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

Check here for the 2022 Senate Calendar
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.
Photo Credit: USFWS

Draft plan to conserve rare butterflies in Indiana and Michigan available for public review

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Midwest Region
5600 American Boulevard West, Suite 990, Bloomington, MN 55437

September 6, 2018

Contact: Georgia Parham 812-334-4261 x 203, Georgia_Parham@fws.gov
Carrie Tansy 517-351-8375, Carrie_Tansy@fws.gov

Draft plan to conserve rare butterflies in Indiana and Michigan available for public review

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public input on a draft habitat conservation plan
outlining conservation measures for the Poweshiek skipperling and Mitchell’s satyr, two
federally endangered butterflies found in southern lower Michigan and northern Indiana.
The draft plan is part of a process by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and
the Indiana DNR to obtain an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act that
would allow the agencies to conduct long-term conservation activities to benefit the species even
if some actions resulted in harm to butterflies.

The plan covers specific actions on non-Federal lands in Berrien, Branch, Cass, Jackson, Van
Buren and Washtenaw counties in Michigan and LaGrange County, Indiana, in the range of the
Mitchell’s satyr, and Oakland County Michigan, where the majority of remaining Poweshiek
skipperling populations still exist.

The types of activities covered in the habitat conservation plan include burning, mowing,
vegetation removal, control of non-native species, grazing, seeding, planting and survey work.
Because these activities, while benefiting the two butterflies, may result in harm to a small
number of individuals, the agencies have developed the conservation plan and have applied for
an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act.

The Endangered Species Act provides for incidental take permits for otherwise legal activities
that may result in take (harming, killing or harassing) of federally endangered or threatened
animals. To obtain an incidental take permit, applicants must develop a habitat conservation
plan that provides for long-term conservation of the species. Habitat conservation plans spell out
measures to minimize take of covered species, and steps to mitigate for the loss of any individual animals.

Only activities intended to manage habitat for the benefit of Mitchell’s satyr and Poweshiek
skipperling while minimizing incidental take are included in this draft plan. Additional
mitigation measures will not be required.

The areas covered by the draft habitat conservation plan include about 192 acres of Mitchell’s
satyr habitat in Michigan and Indiana, along with about 50 acres of habitat in Michigan for the
Poweshiek skipperling. The states’ natural resources departments will administer the plan;
private landowners interested in conserving habitat for the butterflies may also participate.
To view the draft habitat conservation plan and application for incidental take permit, go to
Send written comments via U.S. mail to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of
Ecological Services, 5600 American Blvd. West, Suite 990, Bloomington, MN 55437–1458; by
facsimile to 612–713–5292; or by electronic mail to permitsr3es@fws.gov. Deadline for
comments is October 5, 2018.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws/gov.

Connect with our Facebook page at facebook.com/usfwsmidwest, follow our tweets at twitter.com/usfwsmidwest, watch our YouTube Channel at youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at flickr.com/photos/usfwsmidwest.