House Dems To Hold Economic Forum On Dec. 7

Seeking to carve out some political high ground on economic issues, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders are planning an "Economic Forum" for Friday.

Pelosi, Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) and Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) have invited a group of liberal economists, union leaders and former Clinton administration officials to speak, including former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and Laura Tyson, former chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisors, among others.

“The attention and efforts of Congress must be focused on the strains Americans are feeling – the spiraling price at the pump and for home heating, the real consequences of the mortgage foreclosure crisis, and the falling purchasing power of their paychecks," Pelosi said in a statement. "At this forum, we will bring together the leading  minds on these issues with the legislators who are prepared to make a difference."

Pelosi is also touting a compromise energy bill, which could come to the House floor for a vote this week, as another piece of the Democrats' economic strategy. The Democratic proposal calls for a 40 percent increase in automobile fuel economy by 2020, as well as increasing use of renewable fuels, as a way to wean America off its addiction to imported oil, which has skyrocketed in prices in recent months.