TenCount -> The White House communications shop

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TenCount -> The White House communications shop

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

  • In his 2013 book “Where the Jobs Are,” John Dearie, most recently acting CEO of the Financial Services Forum, documented how start-ups are responsible for virtually all of the net new job creation in the US over the last 30 years. Today, Dearie is launching the Center for American Entrepreneurship, a nonpartisan policy and advocacy organization whose mission is to engage policymakers in Washington and across the nation on the critical importance of entrepreneurs and start-ups to innovation, economic growth, and job creation – and to pursue a comprehensive policy agenda intended to significantly enhance the circumstances for new business formation, survival, and growth.
  • The White House communications shop sets its course under new management today after Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said on CNN on Sunday that President Trump still does not accept the intelligence community’s finding that Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. On Fox News Sunday, Scaramucci also vowed to stop the leaks that have plagued the administration to date. “I will take dramatic action to stop those leaks,” he vowed, including paring down the communications staff.
  • Made in America week came and went, as did Infrastructure Week and Energy Week. And still, the Russia investigation hangs on. This week is set to be a doozy. Presidential adviser, Jared Kushner is scheduled to appear before a closed-door hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday, followed on Wednesday by an appearance by Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The topic, of course: Russian meddling in the presidential election, including Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russians peddling dirt on Hillary Clinton.
  • Also on the agenda at the Judiciary Committee’s Wednesday session is an examination of the Justice Department’s enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, the law requiring people representing foreign governments to make their activities known to the DOJ. Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has been critical of the Justice Department’s efforts to monitor foreign agents. Senior officials of the DOJ, the FBI, and the DOJ’s Inspector General are scheduled to appear.
  • It’s the last week in session for the House of Representatives before the August recess, while the Senate allegedly has two more weeks of work before breaking for a shortened summer vacation. But the main reason for that extended stay – a vote on whether to repeal Obamacare – is now expected to come this week. It’s not yet clear, however, that there are even enough votes to pass the procedural step of bringing the bill up for debate.
  • The Federal Reserve’s policy-making body, the Federal Open Market Committee, is scheduled to meet Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the state of the economy and the need for further interest rate hikes this year. No action is expected until at least the September meeting, however. The Fed hasn’t scheduled a press conference after this week’s two-day session, and under Chairwoman Janet Yellen the Fed hasn’t made any moves without a press conference planned.
  • The international financial system will be getting plenty of attention this week, as the Center for Global Development on Monday hosts “Global Economic Challenges: A Conversation with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.” And on Thursday, the House Committee on Financial Services will hear from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who will give his annual testimony on the state of the international financial system.
  • Nominations continueOn Tuesday, Senate Judiciary will hear from a potential Assistant AG for the Criminal Division, while the Banking Committee will vote on a HUD General Counsel and assistant secretaries for HUD, Treasury and Commerce. On Wednesday the Commerce Committee considers nominees for General Counsel and Undersecretary for Economic Affairs at the Commerce Department. And on Thursday, the Banking Committee reconvenes to hear from a potential Comptroller of the Currency and a Fed governor.
  • It’s appropriations season, still, and Tuesday is chock full of Senate Appropriations subcommittees doing their thing. Among the actions: A markup of Transportation and HUD spending; a separate markup of Commerce and DOJ; and a hearing on Treasury’s budget. The markups continue on Thursday if necessary.
  • Critical to President Trump’s infrastructure plan is the expansion of broadband availability, particularly in rural areas of the country. On Monday, the Brookings Institution hosts “Including Broadband in Trump’s Infrastructure Plan: Opportunities and Challenges.” Meanwhile, on Tuesday, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hears from the three sitting FCC commissioners as it considers “Oversight and Reauthorization of the FCC.” 

    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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