Events of Interest: Week of July 25-30, 2011

Events of Interest: Week of July 25-30, 2011

The following events may be of interest in the week ahead. For more information, see our calendar on the right menu or click the links below. The House and Senate both are in session next week.

During the Week

The debt limit/deficit reduction talks undoubtedly will be the focus of attention in Washington next week. Even if agreement is reached over the weekend, as many hope, a bill will have to be written, passed by the House and Senate, and signed into law. This past week has been a roller coaster of announcements that a deal was near, but no, it wasn’t, but yes, things were looking up, but no, Speaker Boehner had walked out of talks with the President. Everyone is very frustrated and meanwhile the magic date of August 2 is closing in fast. The President and most others say that the debt limit must be raised by then or there will be “catastrophic” economic consequences for the United States. The current debt limit of $14.3 trillion was reached in May; the Treasury Department is keeping the nation solvent by not paying into the retirement accounts for federal workers. The obstacle to a deal is that Republicans will not vote to raise the debt limit until there is agreement on spending cuts to reduce the deficit. Democrats are willing to adopt some spending cuts, but also want tax increases to reduce the deficit. So far the Republicans have not been willing to compromise on tax increases.

Meanwhile, the House and Senate are keeping busy working on other matters. On Monday, the House is scheduled to start debate on the Interior and Environment appropriations bill. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is part of the Department of the Interior. USGS operates the two functioning Landsat satellites and in the FY2012 budget request proposes to take over the Landsat program completely from NASA. NASA is currently building Landsat 8 and USGS is planning for Landsat 9 and 10. The House Appropriations Committee, however, denied that request in its markup of the bill (H.R. 2584, H. Rept. 112-151), while expressing its support for the Landsat program overall.

The congressional schedule is always subject to change.

Monday, July 25

  • House scheduled to begin floor debate on the the Interior-Environment appropriations bill (H.R. 2584)

Tuesday, July 26

Wednesday, July 27

Thursday, July 28

Thursday-Saturday, July 28-30

  • Space Frontier Foundation NewSpace 2011 conference, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

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