TenCount -> Juan Carlos Varela, the president of Panama, will visit the White House today

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TenCount -> Juan Carlos Varela, the president of Panama, will visit the White House today

A highly selective view of events in the week ahead with important financial, legislative and political implications, put together by your friends at Sphere Consulting.

Edited by Edward Wyatt

  • Tech company CEOs are headed to the White House today to talk about tax reform and other matters as President Trump again tries to put behind him the distractions of what he calls a “witch hunt,” specifically the investigation into possible ties between his campaign and Russian meddling in the presidential election. Silicon Valley has had plenty of differences with the Trump Administration, including over the president’s recent decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord.
  • President Trump at times seems unsure of where to aim his fire, as both a Congressional committee and the Department of Justice are conducting investigations of the ties between Russia and the Trump campaign and administration. Which of those investigations is more important is a matter of perspective, of course; a panel of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday will examine “Concurrent Congressional and Criminal Investigations: Lessons from History”, while on Wednesday the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will continue its Russia investigation by questioning former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
  • Last week, President Trump turned over to the Secretary of Defense the authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan – a dangerous precedent that could allow the commander-in-chief to distance himself from responsibility for further failures there. Proponents say the shift will allow the military to respond more quickly to changes on the battlefield. The decision will likely be among the issues discussed on Tuesday when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee meets on “Reviewing Congressional Authorizations for Use of Military Force.”
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan will give what is being billed as his first major speech on Tax Reform on Tuesday when he addresses the National Association of Manufacturers. The event, timed to the anniversary of the House GOP blueprint for overhauling the tax code, comes amid questions about the future of the border-adjustment tax, a pillar of Ryan’s plan, and about whether Congress should aim simply to cut taxes this year rather than overhaul the tax code.
  • Congress might not like passing a budget, but it sure loves its budget hearings. This week is chock full of events that will bring department and agency heads to the Hill for a grilling: On Tuesday, hearings will examine spending plans for Interior, Energy, the FDA and FCC; Wednesday brings Interior and Energy (again) the Air Force, OMB, Veterans Affairs, the GAO and CBO; and Thursday has Interior and Energy (yet again) and NIH. And on Wednesday, Senate Finance looks at the big picture: “The President’s Trade Policy Agenda and Fiscal Year 2018 Budget.”
  • The Senate Banking Committee has been looking hard this month at ways to foster economic growth, and this week the panel turns its eyes to the perspective of regulators, seeking counsel from a Fed governor and the heads of the FDIC, the National Credit Union Administration and the Comptroller of the Currency. Likely to be on the agenda is how the regulators view the Treasury Department’s review, released last week, of the regulatory framework for banks and possible overhaul of the Dodd-Frank Act.
  • Slowly but surely, the Trump Administration is sending to the Hill nominations for sub-Cabinet level posts in the federal bureaucracy. And just as slowly, the Senate is holding hearings on the nominees. This week brings hearings for nominees for Deputy Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Navy, Chairman of the CFTC, head of the TSA, and Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs.
  • Juan Carlos Varela, the president of Panama, will visit the White House on Monday to confer with President Trump on “the fight against transnational organized crime, illegal migration and illicit substances.” On Tuesday, President Varela addresses the Economic Club of Washington and on Wednesday, the Inter-American Dialogue hosts a conversation with the president. Looking ahead: Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi will visit Washington June 25-26 to meet with President Trump.
  • The Federal Communications Commission wants to again look at the question of whether apartment buildings should be allowed to strike exclusive deals with certain providers of high-speed Internet service, preventing competition and consumer choice. That is one of the issues the FCC will take up Thursday during its monthly meeting of commissioners. Only three of the five seats on the commission are currently occupied; last week President Trump said he will nominate Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, to the seat she was forced to vacate in January when her term expired.
  • Getting broadband Internet service to all Americans continues to be a goal of the FCC, despite differences over how that service should be regulated. Three congressional committees take a look this week: On Tuesday a panel of the Senate Commerce Committee will examine “The Universal Service Fund and Rural Broadband Investment;” on Wednesday a panel of the House Energy & Commerce Committee looks at “Defining and Mapping Broadband Coverage in America;” and on Thursdaythe House Small Business Committee looks at “Improving Broadband Deployment: Solutions for Rural America.”
    Edward Wyatt is a senior vice president at Sphere Consulting LLC, which he joined in May 2015 following a 20-year career as a reporter and correspondent for The New York Times. He works with public affairs clients in the financial services, technology and industrial sectors.

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