Federal City Digest

Federal City Digest

(By Brian Lawdermilk -- Associated Press)
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

What to Watch

-- President Obama today will look into . . . the future. Or at least, the "Garage of the Future" at Edison International's Vehicle Electrics Plant in Pomona, Calif. The president will tour the plant in the morning to highlight his budgetary proposals to create a green-jobs economy. In the afternoon, Obama will head to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and then to the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex, where he will hold a town hall meeting with Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis. His multi-city, multi-stop day will continue with a visit to Burbank, Calif., for the first visit by a sitting president to "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," which will air on NBC at 11:35 p.m. Eastern time. The president will return to the White House at 1:35 tomorrow morning.

-- Vice President Biden is also highlighting the green-jobs message, traveling to St. Cloud, Minn., for the second regional meeting of the White House Middle Class Task Force. The gathering will be a transportation-oriented town hall meeting at the New Flyer of America bus manufacturing plant. New Flyer, which has its headquarters in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is a leading supplier of low-emission, hybrid and alternative-fuel buses in Canada and the United States.

-- At 2:30 p.m., Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, above, will join bird research and conservation groups to release "The U.S. State of Birds," "the first ever comprehensive report on bird populations in the United States." The report -- the result of a partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, state government wildlife agencies and nongovernmental organizations -- documents a four-decade decline in bird populations, as well as conservation successes.

-- First lady Michelle Obama, right, will be joined by a lineup of A-list stars -- including Alicia Keyes, Sheryl Crow, Debbie Allen and Alfre Woodard -- as she holds events at 11 Washington area schools to speak with students about setting career goals to reach their dreams. The school visits are part of the first lady's continued celebration of Women's History Month.

-- For many, the credit crunch begins at home, and today the House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit will look at two consumer-friendly bills: the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights Act of 2009 and the Consumer Overdraft Protection Fair Practices Act of 2009.

-- The Senate banking committee will explore "Modernizing Bank Supervision and Regulation," with U.S. Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair and others scheduled to appear.

-- And food is back on the table at the House Energy and Commerce oversight and investigations subcommittee for a hearing on "The Salmonella Outbreak: The Role of Industry in Protecting the Nation's Food Supply." Martin Kanan, president and chief executive of King Nut; David Mackay, chief executive of Kellogg; and Heather Isely, co-owner of Vitamin Cottage Natural Food Markets, will testify.

-- Garance Franke-Ruta federalcity@washpost.com

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