WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 – President Barack Obama will officially unveil a new budget blueprint for 2013 on Monday morning, seeking to reduce the federal deficit while continuing many of the revenue-raising themes he has embraced in the past. Early in the afternoon, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will brief reporters on the USDA portion of the budget.


Administration officials who briefed some White House reporters on Friday said the budget will aim to trim deficit spending over the next decade by about $3 trillion with $1.5 trillion in new revenue, $278 billion in mandatory spending cuts and $360 billion in healthcare reforms.


The budget calls for new spending limits on agriculture subsidies and moving to five-day-a-week postal delivery, according to documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal.


Obama outlined some of his budget priorities during his State of the Union speech last month, where he called for support of the so-called “Buffet rule” under which millionaires pay no less than 30 percent of their incomes in taxes. He is also expected to propose letting the Bush era tax cuts expire at the end of the year and capping certain deductions for those making more than $250,000.


The new budget proposal is also expected to call for a new trade enforcement center and more U.S. inspectors in China as the administration takes aim at unfair trade practices abroad, the Associated Press quoted a senior administration official as saying on Saturday. Obama announced plans during his State of the Union address to combine and streamline the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, the Commerce Dept. and other trade agencies.


The focus on trade comes as Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping – who is expected to take over leadership of China in 2013 - lands in Washington on Monday for a week of high-profile meetings with top Obama administration officials. Later in the week, he’ll make stops on a farm and meet with Secretary Vilsack and other agricultural leaders in Iowa.


But the focus on the budget won’t go away.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, and said he'll offer President Barack Obama's budget on the floor, repeating an action he took last year. That budget was defeated 97-0.

"The only budget votes we'll have in the Senate, which refuses to follow the law and pass a budget of its own, would be a House-passed budget and the president’s budget, so I intend to offer the president’s budget for him so he’ll have a chance to get a vote on it," McConnell said.

For other hearings and events this week:

Monday, February 13

On Monday, the House will meet at 1:00 p.m. in pro forma session. At 2:00 p.m, the U.S. Senate will Convene and begin a period of morning business.


Tuesday, February 14


10:00 a.m. Senate Budget Committee will examine the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal 2013.


5:00 p.m., Host: Committee on Rules, Hearing: H.R. 7 - American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2012, H-313 Capitol


Wednesday, February 15

On Wednesday and Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. Consideration of:

H.R. 7 - American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2012 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. John Mica / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee / Natural Resources Committee / Energy and Commerce Committee / Ways and Means Committee / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)


9:30 a.m., Senate Agriculture Committee meeting to consider the nominations of Michael T. Scuse, of Delaware, to be Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, and to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Commodity Credit Corporation, Department of Agriculture, and Chester John Culver, of Iowa, and Bruce J. Sherrick, of Illinois, both to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, Farm Credit Administration. After the meeting, Secretary Vilsack will testify before the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on “Energy and Economic Growth for Rural America.” 


Deputy Secretary Merrigan will attend BioFach Trade Show in Nuremberg, Germany. 


1:00 p.m., Host: Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Healthcare and Technology, Hearing: Broadband: A Catalyst for Small Business Growth


2:00 p.m., Host: Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement, Hearing: Safeguarding the Integrity of the Immigration Benefits Adjudication Process, 2141 Rayburn HOB


Thursday, February 16


Secretary Vilsack will host a U.S.-China Agricultural Symposium in Des Moines, IA.   


9:30 a.m. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing to examine the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal 2013 for the Dept. of Energy.

10:00 a.m., Host: Committee on Financial Services, Markup: Markup of H.R. 3606, "Reopening American Capital Markets to Emerging Growth Companies Act of 2011"; H.R. 2308,"SEC Regulatory Accountability Act"; H.R. 1838, "Swaps Bailout Prevention Act"; and H.R. 3871, "Proprietary Information Protection Act of 2012" 2128 Rayburn HOB


Friday, February 17

On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. Last votes expected no later than 3:00 p.m.

Secretary Vilsack will testify before the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the FY 2013 USDA budget. Deputy Secretary Merrigan will serve as a supporting witness.


10:00 a.m., Host: Committee on Appropriations | Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Hearing: Budget Hearing - Department of Agriculture – Secretary, 2362-A Rayburn



9:30 a.m., Host: Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs, Hearing: Oversight Hearing on "Fish and Wildlife Service’s Proposed Comprehensive Conservation Plan and its Potential Devastating Impact on the Economy of the Town of Chincoteague, Virginia" 1324 Longworth House Office Building




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