DC Legislative Update March 22-26, 2021

Congressional Hearings

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

  • House Budget Committee
  • House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
    • Tuesday, March 23 at 11am EST: Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment hearing on  “The Water Resources Development Act of 2020: Status of Essential Provisions.”
  • House Natural Resources Committee
    • Tuesday, March 23: Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands hearing on “Building Back Better: Examining the Future of America’s Public ”
    • Wednesday, March 24: Hearing on “How the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better Plan Can Benefit the S. Territories.”
  • House Energy and Commerce Committee
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
    • Wednesday, March 24 at 9:30am EST: Business Meeting to consider the nomination of Brenda Mallory for Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality and Janet McCabe to be Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The meeting will also consider “The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure ”
  • Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
    • Wednesday, March 24 at 10am EST: Hearing on “Driving the Road to Recovery: Rebuilding America’s Transportation Infrastructure” to examine surface transportation infrastructure needs across the Agenda will also cover the nomination of Polly Trottenberg to be Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation.
  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
  • Senate Homeland Security Committee
    • Thursday, March 25 at 10:15am EST: Hearing on the “Nomination of Deanne Criswell to be  Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”

Congressional News

  •  Last week, NWF hosted 13 state affiliates including Emily Wood, executive director of the Indiana Wildlife Federation, in a virtual fly-in focused on our agriculture priorities, including on the upcoming Farm Bill and conserving grasslands. The team conducted 32 Hill meetings with both congressional staff and Members of Congratulations and thank you to all that helped organize, lead, and participate!
  • Last week, the Senate, on a bipartisan vote of 54-42, confirmed Deb Haaland to be Secretary of the Interior. NWF and affiliates have led the way in supporting this historic nomination – she is the first Indigenous cabinet secretary – and are excited to partner with the new Secretary and the Department to advance wildlife conservation and public lands See here for NWF’s press release.
  • Last week, Representatives DeFazio, Napolitano and Fitzpatrick introduced the bipartisan “Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021” See NWF’s press release here.
  • Last week, Representatives Grijalva and McEachin introduced the “Environmental Justice for All Act” with the purpose of addressing and promoting environmental justice while supporting and empowering frontline communities as the US transitions to a clean energy See here for the House Natural Resources press release and here for NWF’s press release.
  • Senators Coons and Cassidy and Representatives Veasey and McKinley introduced the “Storing CO2 And Lowering Emissions (SCALE) ” This bill focuses on carbon capture and storage to invest billions in connecting CO2 emitters and storage sites. The bill serves as a pivotal step in the US’ path to reaching net- zero emissions by 2050.

Administrative News

  •  Last Tuesday, 116 Democratic members sent a bicameral letter to President Biden in support of his Executive order on 30×30. Republicans also sent a letter on the order, see here for more. Check out NWF’s January press release on the administration’s 30×30
  • 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 Monday, NWF hosted a – very successful – virtual Hill briefing on “Mapping Climate & Environmental Justice: Lessons Learned from State Tools.” On Monday March 22, NWF will be hosting the second webinar in the series focused on “Lessons Learned from Local & Regional ” The purpose of this series is to highlight environmental justice mapping tools and their potential in furthering environmental and climate justice. Register to attend today’s 4pm EST briefing here.
  • The House is in recess for the coming weeks, and we expect the Senate to focus on Biden cabinet nominations:
    • Last week, the Senate voted 98-0 to confirm Katherine Tai as the S. Trade Representative.
    • Last week, Sarah Bianchi was confirmed in a 50-49 vote to be Secretary of Homeland
    • Marty Walsh’s nomination for Secretary of Labor, passed on a cloture vote of 68-30. The final vote on confirmation is expected to occur on Monday.
    • This week, the Senate will consider David Turk to be deputy Energy secretary. Turk received a 20-0 vote out of
    • We anticipate the Senate will vote this week on the nomination of Shalanda Young for Director of the Office of Management and
  • Congress is turning attention, and creating hearings, to address surface and natural infrastructure priorities. NWF will continue working with Members and conducting virtual meetings, emphasizing organizational recommendations from our newest Restoration and Resilience report – located here and in our press release here.

Report compiled by National Wildlife Federation.

 

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.”

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