The Week Ahead: Debt talk crunch time

The debt talks move to the next level this week when President Obama and Vice President Biden host the Senate leaders for separate meetings on the matter.
 
The talks collapsed last week with the departures of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Senate Minority Leader Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), causing Biden to cancel his planned meetings with negotiators.

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But a new week means a fresh start. Obama and Biden will hold separate meetings on Monday with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to discuss deficit-reduction negotiations. They will meet with Reid in the morning and with McConnell in the early evening.

The Treasury has warned that if no compromise can be reached by Aug. 2, the U.S. could default on its debt, which would have unknown consequences for the global economy and financial system. Lawmakers on both sides have said they would like to form a deal before the July 4 recess, but with the House out this week, that could be a hard deadline to meet.

Meanwhile, the White House and Capitol Hill will also be at odds over the U.S. military intervention in Libya. On Friday, the House rejected a resolution that would have formally authorized the NATO-led mission for one year, but voted against cutting off funding for the conflict. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed reservations about the Libyan mission, and the administration will continue persuading them otherwise.

While the House is out for a constituent work week, the Senate will continue debate on the mission’s constitutionality. Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) have proposed a resolution that would allow the operation to continue for one year, but would prohibit the use of American grounds forces in Libya. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by Kerry, will also hold a hearing on Tuesday to discuss the legality of the U.S. role in the operation.

Plus, it’s Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week on the job. He leaves the Pentagon on Thursday, with Leon Panetta taking over on Friday.


Monday, June 27

Obama and Biden host Reid and McConnell at the White House for separate meetings on the deficit.

The president will also welcome Major League Soccer champions, the Colorado Rapids, to the White House.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will speak on “The Human Rights of LGBT People and U.S. Foreign Policy” at an event co-hosted by the State Department and Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies.

Later in the day, Clinton will release the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report at the State Department.



Tuesday, June 28


Obama will tour the Alcoa Davenport Works factory in Bettendorf, Iowa, and deliver remarks on the importance of the manufacturing sector.

The Senate will consider the nominations of James Cole to be deputy attorney general, Virginia Seitz to be an assistant attorney general and Lisa Monaco to be an assistant attorney general.

A Senate Judiciary subcommittee will hold a hearing on the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act. The hearing will be at 10 a.m. in 226 Dirksen.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on Libya and war powers. The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. in 419 Dirksen.

A Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee will hold a hearing on "Status of the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment." The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. in 406 Dirksen.


Wednesday, June 29

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The Federal Reserve is scheduled to issue its final rule on debit card fees.

Obama will host the Seattle Storm women’s basketball team at the White House to congratulate them on their 2010 WNBA championship.

First lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden will join senior Department of Defense officials and business leaders at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to launch the Military Spouse Employment Partnership, helping military spouses connect with meaningful, long-term employment opportunities. The event begins at 11 a.m.

Clinton will travel to Budapest, Hungary, to participate in the dedication of the Lantos Institute, an organization dedicated to human rights issues. She will also meet with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Foreign Minister János Martonyi.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on "Barriers to Justice and Accountability: How the Supreme Court's Recent Rulings Will Affect Corporate Behavior." The hearing will begin at 10:30 a.m. in 226 Dirksen.

The Obamas will hold a reception to observe LGBT Pride Month and later in the evening will host a farewell dinner for Gates at the White House.


Thursday, June 30

It’s Gates’s last day as Defense secretary. President Obama will attend a farewell ceremony for him at the Pentagon.

Thursday is the final day for candidates to raise money for their second-quarter fundraising reports. Most of the Republican presidential field announced their candidacies during the second quarter, which means these reports will be closely scrutinized for the candidates’ ability to bring the necessary dollars to their campaigns.

Obama will be in Philadelphia for two Democratic National Committee (DNC) fundraising events.

Michelle Obama will be in Boston, speaking at a DNC fundraising luncheon.

Then she heads to Vermont where she will participate in a Joining Forces event to show appreciation to the Vermont National Guard and their families. That evening, she will speak to a DNC fundraising reception in Burlington. She will also address a DNC fundraising dinner in Burlington.

Clinton will arrive in Vilnius, Lithuania, for a two-day visit to participate in the Community of Democracies 6th Ministerial to discuss the support of emerging democracies. She will also participate in a “Women Enhancing Democracy” event, as well as a session of the Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society, which will focus on free-speech issues. Clinton will also meet with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius and other Lithuanian government officials.

The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on “Deficit Reduction: A Review of Key Issues.” Peter Orszag, vice chairman of global banking for Citigroup and former director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), will be among those testifying. The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. in 215 Dirksen.

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The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on "Afghanistan Reconstruction Contracts: Lessons Learned and Ongoing Problems." The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. in 342 Dirksen.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairwoman Sheila Bair will testify before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on "State of the FDIC: Deposit Insurance, Consumer Protection, and Financial Stability." The hearing will begin at 2 p.m. in 538 Dirksen.


Friday July 1

Panetta takes over as defense secretary.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will address National Press Club, one week before the final scheduled space shuttle launch. His talk begins at 1 p.m.

—Emily Goodin, John T. Bennett, and Peter Schroeder contributed.