DC Legislative Update: March 28th – April 1st, 2022

Check here for the 2022 Senate Calendar
Check
here for the 2022 House Calendar

Upcoming Congressional Hearings

  • Senate Committee on the Judiciary
    • Monday, March 28, 2022 at 3 PM EST: Business meeting to consider the nomination of several judges to the federal bench and for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
  • Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
  • Senate Committee on the Budget
  • House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Highways and Transit
  • House Agriculture Committee
  • House Committee on the Budget
  • House Committee on Financial Services
  • House Committee on Energy and Commerce
  • House Committee on Natural Resources
    • Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife
      • Tuesday, March 29, 2022 at 2 PM EST: Hearing to consider the following bills; Red River National Wildlife Refuge Boundary Modification Act, Keep America’s Refuges Operational Act of 2022 and the Advancing Human Rights-Centered International Conservation Act of 2022.
    • Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources
    • Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples
      • Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 1 PM EST: Legislative hearing to examine; Quapaw Tribal Landowner Settlement Act of 2021, Advancing Equality for Wabanaki Nations Act and legislation to reauthorize the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Trust Fund.
  • House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis

    • Friday, April 1, 2022 at 9:30 AM EST: Hearing on America’s natural solutions: the climate benefits of investing in healthy ecosystems. Collin O’Mara, NWF President and CEO, will testify.

Congressional News

  • Representative Don Young of Alaska, who passed away at age 88 last Friday, will lie in state on Tuesday.
  • Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb) will resign on Thursday after being found guilty of lying to federal elections officers about illicit campaign contributions.
  • Last week, the Senate confirmed more judges to the federal bench and moved forward with a procedural vote on the America COMPETES Act. It will now move to cloture vote this week.

Administrative News

  • Today, President Biden released a summary of his Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget request. This “skinny” budget provides an outline for Congress to begin negotiations on FY 2023 funding and more details are expected to come. The Office of Management and Budget Director, Shalanda Young will be on the Hill to testify about the President’s budget this week before both the House and Senate. Highlights are below;
    • Increased funding for the Department of Energy, including $48.2 billion in discretionary funding.
    • Calls for funding for ecosystem restoration, including $407 million for the Florida Everglades restoration project.
    • A 25% increase in funding for the Department of Interior.
    • More funding to increase domestic renewable energy resources and to return to Obama-era levels of funding to help finance clean energy investments internationally.
  • After his trip to Germany last week, President Biden in conjunction with the European Commission announced plans to find 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas for imports to Europe.
  • Jessica Ennis will join the White House Council on Environmental Quality as its new public engagement director. Ennis previously worked for Earthjustice as the legislative director for climate and energy. She will help carry out the White House’s Environmental Justice priorities through work alongside activists and stakeholders.
  • The White House released a final rule on CAFE standards, increasing the penalties for automakers who do not meet fuel economy standards going back to model year 2019.
  • See here for additional White House resources, including a comprehensive list of Executive orders to address COVID, the climate crisis, and environmental justice, among other topics.

What’s Happening This Week

  • The Senate and House are in session this week.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a business meeting today to discuss a number of nominees to the federal bench as well as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court. It is expected that the committee will postpone the vote on her nomination for about a week in order to leave the Congressional Record open for comments. Her nomination is still expected to come to the Senate floor before April 8th.
  • The Senate will hold a cloture vote this evening on the Senate substitute for the America COMPETES Act. This will bring the vote one step closer to a formal conference committee.
  • The Senate could take up the House-passed bill suspending normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus later this week. The bill had stalled following objections from Senator Paul.
  • The House is expected to vote this week on a bill to end federal prohibitions on marijuana. A full list of bills expected to be voted on by the House is here.
  • NWF continues to work to advance our priorities on Capitol Hill, so please feel free to share NWF’s 117th Congress National Policy Agenda.

