Monday, February 23, 2015

Capitol Hill This Week - What to Watch For

The House returns from its week-long hiatus on Tuesday, and the Senate on Monday, when both chambers will resume committee and floor activities. The House on Tuesday will consider H.R. 212, the Drinking Water Protection Act, which would require the U.S. EPA to develop a strategic plan to manage the risks associated with cyanotoxins in drinking water. The Senate on Monday will begin consideration of the 2015 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which, in part, would fund the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the end of September.  DHS funding is currently set to run out on February 28.  The House schedule lists that bill for "possible consideration" this week.

Congressional attention this time of year is typically focused on the development of a Budget Resolution, which would set the fiscal boundaries of any subsequent spending bills drafted by the House and Senate. On Wednesday, the House Budget Committee will hold a "Members Day" (details below), providing an opportunity for House Members to express their Fiscal Year 2016 House Budget Resolution needs, requests and questions. This also provides an opportunity for Mississippi River advocates to reach out to their respective House district representatives, asking them to attend the Members Day and back funding levels that match with the advocates' priorities.  

Below are the U.S. House and Senate activities currently scheduled for the week that relate to Mississippi River Basin water resources. Links are provided to the relevant committee web pages, and, where appropriate, to pieces of legislation. Many Congressional proceedings are webcast live, and these should be, as well (follow the appropriate link).  All times are Eastern.  This page will be updated as warranted. 

  • Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on the Agricultural Act of 2014 implementation after one year and Farm Credit Administration pending nominations; 9:30 AM, room 328A Russell Senate Office Building.
  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing - Department of the Interior's FY 2016 Budget; 10:00 AM, room 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
  • House Transportation and Infrastructure hearing on the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request for Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Programs; 10:00 AM, room
    2167 Rayburn House Office Building.
  • House Energy and Commerce joint Energy and Power, and Environment and the Economy subcommittees' hearing on the Fiscal Year 2016 Environment Protection Agency Budget; 10:00 AM , room 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.
  • House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Budget Hearing - Department of Agriculture Office of the Secretary; 10:00 AM, room 2362-A Rayburn House Office Building.
  • Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing entitled "Toward a 21st-Century Regulatory System;" 10:00 AM, room SD-342, Dirksen Senate Office Building.
  • House Budget Committee "Members Day;" 1:00 PM, room 210 Cannon House Office Building.
  • House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Budget Hearing - Department of the Interior;1:00 PM, room B-308 Rayburn House Office Building.

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