And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

and Senator Chris Dodd “The Hill” a favorite site for watching over Congress.

Posted on: October 11, 2011

I have been suggesting sites you may want to make part of your daily reading as I have.  This is one of the best.  the Hill site reports on what Congress and Congressmen and women are doing.  BB

TUESDAY’S BIG STORY: The Senate is set to take up a modified version of the President Obama’s $447 billion stimulus plan on Tuesday, with blanket GOP opposition expected to keep the bill from garnering the necessary 60 votes.

In fact, the bigger question on Monday seemed to be how many vulnerable Democrats would also defect on the bill, denying the president a campaign talking point against Republican obstructionism.

Looking forward, elements of the bill — which includes a payroll tax holiday and education and transportation spending paid for by a surtax on millionaires — could be passed separately or as part of a year-end omnibus tax package.

The Jobs Act drama should come after the Senate votes on, and likely passes, a bill aimed at punishing China for its undervalued currency.  (Just who in the Hell are we the United States to tell other people how to value their money or anything else about their governing of their own country!!?  Like we we have been such a great example the last century.  If the disproportionate trade balance with China is so onerous then why not simply stop the importation of Chinese goods into our country or charging a higher import fee?  It is almost impossible to buy anything any more that has not been Made in China and this is the fault of of government for  making corporate taxes and government regulation so burdensome on business that the United States can no longer afford to manufacture these items.  BB)

Republicans joined Democrats to vote to cut off debate on the bill Thursday — of course, that was before Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) angered Republicans by changing the rules of the Senate to prevent GOP lawmakers from adding amendments to the China bill after the cloture vote. With the GOP vowing retribution, the China bill vote could provide some clues to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (Ky.) next moves.

As for the China bill’s next moves, the measure is opposed by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), so its prospects appear far less favorable in that chamber. The White House also has concerns about the legislation’s compatibility with World Trade Organization obligations.

The Senate’s action could already be having an effect: Beijing has since Friday allowed a large appreciation in the value of its renminbi. Ultimately, an appreciated Chinese currency could boost U.S. exports to China, and help domestic companies compete against low-priced Chinese products here. (I am still very much opposed to these high handed tactics and threats to other countries.  BB)

Part Two: Those long-delayed trade agreements look set to move another step forward on Tuesday, with the Senate Finance Committee slated to give the pacts with South Korea, Colombia and Panama a final airing.  (The United States really needs trade agreements with other countries.  there is a huge market for American technology out there if we could only get our act together and make our country a business friendly place so companies stay in the United States rather than moving to other countries.  We also need to get our act together and start training people for “real” jobs rather than  just paying them up to 99 weeks of unemployment to sit on their duffs.  there are jobs out there but they can not find adequately trained people to fill the jobs.  There are also a whole lot of jobs that most people just don’t want when their unemployment pays more than getting a job.  Unemployment such be no more than three months period!  BB)

The Finance mark-up is expected to be largely a formality, as the Senate is expected to both debate and vote on the deals on Wednesday. The three pacts also have widespread support among Finance members, with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle having urged the Obama administration for months to send the deals up to Capitol Hill.

{mosads}Tuesday’s expected movement comes after a group of Senate Republicans banded together a couple of months ago to ensure that the upper chamber had enough support to pass a worker-assistance program known as Trade Adjustment Assistance, which the White House has demanded be passed as well.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Rotunda, the House begins debate of the three trade bills, with final votes expected on Wednesday.

The White House wants the deals completed before President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea meets Obama for a state visit on Thursday. The two leaders will hold a joint press conference that day, before an official state dinner in the evening.

Continuing to look ahead, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has also invited the South Korean president to address a joint session of Congress on Thursday.


WHAT ELSE TO WATCH FOR

Presidential daybook: The president is set to give Air Force One a workout on Tuesday, with stops planned for both Pittsburgh, Pa., and Orlando, Fla. (Obama has used  Air force One more than the last five Presidents put together in just three years!  Congress should pull the plug on all this travel but of course the Democrat controlled  Senate will never allow it to happen because Obama is using Air Force One to campaign for the 2012 election.  BB)

In Pennsylvania, Obama is expected to tour a union training center, and meet (and perhaps accept preliminary recommendations from) his jobs council. Before leaving for Florida, where he is slated to attend campaign events, the president will also continue to press Congress to pass his jobs plan.

The Brothers Levin: Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) is set to release a study Tuesday of a tax holiday enacted in 2004 that allowed multinationals to temporarily take advantage of a slashed tax rate when bringing offshore profits into the U.S.

Policymakers are currently debating the merits of reprising the repatriation holiday, something a group of Silicon Valley heavyweights is pushing for. But Levin, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s subcommittee on Investigations, has long been dismissive of the last holiday’s benefits, and has asked corporations this year about how they would respond if Congress did give them another shot at a holiday.

