Friday, October 30, 2015

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

Below are the U.S. House and Senate activities currently scheduled for this week that relate to Mississippi River Basin natural resources. Links are provided to the relevant committee web pages and appropriate pieces of legislation.  In addition to the committee action, we can expect that Congress will pass yet another short-term surface transportation funding extension, since the current surface transportation authorization expires at midnight on Thursday.  The last in a long-running series of temporary extensions was passed in July, and Congress has been struggling to come up with a way to pay for a long term (three or six year) infrastructure funding extension since then. Projects funded under that authority of interest to River stakeholders include pedestrian and bicycle trails, and scenic byways near streams and rivers.

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 27
  • TIME CHANGE: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing "on the development and potential implementation of the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement’s proposed Stream Protection Rule" (Interior Department); 9:00 AM, room 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
Wednesday, October 28
  • House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands hearing on the Discussion Draft of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Modernization Act of 2015 (Program dictates where, when and how federal lands agencies can charge fees for the use of national parks and forests, refuges and other public lands); 10:00 AM, room 1324 Longworth House Office Building.
  • House Agriculture Committee hearing on "Big Data and Agriculture: Innovation and Implications;" 10:00 AM, room 1300 Longworth House Office Building.
  • NEW - House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy meeting to markup S. 611, the Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance Act; 12:00 noon, room 2322 Rayburn House Office Building.
  • House Natural Resources Committee hearing on three bills, including H.R. 1219 (the "Arbuckle Project Maintenance Complex and District Office Conveyance Act"), to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to convey land and appurtenances of the Arbuckle Project, Oklahoma, to the Arbuckle Master Conservancy District" (the Arbuckle (dam) Project regulates flow of Rock Creek, a tributary of the Washita River in south-central Oklahoma); 2:30 PM, room 1324 Longworth House Office Building.
Thursday, October 29
  • POSTPONED - House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law hearing on three regulatory reform bills: H.R. 3438, the “Require Evaluation before Implementing Executive Wishlists Act of 2015” (would give businesses and stakeholders "adequate notice" when agencies decide to change their rules); H.R. 348, the "Responsibly and Professionally Invigorating Development (RAPID) Act of 2015" (would expedite National Environmental Policy Act reviews of proposed energy and infrastructure projects by instituting time deadlines for their reviews); and H.R. 2631, the “Regulatory Predictability for Business Growth Act of 2015” (would bar laws from taking effect until after a judicial review); 9:00 AM, room 2141 Rayburn House Office Building.

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