Wednesday, March 2 at 10am EST:Hearing to consider the nominations of Christy Goldsmith Romero to be a commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Kristin Johnson to be a commissioner of the CFTC, Summer Mersinger to be commissioner of the CFTC, and Caroline Pham to be a commissioner of the CFTC.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
Wednesday, March 2 at 10am EST:Hearing on implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation, will testify.
With just under two weeks before government funding runs out on March 11th, details on an appropriations deal for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2022 remain scarce. Last week, President Biden requested an additional $6.4 billion to support Ukraine against the invasion by Russia. Congress could add this funding to a larger appropriations package, or we could see piecemeal funding bills passed up until the 11th. Given the amount of work on the appropriations committees’ plates, there could also be a very short funding extension to keep the government open beyond March 11th. Senator Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico remains absent from the Senate as he recovers from a stroke. His absence impacts Democrats’ ability to command a majority in the chamber. He is expected to recover and return to the Senate within a few weeks.
President Biden will provide his State of the Union address to Congress at 9pm EST on Tuesday, March 1. Even with the Russian invasion of Ukraine taking center stage, the President is expected to devote part of his speech to the need for climate action. The speech follows just a day after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latestinstallment of the sixth climate assessment, focused on how changes will affect humans and natural ecosystems. You can view NWF’s press release on the reporthere.
On Friday, President Biden announced his selection of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his nominee to succeed Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court. Judge Jackson will begin meeting with Senators this week as the chamber prepares for her confirmation proceedings. A confirmation hearing with the Judiciary Committee is expected to come quickly, although the exact timeline has not been announced.
Seeherefor 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
Both chambers of Congress are in session this week.
The House will begin by considering 8 bills under suspension, and will likely move later in the week to consider legislation related to toxic exposures for military servicemembers under a rule. Action on a Fiscal Year 2022 funding bill or emergency supplemental funding to provide aid to Ukraine is possible.
The Senate is in session and will open the week by moving to consider a House-passed bill that protects the right of Americans to receive an abortion. A vote on the motion to consider is expected to fail, after which the chamber will take up the Postal Service reform that has been before Congress for a few weeks.
Much has happened since the first co-hosted forum with IWF Affiliate: White River Alliance and Purdue in February. First, the passage of SEA 389. This was followed by the establishment of Governor Holcomb’s Wetland Taskforce.
The repeal of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, a 2020 rule that narrowed the definition of “Waters of the United States (WOTUS)” which left isolated wetlands and ephemeral streams at risk. In this follow up forum, researchers from several Indiana universities join with environmental management professionals and policy experts to discuss wetland hydrology and ecology, how wetland footprints are affected by changing legislation, and how resulting ecosystem services are lost or gained. The speakers will also address recent legislation and identify future management issues.
Since 1948, ORSANCO and its member states have cooperated to improve water quality in the Ohio River Basin, ensuring the river can be used for drinking, industrial supplies, and recreational purposes; and can support a healthy and diverse aquatic community. ORSANCO operates monitoring programs to check for pollutants and toxins that may interfere with specific uses of the river.
The Ohio River Discussion Series is an opportunity for communities to share their knowledge and passion for the Ohio River. This monthly series of webinars features topics in Clean Water, Ecosystem Restoration, Research, Education, Transportation, Flood Control and Recreation. The Series was created by the Ohio River Recreation Trail in 2020. In 2021, the Series was expanded with additional partners to provide additional content and support. The Partners include the Ohio River Recreational Trail, the Ohio River Basin Alliance, the Foundation for Ohio River Education, ORSANCO, and the National Park Service.
To register for the next Ohio River Discussion: Understanding Microplastics in the Ohio River Basin, 12:00 pm (EDT) April 27, 2021: REGISTER HERE.
Scientists from universities across Indiana will share research on the value of isolated wetlands, which are vital to the health of Indiana’s ecology, water and people. These unique and important ecosystems are currently threatened by Senate Bill 389, which would repeal critical wetland protections in Indiana. Dr. Sara McMillan will moderate a forum with speakers from Purdue University, Indiana University, Notre Dame and IUPUI about many ecosystem functions that isolated wetlands provide including: flood storage, wildlife habitat, water quality improvements, and carbon storage. Use link to register.