Dispatch from the Front: The Week of March 14

President Obama delivers the commencement address at Barnard College today. Tomorrow he gives remarks honoring law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty. Later in the day, he hosts a dinner for combatant commanders and their spouses at the White House. On Wednesday, he will call on Congress to enact a “to-do list” to create jobs and will also honor Army Specialist Leslie Sabo, who was killed in action during the Vietnam War, with the Medal of Honor. On Friday, he travels to Camp David for the G-8 Summit before heading to Chicago for the NATO Summit on Saturday.

The Senate votes today to take up the reauthorization (H.R. 2072) of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank.

The House convenes on Tuesday. The two big items on its agenda for the week are the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (H.R. 4970) and the 2013 defense authorization bill (H.R. 4310). See the Majority Leader’s complete calendar here.

Senate Hearings: TUESDAY—The Committee on Aging holds a hearing on long-term unemployment. WEDNESDAY—An Environment and Public Works subcommittee holds a hearing on corporate environmental responsibility. An Appropriations subcommittee reviews the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget request for 2013. The Commerce Committee conducts oversight of the Federal Communications Commission. THURSDAY—The Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on the Clean Energy Standard Act (S. 2146).

House Hearings: TUESDAY—An Energy and Commerce subcommittee reviews broadband loans and grants funded by the stimulus. WEDNESDAY—The Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the implementation of the patent reform bill. The Small Business Committee asks, “What’s Next for Small Business Exporters?” NAM member Thomas Crafton of Thermcraft testifies. THURSDAY—A Ways and Means subcommittee holds a hearing on customs trade modernization. The Agriculture Committee marks up three bills to reform how the Dodd-Frank financial services law handles swaps.

Executive Branch: On Monday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Commerce Secretary John Bryson, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson speak about “Enabling Environmental Markets and Exports” at a summit in Washington, D.C. On Tuesday, Secretary Bryson speaks at the Steel Manufacturers Association conference. On Wednesday, Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank speaks at a symposium on Manufacturing, Innovation, and Workforce Training: What Works in Germany and the U.S. for Jobs and Growth.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Data to be reported this week will include the Consumer Price Index for April, retail sales for April and business inventories for March (Tuesday); April housing starts and April industrial production, weekly jobless claims, leading economic indicators for April and the Philadelphia Fed index for May (Thursday).”

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