Week ahead: Beer merger under scrutiny

Congress will take its first look at the proposed merger between the world’s two largest beer companies.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the maker of Budweiser, has agreed to buy SABMiller for more than $100 billion, but first the beer giants must clear congressional and regulatory hurdles.

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rightswill hold a hearing Tuesday to examine the proposed merger.

{mosads}Many Senate Democrats have already raised red flags about the beer merger, but Anheuser-Busch is hoping to alleviate their concerns by selling off some of SABMiller’s U.S. operations. The brewer is more interested in expanding its reach in the global market.

Elsewhere in Washington, on Tuesday the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that asks the justices to decide how states should measure population when drawing voter districts. 

The case centers on Texas residents Sue Evenwel and Edward Pfenninger, who claimed their votes for state Senate representation counted less than those in bigger districts because Texas has used total population to draw the voting districts instead of voting-age population.

A number of other hearings on Capitol Hill will also touch on regulatory or enforcement issues, as Congress looks to wrap up its work before the year’s end.

On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a Republican presidential contender, will hold a hearing on the climate change debate. The hearing by the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, which he chairs, will question the objectivity of scientific research on the topic.

Cruz’s hearing comes as a United Nations summit on climate change enters its second week in Paris.

The same day, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing to examine opioid abuse in America.

Also on Tuesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing of the National Park Service ahead of the agency’s 2016 centennial.

Across the Capitol the same day, the House Oversight Committee is slated to hold a hearing on the Stream Protection Rule, intended to protect waters from mining operations. Industry groups have been critical of the rule, warning it could cost jobs.


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