DC Legislative Update March 15-19, 2021

Congressional News

  • Last week, the Senate held multiple, bipartisan votes to confirm Biden administration cabinet nominees, including:
    • The Senate voted 66-34 to confirm Marcia Fudge as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
    • The Senate voted 70-30 to confirm Merrick Garland for attorney
    • The Senate voted 66-34 to confirm Michel Regan as Administer of the EPA.
    • Last week the Senate passed a cloture vote of 54-42 to advance Deb Haaland’s nomination for Secretary of the Interior. We expect a final vote on her confirmation Monday, March 15.
  • The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 20-0 to advance the nomination of David Turk to be Deputy Secretary of
  • The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Senate Budget Committee both voted 7-6 and 14-8, respectively, to advance Shalanda Young’s nomination to be Deputy Director of the
  • The House, on a vote of 225-206 passed the “Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) ”
  • Last week, Representative Cartwright introduced the bipartisan RECLAIM Act to help recover abandoned coal mine sites for community redevelopment, wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation opportunities. See NWF’s press release here. The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on this topic this
  • Last week, Senators Rosen and Grassley filed bipartisan legislation, the “Fair Returns for Public Lands Act,” to update the oil and gas leasing system to ensure companies pay fair market price. See NWF’s press release here. Relatedly, Tracy Stone-Manning testified before the House Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday at a hearing on several energy development modernization bills. You can view that hearing here.
  • Last week, Senators Whitehouse, Booker, and Schatz introduced the “Methane Emissions Reduction Act of 2021” NWF’s Shannon Heyck-Williams, director of climate and energy policy, was highlighted on the press release here, stating “Methane is one of the most potent drivers of the climate crisis, and Senator Whitehouse’s bill will help reduce oil and gas methane emissions through rigorous tracking, public disclosure, and pollution

These common-sense reforms will buy us some time to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions throughout the economy. This proposal deserves close consideration in Congress.”

Administrative News

 See here for President Biden’s comprehensive list of Executive orders to address COVID, the climate crisis, and environmental justice, among other topics.

  • The administration heeded the widespread request, highlighted in NWF’s affiliate letter, and scrapped the legal opinion that would have limited the Migratory Bird Treaty Act’s protections. The Interior Department is expected to issue a new proposal to revoke the rule that was based on that
  • Last week, BOEM issued a final environmental review of the Vineyard Wind project, see NWF’s release here.

What’s happening this week?

  •  Last week, the House approved, and President Biden signed into law, the final $1.9 trillion relief package titled the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.” The Act, among a host of other positive provisions, will invest in preventing future wildlife-disease See here for NWF’s most recent press release.
  • This week, NWF is hosting partners and affiliates in a virtual fly-in focused on NWF’s agriculture priorities, including the upcoming Farm Bill and conserving We anticipate meetings with a large number of staff and Members of Congress!
  • Now that Congress has passed the COVID reconciliation package, we anticipate Hill discussion and committee work on surface and natural infrastructure priorities. To that end, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats released legislation last week titled the “Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America Act” (LIFT America Act) calling for investments in the nation’s electric grid, drinking water infrastructure and energy efficiency as part of a larger, $312 billion NWF will continue conducting virtual meetings, emphasizing organizational recommendations from our newest Restoration and Resilience report – located here and in NWF press release here.
  • The House will take up bills to honor Women’s History Month, including H.R. 1620, the” Violence Against Women ” The House will consider H.J.Res. 17 to remove the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment as well as consider two bills to address immigration reform: H.R. 6, the “American Dream and Promise Act,” and H.R. 1603, the “Farm Workforce Modernization Act.”

National Wildlife Federation Logo