DC Legislative Update April 12-16, 2021

DC Legislative Update

April 12-16, 2021

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

Congressional Hearings

  • House Natural Resources Committee
    • Tuesday, April 13 at 1pm EST: Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States legislative hearing on the “Save Oak Flat Act”
    • Thursday, April 15 at 2pm EST: Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearing on “Building Back Better: Creating Jobs and Reducing Pollution by Plugging and Reclaiming Orphaned Wells”
  • Senate Appropriations Committee
    • Tuesday, April 13 at 2pm EST: Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies hearing “to examine the President’s proposed budget estimates for fiscal year 2022 for the National Science Foundation and securing US Competitiveness.”
    • Wednesday, April 14 at 2pm EST: Subcommittee on Homeland Security hearing on “The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s response to COVID-19 and other challenges”
  • Senate Homeland Security Committee
  • House Appropriations Committee
  • House Financial Services Committee
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
    • Wednesday, April 14 at 10am EST: “Business meeting to consider S.914, to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to reauthorize programs under those Acts; to be immediately followed by a hearing to examine the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund, focusing on lessons learned from the Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives Program and other user-based revenue solutions, and how funding uncertainty affects the highway programs.”
  • Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
  • House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
  • House Energy and Commerce Committee
    • Thursday, April 15 at 10:30am EST: Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change hearing on “The CLEAN Future Act and Environmental Justice: Protecting Frontline Communities.” Other pieces of legislation under consideration include H.R. 501, the “Climate Smart Ports Act,” and H.R. 862, the “Climate Action Planning for Ports Act of 2021.”

Congressional News

  •  On March 26, Congress passed a bipartisan, NWF supported resolution from Senators Portman & Hirono designating April as National Native Plants Patrick Fitzgerald, NWF’s Senior Director of Community Wildlife, provided a quote for the Senators’ press release, see here.
  • On April 1, Senators Coons, Heinrich, and Lujan introduced a bill to create a 21st-century Civilian Climate Corps that aims to employ millions of young Americans to restore and protect public lands and waters. See NWF’s press release here
  • On March 25, Senator Markey and Congresswoman Dingell introduced the Climate Change Education Act to expand NOAA’s climate change education The link to NWF’s press release is here.
  • On March 24 the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted unanimously to advance the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act which seeks to expand nation-wide access to clean drinking water. See here for NWF’s press

Administrative News

  •  On March 31, the Biden administration released a jobs and infrastructure plan to “Create Jobs, Resilient Communities, [and a] ‘Visionary’ Civilian Climate ” See NWF’s press release here.
  • The Executive Branch has turned focus to offshore wind by committing to work with stakeholders and partners to protect wildlife and advance environmental justice on future projects. See here for NWF’s Twitter
  • Last week, the Administration released their fiscal year 2022 discretionary budget request with specific provisions to highlight the all-of-government approach to climate change and related See the White House’s notice here.
  • 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?

  •  On Monday, April 12 at 4pm EST the National Wildlife Federation, Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, and Reimagine Appalachia are hosting a congressional briefing to discuss the role of climate infrastructure investments in Appalachia.
  • This and next week, NWF’s Public Lands team is hosting staff and affiliates in a virtual fly-in to discuss legislative and restoration and resilience priorities as part of upcoming legislation and larger infrastructure
  • NWF expects a Senate confirmation vote on Brenda Mallory to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality early this Mallory’s confirmation was advanced on March 24 following an 11-9 vote from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
  • Congress is turning attention to address surface and natural infrastructure priorities, appropriations, and reconciliation. 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,

National Wildlife Federation Logo

Parks Maintenance, LWCF, and Recovering America’s Wildlife Act

Contact: Naomi Edelson | 202-797-6889 | edelsonn@nwf.org

Dedicated Wildlife Funding Must be Included

  • America’s wildlife is in crisis — with more than one-third of all species imperiled. This monumental problem demands an equally big solution.
  • The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is a fiscally responsible, national strategy to hasten the recovery of more than 12,000 potentially at-risk species through the United States.
  • The bill would invest $1.3 billion of existing funding — collected from energy and mineral fees on federal lands and waters — into state-based solutions by supporting the State Wildlife Action Plans mandated by Congress.


Recovering Wildlife, Parks Maintenance, and LWCF:

  • All of the parks maintenance bills and one of the LWCF bills call for dedicated funding.
  • Three pillars of conservation funding are needed- 1 for wildlife, 1 for parks, 1 for LWCF
  • Dedicated Wildlife funding has broad bipartisan support with more than 70 cosponsors in the House
  • Dedicated Wildlife funding has widespread support of more than 1000 diverse businesses and groups
  • Saying we can only address the national parks backlog or conserve wildlife is a false choice. We can do both and should refuse to play these connected priorities off each other.
  • After all, one of the main reasons people visit our national parks and other public lands is to see wildlife.

