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The Latest: A Weekly Federal Update (04/04/22)



Upcoming Events & Activities

April 4th, 2021 - April 8th, 2022

All events in Eastern Standard Time


Monday, April 4th

No events to report.


Tuesday, April 5th

10:00 AM - House Agriculture Committee: Hearing on "A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Energy _ Renewable Energy Opportunities in Rural America"


10:00 AM - House Appropriations Committee: Hearing on "FY2023 National Tribal Organizations Public Witness Day"


10:00 AM - House Oversight & Reform Committee: Hearing on "It's Electric: Developing the Postal Service Fleet of the Future"


10:00 AM - Senate Environment & Public Works Committee: Hearing on "Implementation of the Drinking Water & Wastewater Infrastructure Act: Stakeholders' Needs & Experiences"


10:00 AM - Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee: Hearing on "Ensuring Transparency in Petroleum Markets"


10:15 AM - House Education & Labor Committee: Hearing to markup H.R. 7309 - Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act, and H.R. 7310 - Protecting America's Retirement Security Act


Wednesday, April 6th

9:00 AM - House Education & Labor Committee: Hearing on "Examining the Policies & Priorities of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services"


10:00 AM - House Homeland Security Committee: Hearing on "Mobilizing Our Cyber Defenses: Maturing Public-Private Partnerships to Secure U.S. Critical Infrastructure"


10:30 AM - House Energy & Commerce Committee: Hearing on "Gouged at the Gas Station: Big Oil & America's Pain at the Pump"


2:00 PM - House Homeland Security Committee: Hearing on "Examining Title 42 & the Need to Restore Asylum at the Border"


2:30 PM - Senate Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs: Hearing on "Advancing Public Transportation in Small Cities & Rural Places under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law"


Thursday, April 7th

9:00 AM - House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis: Hearing on "Cost-Saving Climate Solutions: Investing in Energy Efficiency to Promote Energy Security & Cut Energy Bills"


12:00 PM - Environmental Protection Agency: Webinar on "Developments in Wastewater treatment & Reuse at DoD Facilities"


Friday, April 8th

No events 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. 7285 - Unleashing American Energy Act, To require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a minimum number of oil and gas lease sales in certain areas and to prevent delays in oil and gas leasing.

Sponsor: Rep. Jerry Carl (R-AL-01) referred to Natural Resources Committee

Date Introduced: March 30, 2022


H.R. 7289, To provide for the National Academies to study and report on a Federal research agenda to advance the understanding of PFAS

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

Date Introduced: March 30, 2022


H.R. 7292, To require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct all oil and gas lease sales described in the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Proposed Final Program

Sponsor: Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA-06) referred to Natural Resources Committee

Date Introduced: March 30, 2022


H.R. 7304, To require the Secretary of the Interior to immediately resume onshore oil and gas lease sales

Sponsor: Rep. Matthew Rosendale, Sr. (R-MT-At Large) referred to Natural Resources Committee

Date Introduced: March 30, 2022


H.R. 7324, To delay the effectiveness of certain new rules or regulations related to the United States energy sector

Sponsor: Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-MN-07) referred to Oversight & Reform Committee; Judiciary Committee

Date Introduced: March 31, 2022


H.R. 7343, To exempt certain vessels transporting crude oil and petroleum products from certain coastwise endorsement requirements

Sponsor: Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA-10) referred to Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

Date Introduced: March 31, 2022


H.R. 7355, To provide that under the securities laws certain disclosures related to greenhouse gas emissions or consumption of an issuer shall be construed to be required

Sponsor: Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX-24) referred to Financial Services Committee

Date Introduced: April 1, 2022


H.R. 7363, To amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to clarify the responsibility of landowners who do not participate in the operation of oil facilities

Sponsor: Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH-07) referred to Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

Date Introduced: April 1, 2022


News

Business Insider: Putin Orders Russian Industry, Central to Switch to Rubles for Exports

On Monday, March 28th, Russian President Vladimir Putin has order Russian natural gas giant, Gazprom, and the Central Bank of Russia to prepare to start taking only rubles, instead of Euros or U.S. Dollars, for natural gas exports from "unfriendly" countries and they should finalize their plans for this switch by March 31st. Russia accounts for around 45% of EU gas imports, with pipeline exports to Europe normally paid for in euros.


FERC: Chairman Glick Sets Priorities for Energy Infrastructure, Participation

On March 31, FERC Chairman Rich Glick outlined the Commission's strategic priorities, such as modernizing electricity market design, facilitating the development of the electricity infrastructure needed for the changing resource mix, promoting a strong and robust enforcement program, improving the siting and review process for interstate gas pipelines and LNG facilities, safeguarding electric infrastructure from emerging threats to reliability and security, and improving accessibility and participation in proceedings.

