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The Latest: A Weekly Federal Update (02/07/22)



Upcoming Events & Activities

February 7th, 2021 - February 11th, 2021

All events in Eastern Standard Time


Monday, February 7th

No meetings to report.


Tuesday, February 8th

10:00 AM - House Oversight & Reform Committee: Hearing on “Fueling the Climate Crisis: Examining Big Oil's Climate Pledges”


10:30 AM - House Energy & Commerce Committee: Hearing on “ARPA-H: The Next Frontier Biomedical Research”


11:00 AM - House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee: Hearing on “Proposals for a Water Resources Development Act of 2022: Stakeholder Priorities”


Wednesday, February 9th

10:00 AM - Senate Environment & Public Works Committee: Hearing to "Examine S. 2373, the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act of 2021, and S. 1290, the STRANDED Act of 2021”


2:30 PM - Senate Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs Committee: Hearing on “The Role that Community Development Financial Institutions & Minority Depository Institutions Serve in Supporting Communities”


Thursday, February 10th

9:30 AM - Senate Special Committee on Aging: Hearing on “Improving Care Experiences for People with both Medicare & Medicaid”


10:00 AM - Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee: Hearing on “Clean Hydrogen”


Friday, February 11th

No meetings to report.

 

Energy, Water & Environment

The latest from the House and Senate Committees on energy (infrastructure), WIFIA, wastewater management, environmental issues, interior, or environmental justice.

Legislation

H.R. 6533 - Regional Clean Energy Innovation Act, To establish an Office of Advanced Clean Energy Technologies to manage a network of Regional Energy Innovation & Development Institutes to advance clean energy technologies

Sponsor: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee; Science, Space, & Technology Committee

Dated Introduced: February 1, 2022


H.R. 6548, To establish new Federal renewable energy use requirements, support the equitable transition to clean energy power generation, and require cumulative impact assessments for fossil fuel-fired power plant permitting

Sponsor: Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee; Oversight & Reform Committee

Date Introduced: February 1, 2022


H.R. 6562, To require the Secretary of Energy to create a plan for research, development, and commercialization projects capable of making significant reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions or carbon intensity of qualified fuel production facilities

Sponsor: Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX-07) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee; Science, Space, & Technology Committee

Date Introduced: February 2, 2022


H.R. 6591, To require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to publish a rule that establishes standards for the flushability of disposable nonwoven wipes

Sponsor: Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI-10) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: February 3, 2022


News

Politico: NY Lawmakers Want NY's Energy Regulator to Reduce Natural Gas Usage

The chair of the NY Senate's Finance Committee is supporting a measure to reshape the mission of the state’s utility regulator to align its duties with New York’s climate law by adding it to the Public Service Commission's mission. It also requires the commission to start planning for a shift to electric heat and reduced natural gas usage, with a focus on ensuring low-to-moderate income customers don’t bear undue costs. Gov. Kathy Hochul has signaled her willingness to discuss some changes to the state’s utility laws. Her budget proposal includes one component that the new bill incorporates: ending the “100 foot rule” that subsidizes new gas customers at the expense of other ratepayers. Gas utilities would be prohibited after 2022 from building out gas mains to serve new geographic areas, although the commission could provide exceptions until 2029. The measure requires the PSC to develop a plan to phase out gas statewide, with a process kicking off within three months of the effective date and wrapping up within a year (a relatively short timeframe for the PSC).

 

Transportation & Infrastructure

The latest from the House and Senate Committees on industrial and commercial mechanical insulation, cybersecurity, supply chains, port authority, metropolitan transit, or airport.

