By Peter Schroeder, Erik Wasson and Vicki Needham - 06/20/11 08:54 PM EDT
As lawmakers continue to wrangle over a debt-reduction package and increasing the debt limit, and as regulators rush to write rules implementing the Dodd-Frank financial reform law before its one-year anniversary on July 21, expect those most involved the shine a light on those efforts.
WHAT ELSE TO WATCH FOR:
Biden talks (again): Tomorrow marks the first day of summer, so it's only fitting that the Biden talks are heating up! (Sorry.) Congressional negotiators are gathering tomorrow for the first of at least three meetings this week. While the tone of the talks has remained optimistic, according to those involved, we'll be keeping an eye on them this week to see if anything tangible emerges (especially with the House scheduled to take a weeklong break next week).
Hacker heartburn: The Senate Banking Committee is hosting a hearing on how financial data can be protected through better cybersecurity. That event comes after Citigroup announced earlier this month that hackers accessed over 360,000 credit card accounts.
Commerce chat: The Senate Commerce Committee will weigh a pair of hefty nominations tomorrow. John Bryson will field questions as he hopes to be confirmed as the president's Commerce Secretary, while Terry Garcia has been tapped to be deputy secretary of the department. However, Senate Republicans have vowed to hold up those nominations until the president approves trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.
Patent prep: The Rules Committee will consider a bill overhauling the U.S. patent system. The bill transforms the U.S. system from a first to invent to a first-to-file system in an attempt to reduce the Patent and Trademark Office's enormous backlog. So far, the bill has been held up thanks to a dispute between the House Judiciary Committee and its Appropriations and Budget Committees over a provision that would make the PTO self-funded and more independent of Congress.
Spend less, grow more?: The bicameral Joint Economic Committee will gather tomorrow for a meeting of the minds on — what else? — the economy. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the vice chairman of the committee, will welcome several experts to get their take on ways to trim spending, cut debt and in turn grow the economy.
Social Security, saved?: Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) is heading to the Heritage Foundation to tout her bill, the Defend and Save Social Security Act. Her plan to save the entitlement program would increase the retirement age by three months a year, starting in 2016 (that means it would be 67 in 2019, and 69 in 2027). As that happens, the cost-of-living-adjustment would shrink by 1 percent per year. A handful of experts will discuss ways to rework the program following her remarks.
Payment priorities: Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) heads over to the National Press Club tomorrow to discuss the debt limit. Specifically, he'll be talking about the Full Faith and Credit Act, which is being pushed by several Republicans as a way to stave off a default even if the debt limit is reached. By telling the Treasury to prioritize payments on bonds, the looming threat of a default can be taken off the table, according to its proponents. Treasury officials are less convinced.
Think tanked: The Peterson Institute for International Economics is hosting a conference call tomorrow to discuss the financial and political fallout from Greece's debt crisis, as European leaders search for a way to tackle it. If you feel like you're suffering a case of deja vu, that's because Thursday's "Overnight Money" mistakenly reported that call would be happening Friday.
Fed chatter: The Federal Open Market Committee will kick off yet another closely watched meeting tomorrow. With the economic recovery losing steam, markets and policymakers will be keeping an eye on the central bank. However, tomorrow will be light on news, with the FOMC's statement (and subsequent Ben Bernanke press conference) to come Wednesday.
Eschewing labels: The group "No Labels," which bills itself as a bipartisan citizen group, will be unveiling a new poll on what voters think of various lawmakers when it comes to the fiscal crisis.
-- The National Association of Realtors will drop its latest data on real estate transactions.
Fledgling attempts to make the Chinese yuan convertible are being hit by unwelcome Chinese regulations, Reuters reports. China currently maintains a type of peg on its currency in order to limit its rise and keep exports cheap. The overseas market for the yuan is seen as an important test toward establishing the yuan as a fully convertible and floating currency. To nudge the effort along, Democrats in the House last week announced they would try to move a popular but stalled bill penalizing Chinese imports for the undervalued yuan. The Democrats are circulating a petition that could pry the bill from grip of the Ways and Means Committee, setting the stage a House floor vote.
JP Morgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland are on the receiving end of an $800 million lawsuit by the National Credit Union Administration, as reported by Bloomberg. The federal regulator filed suit Monday, alleging the banks packaged shoddy mortgage bonds and sold them to credit unions. A significant chunk of the loans in those bonds "were all but certain to become delinquent or default" the agency said in its filings.
And the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that roughly 1.5 million female workers cannot be represented in a class-action suit against Wal-Mart. The decision, which put the brakes on a case that could have resulted in billions of dollars in damages, was hailed by the business community as putting much-needed checks on class-action suits. However, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was far less pleased with the verdict, saying it "sets back" women's equality.
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
On the Money's Monday:
-- Obama to the world: Come here and invest.
-- Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.): We're not talking short-term debt limit hikes.
-- Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.): But the GOP is asking for a 10-year budget plan that cuts spending.
-- Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah): Keep debt talks and tax reform separate.
-- The Food and Drug Administration wants to tighten up on imports.
-- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce likes states that like businesses.
-- But it doesn't like two regulators overseeing consumer financial products without a plan.
-- Retailers and banks are still fighting over swipe fees.
-- Consumers lacking cash for financial emergencies.
-- And the Federal Trade Commission is looking into potential oil market speculation.
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