Washington Watch, April 13 – 19

The cherry blossoms are finally blooming. But lawmakers won’t be able to enjoy them because they are on a two-week Easter/Passover/Spring break.

Washington Watch bugBut there will still be a lot of action in Washington this week. President Obama will use the congressional recess to sell the public — free of GOP sniping — on his new nominee for the Department of Health and Human Services, now that Kathleen Sibelius has stepped down. Obama has tapped Sylvia Mathews Burwell, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The Supreme Court, meanwhile, is scheduled to meet in conference to discuss pending decisions, including a case about whether there’s a Second Amendment right to carry handguns outside home for self-defense.

Monday: President Obama will host an Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House.

Tuesday: Tax Day — the deadline for federal taxpayers to file their returns with the IRS.

Today is also the deadline for House members to electronically file their latest campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission. Senators must also file first-quarter reports, but Senate rules allow them to mail in their returns, postmarked no later than April 15. That means most Senate campaign reports are not available for public viewing until a few days or more after the FEC deadline.

Also Tuesday, the president and first lady Michelle Obama will mark the beginning of Passover with a seder at the White House with friends and staff.

Wednesday: Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, will hold a meeting with constituents who may be affected by the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ plan to change the regulations for tribal recognition. Those changes could give three Connecticut tribes a chance of federal recognition – and the right to establish casinos. The event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.  at Woodbridge Town Hall.

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