The Week Ahead: March 19-25, 2012

March 19, 2012 02:18 AM
Untitled Document

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

TOPICS: Transportation bill | House budget plan | International financial system | Wall Street reform | CFTC budget | Farm bill

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

The Senate will continue debate of small business capital legislation (HR 3606) and to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank for four years and raise its credit exposure cap to $140 billion, while returning House members consider a bill that would impose federal caps on some medical malpractice lawsuits.

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is expected to release details of the Fiscal Year 2013 spending and tax blueprint Tuesday. The Budget Committee marks up the proposal the following day. House GOP members are expected to put forth a plan with lower spending caps than the Budget Control Act’s $1.047 trillion — somewhere between $931 billion and $1.028 trillion. It appeared last week that negotiators were likely to settle on a compromise cap of about $1.028 trillion, the amount that Ryan’s budget for last year envisioned for FY 2013. The details should help determine how much House Ag Committee members must cut from the farm bill budget baseline over ten years.

House Democrats will release their own budget in the next few weeks. Budget panel ranking Democrat Chris Van Hollen of Maryland has said the plan will hew closely to the proposal put forward by the president Feb. 13.

House GOP leaders will likely take until mid-April to complete action on its version of the transit bill (HR 7), rather than accept the Senate version (S 1813), which has met with more opposition than most expected. If so, that would force an extension of current policies that may buy time for a long-term bill to emerge. House leaders will likely proceed on Republicans' original five-year, $260 billion reauthorization, with some teaks in financing the measure.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will testify Tuesday morning on the state of the international financial system during House Financial Services Committee.

Wall Street reform. The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a Thursday morning hearing on the international harmonization of Wall Street reform. The hearing will focus on orderly liquidation, derivatives, and the Volcker rule.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler is scheduled to testify before a House Appropriations panel Thursday morning on the CFTC FY 2013 budget request. The CFTC request of $308 million for FY 2013 represents a 50 percent jump from its current funding level of $205 million. GOP lawmakers have resisted providing the funding increase the agency says it needs in order to implement the Dodd-Frank law (PL 111-203), which tasks the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission with regulating the over-the-counter derivatives market.

Monday, March 19
Auction to settle credit-default swap contracts on Greek debt is held.
Economic reports
: Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve) | Housing Market Index.
USDA reports
: Export inspections (AMS) | Milk Production (NASS).

Tuesday, March 20

Japan: Markets in Japan are closed.
GOP primary: Illinois holds its Republican primary.
Greece: Greece is due to make debt payments of 14.5 billion euros ($19.1 billion).
Canadian oil sands: Subcommittee hearing. House Energy and Commerce Committee – Energy and Power Subcommittee hearing on "The American Energy Initiative: A Focus on the Future of Energy Technology with an Emphasis on Canadian Oil Sands."
State of international financial system: Committee hearing. House Financial Services Committee. Witness: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner/
USDA FY 2013 budget, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services: Subcommittee hearing. House Appropriations Committee - Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies Subcommittee.
US foreign assistance: Committee hearing. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on "A Review of U.S. Foreign Assistance Amidst Economic Uncertainty."
Federal Reserve: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke gives the first of four lectures on financial crisis.
Economic reports: ICSC-Goldman Store Sales | Housing Starts.
USDA reports: Catfish Processing (NASS) Catfish Feed Deliveries (NASS) | Feed Grains Database (ERS) | Wheat Data (ERS).

Wednesday, March 21
Iran sanctions:
The UN Security Council hears a briefing from the Iran sanctions committee. Members are also to hold consultations with the chairman of the Sudan sanctions committee.
CFTC budget, FY 2013:
Subcommittee hearing. Senate Appropriations Committee – Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing on the FY 2013 resource needs of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
FY 2013 budget, Agriculture Research-Education-Economics:
Subcommittee hearing. House Ag Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the budget for the Agricultural Research Service, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Economic Research Service and the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Europe's sovereign debt crisis:
Committee hearing. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Committee hearing. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on "Russia 2012: Increased Repression, Rampant Corruption, Assisting Rogue Regimes."
Federal regulations and regulatory reform:
Subcommittee hearing. House Judiciary Committee – Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee hearing on "The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: Federal Regulations and Regulatory Reform under the Obama Administration."
MF Global/O'Brien subpoena:
Committee markup. House Financial Services Committee markup for the purpose of authorizing and issuing a subpoena ad testificandum for the appearance of MF Global Holdings Ltd. employee Edith O'Brien in conjunction with the hearing scheduled for Wednesday, March 28, 2012.
Energy reports:
Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA).
Economic reports: Weekly mortgage applications (Labor Dept.) | Existing Home Sales.
USDA reports: Broiler Hatchery (NASS).

Thursday, March 22
EPA Budget, FY 2013: Committee hearing. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the budget for the Environmental Protection Agency. Witness: EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.
Wall Street reform: Committee hearing. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on "International Harmonization of Wall Street Reform: Orderly Liquidation, Derivatives, and the Volcker Rule."
Agriculture Department's cotton annex: Subcommittee field hearing. House Transportation and Infrastructure – Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee field hearing on "Sitting on Our Assets: The Cotton Annex."
FY 2013 budget, CFTC: Subcommittee hearing. House Ag Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the budget for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Witness: CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler.
Energy reports: Weekly US underground natural gas stocks (EIA)
Economic reports: Jobless Claims | FHFA House Price Index. | Leading Indicators.
USDA reports: Grain Transportation Report (AMS) | Export Sales (FAS) | Chickens and Eggs (NASS) | Hop Stocks (NASS) | Cold Storage (NASS).

Friday, March 23
Farm bill:
Committee field hearing. House Agriculture Committee field field hearing on "The Future of US Farm Policy: Formulation of the 2012 Farm Bill."
Economic reports: New Home Sales.
USDA reports:
Cotton Ginnings (NASS) | Dairy Products Prices (NASS) | Livestock Slaughter (NASS) | Cattle on Feed (NASS) | Peanut Prices (NASS).

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






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