Friday, April 5, 2013

Capitol Hill Next Week - What to Watch For

Here are the activities scheduled next week in the U.S. House and Senate that could have an impact on the Mississippi River Basin's natural and built resources. Where available, links are provided to the relevant Committee and legislation pages on the Internet. Many of the proceedings are webcast live (follow the appropriate link).

April 10
  • Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on Panama Canal expansion (at 2:30 PM, in room 253 Russell Senate Office Building). Discussions will inevitably circle round to the issue of U.S. port readiness to accommodate post-expansion sized ocean-going vessels (included in the list of ports are those in the lower Mississippi River system).
  • On Wednesday evening President Obama is scheduled to dine with a dozen Senate Republicans, just hours after releasing his Administration's 2014 fiscal year budget proposal (look for the budget proposal HERE on Wednesday morning).  All indications are that the proposal will be decidedly in the middle, with enough to equally upset and mollify those on both Obama's right and left.  While Wednesday's post-budget-release rhetoric will likely fall within typical party lines, Obama's hope in reaching out to Republicans is that enough of them might move toward reviving the long-stalled federal deficit deal, and cut a budget deal with the Democratic Senate majority.
  • The full Senate may take up consideration of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill passed out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last month (S. 601) as early as April 10.  Assuming that "unanimous consent" cannot be obtained to bring the bill to the floor, it's likely that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will offer a motion to proceed, that will be debatable and then subject to a vote.  If brought up for consideration under unanimous consent or if the motion to proceed passes, then the full Senate will consider the bill, including debate, amendment and voting.
April 11
April 12

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