DC Legislative Update from the National Wildlife Federation
March 8-12, 2021
• Last week, the Senate voted to confirm multiple Biden administration cabinet nominees, including:
- The Senate voted 84-15 to confirm Gina Raimondo as Secretary of Commerce. In her new role, Raimondo will focus on, among other priorities, managing ocean fisheries and climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.
• The Senate Energy Committee held a bipartisan vote of 11-9 to advance Rep. Deb Haaland’s nomination to Secretary of the Interior to the Senate Floor. See NWF’s press release here urging for swift floor confirmation.
• The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 15-7 to advance the nomination of Merrick Garland for attorney general.
• The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on the nominations of Brenda Mallory to serve as Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (see NWF’s press release here) and Janet McCabe to be Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Votes on the nominees are expected soon.
• Early last week, Representative Pallone introduced the “Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s Future Act” also known as the “CLEAN Future Act.” The bill demonstrated the Energy and Commerce Committee’s commitment to legislation that addresses emission reduction, racial and environmental justice, and a clean economy.
- Last Tuesday, Senators Daines, Manchin, and Stabenow introduced a bipartisan bill to revive the 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit. The bill seeks to dedicate significant investment to support coal communities as the nation transitions to clean power priorities. See NWF’s statement of support here.
• Last Wednesday, the House voted to pass H.R.1, the “For the People Act of 2021.” The bill demonstrates Congress’ commitment to addressing the long-running inequities in our political system in order to create a functioning, healthy democracy. See NWF’s blog in support of the bill here.
• Last week the administration met with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders to focus on upcoming infrastructure needs. At the same time, NWF has been conducting virtual meetings to discuss priorities around a sweeping infrastructure package that will seek to address surface and larger natural infrastructure needs, incorporating priorities from our newest Restoration and Resilience report – located here and in our press release here.
• See here for President Biden’s comprehensive list of Executive orders to address COVID, the climate crisis, and environmental justice, among other topics.
What’s happening this week?
• Last week, the House passed H.R.1319, their version of the budget reconciliation package titled the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021,” to address President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan. Over the weekend the Senate voted 50-49 to pass the bill which now goes back to the House for a vote, expected this week, on final passage. See NWF’s press release here.
• This week, the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed is hosting a virtual fly-in focused on protecting and restoring the Delaware River Basin.
• We expect the Senate to schedule floor votes on President Biden’s cabinet nominations for later this week, including votes on Marcia Fudge, Merrick Garland, and a cloture vote on Michael Regan and Deb Haaland.