Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Capitol Hill This Week - What to Watch For (UPDATED)

Both chambers of Congress are back in session starting today (Monday), and 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).

In addition to the committee activities listed below, Congressional budget negotiators will attempt to craft a Budget Resolution that reconciles differences between the previously-passed House and Senate versions.  The final budget, if passed, is not signed by the President, but under Congressional rules, provides top-line funding limits within which the House and Senate appropriation committees are to work as they draft their fiscal year 2016 spending bills.

A Senate-House conference committee could formally begin its work on a compromise budget as early as this week. To meet an April 15 statutory deadline (which has been routinely missed in the past), the two Budget Committee chairmen - Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) - will need to appoint conferees to a House-Senate conference committee, have them agree on spending levels, and then have the conference report passed by both the House and Senate, all by Wednesday.

All times below are Eastern.  This page will be updated as warranted.

  • Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight hearing entitled “Oversight of the Management of the Federal Environmental Protection, Chemical Safety, and Fish and Wildlife Agencies;” 9:30 AM, room 406 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
  • House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials oversight hearing of the "Ongoing Rail, Pipeline, and Hazmat Rulemakings;" 10:00 AM, room 2167 Rayburn House Office Building.
  • House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research hearing regarding "A Presentation by National 4-H Conference Participants Concerning the Future of Agriculture in the United States;" 1:00 PM, room 1300 Longworth House Office Building. 
  • House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans oversight hearing on "Federal Water Grabs" (will focus on the U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers' proposed "Waters of the United States" rule and the U.S. Forest Service's "groundwater directive"); 1:30 PM, room 1324 Longworth House Office Building.
  • House Energy and Commerce Committee markup and vote on the Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015, which would modify the U.S. EPA's new coal combustion waste disposal rule and create a state-centered oversight system; 5:00 PM (continuing on Wednesday starting at 10:00 AM), room 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.

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