DC Legislative Update:  January 10–14, 2022

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

Upcoming Congressional Hearings 

  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
    • Tuesday, January 11, 2022, at 10am EST: Hearing to examine the opportunities and challenges for maintaining existing hydropower capacity, expanding hydropower at non-powered dams, and increasing pumped storage hydropower.
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
    • Wednesday, Jan 12, 2022 at 2:45 PM EST: Business meeting to consider the nominations of David Uhlmann to be assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Henry Christopher Frey to be Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Research and Development, and Martha Williams to be Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    • The Business Meeting will be followed by a hearing on Water Resources Development Act Oversight: USACE Implementation of Water Infrastructure Projects, Programs, and Priorities. The hearing and business meeting are both accessible at the link provided above.
  • House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
  • House Agriculture Committee

Congressional News 

  • On January 3rd, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Senate Democrats stating his intention to again consider two pieces of voting rights legislation, the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Under Senate rules, these bills need 60 votes to advance – they have both failed to reach that threshold on previous attempts. In the letter, Senator Schumer indicates that the Senate will consider rule changes – likely including changes to the filibuster – if there is no bipartisan cooperation on advancing these bills. He set a deadline of January 17th, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, for debate on rules changes.
  • Further Senate consideration of the Build Back Better Act is expected to remain on hold while the chamber seeks a breakthrough on voting rights legislation.
  • As a reminder, the government is funded through February 18, 2022 by a continuing resolution that Congress passed in December. Congress must pass a new spending bill before midnight on Feb. 18 to avoid a government shutdown.

Administrative News

  • On Tuesday, January 11, President Biden will travel to Georgia to highlight his administration’s efforts to pass legislation protecting the right to vote. His remarks may shed further light on the degree of his support for filibuster reform in the Senate.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has invited President Biden to deliver his 2022 State of the Union address to Congress on March 1st.
  • Last week, President Biden re-nominated a batch of nominees whose nominations had expired when the Senate adjourned its 2021 session. The list includes Laura Daniel Davis, formerly of NWF, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior, and Martha Williams to be Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The full list is available here.
  • 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 House and Senate will both be in session this week, with the House returning for the first time in 2022.
  • The Senate will consider Commerce Department nominees and continue work on voting rights legislation.
  • The House will consider a Veterans Affairs bill and a NASA Other legislation may be added to the schedule.
  • NWF continues to work to advance our priorities on Capitol Hill, so please feel free to share NWF’s 117th Congress National Policy Agenda.
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Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Will Prevent IN Wildlife from Becoming Endangered

Right now, one-third of all wildlife species in the United States are at increased risk of extinction. In Indiana alone, more than 150 fish and wildlife species are in urgent need of proactive, on-the-ground conservation efforts before they pass the point of no return.

Congress just took the first step toward making those efforts a reality with the introduction of the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. This bill will fund proactive efforts led by state fish and wildlife agencies and tribes to address the nation’s looming wildlife crisis to prevent species from becoming endangered and will be the most significant investment in wildlife conservation in a generation. (Senate Version) (House Version)

At home here in Indiana, this could add over $14 million dollars to the DNR’s budget to restore native landscapes, protect and restore wetlands, and activate numerous species recovery projects that are outlined in our State Wildlife Action Plan that are in need of funding.

Whooping Crane in Flight

During August and September, congress is at home so this is a perfect time to reach out. Please join our efforts in asking your member of Congress to support the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act to address severe wildlife conservation challenges such as habitat loss, competition from invasive species, disease, climate impacts, and other threats.

Due to committee assignments, US Senator Mike Braun’s support on this bill would be especially influential. We need your help in reaching him first. You can learn more with this IN factsheet, and funding Q & A factsheet; or simply say:  “Senator, please join your colleagues Senators Martin Heinrich and Roy Blunt in cosponsoring the transformative, common-sense bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (S. 2372) today.”


EMAIL SENATOR BRAUNsee cosponsor request template below.
CALL: 202-224-4814
TWEET @SenatorBraun

EMAIL SENATOR YOUNGsee cosponsor request template below.
CALL: 202-224-5623
TWEET @SenToddYoung

Send a thank you email to U.S. House Representative Andre Carson, Indiana’s only #recoverwildlife congressional cosponsor.

EMAIL REPRESENTATIVE CARSONSee thank you template below.
Call: 202-225-4011
TWEET @RepAndreCarson

Need a template letter?