Current Parks Maintenance Legislation

After years of congressional underfunding, the National Parks Service is facing a backlog of more than $11 billion in deferred maintenance repairs. National Park facilities are reaching the end of their lifecycles, and the NPS is struggling to maintain the parks system’s enormous infrastructure, all at a time our parks are experiencing record visitation. Congress is now seeking more funding to address the backlog.



  •  2509– National Parks Restoration Act, Sponsor: Sen Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
    • Establishes a dedicated park maintenance fund. Funding is provided through 50% of all unallocated money received from onshore and offshore energy development or renewable energy development. LWCF, Reclamation, and other programs funded through energy development will be funded first. This bill prohibits land acquisition.
    • 8 Cosponsors: Sen. Capito (R-WV), Sen. Daines (R-MT), Sen. Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Tillis (R-NC), Sen. Blunt (R-MO), Sen. Heinrich (D-NM), Sen. Manchin (D-WV), Sen. King (I-ME) Full list of cosponsors linked here


  • 3172– Restore Our Parks Act, Sponsor: Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)  (Hearing on July 11th at 3pm- Senate ENR Nat’l Parks Subcommittee)
    • Establishes a dedicated park maintenance fund that provides 50% of the unallocated money of the money from onshore and offshore energy development or renewable energy development up to $1.3 billion per year over five years for a potential total of $6.5 billion. 65% of the funds are to be spent on non-transportation projects and 35% on transportation projects.
    • 3 Cosponsors: Sen. Warner (D-VA), Sen. Alexander (R-TN), Sen. King (I-ME)

Full list of cosponsors linked here


  • 751– National Park Service Legacy Act of 2017, Sponsor: Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)
    • Establishes a dedicated park maintenance fund that slowly escalates over 30 years to provide a total of $11.6 billion in funding. 20% of the funds will be allocated to roads and transportation. 80% of the funds will be spent on non-transportation projects. Funding will come from unallocated money from onshore and offshore energy development and renewable energy development. This bill prohibits land acquisition and this funding is not allowed to replace existing discretionary funding.
    • 21 Cosponsors: 21 (16 D’s, 4 R’s, 1 I)

Full list of cosponsors linked here



  • 5210– National Park Restoration Act, Sponsor: Mike Simpson (R-ID)
    • Companion bill to S. 2509
    • 11 Cosponsors: Rep. Schrader (D-OR), Rep. Hanabusa (D-HI), Rep. Garamendi (D-CA), Rep. Hurd (R-TX), Rep. Bishop (R-UT), Rep. Torres (D-CA), Rep. LaMalfa (R-CA), Rep. Cramer (R-ND), Rep. Ross (R-FL), Rep. Cook (R-CA), Rep. Walorski (R-IN)

Full list of cosponsors linked here


  • 2584– National Park Restoration Act, Sponsor: Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX)
    • Companion bill to S. 751
    • 80 Cosponsors (40 D’s and 39 R’s)

Full list of cosponsors linked here


Current LWCF Legislation

Issue Overview:

The Land and Water Conservation uses revenue from offshore oil and gas drilling to support the conservation of national parks, areas around rivers and lakes, national forests, national forests, and national wildlife refuges. There is a substantial backlog of federal conservation needs are currently estimated at more than $30 billion.



  • 896– A bill to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Sponsor: Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
    • Permanently reauthorizes the Land Water and Conservation Fund, and directs a portion of LWCF funding (1.5% or $10 million annually) to opening up additional access to public lands for hunting, fishing, and other recreation
    • 12 Cosponsors: Sen. Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Collins (R-ME), Sen. Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Daines (R-MT), Sen. Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Heinrich (D-NM), Sen. Graham (R-SC), Sen. King (I-ME), Sen. Donnelly (D-IN), Sen. Isakson (R-GA), Sen. Ernst (R-IA), Sen. Capito (R-WV)

Full list of cosponsors linked here


  • 569– Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act, Sponsor: Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) with Sen. Burr as cosponsor
    • This bill permanently reauthorizes LWCF and provides for full, dedicated and permanent funding.
    • 43 Cosponsors: (38 D’s, 3 R’s, 2 I’s)

Full list of cosponsors linked here



  • 502– To permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Sponsor: Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
    • Companion bill to S. 896
    • 229 Cosponsors: (193 D’s and 36 R’s)

Full list of cosponsors linked here