What to Watch

What to Watch: President Obama to Discuss Budgetary Matters With Democrats

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

-- President Obama takes up budgetary matters with lawmakers in two White House settings: a speech in the East Room, accompanied by conservative Democrats, and a meeting in the State Dining Room with Democrats from the House Ways and Means Committee.

-- The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has decreed it Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2009, a.k.a. CHOW, which means one thing: Get ready for some serious tales from the deep.

First up: the three-day confab "The BLUE Economy: Understanding the Ocean's Role in Our Nation's Financial Future" at the Reserve Officers Association. Jane Lubchenco, commerce undersecretary and head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is today's keynote speaker.

On deck: The House Natural Resources subcommittee on insular affairs, oceans and wildlife holds a hearing on "Overdose: How Drugs and Chemicals in Water Supplies and the Environment are Harming our Fish and Wildlife."

And up the coast at the U.S. Naval Academy, Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) addresses the Third Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations with Lubchenco; Adm. Thad Allen, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard; and Rear Adm. David Titley, commander of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command.

-- It seeks to deal with important medical questions, it's the trendy policy topic du jour, it's well-funded by the stimulus act, and it has the kind of name that is guaranteed to make all but the most dedicated health-care policy professionals tune out. Comparative effectiveness research -- please, can't someone come up with a snappier name for it? -- or CER seeks to assess the merits of competing, and usually approved, medical treatments, with an eye toward improving care and lowering costs.

Today, the Brookings Institution holds a morning forum on "Implementing Comparative Effectiveness Research: Priorities, Methods and Impact" with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), former Treasury secretary Robert Rubin, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Director Carolyn Clancy, and representatives from industry, academia and other think tanks.

-- The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the oversight subcommittee hold a joint hearing on "Scientific Integrity and Transparency Reforms at the Environmental Protection Agency" with EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and others.

-- And Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor continues her meetings on Capitol Hill. Today's visits include Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Mel Martinez (R-Fla.).

-- Garance Franke-Ruta federalcity@washpost.com

© 2009 The Washington Post Company