By Vicki Needham and Bernie Becker - 03/31/14 07:09 PM EDT
TUESDAY'S BIG STORY:
Balancing act: House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will unveil his budget plan on Tuesday that aims to balance the nation's books within 10 years.
His panel is expected to mark up the plan on Wednesday, and the full House could seek to approve it next week.
Ryan is known for his sharp-edged budgets that slash social programs and revamp entitlements such as Medicare.
While he might hold back this time around, he will still need to find his way to that zero in the next decade.
The panel chairman is expected to follow the path set out in the December budget deal he struck with Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.), which means holding to a 2015 spending cap of $1.014 trillion and finding a way to balance the budget without raising taxes.
Last year, he said it was possible because the economy would grow faster than spending over the budget window, helping to reduce deficits and the more than $17 trillion debt.
So we'll see, this time around, what he does to get the math right with plenty of economic hurdles to overcome.
Ryan hasn't released any details on this specific plan, but House leaders have acknowledged it bears resemblance to the blueprint he released last year, which also achieved balance over the next decade.
President Obama's plan released last month doesn't balance in that 10-year budget window.
Senate Democrats have already said they won't do a budget for fiscal 2015 this year, and the House and Senate Appropriations committees are already working on their spending bills.
WHAT ELSE WE'RE WATCHING
Income inequality: The Senate Budget Committee will discuss economic mobility and inequality with several economists on Tuesday, part of an election-year push by Democrats to more closely examine the broad issue.
Tax equality: The Senate Permanent subcommittee on Investigations will continue to question machinery giant Caterpillar on its efforts to reduce its tax bill through offshore maneuvers. Panel Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) released a report on Monday showing that Caterpillar avoided $2.4 billion in taxes by moving its most profitable business to Switzerland.
While the report said the move wasn't illegal, it criticized the firm for trying to avoid paying U.S. taxes.
“Caterpillar is an American success story that produces tremendous industrial machines,” Levin said Monday.
Budget requests: House appropriators will continue their dive into spending requests and, to that end, on Tuesday will talk to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White about her agency's budget.
Extenders slipping: That Senate Finance markup of tax extenders — that grab bag of expired temporary tax incentives — looks to be getting pushed back.
Finance members had expected to mark up an extenders package on Wednesday, after more than 50 preferences expired at the end of last year.
But Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), the committee's top Republican, have yet to announce an agreement, though their offices say they remain in discussions.
That could conceivably push a markup back to Thursday, though that's also the day that Mike Froman, the U.S. trade representative, is supposed to make is first appearance before the panel since Wyden took the gavel.
Bidding adieu: House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) announced Monday that he won't run for reelection.
Camp, who is serving in his final year as chairman of the powerful panel, said he decided to leave Congress after discussions with his family.
He was aiming to cap his nearly 25-year career with a massive overhaul of the tax code, but has faced a slew of hurdles toward that goal.
His panel has jurisdiction over large portions of fiscal policy, including taxes, Medicare and trade policy.
ISM Index: The Institute for Supply Management will release its March index that measures the manufacturing sector's pace of growth, which is forecast to make a slight improvement over February’s expansion.
Construction Spending: The Commerce Department releases its February report on spending that could show that construction slowed last month. The report is broken down between residential, non-residential and public expenditures on new construction and is volatile and subject to huge revisions.
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
— Harkin: Wage vote about 'survival' for Republicans
— Study: Tax extenders a lobbying bonanza
— Lawmakers spar over planned hearing on CFPB discrimination
— Reid: After Senate passes jobless bill, it’s in GOP’s hands
— Clyburn predicts no wage hike before elections
— Markets rally on Yellen speech
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