Subject Line: Please Co-Sponsor the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, S. 2372

Dear Senator,

America’s wildlife are essential for our national heritage and our $887 billion dollar outdoor economy. But thanks to challenges like habitat loss, invasive species, emerging diseases, and climate change we’re losing ground and species — and fast.

Right now, more than one-third of our fish and wildlife species are at-risk of becoming extinct. We have already lost more than 150 species that are presumed extinct and another 500 species are missing in action. State fish and wildlife agencies have identified more than 12,000 species of greatest conservation need. 

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will accelerate the recovery of these species, including the more than 150 U.S. species listed on Indiana’s State Wildlife Action Plan.

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is built upon the premise that the best way to save America’s wildlife is through collaborative, proactive, voluntary work before species need more expensive “emergency room procedures” through the Endangered Species Act. I urge you to create a bright future for America’s wildlife and natural heritage by supporting and co-sponsoring S. 2372.  


Thank-you Letter Template

Subject line: Thank you for supporting the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act 

Dear Representative Carson,

I am writing to thank you for co-sponsoring H.R. 2773, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, and asking you to do all you can to ensure it passes and is signed into law. 

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act invests in proactive, on-the-ground, collaborative conservation efforts that match the magnitude of America’s wildlife crisis. Healthy wildlife populations are a vital component of our national heritage and our $887 billion dollar outdoor economy. But our diverse array of fish and wildlife is in crisis with more than one-third of all species at risk of becoming endangered. Challenges facing our fish and wildlife in the 21st century include habitat loss, climate change, invasive species, and emerging diseases. 

Thank you for standing up for wildlife through your support of this bipartisan legislation. I urge you to continue advocating for passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act in the 117th Congress.



Photo credit: Maria Overlay

New Bill Would Galvanize Wildlife Conservation, Help Prevent Extinctions in Indiana


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New Bill Would Galvanize Wildlife Conservation, Help Prevent Extinctions in Indiana


Indianapolis, IN (July 21, 2021) — New bipartisan legislation in the House and Senate will fund locally-led efforts to help prevent extinctions and help wildlife thrive nationwide. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will send approximately $14.5 million to Indiana each year, which the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IN-DNR) will use to help the over 150 species of concern in Indiana, such as the Whooping Crane, Lake Sturgeon, and our own Indiana Bat.

“We are facing a looming wildlife crisis. This commonsense, bipartisan bill will allow us to get ahead of the problem by stepping in to help at-risk wildlife early with collaborative, voluntary measures,” said Indiana Wildlife Federation executive director, Emily Wood. “This will also create jobs restoring our constantly threatened wetlands, prairies, and forests.”

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act was just introduced in the Senate by Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) introduced a similar version of the  Recovering America’s Wildlife Act in the House in April.

“The historic, bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is by far the most important piece of wildlife legislation in the past half century,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “At a time when more than one-third of wildlife species are at heightened risk of extinction, this critical legislation will help recover thousands of at-risk species through proactive, collaborative efforts in every state, territory, and Tribal nation, creating jobs while preventing extinctions. We applaud the incredible bipartisan leadership of Senator Heinrich and Senator Blunt, and their House partners Rep. Dingell and Rep. Fortenberry, who are all demonstrating once again that wildlife conservation can unite all Americans.”

Nationwide, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act dedicates $1.4 billion annually to locally-led wildlife restoration efforts, with most of the money going to wildlife agencies like IN-DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife who will use the money to implement existing plans for at-risk wildlife. At least 15 percent of the funds will be used to help species that are already considered endangered or threatened. Additionally, Tribal Nations would share $97.5 million annually to fund wildlife conservation efforts on the tens of millions of acres under Tribal management nationwide.

More than 1,500 businesses and organizations have signed on in support of the legislation, including Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Bass Pro Shops, Ducks Unlimited, Indiana Conservation Alliance, Indiana Wildlife Federation, Izaak Walton League, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, National Wild Turkey Federation and Wild Birds Unlimited.


The Indiana Wildlife Federation has played a part in conserving Indiana’s natural resources since 1938. As the nonprofit, grass-roots affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation; IWF mission is to promote the conservation, sound management and sustainable use of Indiana’s wildlife and wildlife habitat through education, advocacy and action. 

 The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly-changing world.





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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