Spotlight: Bill of the Week

Lead Safe Housing for Kids Act

  • Introduced by: Reps. Jesus “Chuy” García (IL-4), A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) & Ayanna Pressley (MA- 07)
  • Overview: This bill aims to reduce lead exposure to children living in federally-assisted housing. The bill will adopt measures such as comprehensive risk assessments, requiring the disclosure of lead paint usage by landlords, and providing a process and assistance for relocating families if lead hazards are found.
  • A full press release on the Lead Safe Housing for Kids Act can be found here.The logo of the National Wildlife Federation is circular and features a raccoon wearing a ranger hat.

DC Legislative Update: Feb 28–Mar 4, 2022 

Check here for the 2022 Senate Calendar
Check
here for the 2022 House Calendar

Upcoming Congressional Hearings

  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
  • Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry Committee
    • Wednesday, March 2 at 10am EST: Hearing to consider the nominations of Christy Goldsmith Romero to be a commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Kristin Johnson to be a commissioner of the CFTC, Summer Mersinger to be commissioner of the CFTC, and Caroline Pham to be a commissioner of the CFTC.
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
    • Wednesday, March 2 at 10am EST: Hearing on implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation, will testify.
  • House Agriculture Committee
  • House Homeland Security Committee
  • House Judiciary Committee
    • Tuesday, March 1 at 10am EST: Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Subcommittee hearing on discrimination against Muslim, Arab, and South Asian American communities.
  • House Natural Resources Committee
  • House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

Congressional News

  • With just under two weeks before government funding runs out on March 11th, details on an appropriations deal for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2022 remain scarce. Last week, President Biden requested an additional $6.4 billion to support Ukraine against the invasion by Russia. Congress could add this funding to a larger appropriations package, or we could see piecemeal funding bills passed up until the 11th. Given the amount of work on the appropriations committees’ plates, there could also be a very short funding extension to keep the government open beyond March 11th. Senator Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico remains absent from the Senate as he recovers from a stroke. His absence impacts Democrats’ ability to command a majority in the chamber. He is expected to recover and return to the Senate within a few weeks.

Administrative News

  • President Biden will provide his State of the Union address to Congress at 9pm EST on Tuesday, March 1. Even with the Russian invasion of Ukraine taking center stage, the President is expected to devote part of his speech to the need for climate action. The speech follows just a day after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest installment of the sixth climate assessment, focused on how changes will affect humans and natural ecosystems. You can view NWF’s press release on the report here.
  • On Friday, President Biden announced his selection of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his nominee to succeed Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court. Judge Jackson will begin meeting with Senators this week as the chamber prepares for her confirmation proceedings. A confirmation hearing with the Judiciary Committee is expected to come quickly, although the exact timeline has not been announced.
  • See here for additional White House resources, including a comprehensive list of Executive orders to address COVID, the climate crisis, and environmental justice, among other topics.

What’s Happening This Week

  • Both chambers of Congress are in session this week.
  • The House will begin by considering 8 bills under suspension, and will likely move later in the week to consider legislation related to toxic exposures for military servicemembers under a rule. Action on a Fiscal Year 2022 funding bill or emergency supplemental funding to provide aid to Ukraine is possible.
  • The Senate is in session and will open the week by moving to consider a House-passed bill that protects the right of Americans to receive an abortion. A vote on the motion to consider is expected to fail, after which the chamber will take up the Postal Service reform that has been before Congress for a few weeks.
  • NWF continues to work to advance our priorities on Capitol Hill, so please feel free to share NWF’s 117th Congress National Policy Agenda.
    The logo  of the National Wildlife Federation is circular and features a raccoon wearing a ranger hat.
    www.nwf.org

