Monday, October 19, 2015

Capitol Hill This Week - What to Watch For

Tomorrow (Tuesday), the U.S. Congress returns from its Columbus Day week's recess, and below are the House and Senate activities currently scheduled for the week that relate to Mississippi River Basin natural resources.

Tuesday's  Rules Committee meeting regarding H.R. 1937 sets the stage for consideration of the measure by the full House later in the week (likely on Thursday or Friday). H.R. 1937, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act, would ease environmental review requirements for mineral production activities, including the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act, and it would limit courts' ability to provide redress.  The measure defines minerals broadly as those necessary for national defense and security; for energy infrastructure, including pipelines, refining capacity, electrical power generation and transmission, and renewable energy production; and to support domestic manufacturing, agriculture, housing, telecommunications, healthcare, and transportation infrastructure.

Links are provided below to the relevant committee web pages and appropriate pieces of legislation. Many Congressional proceedings are webcast live, and these may be, as well (follow the respective meeting or hearing link).  All times are Eastern. This information will be updated as warranted. 

Tuesday, October 20
  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to consider several pending Department of Interior nominations, including Suzette M. Kimball, of West Virginia, to be Director of the United States Geological Survey, and Kristen Joan Sarri, of Michigan, to be an Assistant Secretary; 10:00 AM, room 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
  • House Rules Committee meeting to set the rules for House consideration of H.R. 1937; 5:00 PM, room H-313 The Capitol (see description of the bill, above).
Wednesday, October 21
  • Senate Agriculture Committee hearing to examine agriculture biotechnology, focusing on Federal regulations and stakeholder perspectives; 10:00 AM, room 106 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight hearing entitled, “Oversight of Regulatory Impact Analyses for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regulations;” 10:00 AM, room 406 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
  • House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment hearing on abandoned mines in the United States and opportunities for "Good Samaritan" cleanups; 10:00 AM, room 2167 Rayburn House Office Building.
  • Senate Budget Committee hearing on Reforming the Federal Budget Process and the Need for Action; 10:30 AM, room 608 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
Thursday, October 22
  • House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee meeting to markup the "Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act 6 of 2015" regarding "the policy and authorization provisions of a bill to improve America’s surface transportation infrastructure, reform programs, refocus those programs on national priorities" (note: including pedestrian and cycling trails and pathways, and scenic highways); 10:00 AM, room 2167 Rayburn House Office Building.
  • House Homeland Security Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications Subcommittee hearing "Examining Federal Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities" (i.e., assessing FEMA’s capabilities to respond to large-scale disasters); 10:00 AM, room 311 Cannon House Office Building.
  • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy hearing on "Technical Assistance for Rural Water Systems: S. 611, the Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance Act" (the bill would amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to reauthorize through FY 2020 the Environmental Protection Agency's program providing technical assistance to small public water systems in complying with national primary drinking water regulations); 10:00 AM, room 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.

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