This week: Lawmakers, Biden increase meetings schedule to hammer out a debt deal


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While the vice president tries to negotiate an agreement, the president hits the road.

On Monday, President Obama heads to North Carolina to host a meeting of his Jobs and Competitiveness Council at the headquarters of a manufacturer of energy efficient lighting. It will mark the second meeting of the council, which the president convened to gather ideas for boosting the economy.

Biden will start the week by announcing a new administration effort to cut waste and improve the efficiency of federal agencies. He will be joined at the Monday event by Jacob Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

On Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee will finally welcome Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for his annual testimony on the international financial system. The hearing was originally scheduled for May, but has been twice postponed.

The panel will follow that up with a hearing Thursday on the international aspects of financial regulatory reform. A lingering issue with the push to overhaul Wall Street is how those changes will play out on a global scale.

The Senate Agriculture Committee will hear from Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler on how new derivatives regulations are coming along, nearly one year after Dodd-Frank was signed into law. A Federal Reserve official is also slated to testify.

The Senate Banking Committee will weigh the nominations of two potential new commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as two nominees to serve as directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. The committee will then hold a Thursday hearing on credit unions’ ability to lend to small businesses.

The House Oversight Committee will discuss ways to improve the transparency of federal spending Tuesday. And the House Ways and Means Committee will host a hearing Tuesday on the accuracy of Social Security payments.

Appropriators will be keeping busy next week. The House Appropriations Committee will mark up 2012 defense appropriations on Tuesday. And two House Appropriations subcommittees will mark up 2012 spending bills Thursday – one for financial services and the other for the legislative branch.

On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will testify before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on defense.

A handful of progressive lawmakers, led by Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) will host a news conference Tuesday to push for jobs.

On Monday, the Sunlight Foundation will host Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) for a discussion of tax expenditures as part of the federal budget. On Tuesday, the Business Roundtable will unveil the results of its CEO survey, shining a light on what business leaders expect from the economy over the next six months. And Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), as well as Reps. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) will join the Third Way Wednesday for a discussion of repatriating offshore profits.