D.C. Legislative Update: Sept 20-24, 2021

Check here for the 2021 Senate Calendar
Check here for the 2021 House Calendar

Upcoming Congressional Hearings 

  • House Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
    • Tuesday, September 21 at 10am EST: “Full Committee Hearing to Consider Pending Nominations” including Laura Daniel-Davis to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior (Land and Minerals Management), Camille C. Touton to be Commissioner of Reclamation, and Sara Bronin to be Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
  • Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
    • Tuesday, September 21 at 3pm EST: Subcommittee on Tourism, Trade, and Export Promotion hearing on “Legislative Solutions to Revive Travel and Tourism and Create Jobs.”
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
    • Wednesday, September 22 at 9:30am EST: “Business meeting to consider several of President Biden’s nominees, legislation to rename federal buildings, and several General Services Administration resolutions. Immediately following, the committee will hold a hearing on the importance of promoting a circular economy.”
  • Senate Finance Committee
    • Wednesday, September 22 at 10am EST: “Hearing to Consider the Nominations of Christi A. Grimm, of Colorado, to be Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services and Neil Harvey MacBride, of Virginia, to be General Counsel for the Department of the Treasury”
  • Senate Judiciary Committee
  • House energy and Commerce Committee
  • House Agriculture Committee
  • House Science, Space, and Technology Committee
    • Thursday, September 23 at 10am EST: Subcommittee on Environment hearing on “Advancing Earth System Science and Stewardship at ” This hearing will feature witness testimony from the Honorable Richard W. Spinrad, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Senate Homeland Security Committee

Congressional News  

  • Last week, components of the Build Back Better Act (budget reconciliation) bill passed out of the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees. See here for NWF’s press release on passage through Ways and Means outlining support of the committee’s work to strengthen clean energy and technology. Additionally, see here for NWF’s tweet in support of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s work on the Build Back Better Act to advance climate action.
  • NWF sent this letter to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in support of Laura Daniel Davis’ nomination to be Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Lands and Minerals Management. Davis, NWF’s former s Chief of Policy and Advocacy, brings the leadership, skills, and experience needed for the role, and NWF supports her swift confirmation.

Administrative News  

  • Last week, NWF sent out a statement urging Congress to pursue needed and overdue reforms to the National Flood Insurance See here for NWF’s press release.
  • See here for White House resources, including a comprehensive list of Executive orders to address COVID, the climate crisis, and environmental justice, among other topics.

What’s Happening This Week  

  • Both chambers are in session this week. The House is expected to focused on a C.R. for FY2022 – to keep the government funded past the September 30 deadline and into, likely, December, 2021 – as well as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
  • The Senate is expected to work on judicial nominations this In addition, we are expecting this week a cloture and full Senate vote on the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning for Director of the Bureau of Land Management.
  • As Congress continues to work to advance budget reconciliation, infrastructure, and appropriations, please feel free to share NWF’s 117th Congress National Policy Agenda.

National Wildlife Federation Logo

Brown County State Park, July 14, 2021. Photo by Abbie Gressley, IWF 2021 Summer Intern

Who needs the Indiana Wildlife Federation?

YOU do—that’s who!

For generations, Indiana has provided a diverse landscape for all who love to be outdoors.  Whether its hiking, biking, boating, fishing, hunting, camping, photography or wildlife watching—Hoosiers love to be outside.   As the population in Indiana grows, so does the pressure on our natural resources to support these cherished activities.

The mission of the Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF) is to promote the conservation, sound management and sustainable-use of Indiana’s wildlife and wildlife habitat.  For over 82 years, IWF has been the statewide voice; loud, clear and strong speaking out for the interests of Indiana conservationists and for the preservation of our outdoor heritage so it may be enjoyed by generations to come.

Emily Wood and Aaron Stump pose after a long, wet day planting trees  and native woodland perennials at Oliver’s Woods Nature Preserve. Indianapolis, June 2, 2021. Photo by Abbie Gressley, IWF Summer Intern

How do we do it?  Through our 3 pillars of focus: Education, Advocacy and Action.  We work across Indiana delivering free environmental education programs that provide clear calls-to-action that encourage everyone to be better stewards of our natural resources and habitats.  IWF is also an agency watchdog in which our board and staff are frequently called upon to give views on bills pending before the legislature, on the actions of resource management leaders and on activities bearing upon our lands, forests, waterways or environment.  We also work to add habitat and expand access through on-the-ground volunteer projects that engage and activate a conservation network across the state.