Legislation

H.R. 6541 - Improving Cybersecurity of Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Local Governments Act, To establish cybersecurity guidance for small organizations

Sponsor: Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA-18) referred to Small Business Committee; Homeland Security Committee

Date Introduced: February 1, 2022


H.R. 6542, To require the Director of National Intelligence to submit an annual report on Investment by an Chinese entity in port infrastructure in the Western Hemisphere

Sponsor: Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX-04) referred to Intelligence Committee

Date Introduced: February 1, 2022


H.R. 6546, To direct the Secretary of Transportation to establish a Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging Grant Program

Sponsor: Rep. Brenda lawrence (D-MI-14) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee; Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

Date Introduced: February 2, 2022


H.R. 6571, To require the Transportation Security Administration to standardize the enrollment process for individuals applying for multiple TSA Security Threat Assessment programs, including the TWIC, HAZMAT Endorsement, and TSA PreCheck programs of the Administration

Sponsor: Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA-09) referred to Homeland Security Committee

Date Introduced: February 2, 2022


H.R.6588, To establish a grant program within the Department of Labor to support the creation, implementation, and expansion of registered apprenticeship programs in cybersecurity

Sponsor: Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV-03) referred to Education & Labor Committee

Date Introduced: February 3, 2022


News

The Hill: DHS Announces New Cybersecurity Review Board

On Thursday, February 3, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the formation of the Cyber Safety Review Board, in response to President Biden's recent executive order to improve the Federal Government's cybersecurity standards and safeguards. The CSRB will connect government and industry leaders in cybersecurity to work together to improve cybersecurity nationwide. Members of the CSRB will jointly review cybersecurity events and endeavor to apply assessments to future initiatives aiming to protect American networks and infrastructure. The first CSRB review will deal with weaknesses in the log4j software library that were uncovered in late 2021. DHS Under Secretary for Policy Robert Silvers will be chairman of the CSRB, joined by Google Senior Director for Security Engineering Heather Adkins as deputy chairwoman. The DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will manage and fund the CSRB. CISA Director Jen Easterly will appoint CSRB members with input from Silvers.

 

Immigration & Detention

The latest from the House and Senate Committee on immigration, detention, homeland security, border security, asylum seekers, criminal justice reform, Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP), U.S. Marshal Service (USMS), alternatives to detention programming, reentry programming, or Bureau of Prisons.

Legislation

H.R. 6577, To establish, under Article I of the Constitution of the United States, a court of record to be known as the United States Immigration Courts

Sponsor: Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19) referred to Judiciary Committee; Budget Committee

Date Introduced: February 3, 2022


H.R. 6592, To require the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of Health & Human Services to notify the relevant Federal, State, and local officials of a jurisdiction before placing a covered alien in such jurisdiction

Sponsor: Rep. Daniel Meuser (R-PA-09) referred to Judiciary Committee

Date Introduced: February 3, 2022


H.R. 6593, To provide for a pilot program under the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Grant program for local law enforcement agencies located in rural areas to purchase Narcan (naloxone) to prevent and reduce opioid overdose deaths

Sponsor: Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA-04) referred to Judiciary Committee

Date Introduced: February 3, 2022


News

ABC News: Immigration Officials in New Orleans Accused of 'Illegally' Deporting Asylum-Seekers

The Southern Poverty Law Center is accusing immigration officials in New Orleans of illegally deporting asylum-seekers without interviewing them about why they fled their home country, as required by law. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said in a complaint filed last month against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's New Orleans field office that, in some cases, asylum-seekers never had a credible fear interview to explain why they fled and why they fear returning. Some deportations are happening before asylum-seekers can get a hearing before a judge, or while a review of their case or their appeal is pending, according to SPLC attorneys.

 

Public Health & Safety

The latest from House and Senate committees on health insurance, COVID-19 and testing, gun safety, Medicare & Medicaid, telehealth, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), CDC, FDA, or rural hospitals.

