The Week Ahead: Shutdown, the sequel

Debate over the budget will continue this week as both sides work to strike a deal and the Senate holds test votes to see where lawmakers stand.

The temporary resolution funding the government will expire March 18, and if another continuing resolution is not passed by then, the government will shut down.

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The Republican plan would cut an additional $57 billion in government spending. The White House proposal, released by Senate Democrats last week, cuts $6.5 billion.

That means the two sides are $50.5 billion apart.

The Senate is planning a pair of test votes Tuesday on two plans. Both bills are expected to fail to reach the 60-vote mark needed to proceed to a final vote. But the votes are expected to show neither side has enough support to get a plan through the Senate, meaning it’s back to the negotiating table.

The president’s budget request for 2012 is still under consideration, as well, and hearings will continue on that subject.

Meanwhile, the White House is hosting the Australian prime minister Monday, a conference against bullying on Thursday, and the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama will celebrate women this week with events commemorating 2011 International Women’s Day.

Plus, actor Ben Affleck will be in town Tuesday to testify about the situation in the Congo.

Monday, March 7

President Obama welcomes Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to the White House. Obama and Gillard will discuss Australian-U.S. relations, and both countries’ shared interest in the Asia-Pacific region – including Afghanistan. Gillard’s visit marks the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-Australia alliance.

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, travel to Finland, Russia and Moldova. Biden will meet with key leaders in each country to advance U.S.-Russian relations, talk to Finnish leaders on shared priorities between Finland and the U.S., and voice America’s support for democratic reforms in Moldova. 

Clinton will deliver remarks at the State Department to celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day at the launch of the “100 Women Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls through International Exchanges.” The event starts at 1:45 p.m. in the Marshall Conference Center.

Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (R-Minn.) will address the 2011 Jewish Council for Public Affairs Plenum – the largest annual gathering of the Jewish community in the U.S., according to the JCPA. Klobuchar will speak at 1:30 p.m. Monday at the conference, which takes place at the Mayflower Hotel. Ellison speaks at 5:30 p.m., followed by Wyden at 8:15. Kirk and Levin address conference attendees at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

President Clinton, who established a foundation six years ago to fight childhood obesity, will address the School Nutrition Association's legislative action conference, which takes place in Washington at the J.W. Marriott Hotel.

The Senate convenes at 2 p.m.

Tuesday, March 8

The House convenes at 2 p.m.

Obama travels to the TechBoston Academy in Boston where he will continue his message of “winning the future” through education. He’ll be joined by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Melinda Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Clinton will host the 2011 International Women of Courage Awards. Michelle Obama will be a special guest at the event, which begins at 11 a.m. in the Dean Acheson Auditorium of the State Department.

In the evening, the first lady will give remarks at a White House reception commemorating the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. Her speech begins at 5:30 p.m.

The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on the Defense Authorization Request for 2012 for the Department of the Navy. Navy Secretary Raymond Mabus, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos will testify. The hearing starts at 9:30 a.m. in Dirksen G-50.

The co-chairmen of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, former Sen. Alan Simpson and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, will testify before the Senate Budget Committee at 10 a.m. in 608 Dirksen.

Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee about the 2012 budget proposal. The hearing takes place at 10:30 a.m. in 216 Hart.

Affleck will testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on "The Democratic Republic of the Congo: Securing Peace in the Midst of Tragedy." The hearing begins at 1 p.m. in Rayburn 2172.

Wednesday, March 9

Prime minister Gillard will address a joint session of Congress at 11 a.m.

Secretary of State Clinton will deliver opening remarks to the first Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum at 10:00 a.m. in the atrium of the Ronald Reagan Building.

The House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the budget for the National Park Service. National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, among others, will testify at the hearing, which starts at 9:30 a.m. in Rayburn B-308.

The House Homeland Security Committee will meet to assess the 2012 budget for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, including whether or not the budget can ensure “effective preparedness and response” in crisis situations. The hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. in Cannon 311.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood testifies before the House Appropriations Committee on the department’s budget. The hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. in Rayburn 2358-A.

Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin testifies before the House Appropriation’s Homeland Security subcommittee at 10 a.m. on the budget for Customs and Border Protection. That hearing takes place in Rayburn 2359.

The House Judiciary Committee meets to discuss the reauthorization of the Patriot Act at 1:30 p.m. in Rayburn 2141.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testifies before the House Appropriations Committee on the budget for international programs at the Treasury Department. The hearing takes place at 1:30 p.m. in Rayburn 2359.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on the administration’s trade agenda. The hearing begins at 10:00 a.m. in 215 Dirksen.

Duncan testifies before the House Education and the Workforce Committee on the department’s budget and policy proposals. The hearing begins at 2 p.m. in Rayburn 2175.

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society hosts a reception in honor of the new members of Congress. The House and Senate leadership is expected to attend this invitation-only event, which takes place at 6 p.m. in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol.

The Congressional Women's Caucus holds its annual gala at 6:30 p.m. with special guest Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. The event takes place in the East Hall of Union Station.

Thursday, March 10

Obama will host a conference on bullying prevention at the White House. Students, teachers and parents who have been affected by bullying will discuss ways to address the issue. Michelle Obama will also be there.

The Heritage Foundation will host “A Preview of President Obama's Latin America Trip” with the ambassadors of El Salvador, Chile and Brazil. The event begins at 11 a.m. in the Allison Auditorium at Heritage (214 Massachusetts Ave NE).

Ellison and others will testify before the House Homeland Security Committee on "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response." The hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. in Cannon 311.

The House Appropriations Committee will meet to discuss the budget for the Executive Office of the President at 10 a.m. in H-T2 in the Capitol building. Allyson Laackman, CFO of the Executive Office of the President, will testify.

Duncan testifies for the second time this week before the Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee within the House Appropriations Committee on the Department of Education’s budget. The hearing begins at 10 a.m. in Rayburn 2358-C.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan testifies before the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee on HUD’s budget. The hearing begins at 10 a.m. in Rayburn 2358-A.

Security and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro testifies before the TARP and Financial Services Subcommittee and Government Organization, Efficiency and Financial Management Subcommittee on “Who's Watching Wall Street's Watchdog.” The hearing begins at 1:30 p.m. in Rayburn 2154.

Friday, March 11

The Obamas welcome the Chicago Blackhawks to the White House to honor their 2009-2010 Stanley Cup Championship win. National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman,and USA Hockey Executive Director Dave Ogrean will preside over a street hockey workout and clinic on a rink set up on the South Lawn of the White House after the event, which is part of the first lady’s “Let’s Move!” campaign.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will testify before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on the 2012 budget.  The hearing begins at 10 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg testifies before the Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies Subcommittee on the FDA’s budget. The hearing begins at 10 a.m. in Rayburn 2362-A.

Librarian of Congress James Billington testifies before the Legislative Branch Subcommittee in the House Appropriations Committee on the LoC’s budget. The hearing will take place in H-T2 in the Capitol at 10 a.m.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies before the Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee within the House Appropriations Committee on the HHS budget. The hearing starts at 10:30 a.m. in Rayburn 2358-B.

U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro testifies on the Government Accountability Office’s budget before the House Appropriations Committee’s Legislative Branch Subcommittee. The hearing takes place in H-T2 in the Capitol at 11 a.m.

—Peter Schroeder, Erik Wasson, Jason Millman and Emily Goodin contributed