Dispatch from the Front: The Week of August 8

Congress begins its first full week of recess amid news that the S&P downgraded the U.S. long-term credit rating and global economic jitters.

On Tuesday, the President announces new fuel efficiency standards for large trucks and heavy-duty vehicles at Interstate Moving Services in northern Virginia. On Wednesday, he hosts an Iftar dinner to celebrate Ramadan. On Thursday, he travels to Michigan and visits Johnson Controls Inc.’s facility that produces batteries for hybrid vehicles. On Friday, the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers visit the White House.

The House and Senate are out for the next month.

Senate Hearings: THURSDAY—The Small Business Committee holds a field hearing on “The Role of Exports in Small Business Growth and Job Creation.”

House Hearings: TUESDAY—An Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a field hearing on “EPA’s Takeover of Florida’s Nutrient Water Quality Standard Setting: Impact on Communities and Job Creation.”

Executive Branch: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar travels to Alaska on Monday. The director of the U.S. patent office David Kappos is in Florida this week to talk with local business leaders about the economy.

Economic Reports: From the New York Times: “Data this week will include second-quarter productivity (Tuesday); wholesale trade for June (Wednesday); the trade deficit for June and weekly jobless claims (Thursday); and retail sales for July, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for August, and business inventories for June (Friday).” Read Neil Irwin’s Washington Post column here.