TenCount -> “We will set records in terms of the number of judges,” President Trump vowed recently, and it looks like he’s well on his way

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TenCount -> “We will set records in terms of the number of judges,” President Trump vowed recently, and it looks like he’s well on his way

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.

  • Good MondayPresident Trump returns from his Asian trip midweek and is planning a “major” trade announcement for Wednesday. Congress is in session with both sides of the Capitol wrestling with their respective tax overhaul plans. House leaders said over the weekend that they could vote on their tax plan this week. The House Rules Committee meets on Wednesday to consider the parameters of debate once the bill comes to the floor. The Senate Finance Committee is expected to pass its version, perhaps as soon as today.
  • Tuesday appears to be the most interesting day on Capitol Hill, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to appear for an oversight hearing before the House Judiciary Committee. The hearing will be the fourth time that Sessions has appeared before Congress to answer questions on what he knew about contacts with Russia during the campaign. Recent court documents and congressional testimony seem to contradict Sessions’ previous statements that he was unaware of meetings between campaign advisors and Russian officials.
  • “We will set records in terms of the number of judges,” President Trump vowed recently, and it looks like he’s well on his way, already appointing eight appellate judges, the most this early in a presidency since Nixon, according to The New York Times. If he maintains the pace, one of the Trump Administration’s biggest legacies will be on the makeup of the federal courtsOn Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from two more nominees for the federal court of appeals, this time for the Fifth Circuit.
  • North Korea called President Trump a “lunatic old man,” and President Trump taunted Kim Jong-un via Twitter, saying he could have called the North Korean leader “short and fat” – but that he restrained himself. This from two men who appear to be on a course toward a face-off over nuclear weapons. All of which probably makes Tuesday a good time for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to take a look at just who has the “Authority to Order the Use of Nuclear Weapons.”
  • What happened to those U.S. diplomats in Cuba? Intelligence officials are looking at whether Cold War-era Soviet electronic weaponry could have played a part in the attacks, which disoriented and injured 24 American officials in Cuba earlier this year, according to Politico. Congress wants answers too: On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee conducts a hearing on “Attacks on U.S. Diplomats in Cuba: Response and Oversight.”
  • Opioids, opioids everywhere: The American Enterprise Institute on Monday will host Greg Walden, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, for a discussion on “The Opioid Crisis: What Can Congress Do?” And on Wednesday, a Senate Appropriations subcommittee conducts a hearing on “V.A. Efforts to Prevent and Combat Opioid Overmedication.”
  • Hurricane recovery gets several more looks this week: On Tuesday, the Senate Energy Committee meets on “Hurricane Recovery Efforts in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands,” featuring the governors of both territories; House Energy and Commerce looks at “Environmental Concerns from the 2017 Hurricane Season;” and House Natural Resources examines “The Need for Transparent Financial Accountability in Territories’ Disaster Recovery Efforts.” On Thursday, New America hosts “A Conversation on Rebuilding Puerto Rico.”
  • Republicans in Congress continue to push efforts to raise revenues by opening new areas of federal lands to oil and gas drillingOn Wednesday the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will mark up legislation authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to establish a competitive oil and gas program in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a plan that Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski says could raise $2 billion over the next decade.
  • The Trump Administration faced questions last week over whether officials had pushed AT&T to consider selling Turner Broadcasting, which owns CNN, as a condition of AT&T’s proposed takeover of Time Warner. President Trump, of course, has been highly critical of CNN’s coverage of the administration. On Wednesday, Senate Judiciary’s Antitrust subcommittee looks at “The Consumer Welfare Standard in Antitrust: Outdated or a Harbor in a Sea of Doubt?”
  • What if Canada wants to build a wall? (Go ahead – laugh; the boys at South Park have already made it a reality.) On Tuesday, a House Homeland Security subcommittee will review the DHS’s Northern Border Threat Analysis as part of “Looking North: Assessing the Current Threat at the U.S.-Canada Border.”
    Founded in 2006, Sphere Consulting is an international public affairs firm providing clients with creative, effective, and timely solutions.  Our work spans the globe and all industry sectors with a focus on the implementation of strategic campaigns to deliver your media and government relations needs.

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