What to Watch

What to Watch

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

-- The Middle East is back on the agenda, as President Obama meets with Israeli President Shimon Peres, above, at the White House, and Vice President Biden at 9:30 a.m. is the featured speaker at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual policy conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

-- Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), meanwhile, are scheduled to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai -- the photo op is at 5 p.m. -- and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari holds a closed afternoon meeting with the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Karzai will address the Brookings Institution on "Governance, Growth and Development in Afghanistan" at 1 p.m.

Karzai and Zardari are scheduled for separate meetings Wednesday with Obama.

-- Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag and Public Printer of the United States Robert C. Tapella inspect the production run of Obama's detailed fiscal 2010 budget at 1 p.m., the latest in the increasingly prominent wonk-camp genre of manufactured government events (think Biden at a bus depot, or announcing the repaving of a regional airstrip).

-- Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben S. Bernanke goes before the Joint Economic Committee at 10 a.m. to talk about the economic outlook, which remains as it has been.

-- The Securities and Exchange Commission holds a roundtable discussion on "short-sale price test" and "circuit breaker" restrictions. SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro kicks of the discussion at 10 a.m. and will be followed by industry and academic experts.

-- "Cyberspace as a Warfighting Domain: Policy, Management and Technical Challenges to Mission Assurance" is the subject of a House Armed Services subcommittee hearing at 3:30 p.m. that will feature Lt. Gen. William L. Shelton, the Air Force's chief information officer; Robert F. Lentz, the Defense Department's chief information assurance officer; and Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, director of the National Security Agency.

A House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee takes a narrower look into the same arena, examining "Cyber Security: Emerging Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Challenges in Securing Federal Information Systems" at 2 p.m.

-- Coming on the heels of last week's hearings on piracy is another round on the same mounting threat, this time in the Senate Armed Services and Commerce, Science and Transportation committees. They will examine ways to protect ships, crews and passengers.

-- Garance Franke-Ruta federalcity@washpost.com

© 2009 The Washington Post Company