Week ahead: Obama to hail economic gains in State of the Union

President Obama will deliver his final State of the Union address next Tuesday, and the economy will likely be a centerpiece.

After 63 consecutive months of job growth and -- according to some economists -- full employment in sight, Obama said he'll highlight "not just the remarkable progress we've made, not just what I want to get done in the year ahead, but what we all need to do together in the years to come" in a Wednesday video previewing the Jan. 12 speech.

"The big things that will guarantee an even stronger, better, more prosperous America for our kids -- that's what's on my mind," Obama added.

One of those "big things" is almost certainly the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the massive trade deal with 11 other nations that's a central piece of Obama's economic agenda. The president is pushing the deal with support from leading business groups despite headwinds from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP senator blocking Trump's Intel nominee Spending bill delay raises risk of partial government shutdown support GOP leaders to Trump: Leave Mueller alone MORE (R-Ky.), who said the president would need to wait until after the 2016 elections for a vote.

The president will likely urge Congress to act quickly to bolster American businesses and undercut China's economic influence in the Pacific region.

Democrats huddle on trade

It's a short legislative week, so House Democrats are using their time to talk trade.

Rep. Sandy Levin (Mich.), top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee; and Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownDemocratic senator: People don’t know what’s going on between Trump and Putin Power struggle threatens to sink bank legislation Pension committee must deliver on retirement promise MORE (Ohio), ranking member on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee who also serves on the Finance Committee, plan a roundtable discussion on Monday in the Capitol on the potential effects of the TPP on automotive manufacturing. In particular they'll focus on the trade deal's rules of origin for the auto industry.

Also on Monday, Democrats opposed to the pact -- including Reps. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Louise Slaughter (N.Y.) and Barbara Lee (Calif.) -- will join groups including the AFL-CIO to discuss their opposition to the TPP and why they think it's a bad deal.

House budget chief outlines GOP agenda

On Wednesday, one day after the president's address, House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) plans to head to the Brookings Institution for what is expected to be a wide-ranging conversation about House Republicans' budget priorities this year. Topics could include the prospects for improving the budget process, the debate over tax and spending in the presidential campaign, and what Congress is hoping accomplish this election year.

House Financial Services Committee looks to bolster flood insurance

The House Financial Services Committee has a pair of hearings devoted to flood insurance on tap. On Tuesday, a subcommittee is scheduled to discuss the overall state of the program and ways to improve it. And on Wednesday that panel is to explore ways to encourage a bigger private sector role in the marketplace.

The hearings follow last month's devastating storms and flooding throughout the Midwest and South.

Fed vice chairman highlights path away from low rates

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer plans to shine a light on how the central bank will navigate away from bottom-of-the-barrel borrowing rates at a Paris event Tuesday devoted to monetary policy. One day later, the Fed will release the latest edition of its "Beige Book" of regional reports on the economy's health.

Chamber of Commerce delivers annual "State of American Business" address

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue will deliver his annual State of American Business address and outline the group's policy agenda on Jan. 14 at 9:30 a.m. at the group's headquarters. Donohue will hold a press conference with Chamber Executive Vice President for Government Affairs Bruce Josten after his speech. Expect the TPP to come up.


Hearings and committee meetings:

Monday, Jan. 11: House Small Business on the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Office of International Trade.

Tuesday, Jan. 12: House Small Business on oversight of the SBA; House Financial Services on "Opportunities and Challenges Facing the National Flood Insurance Program"; House Agriculture nutrition subcommittee on "Past Present and Future of SNAP: Addressing Special Populations."

Wednesday, Jan. 13: House Financial Services on private sector expansion of flood insurance.


Recap the week with Overnight Finance:

  • Monday: Stocks slide to open new year
  • Tuesday: Sanders vows to shake up Wall Street
  • Wednesday: Chamber backs trade deal
  • Thursday: Stock market woes | IRS drops controversial rule | More work for Dodd-Frank


Recent stories:

Economy adds 292K jobs in December, by Vicki Needham

House Dems want states to test gas tax alternatives, by Keith Laing

Final Obama budget set for Feb. 9, by Vicki Needham


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