Dispatch from the Front: The Week of March 19

On Tuesday, President Obama hosts the Prime Minister of Ireland, and later he and the First Lady hold a St. Patrick’s Day reception at the White House. On Wednesday, he travels to Nevada to a solar energy facility before heading to gas and oil fields in New Mexico. He is in Oklahoma on Thursday to talk about his energy policy.  While there, he will visit the site of a segment of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Senate convenes today and takes up the JOBS Act (H.R. 3606), which the House recently passed. The Senate may consider an amendment that would reauthorize the Export-Import Bank during the consideration process.

The House meets later this afternoon. The main item on the agenda this week is H.R. 5, which would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board and implement tort reforms. The Majority Leader’s calendar is here.

Senate Hearings: TUESDAY—An Environment and Public Works subcommittee holds a hearing on mercury and air toxics standards for power plants. WEDNESDAY—The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee holds a hearing on “Retooling Government for the 21st Century: The President’s Reorganization Plan and Reducing Duplication.” A Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing on “The Verizon/Cable Deals: Harmless Collaboration or a Threat to Competition and Consumers?” An Appropriations subcommittee looks at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. THURSDAY—The Environment and Public Works Committee examines the budget for the Environmental Protection Agency. The Banking Committee looks at the Volcker Rule.

House Hearings: TUESDAY—A Natural Resources subcommittee holds a hearing on the budgets for energy and mineral production agencies. An Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on Canadian oil sands. WEDNESDAY—The Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on gas prices.

Executive Branch: Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is meeting with the Chamber of Commerce and foreign business groups today. On Friday, Secretary of Commerce John Bryson leads a trade mission to India.

Economic Reports: From the New York Times: “Data will include housing starts for February (Tuesday); existing home sales for February (Wednesday); weekly jobless claims and leading economic indicators for February (Thursday); and new-home sales for February (Friday).”

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