{mosads}Elsewhere on Tuesday, Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.), the ranking member at House Ways and Means and Carl’s older brother, will talk with reporters about the China currency measure and the millionaire surtax Senate Democrats want to implement to pay for the president’s jobs plan.

The elder Levin has long been a supporter of the China bill, and has also pushed for increased revenues to help eat into budget deficits.

E-safety: The Business Roundtable will be rolling out its newest cybersecurity strategy Tuesday morning, which it claims will both boost the nation’s national security and its economy.  (Future “wars” will be fought mainly in cyberspace.  An enemy can shut down our government and economy by hacking our computers so there will be no need for bullets or bloodshed to defeat a country.  BB)

Ajay Banga, MasterCard chief executive, Francisco D’Souza, the top guy at Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., and Paul Jacobs, the Qualcomm chief executive, will be on hand for the big reveal.

FSOC talk: The titans of financial regulation, also known as the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), will convene yet again tomorrow, to once again discuss matters that affect the entire financial system.

The designation of systemically important financial institutions, which are major firms that could adversely affect the system if they were to fail, has been a popular topic at previous FSOC meetings.

The council, which was created by the Dodd-Frank reform law and is expected to meet regularly, is charged with naming such “SIFIs,” which carries with it increased regulatory and compliance burdens. FSOC members are still hashing out how they plan on making those designations.

Vetting Volcker: The rule, that is. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) is expected to take a big step towards implementing Dodd-Frank tomorrow, when it will likely propose its crack at putting the so-called “Volcker Rule” into operation.

That provision, one of the more controversial in what was not an uncontroversial bill, places limits on proprietary trading by banks — that is, trading done for bank profit, not for the benefit of customers. It also prevents banks from taking certain ownership or partnering stakes with hedge funds and private equity funds, in another attempt to inoculate banks from the really risky stuff.

An early draft of the rule leaked out last week, and the FDIC’s proposal marks just the first step in a lengthy process, as the Federal Reserve, Securities and Exchange Committee and Commodity Futures Trading Commission all have to weigh in as well. But if the FDIC’s board approves the proposal tomorrow, the Volcker Rule will be one step closer to becoming a reality.  (Dodd-Frank is the worse law ever passed in Congress IMO.  Just as  Senator Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank were solely responsible for bringing on the housing crisis that brought down the banks in the first place by allowing and encouraging and in fact even demanding that the banks make loans to anyone and then demanding that Fannie Mae purchase these bad loans from the banks.   This of course drove up the prices of homes  beyond their actual value.  It was what the market would bear and if anyone no matter their ability to pay could get a loan then the prices went up.   Of course then they  (Frank and Dodd) had the government take over privately owned Fannie Mae and by that act put us the tax payers on the hook  for all these bad mortgages.  My own recently purchased home was one of these.  I paid $60,000 and the tax payer is picking up the tab for the $35,000  extra of the bad loan.   So the very people who created the problem with their ignorance and greed and arrogance were the very ones who wrote the bill punishing the banks and the of course people who use banks with the Dodd-Frank Bill that totally controls banks and tells them how to run their busine4sses.  In effect banks that do not go out of business because they can no longer make a profit will become government owned and operated—another post office.  SOCIALISM PEOPLE! BB)


QUICK HITS:

— Prime Minister Dipu Moni of Bangladesh is set to visit the U.S Chamber of Commerce to promote trade and investment with her country.

The IRS is scheduled to discus how to apply the tanning services excise tax imposed by the healthcare overhaul.  (Putting small businesses out of business!  BB)

BREAKING MONDAY:

86-ing the 7-11: The president leaned heavily on a car and Slurpee analogy in 2010 to needle Republicans on their work on the economy. But The Hill’s Anna Harvey and Bob Cusack report that, with the 2011 economy sluggish, those lines have gone out the window.

How afraid?: A top Army general said Monday that he was “deathly afraid” of the sort of military cuts that could come if the supercommittee can’t reach an agreement, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“If we get a sequester, I believe it will fundamentally change how we conduct security operations across all services, to include the Army, because of the depth of the cuts,” Gen. Raymond Odierno told reporters.

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

— Obama chats with David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy on Europe’s debt issues…

— …while his reelection operation makes a Twitter push for Richard Cordray.

— Stocks moved up following promising European news.

— The Business Roundtable fills some roles.

— DCCC callsfor support of Occupy Wall Street. (Yes the Democrats are with these mobs.  Here is what they are telling the demonstrators who are today mobbing the homes of the so-called “rich”.  Of course these same rich are the same ones who so generously supported the Democrats and Obama.  See what they emailed: 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)  is asking supporters to sign a petition in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

“Protestors are assembling in New York and around the country to let billionaires, big oil and big bankers know that we’re not going to let the richest 1% force draconian economic policies and massive cuts to crucial programs on Main Street Americans,” the DCCC email sent out Monday reads.  BB)

— Poll says most Americans know about Occupy Wall Street…

— …and another finds 90 percent of college graduates fully employed.

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