If you are among those of us that love being outside, then you know it is more than just fresh air and sunshine.  It’s about clean water, healthy ecosystems, abundant habitat and a deep respect for the natural world. If that sounds right to you—then join us and add your support to the growing number of Hoosiers that value Indiana wildlife.

We invite you to join as a member or explore our website to find out more about upcoming events, campaigns, workshops, lecture series or projects that you can get involved with. Like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay connected!

New Video Indiana Climate Change: Fishing the White River

Indiana Wildlife Federation’s “Fishing the White River” shows the threat of climate change to the White River and the current impacts on some of Indiana’s best fly fishing locations.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (August 23, 2021) – A new 4 min short video released this week explores how fly fishing on the White River in central Indiana has been impacted by climate-driven severe weather over the years. The film focuses on the ways that seasonal flooding and temperature increases are changing White River habitats and other Indiana river systems. Fishing the White River, was released by the Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF), and features local fly fishing guide Jason DeArman of Two Forks Guide Service.

In addition to the video IWF has added online resources at www.indianawildlife.org/climate outlining how equitable policies and programs can create jobs, tackle climate change, and harness the power of nature to enhance long-term health for people and wildlife alike.  “Hunters and anglers are often times the first to notice changes in the environment because of their intimate knowledge of a natural place,” says Emily Wood, executive director of the Indiana Wildlife Federation. “As heavy rain events, hotter summers, and milder winters, become more frequent throughout the Midwest, the IWF hopes to galvanize these outdoor users to take action for climate before these places are gone.”

This video was filmed, produced, and edited by Leslie Lorance of Indianapolis and supported by a grant from the National Wildlife Federation.

Fishing the White River can seen below or viewed on YouTube and the Indiana Wildlife Federation’s Facebook Page.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill is A Good Step, but Much More is Needed on Climate

The bipartisan infrastructure bill, called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, is being debated and voted on in the Senate. While the bill touches on many urgent infrastructure needs, it does not directly address climate change at nearly the scale needed. That is why Congress must also pass a larger package that tackles climate change head on.

  • The bipartisan bill does have some good things for climate:
    • Helps reduce climate pollution from cars and trucks and funds electric vehicle charging infrastructure
    • Upgrades the electric grid and transmission system to prepare for new wind and solar as well as smart metering and EVs
    • Helps plug orphan oil and gas wells that are major sources of methane pollution and reclaim abandoned mine lands so they can be restored for nature
    • Invests in carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS) and direct air capture (taking CO2 out of the air directly so it can be used or stored underground) and the pipelines and other infrastructure needed to move CO2 from where it is captured to where it will be stored or turned into a useful product like concrete
    • Puts some needed funding into ecosystem restoration, wildfire prevention and management, and Western water management.

However, while measures like EV infrastructure, grid upgrades, and CCUS investments help enable future climate gains, there is a lot more needed from Congress to address climate now.  On August 9, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is expected to come out with another update on our warming planet, and will sound the alarm that climate impacts are already widespread and severe in the U.S. Emissions must come down swiftly for the globe to have a chance at keeping within a 1.5-degree warming limit – the point after which impacts become disastrous.

  • Climate items that are not included in the bipartisan bill that are badly needed through a larger budget reconciliation package include:
    • A plan to move electric utilities off of coal and gas in favor of clean power sources by 2035
    • A robust extension of tax credits for installing and producing clean and renewable energy, energy efficiency upgrades, and electric vehicle purchases
    • Tax credits for new transmission lines that will carry electricity from new wind and solar plants to the communities where it will be used
    • Tax incentives for the production of clean energy machinery and electric vehicles so America is leading the way in manufacturing these things at home
    • Investments in ecosystem restoration and resilience that fully meet the need and empower nature to thrive and help draw down CO2
    • A 21st century Civilian Conservation/Climate Corps to tackle climate change, restore our lands and waters, make our communities more resilient, and create jobs

The science is clear: We need to act now if we are going to prevent a climate disaster. This moment is the time to go big and act decisively. Congress must pass the bipartisan bill that sets the stage, then move on to the main event.

