By Bernie Becker, Erik Wasson, Peter Schroeder and Vicki Needham - 06/14/11 12:05 AM EDT
WHAT ELSE TO WATCH FOR:
The ethanol vote: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who is expected to get his ethanol vote on Tuesday, spent Monday taking it from both sides.
As our friends at E2-Wire reported, top Senate Democrats are planning to whip against Coburn’s amendment to end a credit that provided roughly $5.4 billion in 2010 in large part because of the procedural method the Oklahoma Republican used to force the vote.
On the right, Grover Norquist continues to call Coburn’s push a testing grounds for future votes on revenue increases. In a statement Monday, Norquist touted his Americans for Tax Reform’s work with Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) to find an offset for Coburn’s proposal.
“Coburn had to twist himself into a pretzel to force a vote that mentions ethanol and raises taxes,” Norquist said.
Still, the Oklahoma senator is sticking to his guns, pushing back against Democrats in a Monday evening floor speech. “The Senate ought to be a free place to offer ideas,” he said. Coburn also added at least one other conservative co-sponsor to his measure, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). DeMint has already announced he’s behind the proposal.
Too big to what? A House Financial Services subcommittee tomorrow is set to try and figure out if Dodd-Frank effectively ended the "too big to fail" problem. As it stands, the two parties are coming to the discussion from different angles: Democrats maintain the Wall Street overhaul gave the government the power to avoid bailouts like those seen in 2008, while Republicans assert that it merely codified it.
Another subcommittee is slated to occupy the hearing room in the afternoon, as Lael Brainard, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for international affairs, testifies at a hearing devoted to the role of the U.S. in the World Bank and other development banks.
Nominations! The Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to consider a quartet of nominations on Tuesday, with Luis Aguilar and Daniel Gallagher both hoping for the Senate to confirm their nominations for SEC commissioner. Meanwhile, Frank D'Agostino and Gregory Karawan have been tapped as directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation — an FDIC, of sorts, for investment firms.
Good news? The Business Roundtable is set to roll out the latest round of its CEO economic outlook survey on Tuesday. The public sector has been glum on the economy in recent weeks, as indicator after indicator has failed to meet expectations, painting the picture of a slowing recovery. Now it's time to see if the private sector is similarly tempering expectations going forward.
More appropriations: Meanwhile, the Defense appropriations bill is expected to sail through a full House committee markup. The bill as passed in the subcommittee is $9 billion less than President Obama called for in his 2012 budget, but represents an increase of about $10 billion from current levels
More oversight: The House Oversight Committee will hear from Earl Devaney — the overseer of stimulus funds — at a Tuesday hearing. On Monday, Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) introduced a bill that would create a single website where all government spending and all grants and contracts can be seen by the public.
For its part, the White House announced that it will use an executive order to examine how to streamline public access to spending data, and put in charge a board similar to the one credited by both parties with keeping stimulus funds out of the hands of fraudulent contractors.
— The House Energy and Commerce Committee will look at Medicare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, which President Obama wants to strengthen to control costs and is the rival approach, of sorts, to the Ryan budget.
— The House Judiciary Committee is set to examine trends in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which punishes U.S. firms for bribing foreign officials.
— The House Oversight Committee is expected to look into whether sanctions should be applied to Venezuela.
— And alert both Harold and Kumar: White Castle holds a reception on Capitol Hill to mark its 90th anniversary.
— The Commerce Department could find a decrease in retail sales figures for May, with high fuel and food prices cutting into household budgets.
— The Labor Department is expected to release the producer price index for May, which could reflect a slight increase — though gasoline prices did begin dropping last month.
— And Commerce also will put out its data on business inventories.
Chopping the Greek rating: S&P slashed Greece’s credit rating to triple-C on Monday over fears of default, giving the European country the rating agency's lowest mark.
Chopping the tax code: The Heritage Foundation’s Curtis Dubay, in calling for the groundwork to be laid for tax reform, advocated the slaying of a slew of tax breaks on Monday. (Among them: “Deduction of income attributable to production activities in Puerto Rico.”)
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
On the Money’s Monday:
— Colombia hits a trade deal deadline.
— GOP freshmen: Can’t be a recess appointment if there’s no recess.
— Larry Summers: Let's look for some stimulative measures.
— Lawmaker on lawmaker protest: Donna Edwards rips Paul Ryan on Medicare.
— John Cornyn, David Vitter: Just say no to sending U.S. money to Greece through the IMF.
— Education Department to examine whether regulation on for-profit colleges was leaked to investors.
— George Mitchell’s back at DLA Piper.
— And states’ budgets still look relatively bleak.
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