By Jon H. Harsch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Washington, Jan. 30 – Building on Energy Secretary Chu's briefing on the administration's national “Startup America” campaign (for details click here), Sec. Chu, Commerce Secretary Locke and top White House officials will meet with business entrepreneurs at the White House Monday. The aim of this effort is to “create the jobs and industries of the future by investing in the creativity and imagination of the American people.”

The effort continues Tuesday with President Obama hosting high-tech company leaders at the White House. Then Wednesday, the President heads to Pennsylvania to highlight the program's “Innovation Hubs,” such as Philadelphia's new Energy Efficiency Innovation Hub. On Friday, a White House economic team will release an “Innovation Report” on innovation expanding economic growth, competitiveness and jobs in transportation, housing, technology, manufacturing and trade.

For a broader view of what's working as the U.S. economy struggles to get back up to speed, tune in at 1 PM Thursday for Fed Chair Ben Bernanke's National Press Club speech on “the burgeoning economic recovery.”

Another kickoff Monday will be hosted by Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and Health & Human Services Secretary Sebelius, announcing the new federal Dietary Guidelines. Sec. Vilsack will be busy Thursday leading the Prayer for World Leaders at the 59th Annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, then he's off to Dallas to announce a new partnership to promote healthy lifestyles Friday. Also on the health front, USDA Deputy Secretary Merrigan will visit a Maryland elementary school with Congressman Steny Hoyer to highlight the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act.

At a time when new legislation has been introduced in Congress to rein in the EPA and block carbon reduction regulations, an impressive array of organizations holds a “Workshop on Carbon Market Design: Issues and Opportunities” Monday and Tuesday. Hosted by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission at its headquarters here, the event is co-sponsored by USDA's Economic Research Service and the Farm Foundation.Experts will discuss creating a U.S. carbon market.

Other key events and meetings this week:

Monday, Jan. 31

  • Senate Energy Committee Chair Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., speaks on “Energy Priorities for the New Congress” at the National Press Club.

  • USTR Ambassador Sapiro meets with Panamanian Vice Minister of Commerce & Industry Alvarez de Soto.

  • USTR Ambassador Siddiqui meet with leaders of the cotton and oilseed industries.

  • USDA reports: Agricultural Prices, Egg Products

Tuesday, Jan. 1

  • Senate Budget Committee hearing on the Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2011-2021.

  • USDA reports: Dairy Products.

Wednesday, Jan. 2

  • Senate Budget Committee hearing on Tax Reform: A Necessary Component for Restoring Fiscal Responsibility.

  • Senate Environment Committee hearing on Public Health and Drinking Water Issues.

  • Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

  • Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Catastrophic Preparedness: How Ready Is FEMA for the Next Big Disaster?

  • USDA reports: Broiler Hatchery.

Thursday, Jan. 3

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks at the National Press Club on the economic recovery.

  • Senate Budget Committee hearing on Challenges for the U.S. Economic Recovery.

  • Senate Environment & Public Works Subcommittee hearing on Assessing the Effectiveness of U.S. Chemical Safety Laws.

  • Senate Energy Committee hearing on the Energy and Oil Market Outlook for the 112th Congress.

  • Senate Budget Task Force on Government Performance hearing on Modernizing Performance: Using the New Framework.

  • Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee hearing on Simplifying Security: Encouraging Better Retirement Decisions.

Friday, Jan. 4

  • USDA reports: Dairy Products Prices, Peanut Prices.

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