D.C. Legislative Update: December 6 – 10, 2021

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

Upcoming Congressional Hearings

Congressional News

  • Recovering America’s Wildlife Act – Collin O’Mara to Testify: On Wednesday, December 8 at 10am EST, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on S. 2372, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. NWF CEO Collin O’Mara will testify in support of the bill. He will be joined on the witness panel by Dan Ashe of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Sara Parker Pauley of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, and Jonathan Wood of the Property and Environment Research Center. Recovering America’s Wildlife Act has gained 32 Senate cosponsors – including 9 of the 20 members of the Environment and Public Works Committee – and 137 in the House. This hearing is a major step towards passing this key NWF priority, and it reflects the enthusiastic support of this bipartisan group of legislators, our partners, and the entire Federation Family.
    • More details on the hearing, including a livestream link are available at the Committee website here, and livestreams are also available on Twitter, and YouTube.
  • Last week, Congress passed and the president signed a stopgap government funding bill, preventing a government shutdown. The law funds the government at existing levels through February 18, 2022, with the addition of $7 billion to support Afghan evacuees. Congressional leaders are continuing to negotiate on a full-year spending package for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. The House and Senate appropriations committees have each posted their proposed funding bills for FY22, available here: Senate Committee; and House Committee.

Administrative News 

  • 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

  • The House and Senate are both in session this week.
  • The Senate is expected to consider nominees, and will be engaged with the House on efforts to pass a deadlocked National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022.
    • Senate committees will be meeting with the Senate Parliamentarian to review provisions of the Build Back Better Act and ensure that the legislation abides by the rules of the Budget Reconciliation process.
  • The House is expected to consider R. 5314, the Protecting Our Democracy Act. a possible Continuing Resolution for FY2022 appropriations given the current CR expires this week. In addition, the House is expected to work on a number of suspension bills, including H.R.2074, the Indian Buffalo Management Act, and H.R. 5608, the Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act.
  • 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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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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