Washington Daybook: Going Public

Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Shoppers take a nap at the Westfield San Francisco Centre mall during Black Friday shopping.

President Barack Obama takes his plan to avert the “fiscal cliff” to the public today, speaking after a tour of a toy factory in Hatsfield, Pennsylvania.

Obama is expected to emphasize his call for an extension of George W. Bush-era tax rates for middle-income households and use the approach of the holidays to argue that families will curb spending on toys and everything else if they don’t know whether they will have to pay more taxes next year.

Republicans have complained about the plan, setting the stage for contentious negotiations as the year-end deadline approaches for more than $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases to kick in.

The Senate today resumes consideration of amendments to 2013 defense authorization, with four votes planned this morning. The House will vote a measure to set aside new green cards for foreign students who graduate from U.S. universities with advanced degrees in certain fields.

Also today, the  American Gas Association holds a news conference to outline vision for natural gas in 2013. The American Meteorological Society holds briefing on causes and effects of the 2012 forest fires. Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin speaks at the department’s Finance Data Conference, exploring how data published by federal agencies can be harnessed by private sector. And Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler speaks at the agency’s 2012 Research Conference on key issues in derivatives markets including high-frequency trading and swaps.

And just two days after one of the largest lottery jackpots — $587.5 million — was won by two people in Missouri and Arizona, a new class of House freshmen will participate in a lottery of their own — to determine their office space next year.

Roxana Tiron and James Rowley contributed to this report.

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