Wednesday, June 24, 2015

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

This Thursday and Friday, the U.S. House is scheduled to consider its Interior and Environment spending bill - funding the Department of Interior, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Forest Service. That bill will become the seventh annual appropriations measure passed by the House this year. It would cut funding for EPA programs by about nine percent, and contains riders blocking key Obama Administration climate change and clean water policy, and putting a halt to endangered and threatened species listings (NOTE: The House has since canceled Friday votes so that a delegation of several dozen lawmakers can join the President for a memorial service in Charleston, South Carolina).

Even as the House moves ahead on appropriations, it appears increasingly likely that the Senate will not pass any individual spending bills for the 2016 fiscal year, and that Congress is headed toward stop-gap spending legislation or one or more "omnibus" packages containing the elements of individual spending bills (or both).

Below are the U.S. House and Senate activities currently scheduled for this 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 Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee oversight hearing to examine the National Flood Insurance Program; 10:00 AM, room 538 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
  • Joint Hearing of the Senate Budget and Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committees to "Account for True Cost of Regulation and Explore the Possibility of a Regulatory Budget;" 10:00 AM, room G50 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
  • House Rules Committee meeting to set the rules for consideration of the fiscal year 2016 Interior and Environment appropriations bill; 5:00 PM, room H-313 Capitol Building.
  • Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing entitled “Assessing and Improving Flood Insurance Management and Accountability in the Wake of Superstorm Sandy;” 10:00 AM, room 538 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
  • POSTPONED - House Appropriations Committee meeting to markup Fiscal Year 2016 Agriculture Appropriations Bill; 9:30 AM, room 2359 Rayburn House Office Building - new date and time to be determined.
  • House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans hearing on several pieces of legislation, including H.R. 1107 to require the Secretary of the Interior to submit to Congress a report on the efforts of the Bureau of Reclamation to manage its infrastructure assets. “Bureau of Reclamation Transparency Act,” and H.R. 2749 to amend the Reclamation Safety of Dams Act of 1978. “Dam Authorization, Maintenance, and Safety (DAMS) Act of 2015;” 10:00 AM, room 1324 Longworth House Office Building.
  • House Natural Resources legislative hearing on H.R. 1937, to require the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to more efficiently develop domestic sources of the minerals and mineral materials of strategic and critical importance to United States economic and national security and manufacturing competitiveness (including provisions for expedited environmental analyses pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act), the “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015;” 10:30 AM, room 1334 Longworth House Office Building.

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