This Week in Washington…

Posted on October 17, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized |

TOP 5 STORIES THIS WEEK

WHITE HOUSE

  • President Obama voiced frustration with the recent fiscal fight at a press conference Thursday morning, and urged Congress to tackle larger budgetary concerns going forward.
  • Following the president’s signing of the continuing resolution, Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell issued a memorandum formally reopening the federal government and instructing furloughed employees to return to work.
  • President Obama sat for interviews with local television affiliates in New York City, Los Angeles, and Des Moines, calling glitches in the Affordable Care Act exchanges “unacceptable” and saying that fiscal negotiations were hindered by the fact that House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, “can’t control his caucus.”
  • President Obama conferred the Medal of Honor on former Army Capt. William Swenson, a veteran of the Afghan war, for his actions during a Sept. 2009 battle in the Ganjgal valley.
  • The president, first lady Michelle Obama, and daughter Malia met Friday with Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani girl wounded in an assassination attempt by the Taliban last year.

CONGRESS

POLITICS

BUDGET & ECONOMY

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

  • Representatives from 10 countries appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power arguing for expanded U.S. liquefied natural gas exports.
  • The Yom Kippur War was 40 years ago, but it sparked a brief market panic last week.
  • Senators passed legislation to enact the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement.
  • Leaked biofuel targets are only a draft proposal for next year’s renewable-fuel standard, according to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is the latest Republican to call for the Environmental Protection Agency to hold public comment sessions on an upcoming regulation to limit emissions from existing power plants in coal states. Meanwhile, the first two stops of the 11-city tour have been postponed.
  • An aide to Ken Cuccinelli offered legal advice to energy companies while working for the Virginia attorney general, an action the state inspector general has deemed inappropriate.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

HEALTH CARE

  • Insurance experts differ about how long it may take to fix glitches on the Affordable Care Act marketplace websites. In the meantime, insurers have started enrolling individuals on their plans directly.
  • Twenty-week abortion bans compel women to carry profoundly disabled children to term. At the heart of a wave of state laws banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, is the question of whether a fetus can feel pain.
  • The fact that the health care exchanges will include the opportunity for eligible voters to register has caused some controversy among Republicans.
  • The federal government will pay very different subsidy amounts for individuals’ health insurance under similar plans, depending on the state.
  • The pathway to ACA individual mandate exemptions is confusing, and a system for individuals to apply is not yet in place.
  • According to a Kaiser report released Wednesday, 5.2 million poor uninsured adults will fall into the coverage gap in the 26 states that have opted out of Medicaid expansion under the ACA.
  • Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham said Wednesday that the ACA won’t be repealed unless Republicans win control of the White House and Senate, but that Republicans have to do something to stop it before 2014.

TECHNOLOGY

  • When it comes to the country’s drone program, the Central Intelligence Agency depends largely on the National Security Agency for phone and email records, as well as other signal intelligence, according to documents provided by Edward Snowden.
  • In the wake of Edward Snowden’s disclosures about U.S. government surveillance, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is facing increased pressure to internationalize control of the Domain Name System.
  • The Obama administration has filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to decline to review immediately the NSA’s surveillance programs, maintaining that cases pending in lower courts should be allowed to proceed.
  • Apple Inc. this week hired Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to lead its retail and online sales divisions.
  • As Twitter Inc. prepares for its highly-anticipated initial public offering, the company is leveraging its popularity to extract favorable terms from the banks that will sell its shares.
  • Verizon Communications declined to rebuild the copper-line phone network on New Jersey’s Mantoloking Island after it was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy, replacing it with wireless telephone service.

