This week: Elizabeth Warren to go another round with House GOP

ADVERTISEMENT
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled for a pair of hearings this week, as he delivers the central bank’s semiannual monetary policy report to both the House and Senate. On Wednesday, he’ll appear before the House Financial Services Committee, following that up Thursday at the Senate Banking Committee. 

Likely topics of discussion will include the Fed’s “quantitative easing” effort, which wrapped up at the end of June. Republicans have repeatedly criticized the program, which saw the Fed buy hundreds of billions of dollars in Treasury bonds, arguing it stoked inflation.

On Tuesday, the House Budget Committee will bring in Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to discuss the future of Medicare. Then on Wednesday, it will hear from the actuaries for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security about the sustainability of those entitlement programs.

House Appropriators also have a busy week. On Tuesday, the committee will consider a spending package for the Department of Interior and environmental issues. It will follow that up by tackling two more packages Wednesday — the Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations package and one for the legislative branch.

On Wednesday, the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees will come together for a rare joint hearing to talk tax reform. Coinciding with the hearing, the Joint Tax Committee will be releasing two reports on the taxation of household debt and business debt.

On Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee will discuss investor protection in the wake of the financial crisis. On the same day, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) will convene a forum to discuss wrongful foreclosures of members of the military. The hearing comes as mortgage servicers have admitted to foreclosing on homes owned by service members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan — a violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

A House Financial Services subcommittee will also tackle housing Tuesday, marking up seven bills that all tackle the broader goal of winding down mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and turning the housing market largely over to the private sector.