(CNN) - After a relatively slow startup in January (yes, we know Republicans passed new House rules and imposed spending cuts on themselves, but we said “relatively slow”), things are heating up at the Capitol.
Here’s the American Sauce cheat sheet on three things to watch in the next day: 1. The Spending Battle, 2. Patriot Act Extension and 3. The State of The U.S. Economy.
1. SPENDING BATTLE
Who To Watch: House Budget Chair Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and House Appropriations Chair Harold Rodgers, R-Kentucky.
When To Watch: Ryan action expected in the next day. Appropriations meets at 4 p.m. EST today to organize and start work on the issue. Debate set for the House floor next week.
What To Watch: Ryan plans to set spending limits for the rest of the year by putting his proposal into the Congressional Record. This is a hyper-speed version of the budget process, following a year where House Democrats produced no budget at all. Ryan’s proposal would cut $35 billion off current spending for the rest of the fiscal year.
Rodgers and his committee will turn Ryan’s plan into a legislative bill, teeing up for debate and a vote next week.
2. PATRIOT ACT EXTENSION
Where To Watch: House floor.
When To Watch: This afternoon and evening.
Who To Watch: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, who announced the bill’s timing, and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, who sponsored it.
What To Watch: House Republicans hope to pass a short-term extension of three central provisions of the Patriot Act. Here’s the summary and text of the bill. Specifically, the bill would extend the roving wiretaps, library searches and “lone wolf” provisions which otherwise will expire Feb. 28.
3. THE STATE OF THE U.S. ECONOMY
Where To Watch: House Budget Committee. See their website to watch the hearings live.
When To Watch: Wednesday 10a Eastern and Thursday 10a Eastern.
Who To Watch: Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke (Weds.) and Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf (Thurs.)
What To Watch: How the two critical voices on the economy and government spending handle sharp and extensive questions from members of Congress. What course of action their statements will endorse or discourage. Be prepared, especially from Elmendorf, to hear sobering statistics.
Be Ahead of The Game: Read the CBO’s recent predictions for the federal deficit and budget here.