SETTING UP A VOTE: “House Republicans in April will consider a budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that sticks to a bipartisan spending level for 2015 but balances within a decade, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told lawmakers on Friday. Cantor’s announcement sets up what could be the most difficult budget vote since 2011 for the Republican majority, since it would require dozens of conservatives to endorse a $1.014 trillion spending level that they opposed in December,” writes Russell Berman. Our No Budget, No Pay proposal would require lawmakers to pass a budget or they would not get paid: Russell Berman for The Hill: House to consider Ryan budget in April
JOBLESS CLAIMS: “The number of people filing for first-time jobless benefits rose slightly last week but remained near a three-month low, suggesting a steady labor market. Initial jobless claims, a measure of layoffs across the U.S. economy, increased by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 320,000 in the week ended March 15,” writes Sarah Portlock. This number is below the 400,000 threshold many economists consider a marker for an expanding labor market: Sarah Portlock for The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Jobless Claims Tick Up but Stay Near Recent Low
UNEMPLOYMENT GRAPHICS: Check out these infographics about unemployment since 2009.
ICYMI: Problem Solver Sen. Angus King was on No Labels Radio last week to talk about regulatory reform with Gov. Jon Huntsman. Listen to the interview here.
ACTION OF THE DAY: Watch this video of lawmakers and supporters discussing the need for a national strategic agenda.
STAT OF THE DAY: The U.S. trade deficit fell to $81.1 billion in the October-December quarter, down from $96.4 billion in the July-September quarter. This is the smallest gap since the third quarter of 1999: Associated Press: U.S. Quarterly Trade Deficit Was the Smallest in 14 Years