Tell Hoosier senators to act on climate now by supporting the inclusion of these items!

EMAIL SENATOR YOUNG
CALL: 202-224-5623
TWEET @SenToddYoung

EMAIL SENATOR BRAUN
CALL: 202-224-4814
TWEET @SenatorBraun

 

DC Legislative Update: May 10-14, 2021

DC Legislative Update

May 10-14, 2021

Check here for the 2021 Senate Calendar
Check here for the 2021 House Calendar

Upcoming Congressional Hearings

Senate Agriculture Committee

Senate Rules Committee

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee

  • Tuesday, May 11 at 10am EST: Hearing on “Equity in Transportation Infrastructure: Connecting Communities, Removing Barriers, and Repairing Networks across America.”
  • Wednesday, May 12 at 10am EST: Hearing on Interior and EPA Nominees, including Shannon Estenoz to be Assistant Secretary of Fish and Wildlife and Parks of the Department of Interior, Radhika Fox to be Assistant Administrator for Water of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Michal Freedhoff to be Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention of the Environmental Protection

Senate Commerce Committee

House Agriculture Committee

  • Wednesday, May 12 at 10am EST: Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry hearing on “Title II Conservation Programs: Exploring Climate Smart Practices.”

House Appropriations Committee

House Energy and Commerce Committee

  • Wednesday, May 12 at 10:30am EST: Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing on “The Fiscal Year 2022 HHS ”
  • Thursday, May 13 at 10am EST: Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing on “The Clean Future Act: Superfund Proposals to Advance Cleanups, Equity, and Climate ”

House Natural Resources Committee

  • Wednesday, May 12 at 1pm EST: Office of Insular Affairs hearing on “Legislative Hearing – Insular Cases Resolution.”
  • Thursday, May 13 at 10am EST: Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States
    Subcommittee hearing on “Oversight: Environmental Justice in Indigenous Communities.”
  • Thursday, May 13 at 1pm EST: Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearing on “Legislative: Protecting Coastal Communities and Ocean Resources from Offshore Drilling.”

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Congressional News

Last week, Susie Lee [D-NV] introduced the “End Speculative Oil and Gas Leasing Act of 2021” with the purpose of preventing leasing on public lands that have little to no energy development potential. See NWF’s press release here.

On May 4, Rep. Williams [D-GA] introduced the Water Infrastructure Sustainability and Efficiency (WISE) Act to make permanent a requirement that states direct at least 20% of their Clean Water SRF for projects that incorporate the use of green See NWF’s tweet in support here.

On April 30, Rep. Blumenauer’s [D-OR] office announced their support of Rep. Simpson’s new framework on Northwest infrastructure with a focus on investment planning for salmon recovery, jobs, and clean See NWF’s press release here.

Administrative News

Last week, Biden released the administration’s “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful” 2021 plan – here – laying out a comprehensive ten year plan to restore 30% of national lands and See NWF’s press releases for more:

Biden’s Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful Plan Will Restore Wildlife Habitat, Enhance Sporting Opportunities Historic Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful Plan Prioritizes Collaboration, Restoration, and Job Creation

On Thursday, the Interior Department released a proposal to review the previous administration’s rollbacks, and to restore protections for bird populations, under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The Administration released initial information about the President’s fiscal year 2022 discretionary budget request with specific provisions to highlight the all-of-government approach to climate change and related issues. The full budget request is expected later this month.

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

What’s Happening This Week

NWF expects continued work around appropriations and budget requests as Congress aims to conclude committee hearings in the coming weeks.

The White House is expected to meet this week, and in the coming weeks, with bipartisan, bicameral Members of Congress to discuss deals around key infrastructure priorities.

Senator Heinrich has been circulating a letter calling for investments in natural infrastructure, resilience, and habitat conservation in any upcoming infrastructure package. NWF strongly supports the letter as the recommendations align with our Restoration and Resilience report – located here and in our press release here.

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