Legislation

H.R. 6530 - SENIOR Act, To sustain senior congregate care operations in the wake of ongoing COVID-19 financial burdens

Sponsor: Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA-03) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee; Ways & Means Committee

Date Introduced: January 28, 2022


H.R. 6538 - Active Shooter Alert Act, To create an Active Shooter Alert Communications Network

Sponsor: Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI-01) referred to Judiciary Committee

Dated Introduced: February 1, 2022


H.R. 6545 - Protecting Americans from Unsafe Drugs Act, To expand certain authorities with respect of controlled substances with respect to all drugs

Sponsor: Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ-03) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: February 1, 2022


H.R. 6561, To provide for the secure storage of a licensed firearm possessed by a Federal judge

Sponsor: Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK-04) referred to Judiciary Committee; Oversight & Reform Committee

Date Introduced: February 2, 2022


H.R. 6575, To reduce gun violence, fund gun violence research and victim assistance, and enhance the tracking of lost and stolen firearms

Sponsor: Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-07 referred to Judiciary Committee; Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: February 2, 2022


News

Associated Press: COVID-19 Falling in 49 of 50 States, as Deaths near 900k

The number of lives lost to the pandemic in the U.S. stood at over 897,000 as of midday Friday, with deaths running at an average of more than 2,400 a day, back up to where they were last winter, when the vaccine drive was still getting started. New cases per day have tanked by almost a half-million nationwide since mid-January, the curve trending downward in every state but Maine. And the number of Americans in the hospital with COVID-19 has fallen 15% over that period to about 124,000. Deaths are still on the rise in at least 35 states, reflecting the lag time between when victims become infected and when they succumb. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said she is calling an end to the state's coronavirus public health emergency, a move that will limit the release of health data. The step reflects her long-held belief that it is time to get past pandemic restrictions and move toward the point when COVID-19 becomes, like the flu, a manageable part of everyday life.

 

Finance & Federal Partnerships


The latest from House and Senate committees on taxation, retirement, small business, federal contracting, or monetary policy.

Legislation

H.R. 6531 - Targeting Resources to Communities in Need Act, To provided an increased allocation of funding under certain programs for assistance in areas of persistent poverty

Sponsor: Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC-06) referred to Oversight & Reform Committee

Date Introduced: February 1, 2022


H.R. 6560, To eliminate or modify certain mandates of the Government Accountability Office

Sponsor: Rep. Shontel Brown (D-OH-11) referred to Oversight & Reform Committee

Date Introduced: February 2, 2022


H.R. 6581, To establish the Commission on Long-Term Social Security Solvency

Sponsor: Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK-04) referred to Ways & Means Committee; Rules

Date Introduced: February 3, 2022


H.R. 6590, To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the inclusion in gross income of Social Security benefits

Sponsor: Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY-04) referred to Ways & Means Committee

Date Introduced: February 3, 2022


News

Politico: The Surprising Split over Biden's Fed Nominees

President Joe Biden’s pick to be the Federal Reserve’s top Wall Street cop is dividing Big Banks and Big Oil. Sarah Bloom Raskin, who served as a Fed governor and as deputy Treasury secretary during the Obama administration, is well-known to financial institutions and widely respected. Forty-one oil and gas trade groups sent a joint letter to the Senate Banking Committee urging them to reject Raskin’s nomination, calling her an activist and saying her “favored policies would wreak havoc with the economy.” That letter followed a request from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which urged the committee to question Raskin over her calls for the Fed to exclude oil and gas firms from pandemic lending programs, and for regulators to speed up the transition from fossil fuels.

 

Special Reports


The latest from reports issued from the Office of Government Accountability, the Congressional Research Service, and others.
  • GAO: January 26, 2022 - Pipeline Safety: Manufacturing Defects in Pipeline Components Rarely Contribute to Accidents

  • GAO: February 2, 2022 - Bureau of Prisons: Enhanced Data Capabilities, Analysis, Sharing, and RIsk Assessments for Disaster Preparedness

  • GAO: February 2, 2022 - Native American Issues: Federal Agency Efforts & Challenges Repatriating Cultural Items

  • CRS: January 31, 2022 - The Renewable Fuel Standard (ERS): An Overview

  • CRS: February 3, 2022 - Controlling Lead in Public Drinking Water Supplies