 

Transportation & Infrastructure

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

Legislation

H.R. 7309 - Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act, To reauthorize the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act

Sponsor: Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA-03) referred to Education & Labor Committee

Date Introduced: March 31, 2022


H.R. 7347, To reauthorize workforce development innovation grants for the implementation, expansion, and evaluation of evidence-based workforce programs

Sponsor: Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11) referred to Education & Labor Committee

Date Introduced: March 31, 2022

News

Washington Post: White House Requests 11% More Cybersecurity Funding

President Joe Biden is asking Congress to boost cybersecurity across the federal government to record levels as his administration attempts to follow-through on promises to modernize U.S. cyberdefenses. Biden's $5.8 trillion budget plan seeks $10.9 billion in cybersecurity funding across civilian government agencies, or an 11% increase from his request last year. Biden is proposing legislation to set up a 10-year, $10 billion grant program run out of the Election Assistance Commission, an independent government body that approves voting machine upgrades and does other election-related work. The grants would “enable crucial election-related capital investments,” according to a budget document. The budget also seeks $250 million for “election innovation grants” that state and local governments would compete to acquire. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) would get $2.5 billion in funding, a 19 percent increase over Biden’s request last year. But that’s slightly less than the nearly $2.6 billion Congress ended up approving for CISA. The budget also asks Congress to set aside $682 million for Ukraine “to counter Russian malign influence and to meet emerging needs related to security, energy, cybersecurity issues, disinformation, macroeconomic stabilization, and civil society resilience.”

 

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. 7257 - Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs & Border Protection Custody Act, To require U.S. Customs & Border Protection to perform an initial health screening on detainees

Sponsor: Rep. Paul Ruiz (D-CA-36) referred to Judiciary Committee, Homeland Security Committee

Date Introduced: March 28, 2022


H.R. 7260 - Comprehensive Southern Border Strategy Act, To require a comprehensive southern border strategy

Sponsor: Rep. Young Kim (R-CA-2022) referred to Homeland Security Committee

Date Introduced: March 29, 2022


H.R. 7280 - Prison to Proprietorship Act, To amend the Small Business Act to provide re-entry entreneurship counseling and training services for incarcerated individuals

Sponsor: Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-07) referred to Judiciary Committee

Date Introduced: March 29, 2022


News

LA Times: Biden Official Says U.S. Will Likely See an Uptick in Asylum Requests, Immigration

Ricardo Zúniga, the Biden administration's special envoy for the region, spoke of the challenges in Central America, and how they are expected to result in an uptick of immigration from the region in Los Angeles last week. His visit came just days ahead of Friday's announcement by the Biden administration that it planned to end by late May a controversial policy that has blocked most migrants from seeking humanitarian protections at the U.S. border. The policy — often referred to as Title 42 — was invoked by the Trump administration, referring to a rarely used 1944 public health statute that allows for the quick expulsion of migrants either to Mexico or to their home countries. Trump administration officials cited the need to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Over the last two years, border authorities have used Title 42 to expel migrants in about 60% of encounters — more than 1.7 million expulsions — while allowing others in with humanitarian exemptions. But as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic changed within the U.S., officials began preparing an end to the policy.

 

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. 7281 - REVERSE OSHA Mandates Act, To amend the Occupational Safety & Health Act of 1970 to repeal the Secretary's authority to issue emergency temporary standards

Sponsor: Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA-09) referred to Education & Labor Committee

Date Introduced: March 31, 2022


H.R. 7366, To ban the imposition of any State or local liability insurance, tax, or user fee requirement for firearm or ammunition ownership or commerce

Sponsor: Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX-13) referred to Ways & Means Committee; Judiciary Committee

Date Introduced: April 1, 2022

News

Newsweek: Study Finds Poor Americans Died from COVID-19 at 2x the Rate of Rich People

Americans who lived in poorer counties in the United States during the pandemic died from the virus at nearly twice the rate of people who resided in wealthier counties. The U.S. has recorded the most cumulative COVID-19 deaths per capita than any other large, high-income nation, the New York Times reported, with the Poor People's Campaign report showing that poorer counties have been disproportionately impacted. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that more than 980,000 people in the U.S. have died from the disease, edging the nation closer to recording 1 million deaths across the more than two years since the start of the pandemic. The study, organized by the Poor People's Campaign, looked at income and death data from more than 3,200 U.S. counties, showed that many of the top 20 counties in regard to COVID-19 death rates were located in areas of Georgia, Texas and Virginia that were sparsely populated, Reuters reported.

 

Finance & Federal Partnerships


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

Legislation

H.R. 7310 - Protecting America's Retirement Security Act, To protect America's retirement security

Sponsor: Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA-06) referred to Education & Labor Committee; Ways & Means Committee

Date Introduced: March 31, 2022

Notices of Funding Opportunities

Transportation Grants: Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant Opportunity

From March 25th until May 25th, 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation is accepting applications for three funding opportunities: The National Infrastructure Project Assistance grants program (Mega), the Nationally Significant Multimodal Freight and Highways Projects grants program (INFRA), and the Rural Surface Transportation Grant program (Rural). Applicants can apply for just one opportunity or two or all three and must submit applications via www.Grants.gov. information regarding this notice, please contact the Office of the Secretary via email at MPDGrants@dot.gov, or call Paul Baumer at (202) 366-1092.


 

Special Reports


The latest from reports issued from the Office of Government Accountability, the Congressional Research Service, and others.
  • CRS: April 1, 2022 - Advances in Satellite Methane Measurement: Implications for Fossil Fuel Industry Emissions Detection & Climate Policy

  • GAO: March 31, 2022 - Indian Health Service: Relief Funding & Agency Response to COVID-19 Pandemic