WASHINGTON, March 19 – You can expect a slew of press conferences and releases on Tuesday, as both Republicans and Democrats try to make their respective cases for and against the new budget plan authored by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-WI.


Ryan is scheduled to announce his “Blueprint for American Renewal” budget during a 10:30 a.m press conference and later, a speech to the American Enterprise Institute Tuesday. A Budget Committee markup is expected the next day. Republicans hope to unite their members around the deficit reduction bandwagon and use the document as an outline of their priorities for the November elections.


Late last week, Ryan previewed the importance of tackling tough federal budget issues
in a web-based video that was filmed as he walked the halls of Congress.


 “This coming debt crisis is the most predictable crisis we’ve ever had in this country,” he says in the video. “This is why we’re acting. This is why we’re leading. This is why we’re proposing and passing from the House a budget to fix this problem.”


To view the short clip, click:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwDai5NtXa0

Republicans hope to contrast their leadership on fiscal issues with the Democratic-led Senate, which has failed to pass a budget, as required by law, in nearly three years. It’s been so long, Sen. Pat Roberts, R-KS, jokingly told members of the American Soybean Association gathered in Washington last week that “Lady Gaga sang with clothes on the last time the Senate produced a budget.”


Ryan’s 2013 budget blueprint is expected to mirror some of what he proposed last year, which included $30 billion in farm subsidy cuts and a controversial Medicare proposal. But some sources expect the level of farm subsidy cuts could be even higher.


Democrats are expected to repeat many of the same criticisms as last year, describing Ryan’s plan as “draconian” and the “end of Medicare.” They say the Republican budget will choose "Millionaires over Medicare" and are launching a new "Medicare March" campaign today, targeted in 41 GOP districts.


In other news, House members will host a series of hearings this week to highlight energy issues. The House Agriculture Committee will hold a subcommittee hearing focused on rural development and 2012 Farm Bill field hearing in Illinois this week. For a list of events and hearings:


Monday, March 19

On Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives will meet at 4:00 p.m. for legislative business with votes postponed until 6:30 p.m. This week, the House will vote on a repeal of the Medicare Independent Advisory Board and a cap on medical malpractice awards.


The U.S. Senate will convene at 2:00 p.m. and will be in morning business until 4:30 p.m.

Following morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R.3606, the Capital Formation/IPO bill.


Tuesday, March 20

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


10:00 a.m., Hearing: Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Oversight Hearing on "Effect of the President’s FY 2013 Budget and Legislative Proposals for the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service’s Energy and Minerals Programs on Private Sector Job Creation, Domestic Energy and Minerals Production and Deficit Reduction” 1300 Longworth HOB.


Illinois primary


Wednesday, March 21

Deputy Secretary Merrigan will speak at the U. S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Roundtable on U.S. leadership in a global food economy and the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative in Washington, DC.


Bioenergy Partners Capitol Hill Day


10:00 a.m., Hearing: Subcommittee on Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture, to Identify Duplicative Federal Rural Development Programs, 1300 Longworth HOB


10:00 a.m, Hearing: Department of Agriculture - Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics: Committee on Appropriations | Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, 2362-A Rayburn


10:00 a.m., Hearing: Committee on Natural Resources, Oversight hearing on “Harnessing American Resources to Create Jobs and Address Rising Gasoline Prices: Families and Cost-of-Life Impacts.” 1324 Longworth HOB.


1:30 p.m., Hearing: Federal Regulations and Regulatory Reform under the Obama Administration: Committee on the Judiciary | Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law, 2141 Rayburn HOB 

Thursday, March 22 

10:30 a.m., Hearing: Budget Hearing - Commodity Futures Trading Commission - Chairman

Host: Committee on Appropriations | Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, 2362-A Rayburn


10:00 a.m., Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Hearing to examine the President's proposed budget request for fiscal year 2013 for the Environmental Protection Agency, Dirksen 406.


Friday, March 23

10:00 a.m., Field Hearing: Farm Bill, Carl Sandburg College, Student Center Building B 2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd. Galesburg, IL 61401, Host: Committee on Agriculture | Full Committee.
This story was updated at 8:27 am.



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