This week: High expectations for Feb. jobs report

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A quartet of Cabinet secretaries will be making the rounds. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will testify at hearings of the House Appropriations subcommittees on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. Sebelius then heads over to the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday for a similar hearing. On Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will testify before the same Senate panel.

House appropriators have dozens of other hearings lined up this week with top White House officials, including Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz on Monday and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro on Tuesday. Top officials from NASA, the National Science Foundation, the Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation will also be testifying throughout the week.

Amid this week’s public hearings, meetings behind closed doors among House Budget Committee members will continue. GOPers are divided on whether to cut discretionary spending deeper than the August debt deal and are mulling how to deal with Medicare. Time is running out, as Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) plans a March 19 committee markup and March 26 floor vote.

The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday will continue exploring possible ways forward on tax reform, focusing this time on ways to incentivize capital investment and manufacturing. On Wednesday, it will discuss the nation’s trade agenda for the year with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

The House Ways and Means Committee is looking at tax reform this week by considering how to help closely held businesses in any overhaul.

On Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee will be discussing ways to encourage capital formation as a way to spur the economy and create jobs. And the Senate Budget Committee will spend Tuesday discussing the Department of Defense’s 2013 budget request.

On Wednesday, the nation’s CEOs, as represented by the Business Roundtable, will gather to release their recommendations for whipping the economy into shape, including fiscal and tax reforms.

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