By Peter Schroeder - 04/15/13 10:28 AM EDT
Much of the president’s Cabinet will be traversing the halls of Congress, as the heads of various departments hit Capitol Hill to defend their budget requests. Many of the officials will appear before a busy House Appropriations Committee this week, including the heads of the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Agriculture, State, Defense and Transportation.
Meanwhile, one of President Obama’s Cabinet nominees will be getting a grilling before the Senate, when Thomas Perez appears Thursday before the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
The assistant attorney general for civil rights was nominated by the president in March, and has been challenged by some Republicans for his work at the Justice Department. In particular, GOP lawmakers are scrutinizing a deal he struck wherein the city of St. Paul, Minn., agreed to scrap a housing discrimination lawsuit in exchange for Justice not pursuing two separate housing cases.
The House Oversight Committee will discuss the financial woes of the U.S. Postal Service on Wednesday. The hearing comes days after the USPS announced it was scrapping its plans to halt Saturday letter delivery to comply with language in the latest continuing resolution to fund the government.
Also Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee will check in with regulators on the implementation of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.
Lawmakers, particularly Republicans, have grumbled over the lengthy implementation of that law, a rare bipartisan project from the 112th Congress.
On Tuesday, the Financial Services panel has a pair of hearings lined up. It will discuss the regulatory burdens facing community banks, and dive into the long-running debate about whether the Dodd-Frank financial reform law finally ended “too big to fail.”
The House Ways and Means Committee will explore the president’s budget Thursday, in particular its approach to addressing entitlement programs.
On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee will be exploring ways to combat tax fraud and identity theft. And the Senate Banking Committee will invite back Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Edward DeMarco on Thursday to discuss the state of the regulator, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The American Bankers Association is hosting a summit on Tuesday and Wednesday where industry players will hear from House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and other policymakers.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) will also speak at the summit, as will Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Martin Gruenberg and Alan Krueger, head of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers.
The Federal Reserve will release its latest “beige book” Wednesday, which provides anecdotal takes on the economy from across the country.