Washington Week at a Glance: Dec. 10th – Dec. 14th

Update From ACG Analytics

Published December 10th, 2012

Major Actions This Week:

White House

On Monday, President Obama hosted a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria at the White House. Later, he delivered remarks at the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Symposium regarding the 20th anniversary of the Nuclear Materials Act.

On Tuesday, President Obama hosted a fiscal cliff meeting at the White House with the following state Governors: Jack Markell (D-DE), Mary Fallin (R-OK), Mike Beebe (D-AR), Mark Dayton (D-MN), Gary Herbert (R-UT), and Scott Walker (R-WI). He also appeared on Bloomberg TV, interviewed by White House correspondent Julianna Goldman, where he discussed the fiscal cliff and his priorities for his second term. Later that day, he and Vice President Biden met with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

On Wednesday, President Obama spoke before the Business Roundtable conference, as well as a Tribal Nations conference in Washington, DC.

On Thursday, President Obama continued his fiscal cliff “road show” with a visit to a middle-class family in northern Virginia.

Today, President Obama signed the Child Protection Act of 2012 in a closed event in the Oval Office. Vice President Biden had lunch with a group of middle-class Americans who uploaded videos to the White House’s #My2k campaign, protesting potential tax hikes on the middle class.

Senate

On Monday, the Senate invoked cloture on S. 3254, the FY13 Defense Authorization.

On Tuesday, the Senate rejected ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. They also passed the FY13 Defense Authorization.

On Thursday, the Senate passed H.R. 6156, a U.S.-Russia Trade Bill.

House

On Tuesday, the House passed H.R. 6582, the American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act.

On Wednesday the House passed S.Con.Res.50, a concurrent resolution expressing the sense of Congress regarding actions to preserve and advance the multi-stakeholder governance model under which the Internet has thrived.

Regulators

On Monday, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) held a closed meeting. The next meeting will occur on December 13, at which the first nonbank SIFI designations may occur depending on how far potential designees pursue the pending confidential appeals process.

On Monday, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar made a public appearance at the 40th Annual AICPA National Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments in Washington, DC.

On Wednesday, Richard Cordray, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, announced an information-sharing agreement to help protect the city’s consumers from scams related to payday lending, small-dollar loans, student loans, reverse mortgages and home repairs. Chicago will be the first city to directly report financial activity and fraud to the CFPB.

On Wednesday, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Homeland Security, on the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Administrator Fugate’s and Secretary Donovan’s testimonies can be found here.

On Thursday, the Office of Financial Research (OFR) and the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) co-hosted their second annual conference entitled “Assessing Financial Intermediation: Measurement and Analysis.”

On Thursday, FHFA Acting Director, Ed DeMarco gave remarks before SIFMA in New York, NY. The full remarks can be found here.

On Thursday, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan testified before the Senator Banking Committee on administration of the FHA. Secretary Donovan’s testimony can be found here.

Major Actions Next Week:

White House

On Monday, President Obama will give a speech on the economy and middle class families in Detroit, MI.

Senate

The Senate will reconvene on Monday, Dec. 10, at 2:00 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., there will be a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.3637, which would extend the FDIC’s Transaction Account Guarantee program beyond its December 31 expiration. While this bill may eventually pass in the Senate, ACG Analytics believes it is unlikely to pass in the House due to lack of support for maintaining increased taxpayer liability for accounts that are not for individual deposit holders.

House

The House will reconvene on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Committee Highlights

Senate

Tuesday, December 11

10:30 a.m. – Senate Banking Committee

The Housing, Transportation, and Community Development Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “Streamlining and Strengthening HUD’s [Department of Housing and Urban Development] Rental Housing Assistance Programs.”

Wednesday, December 12

10:00 a.m. – Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee

The Committee will hold a confirmation hearing on the nomination of Keith Kelly to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans’ Employment and Training.

10:00 a.m. – Senate Finance Committee

The Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “Tax Reform and Federal Energy Policy: Incentives to Promote Energy Efficiency.”

Thursday, December 13

10:00 a.m. – Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee

The Committee will hold a hearing on the response to Hurricane Sandy, focusing on assessing federal efforts and small business recovery assistance.

10:00 a.m. – Senate Finance Committee

The Committee will hold a hearing titled “Improving Care for Dually Eligible Beneficiaries: A Progress Update.” Dually eligible beneficiaries are individuals who are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid.

10:00 a.m. – Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “Terrorist Networks in Pakistan and the Proliferation of IEDs.”

10:00 a.m.- Senate Judiciary Committee

The Committee will mark up pending legislation (S. 1223, S. 1560) and vote on pending nominations.

House

Wednesday, December 12

10:00 a.m. – House Energy and Commerce Committee

The Communications and Technology Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “Keeping the New Broadband Spectrum Law on Track.” Provisions originally part of the Jumpstarting Opportunity with Broadband Spectrum (JOBS) Act (HR 3630) that provide for broadcast spectrum auctions to help meet the growing demand for wireless broadband services and that fund a nationwide public safety network were incorporated into the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (PL 112-96).

9:30 a.m. – House Financial Services Committee

The Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the economic impact of the derivatives provisions contained in Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (PL 111-203).

