The conference committee to reconcile the House and Senate financial reform bills begins in earnest on Thursday. And the New York Times writes that the White House wants an agreement before Obama leaves for a G-20 meeting in Toronto later this month. “The administration has tried to use the summit meeting to foster a sense of urgency among lawmakers. It thinks a deal would give Mr. Obama greater leverage in efforts to persuade other countries to support proposals like a global bank tax and higher capital standards for the largest financial institutions. The higher standards are part of the legislation but would require international coordination.”
The New York Times' Zeleny says that many Democratic members of Congress are skipping summer town halls. "Of the 255 Democrats who make up the majority in the House, only a handful held town-hall-style forums as legislators spent last week at home in their districts. It was no scheduling accident."
"With images of overheated, finger-waving crowds still seared into their minds from the discontent of last August, many Democrats heeded the advice of party leaders and tried to avoid unscripted question-and-answer sessions. The recommendations were clear: hold events in controlled settings -- a bank or credit union, for example -- or tour local businesses or participate in community service projects."
"President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) say that this time they are committed, really committed, to bringing some sort of clean energy bill to the floor this year," Roll Call reports. "But after months of speed bumps, false starts and promises, some are wondering, can they really get something done?"