housing market, and US trade policy.

Monday, Feb. 27
Congress:
Both the House and Senate return from their latest recess.
Europe:
Germany's Parliament holds a special session on Greece's aid package.
Economic reports:
Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve) | Pending Home Sales. | Dallas Fed Mfg Survey. USDA reports: Export inspections (AMS).

Tuesday, Feb. 28
Republican primaries are held in Michigan and Arizona.
Fiscal 2013 budget – Interior: Committee hearing. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Witness: Ken Salazar - secretary of the Interior.
Fiscal 2013 budget – EPA: Subcommittee joint hearing. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Energy and Power. Witness: Lisa P. Jackson, administrator, EPA.
Fiscal 2013 appropriations – USDA, Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services: Subcommittee hearing. House Appropriations — Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies. Witnesses: Kevin Concannon, undersecretary of Agriculture for food, nutrition, and consumer services; Audrey Rowe, administrator, Food and Nutrition Service, Department of Agriculture (USDA); Rajen Anand, director, Center on Nutrition Policy and Promotion, USDA Michael Young, budget officer, USDA.
State of the housing market: Committee hearing. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
2012 Farm Bill - Conservation: Committee hearing. Senate Agriculture Committee. Agenda: Exploring the Conservation title's important investment in America -- the nation's fundamental resources of water, soils and other natural resource infrastructure -- through policies that help farmers maintain soil health, keep water clean and available, food abundant and safe and wildlife plentiful so as to protect the basic principles of farming and maintain a quality way of life for future generations.
Energy reports: Weekly National Petroleum Report (API).
Economic reports: ICSC-Goldman Store Sales | Durable Goods Orders | S&P Case-Shiller HPI | Consumer Confidence | Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index.
USDA reports: Chickens and Eggs - Ann. (NASS) | Peanut Stocks and Processing (NASS).

Wednesday, Feb. 29
Federal Reserve monetary policy report
: Committee hearing. House Financial Services Committee hearing to receive the semi-annual monetary policy report from the Federal Reserve. Witness: Ben Bernanke - Federal Reserve chairman.
Fiscal 2013 budget - Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC): Committee hearing. House Agriculture Committee.
US trade policy and trade negotiations: Committee hearing. House Ways and Means Committee. Witness: Ron Kirk – US trade representative.
FY 2013 appropriations - Interior and Environment, EPA: Subcommittee hearing. House Appropriations — Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. Witness: Lisa Jackson, administrator, EPA.
Fiscal 2013 appropriations – FDA: Subcommittee hearing. House Appropriations — Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies. Witnesses: Margaret Hamburg, commissioner, Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Patrick McGarey, assistant commissioner for budget, FDA; Norris Cochran, deputy assistant secretary of Health and Human Services for budget.
Fiscal 2013 appropriations – Agriculture Inspector General: Subcommittee hearing. House Appropriations — Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies. Witnesses: Phyllis Fong, inspector general, USDA; David Gray, deputy inspector general, USDA; Karen Ellis, assistant inspector general for investigations, USDA; Gil Harden, assistant inspector general for audit, USDA.
Fiscal 2013 appropriations - Interior and Environment: Subcommittee hearing. Senate Appropriations — Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. Witnesses: Ken Salazar - secretary of the Interior; David Hayes, deputy secretary of the Interior; Pam K. Haze, deputy assistant secretary of the Interior, Office of Budget, Finance, Performance and Acquisition.
Energy reports: Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA).
Economic reports: Weekly mortgage applications (Labor Dept.) | GDP | Chicago PMI. | Beige Book.
USDA reports: Chickens and Eggs (NASS) | Broiler Hatchery (NASS) |Egg Products (NASS) Agricultural Prices (NASS).

Thursday, March 1
Monetary policy report: Committee hearing. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on the semiannual monetary policy report to Congress prepared by the Federal Reserve System. Witness: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Fiscal 2013 appropriations – Rural Development: Subcommittee hearing. House Appropriations — Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies. Witnesses: Dallas Tonsager, undersecretary of Agriculture for rural development; Jonathan Adelstein, administrator, Rural Utilities Service, Department of Agriculture (USDA); Judith Canales, administrator, Rural Business - Cooperative Service, USDA; Tammye Trevino. administrator, Rural Housing Service, USDA; Michael Young, budget officer, USDA.
Tax revision issues:
Committee hearing. Senate Budget Committee hearing titled "Tax Reform to Encourage Growth, Reduce the Deficit and Promote Fairness."
Energy reports: Weekly US underground natural gas stocks (EIA).
Economic reports: Jobless Claims | Motor Vehicle Sales | Personal Income and Outlays | ISM Mfg Index | Construction Spending.
USDA reports: Export Sales (FAS) | Grain Transportation Report (AMS).

Sunday, March 4
Russia
holds presidential elections.



NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


 


 

 

 

 

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