D.C. Legislative Update: October 18-22, 2021

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

Upcoming Congressional Hearings 

  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
    • Tuesday, October 19 at 10am EST: “Full Committee Hearing to Consider Pending Nominations” including Mr. Willie L. Phillips, Jr. to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Mr. Brad J. Crabtree to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Fossil Energy and Carbon Management), and Charles F. Sams III to be Director of the National Park Service.
    • Tuesday, October 19 at 2:30pm EST: Public Lands, Forests, & Mining Subcommittee Legislative See here for the full list of pending legislation.
    • Thursday, October 21 at 10am EST: Hearing to consider pending legislation on topics including public lands, forests, and See here for the full list of bills.
  • Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
  • House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
  • House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
    • Wednesday, October 20 at 10am EST: Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation hearing on “Achieving Mission Balance: Positioning the Coast Guard for the Future.”
  • House Energy and Commerce Committee
  • House Natural Resources Committee
  • House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis
  • Senate Judiciary Committee
  • Senate Indian Affairs Committee
    • Wednesday, October 20 at 2:30pm EST: Roundtable discussion on “Investing in Economic Sovereignty: Leveraging Federal Financing for New and Sustained Development in Native Communities”
  • House Foreign Affairs Committee
    • Thursday, October 21 at 10am EST: Subcommittee: International Development, International Organizations and Global Corporate Social Impact hearing on “Preparing for COP26: United States Strategy to Combat Climate Change through International Development”
  • House Judiciary Committee
  • House Science, Space, and Technology Committee
    • Thursday, October 21 at 10am EST: Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight and Subcommittee on Energy hearing on “Judicious Spending to Enable Success of the Office of Nuclear Energy.”

Congressional News 

  • 2372, the Recovering Americas Wildlife Act, now has 29 Senate cosponsors. NWF will continue pushing for more cosponsors and advocating for this critical wildlife conservation bill.

Administrative News 

  • On Thursday, President Biden signed S. 1301, “which provides for authority to increase the debt limit by $480 billion, which is expected to be sufficient to allow the Federal Government to continue to meet its full commitments through early December.” The bill passed the Senate last week in a vote of 50-48.
  • 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 

  • This week, the House and Senate are both back from recess.
  • The Senate is expected to focus on outstanding nominations this The Senate is also expected to vote on proceeding to consider the Freedom to Vote Act, which would advance critical reforms to ensure every American is able to exercise their right to vote, including by expanding early voting, making Election Day a federal holiday, and requiring states to have automatic voter registration.
  • The Senate Appropriations Committee released 9 of its 12 appropriations bills today, Monday 18, for the fiscal year 2022.
    • See the Committee’s website here for the full text of each bill. As a reminder, the House Appropriations Committee introduced and held markups on their versions earlier this year.
  • The House is expected to focus on a number of suspension bills.
  • As the White House and Congress continue work on the Build Back Better agenda, including the bipartisan infrastructure package and budget reconciliation, NWF continues to work to advance our priorities around these Please feel free to share NWF’s 117th Congress National Policy Agenda.

National Wildlife Federation Logo

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.  

Sincerely,

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.

Sincerely,

 

Photo credit: Maria Overlay

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

National Wildlife Federation Logo     

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.

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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.

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Historic, Bipartisan Wildlife Funding Bill Moves Forward

View Source Blog: http://nwf.org/Latest-News/Press-Releases/2019/12-05-19-Recovering-Markup
Lacey McCormick Dec 05, 2019

“The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is the most significant piece of wildlife legislation since the Endangered Species Act passed in 1973.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act was passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee today, priming it for a vote on the House floor. The bipartisan legislation, which has nearly 160 co-sponsors, would fund proactive conservation efforts to prevent species from becoming endangered and would provide additional funding for species that are already listed.

“Right now more than one-third of all wildlife species in the United States are at heightened risk of extinction — and demand immediate conservation attention. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is the most significant piece of wildlife legislation since the Endangered Species Act passed in 1973,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Thanks to the leadership of Chairman Grijalva and Reps. Dingell, Fortenberry and Huffman, and the bill’s more than 150 bipartisan cosponsors, this historic bill is making important progress in the House and is showing that even in these divided times, wildlife conservation can bring all Americans together.”

 About the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act:
• The bill will provide $1.397 billion in dedicated annual funding for proactive, on-the-ground wildlife conservation efforts in every state and territory.

• The bill will fund additional recovery efforts for the approximately 1,600 U.S. species already listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

• The majority of the money — $1.3 billion — will go to wildlife recovery efforts led by state wildlife agencies. This spending will be guided by the Congressionally mandated State Wildlife Action Plans, which identify 12,000 species of concern nationwide.

• Tribal Nations would receive $97.5 million annually to fund proactive wildlife conservation efforts on tens of millions of acres of land.

• The bill complements the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (Pittman-Robertson) and Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act (Dingell-Johnson), which funded state-led recovery efforts on behalf of game and fish species that faced potential extinction in the 20th century.

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Learn more about threatened and endangered wildlife in Indiana and how this legislation can help #RecoverWildlife by attending our January 18, 2020 Indiana Wildlife Conference.

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.

 

Senate:

  •  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

 

House:

  • 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.

 

Senate:

  • 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

 

House:

  • 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

Photo Credit: Emily Wood

National Wildlife Federation Urges Lawmakers to Fund Collaborative Conservation to Address America’s Wildlife Crisis

‘The greatest barrier to wildlife conservation in our nation is the chronic underinvestment in proactive, on-the-ground collaborative conservation’

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 17, 2018) —The National Wildlife Federation urged lawmakers to take a comprehensive approach to addressing America’s wildlife crisis as the U.S. Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee hosts a hearing on the Endangered Species Act. Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, urged lawmakers to expand their conversation to include proactive investments in wildlife conservation through the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.

“America’s wildlife are in crisis — with more than one-third of all species at-risk or vulnerable to potential extinction in the decades ahead. We cannot regulate or deregulate our way out of this monumental problem,” O’Mara said. “The greatest barrier to wildlife conservation in our nation is the chronic underinvestment in proactive, on-the-ground collaborative conservation efforts for species of greatest conservation need, before these species require emergency room measures under the Endangered Species Act. We thank Senator Barrasso for seeking broad input on the best way to recover wildlife species and we urge the Committee to prioritize reaching bipartisan agreement on providing significant dedicated funding for collaborative wildlife conservation, through the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act or a similar piece of legislation.

“Congress has shown — through the recent Farm Bill and the wildlife fix we championed — that it can pass significant conservation legislation. We encourage the Committee to seize the opportunity for landmark progress addressing America’s wildlife crisis.”

The National Wildlife Federation is working at the forefront of U.S. wildlife policy, and prioritizing efforts to restore wildlife populations across the United States. The Federation worked with U.S. Representatives Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., and Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., to introduce the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this session of Congress.