OTHER NEWS

QUOTES

  • “Credit worthiness is like virginity, it can be preserved but not restored very easily, so it is crazy to play around with it.” — Warren Buffett (CNBC)
  • “There are members with a different agenda. And I’m not sure they’re Republicans and I’m not sure they’re conservative.” — Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., on his Tea Party colleagues (National Journal)
  • “[M]aybe the quality of the enchiladas.” — Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., on what was discussed by Republicans meeting in secret at Tortilla Coast (Roll Call)
  • “There are no winners here.” — White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, on the end of the shutdown (Time)
  • “It all comes down to whether Howard will do it, and I need Howard.” — former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, on a possible presidential bid with shock jock Howard Stern (Politico)
  • “Blaming the National Park Service for the closure of the parks is like voting for capital punishment and then blaming the hangman,” — Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C. (National Journal)

CHARTS AND GRAPHICS

Future events

  • Thursday, Oct. 17 — The New America Foundation will hold a discussion on an upcoming report from the Committee to Protect Journalists titled, “Obama and the Press: Leak Investigations and Surveillance in Post-9/11 America” at 2 p.m. at 1899 L Street NW.
  • Thursday, Oct. 17 — Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Air Force Gen. John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force, at the White House at 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 17 — The Woman’s National Democratic Club will hold a discussion on good governance proposals at the federal and state levels at 6:30 p.m. at 1526 New Hampshire Avenue NW.
  • Thursday, Oct. 17 – Friday, Oct. 18 — The Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s Joint Public Advisory Committee will hold a regular session meeting on “20 Years of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and the NAAEC (North American Agreement On Environmental Cooperation) at 2000 H Street NW.
  • Thursday, Oct. 17 — The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research will hold a discussion on “Housing and Government Finance in the Post-Bubble, Post-Bernanke World” at 2 p.m. at 1150 17th Street NW.
  • Thursday, Oct. 17 — The Peterson Institute for International Economics will hold a discussion on “The Yin and Yang of Resolving the European Sovereign Debt Crisis” at 4 p.m. at 1750 Massachusetts Avenue NW.
  • Thursday, Oct. 17 — The Atlantic Council will hold a conference call briefing on “Geneva Talks on Iran: A New Beginning?” at 3 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 17 — The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies will hold a discussion on “Troika and the Dynamics of the Washington-Tokyo-Beijing Triangle” at 4:30 p.m. at 1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW.
  • Thursday, Oct. 17 — The Washington, D.C. Chapter of the World Future Society will hold a discussion on the Integrated Synergetic Information System, which is being developed for Egypt “to see the nation’s situation as a whole, its future options, and the full range of citizens’ views, government programs, and feedback on priorities” at 6:30 p.m. at 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
  • Thursday, Oct. 17 — The America’s Future Foundation will hold a discussion on “Obamacare: To Delay, Defund, or Defy?” at 6:30 p.m. at 901 15th Street NW.
  • Thursday, Oct. 17 –The Politics and Prose Bookstore will hold a book discussion on The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, on how Amazon.com changed the nature of retail sales, at 4 p.m. on 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW.
  • Thursday, Oct. 17 – Friday, Oct. 18 — The American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section will hold a conference, “Beyond the Horizon: What’s Next in Aviation and Space Law Litigation,” at 1150 22nd Street NW.
  • Friday, Oct. 18 — The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies will hold a discussion on “Syria’s Moderate Opposition: Challenges to Ending the Conflict” at 11 a.m. at 1740 Massachusetts Avenue NW.
  • Friday, Oct. 18 — The Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond will hold the 2013 Resolution Conference, “Planning for the Orderly Resolution of a Global Systemically Important Bank” at 8 am. at 1127 Connecticut Avenue NW.
  • Friday, Oct. 18 — The New America Foundation will hold a book discussion on Treasury’s War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare, on the use of financial sanctions and intelligence “against the financial networks of terrorist groups, rogue regimes, proliferators, and criminal syndicates” at 12:15 p.m. at 1899 L Street NW.
  • Friday, Oct. 18 — The National Research Council will hold a meeting, “Reviewing the 2010 Census,” at 9 a.m. at 500 Fifth Street NW.
  • Friday, Oct. 18 — The National Press Club Newsmaker Program will hold a news conference on “Finding Common Ground with the NRA (National Rifle Association) on Gun Control” at 2 p.m. at 529 14th Street NW.
  • Friday, Oct. 18 — The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies will hold a discussion on “The Energy Roadmap: Setting the Direction for 21st Century Energy” at 4:30 p.m. at 1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW.
  • Friday, Oct. 18 — The Economic Policy Institute and the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education will hold a book discussion on Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools at 1 p.m. at 1333 H Street NW.
