Congressional Calendar February 24, 2010

Toyota take two! Hearings on Toyota’s malfunctioning gas pedals continue, this time in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. This one promises to be even more combustible than the first, as Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) has not been shy about his disdain for how Toyota has addressed the crisis. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will be back for the hearing’s first panel, and David Strickland, the Administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will join him. The second panel will be where the real fireworks start. President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, Akio Toyoda, and Yoshimi Inaba, President and CEO of Toyota Motor North America, Inc. testify. Fox News will bring it to you live starting at 11:00a.

In floor action, each chamber takes up bills designed to help the majority score some quick points ahead of what may be bruising midterm elections. The House will meet at 10:00a to advance a “piecemeal” bill on health care reform, which will seek to repeal the antitrust exemptions currently enjoyed by health insurance and medical malpractice insurance companies. The Senate takes up its second “jobs” bill, the Travel Promotion Act. It’s designed to promote tourism, but if you’re feeling snarky you can call it the “Reid re-election Act,” as the legislation benefits the state of Nevada, home of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D).

In other economy news, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivers his semiannual report on monetary policy and the state of the economy. The markets will be watching and so will we.

Despite the Democratic majority’s turn to focus on job-creating measures, the party continues its push for a health care overhaul ahead of Thursday’s bipartisan meeting at the White House. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing at 10:00a to address reports that Anthem Blue Cross, a subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc., is increasing its premium rates by as much as 39 percent in the individual health insurance market in California. At 2:00p, Majority Leader Reid will welcome “Melanie’s Marchers,” a group of citizens who have walked from Philadelphia to DC in order to “highlight the urgent need for comprehensive health care reform.”

Members of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet continue to visit the Hill to talk about the President’s FY 2011 budget. Sec. LaHood will meet with the Senate Budget Committee at 9:00a. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs at 10:30a and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at 2:00p. On the House side, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner talks to the Budget Committee at 10:00a.

And as always more news will break throughout the day, so stay tuned to Fox News for the latest…