What to Watch

What to Watch

Craig Fugate has been nominated to be FEMA administrator.
Craig Fugate has been nominated to be FEMA administrator. (J. Scott Applewhite - AP)
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

-- It's Earth Day, and President Obama is heading to Newton, Iowa -- population 15,000 -- to talk about green jobs. Known as the home of appliance company Maytag, which was founded there in 1893 and was the town's largest employer until its plants closed in 2007, Newton is now making a push in a different direction. Obama will tour the Trinity Structural Towers wind-power manufacturing facility, housed in a former Maytag plant, and deliver remarks on energy. The Newton Daily News called the visit the first by a sitting president since Harry S. Truman stopped by.

-- Fifteen years after the passage of the Violence Against Women Act, Vice President Biden will speak at a symposium celebrating it at Georgetown University Law Center. Biden, then a senator from Delaware, was the original sponsor of the law. He will receive the Legal Momentum Hero Award.

-- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will mark Earth Day by announcing nearly $750 million in Recovery Act investments at hundreds of national parks. The announcement will take place on the green roof of the Interior Department's main building. Because -- who knew? -- they have one.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will do her bit with a speech at her department's "Greening Diplomacy" event; in the evening she delivers keynote remarks at the fifth annual "Act for Earth" gala hosted by the ambassador of Kuwait, an oil state, at his residence.

And Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis will hold a roundtable on green jobs for women.

-- Congress will mark the day with a spate of hearings. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood are to testify before a joint 9:30 a.m. hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the energy and environment subcommittee, focusing on the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. The daylong hearing will feature many more speakers, as well.

On the Senate side, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on energy-efficiency resource standards; the Environment and Public Works Committee plans one on "Oversight of the GSA [General Services Administration] and Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings"; and the Foreign Relations Committee will tackle "Global Climate Change: U.S. Leadership for a New Global Agreement."

-- In a contrary spirit, the Young Conservatives Coalition marks the day with a "Global Warming Beach Party" rally outside the Environmental Protection Agency.

-- Nominations moving forward: The Foreign Relations Committee's European affairs subcommittee holds a hearing on the nominations of Susan Burk to be special representative of the president to the State Department and Ivo Daalder to be permanent representative to the NATO council. The nominees testify.

-- At the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, it's hearings on Craig Fugate to be administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and John Morton to be assistant secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The nominees testify.

-- Garance Franke-Ruta federalcity@washpost.com

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