9:30 a.m. – House Science, Space and Technology Committee

The Committee will hold a hearing titled “The Future of NASA: Perspectives on Strategic Vision for America’s Space Program.”

Thursday, December 13

9:00 a.m. – House Agriculture Committee

The General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee will hold a hearing on impact of the derivatives provisions contained in Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protect Act (PL 111-203) on U.S. and international commodities markets.

9:00 a.m. – House Financial Services Committee

The Committee will hold a hearing on section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (PL 111-203), known as the Volcker rule, which requires that banks separate activities such as investment banking, private equity and proprietary trading from their consumer services such as installment loans, residential mortgages, equity credit loans and deposit services.

10:00 a.m. – House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

The Committee will hold a hearing on the high-speed and intercity passenger rail program titled “An Update on the High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program: Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned.”

10:00 a.m. – House Energy and Commerce

The Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “State of Uncertainty: Implementation of PPACA’s [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148)] Exchanges and Medicaid Expansion.”

Regulators

Federal Open Market Committee

Tuesday, December 11- Wednesday, December 12

The Federal Open Market Committee will meet to discuss monetary policy. They will release a statement at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Federal Reserve

Wednesday, December 12

2:15 p.m.- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a media briefing live via Web site following a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on interest rate policy.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Tuesday, December 11

10:00 a.m. – The FDIC Board will meet on Dec. 11 to, among other things, approve a recommendation for the Deposit Insurance Fund’s 2013 designated reserve ratio, and consider next year’s agency operating budget.

Notable Events

Atlantic Council of the United States

Monday, December 10

5:00 p.m. – The Atlantic Council of the United States will hold a discussion titled “Securities and Growth: The Case for Convergence.”

American Enterprise Institute

Monday, December 10

12:00 p.m.- AEI will host their Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee, a group of publicly recognized independent experts on the financial services industry — including experts in banking, insurance, and securities — who meet regularly to study and critique regulatory policies affecting this sector of the economy. During closed sessions before the luncheon, committee members will discuss a variety of current financial-regulation issues: an open letter to the new presidential administration regarding financial issues moving forward into 2013, Basel III implementation, the Volcker rule, government-sponsored enterprises, the lifting of guarantees on noninterest-bearing transaction accounts, money market mutual funds, and Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure issues. In a briefing following the sessions, SFRC members will present the adopted policy statements and answer related questions.

Tuesday, December 11

3:30 p.m.- AEI will host an event titled, “Conservatism in the 113th Congress: Views from the Republican Study Committee Chairman and Chairman-elect.” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the current chairman of the Republican Study Committee, and the incoming chairman, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), will share their thoughts on the future of the conservative movement.

Bipartisan Policy Center

Monday, December 10

9:30 a.m.- The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a discussion titled “Improving Quality and Reducing Costs in Health Care: Engaging Consumers Using Electronic Tools.”

Brookings Institution

Tuesday, December 11

1:30 a.m.- On December 11, the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings will release its annual Education Choice and Competition Index (ECCI). The ECCI ranks and analyzes more than 100 of the largest school districts in America on their extent of school choice and competition. At the event, Brookings Senior Fellow and Brown Center Director Russ Whitehurst will explain the ranking components, discuss the importance of school choice, and announce the top-ranked districts in the 2012 ECCI. The scores for each district, along with the components of their overall grade will be posted on the same day. Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana will deliver a keynote address offering his reflections on education reform in his state and the nation in the context of school choice and competition. After the program, the speakers will take audience questions.

Wednesday, December 12

9:30 a.m.- On December 12, Brookings will host a discussion on the future of federal workforce development policy in the context of long-term joblessness, slow labor market recovery, and a fragile middle class. Moderated by Fellow Elisabeth Jacobs, a panel of experts will examine current federal policy, promising proposals for updating existing policy to meet current labor market challenges, and political obstacles preventing progress toward a system that best meets the needs of both workers and employers.

Friday, December 14

10:00 a.m.- The Economic Studies program at Brookings will host a discussion with Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, followed by a panel discussion of industry and policy experts. The discussion will focus on the benefits and costs of homeownership and the appropriate role of lenders, investors and government policies, such as tax incentives and housing finance subsidies, to achieve this goal.

Cato Institute

Thursday, December 13

12:00 p.m- The Cato Institute will hold a discussion titled, “Is the Federal Housing Administration the Next Bailout?”

Center for American Progress

Monday, December 10

10:00 a.m.- CAP will hold a discussion titled, “Investing in the Future: Higher Education, Innovation, and American Competitiveness.”

Thursday, December 13

9:00 a.m.- CAP will hold a discussion titled, “Better Health Care at Lower Cost: State & Federal Perspectives,” in New York, NY.

Rand Corp.

Monday, December 10

2:00 p.m.- Rand Corp. will hold a briefing on Capitol Hill titled “Skin in the Game: How Consumer-Directed Health Plans Can Affect the Cost and Use of Health Care.”

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Monday, December 10

9:00 a.m.- Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a discussion titled “The Decisive Vote? How Latinos Voted and What It Means for Policy.”

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