  • Friday, Oct. 18 — The Politics and Prose Bookstore will hold a book discussion on Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools at 7 p.m. at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW.
  • Monday, Oct. 21 — The Henry L. Stimson Center will hold a discussion on “Climate and Security: Views from the Global North and South,” including “how climate change is impacting the national security and economic development” of Canada and Indonesia at1 p.m. at 1111 19th Street NW.
  • Monday, Oct. 21 — The Woodrow Wilson Center Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies will hold a discussion on “The New Political Landscape of Afghanistan’s Neighborhood After 2014” at noon at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
  • Monday, Oct. 21 – Monday, Oct. 22 — Medicaid Health Plans of America will hold its 2013 conference titled “Health Reform from East to West: Preparing Medicaid Health Plans for 2014,” at 8 a.m. at 201 Waterfront Street in National Harbor, Md.
  • Monday, Oct. 21 — The Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a discussion on “Rare Earth Elements: Implications on U.S.-Asia Environmental and Security Issues,” on China’s near-monopoly on chemical elements “critical for mobile phones, laptops, green technologies and even defense systems” at 7 p.m. at 1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW.
  • Monday, Oct. 21 — The Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project will hold a discussion on “Improving College Outcomes: A Modern Approach to Financing Higher Education” at 1 p.m. at 529 14th Street NW.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 22 — The National Business Group on Health will hold a briefing to announce “the results of a survey of employees on their perspectives on the Affordable Care Act, health insurance exchanges and the future of benefits and health care delivery” at 10 a.m. at 529 14th Street NW.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 22 — The Brookings Institution will hold a discussion on “The Modernization of Health Care through Mobile Technology and Medical Monitoring Devices” at 2 p.m. at 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 22 — Foreign Policy Initiative will hold the 2013 FPI Forum on “Will America Lead?” at 9 a.m. at 1301 Constitution Avenue NW.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 22 – Wednesday, Oct. 23 — The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations holds the 22nd annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference, “Navigating Arab-U.S. Relations: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities,” at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 22 – The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a hearing, “Housing Finance Reform: Essential Elements of a Government Guarantee for Mortgage-Backed Securities” at 10 a.m. in 538 Dirksen.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 22 — The Center for American Progress, PolicyLink, and the Rockefeller Foundation will hold a discussion on a new poll examining attitudes toward rising diversity and continued inequities titled “The Next 30 Years: Political and Policy Implications of Changing Demographics in the United States” at noon at 1333 H Street NW.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 22 — The Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum on “Big Data: A Game Changer for Environmental Managers, Advocates and Regulators?” at 9 a.m. at 2500 Calvert Street NW.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 22 — The Henry L. Stimson Center will hold a discussion on a new study by the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC) titled “Nuclear Weapons Security Crises: What Does History Teach?” focusing on “China’s near-nuclear crisis” during the Cultural Revolution at 11:30 a.m. at 1111 19th Street NW.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 23 — The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on “Expanding Access to VA Health Care” at 10 a.m. in 418 Russell.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 23 — Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the nominations of John Owens to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit; Matthew Leitman to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan; Judith Levy to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan; Laurie Michelson to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan; Linda Parker to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan; and Peter Kadzik to be an assistant attorney general at 2:30 p.m. in 266 Dirksen.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 23 — The Peterson Institute for International Economics will hold a discussion on “A Global Perspective on Fiscal Uncertainty: Is U.S. Government Debt Different?” at 4 p.m. at 1750 Massachusetts Avenue NW.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 23 — The Family Research Council will hold a discussion on “An Obamacare Alternative,” focusing on the Republican Study Group’s American Health Care Reform Act at noon at 801 G Street NW.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 23 — The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research will hold a discussion on “From Multiple Choice to One Size Fits All? Obamacare and the Future of Competition in Health Care” at noon at 1150 17th Street NW.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 23 — The Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Financial Services Roundtable will hold a discussion on “Cybersecurity: 21st Century Threats, Challenges, and Opportunities” at 8:30 a.m. at 1616 Rhode Island Avenue NW.
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