Dispatch from the Front: The Week of March 18

President Obama meets with the Prime Minister of Ireland tomorrow. After celebrating a belated St. Patrick’s Day, the President heads to Israel. On Wednesday, he meets with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On Thursday, he meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas before meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah II on Friday.

The Senate meets today and resumes work on the continuing resolution (H.R. 933), which would fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year.

The House also meets today and will take up two bills on the suspension calendar. Its priority for the week is Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget resolution. The Majority Leader’s calendar is available here.

Senate Hearings: TUESDAY—The Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee marks up the nomination of Richard Cordray to serve as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Finance Committee examines the President’s trade plans. An Armed Services subcommittee holds a hearing on cybersecurity threats.

WEDNESDAY—The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee marks up the Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Reauthorization Act. The Judiciary Committee looks at “The Future of Drones in America: Law Enforcement and Privacy Considerations.” Later that day, the Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on “Building an Immigration System Worthy of American Values.”

House Hearings: TUESDAY—An Energy and Commerce subcommittee considers “The Role of Regulators and Grid Operators in Meeting Natural Gas and Electric Coordination Challenges.” An Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee examines natural gas exports. WEDNESDAY—The House Agriculture Committee marks up a number of bills amending the Dodd-Frank law. A Science, Space and Technology Committee considers “Improving EPA’s Scientific Advisory Processes.” The Education and Workforce Committee marks up the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act (H.R. 1120). An Appropriations subcommittee holds a closed hearing on “Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure.” THURSDAY—An Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on “Our Nation of Builders: The Strength of Steel.” A Small Business subcommittee looks at “Protecting Small Businesses Against Emerging and Complex Cyber-Attacks.”

Executive Branch: Vice President Biden is in Rome for the installation of the new pope on Tuesday. Today, he meets with the president and prime minister of Italy.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Data to be released include housing starts for February (Tuesday) and weekly jobless claims, existing home sales for February, the Philadelphia Fed index for March and leading economic indicators for February (Thursday).”

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