The Week Ahead: Time is ticking

The possibility of a government shutdown is once again looming, as the current continuing resolution funding the government expires on Friday.

House Republican released a three-week CR that will cut another $6 billion from the budget. The House is expected to vote on it Tuesday. It remains to be seen if Senate Democrats will accept that plan.

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Timing is ticking as both parties continue to negotiate on a way to fund the rest of the 2011 fiscal year.

Both the House and Senate are scheduled to be on recess the week of March 21, and President Obama is scheduled to leave on a trip to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador on Friday.

In the meantime, Obama will welcome Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen to the White House, while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton travels to Paris, Egypt and Tunisia for the week.

Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, will be in town to testify before the House and Senate Armed Services committees.

Many members of Obama’s Cabinet are testifying again before various House and Senate committees on the proposed 2012 budget.

And, on Thursday, the Obamas will host a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the White House.

Monday, March 14

Obama welcomes Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Løkke Rasmussen to the White House. Obama and Rasmussen will discuss the common global and security challenges both Denmark and the U.S. face, including “counterterrorism, the situation in the Middle East and economic and environmental issues,” according to a White House press release. The two leaders will also discuss Afghanistan, where more than 700 members of the Danish military are serving.

Obama will visit Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, Va., where he will deliver a speech on education. The speech is scheduled to begin at 10:40 a.m.

Clinton heads to Paris for G8 meetings. She leaves Paris Tuesday to head to Egypt and Tunisia, where she will “consult with government officials and elements of civil society on recent events and the full range of regional and bilateral issues,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said. The trip concludes Friday.

Tuesday, March 15


First lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan and Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff for President Clinton, will address local elected officials during the National League of Cities’s Congressional City Conference. Obama, Donovan and Bowles will speak at an 8:45 a.m. session, which takes place at the Marriott Hotel.

Petraeus, commander of the International Security Assistance Force and commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, will testify at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, which starts at 9:30 a.m. in Dirksen G-50.

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro will testify before the House Appropriations Committee’s Financial Services and General Government subcommittee on the SEC’s budget. The hearing begins at 10 a.m. in Rayburn 2362.

The Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing to examine the report of the Bipartisan Policy Center's Debt Reduction Task Force. The hearing begins at 10 a.m. in Dirksen 608. Former Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and former Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Alice Rivlin, co-chairmen of the Bipartisan Policy Center's Debt Reduction Task Force, will testify.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Donovan will testify before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on "The administration's report to Congress: Reforming America's housing finance market." The hearing begins at 10 a.m. in Dirksen 538.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Freedom of Information Act, titled “Ensuring transparency and accountability in the digital age." The hearing starts at 10 a.m. in Dirksen 226.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security will hold a hearing on "Enhancing the president's authority to eliminate wasteful spending and reduce the budget deficit." The hearing begins at 2:30 p.m. in Dirksen 342.

Wednesday, March 16

Michelle Obama will participate in the third planting of the White House Kitchen Garden. She will be joined by local school children.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify before the Senate Finance Committee on the lessons learned since the healthcare reform bill was passed a little more than one year ago. The hearing starts at 10 a.m. in Dirksen 215.

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will testify before the House Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies subcommittee. The hearing starts at 10 a.m. in Rayburn 2358-C.

The House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on Defense will hold a hearing on the budget for the U.S. Army. Army Secretary John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey will testify at the hearing, which starts at 10 a.m. in H-140 in the Capitol.

Petraeus will testify before the House Armed Services Committee on the developments in Afghanistan. The 10 a.m. hearing will take place in Rayburn 2118.

Geithner will testify before the House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government. He will talk about the Treasury Department’s budget at the 2 p.m. hearing in Rayburn 2359.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and Barbara Bennett, chief financial officer of the EPA, will testify before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies on the EPA’s proposed FY 2012 budget. The hearing starts at 2 p.m. in Dirksen 124.

Thursday, March 17

Obama welcomes the Taoiseach of Ireland to the White House in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Later, in the day he will attend a St. Patrick’s Day lunch at the U.S. Capitol. In the evening, the Obamas will host a St. Patrick’s Day reception at the White House.

Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States H.E. Michael Collins and his wife, Marie Collins, will host an invitation-only St. Patrick’s Day reception at the Park Hyatt Hotel.

Petraeus returns to Capitol Hill for a closed hearing before the House Appropriations Committee’s Defense subcommittee on progress in Afghanistan. The hearing starts at 10 a.m. in H-140 in the Capitol. Later on in the afternoon, at 2:30 p.m., Petraeus will brief the Senate Foreign Relations committee on progress in Afghanistan in SVC-217 in the Capitol.

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the Air Force’s review of the Defense Authorization request for the 2012 budget. The hearing begins at 2 p.m. in Dirksen G-50.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg and others will testify before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies hearing on the budget for the FDA. The hearing begins at 2 p.m. in Dirksen 124.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke testifies before the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies subcommittee on the Commerce Department’s budget. The hearing starts at 2 p.m. in H-309 in the Capitol.

CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf and others testify before the Senate Appropriations’ Legislative Branch subcommittee on the proposed the 2012 budget for the Government Accountability Office. The hearing starts at 2:30 p.m. in Dirksen 138.

The National Archives will host a discussion on "The early years of the Peace Corps," with former Sen. Harris Wofford (D-Pa.) — who helped assist in the founding of the Peace Corps — as well as Peace Corps alumnus and journalist Chris Matthews. Former Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn and Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams will also be in attendance at the discussion, which starts at 7 p.m. at the National Archives.

Friday, March 18

The first family travels to Brasilia in the evening to begin a five-day trip to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani addresses the Manchester Republican Committee’s Lincoln-Reagan Dinner in New Hampshire.

—Cristina Marcos and Emily Goodin contributed.