Dispatch from the Front: The Week of March 4

Today, President Obama is expected to announce his picks to head the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. On Wednesday, the Alabama Crimson Tide roll into the White House to celebrate their national championship.

The Senate gavels in this afternoon and will take up two judicial nominations.

The House convenes this afternoon and will take up a bill (H.R. 307) intended to thwart chemical threats and biohazards. The House’s top priority for the week is approving a measure that would fund the government for the rest of the year. The current funding measure expires at the end of the month.

Senate Hearings: TUESDAY—The Budget Committee looks at wasteful spending in the tax code. THURSDAY—The Commerce Committee and the Homeland Security Committee hold a joint hearing on “The Cybersecurity Partnership Between the Private Sector and Our Government: Protecting our National and Economic Security.”

House Hearings: TUESDAY—An Energy and Commerce subcommittee considers “The Role of a Diverse Electricity Generation Portfolio.” A Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing on skilled immigration. A Natural Resources subcommittee looks at “America’s Offshore Energy Resources: Creating Jobs, Securing America, and Lowering Prices.” An Education and Workforce subcommittee looks at pension plan challenges. A Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee holds a hearing on “Freight and Passenger Rail in America’s Transportation System.” A Ways and Means subcommittee examines the tax provisions in the health care law. A Judiciary subcommittee considers the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (H.R. 367). Another Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing on excessive litigation. WEDNESDAY—An Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on “Our Nation of Builders: Powering U.S. Automobile Manufacturing Forward.” A Science, Space and Technology subcommittee examines climate policy. The Education and Workforce Committee marks up the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act (H.R. 803). The Small Business Committee holds a hearing on the implementation of the health care law. THURSDAY—A Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing on patent trolls.

Executive Branch: Vice President Biden speaks to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee today. Secretary of State John Kerry is on the last leg of his first trip as the nation’s top diplomat. He visits Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates today.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times: “Information to be released includes the ISM nonmanufacturing index for February (Tuesday); ADP employment for February, factory orders for January and the Federal Reserve beige book (Wednesday); weekly jobless claims, the trade deficit for January, fourth-quarter productivity (revised) and consumer credit for January (Thursday); and unemployment for February and wholesale trade inventories for January (Friday).”

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