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The Latest: A Weekly Federal Update (04/11/22)



Upcoming Events & Activities

April 11th, 2021 - April 15th, 2022

All events in Eastern Standard Time


Monday, April 11th

No events to report.


Tuesday, April 12th

No events to report.


Wednesday, April 13th

2:00 PM - Environmental Protection Agency: Webinar on "Underground Storage Tanks: Preparing & Responding to Extreme Events"


Thursday, April 14th

No events to report.


Friday, April 15th

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. 7397, To restart oil and gas leasing and permitting on Federal land

Sponsor: Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX-26) referred to Natural Resources Committee

Date Introduced: April 5, 2022


H.R. 7434, To require the Secretary of Energy to remove carbon dioxide directly from ambient air or seawater

Sponsor: Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY-20) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: April 7, 2022


H.R. 7439, To promote United States energy security and independence by bolstering renewable energy supply chains in the United States

Sponsor: Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO-01) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: April 7, 2022


H.R. 7453, To require the Secretary of Energy to complete and publish a study and develop a plan related to the ability of the electric system to meet the electricity demand of new electric vehicle charging infrastructure

Sponsor: Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL-06) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: April 7, 2022


H.R. 7463, To protect consumers from price-gouging of gasoline and other fuels

Sponsor: Rep. Josh Harder (D-CA-10) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: April 7, 2022


H.R. 7486, To promote environmental literacy

Sponsor: Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD-03) referred to Education & Labor Committee

Date Introduced: April 7, 2022


News

WSKG: PA Court Pauses Governor's Effort to Join RGIS

On April 5, a lower court issued a stay on directive by Gov. Tom Wolf (D), which he moved for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, pending further order of the court without explanation. If Pennsylvania does join the cap-and-trade program, it would become the first fossil fuel-producing state to put a price on carbon emissions. Under RGIS, power plants must pay for each ton of carbon dioxide they emit, making dirtier sources of power less competitive with cleaner sources. Republican lawmakers (which control both chambers) assert Gov. Wolf's move violates the state Constitution because the fee imposed on power plants amounts to tax leving, which the Governorship cannot do but only the Pennsylvania General Assembly may promulgate. Gov. Wolf has already stated his administration plans to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.


Politico: NOAA Announces Methane Emissions Increase at Record Rate

On April 7, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration said that the amount of methane in the atmosphere grew at the fastest-ever rate recorded in 2021. Atmospheric methane concentrations rose by 17 parts per billion, the fastest annual jump since records began in 1983. At a total of 1,895.7 ppb, methane concentrations are 162 percent higher than pre-industrial levels, NOAA said.


E&E News: Federal Study Suggests California EVs are Bending Gasoline Curves

In a newsletter released on April 6, the U.S. Energy Information Administration noted an unusual trend amongst California drivers: They are using less gasoline to travel the same number of miles. Interestingly 40% of the country's EVs are registered in California. “California, which exhibited large disparities between VMT and gasoline sales, also has a relatively higher penetration of HEV, PHEV, and BEV as part of the state’s light-duty vehicle fleet,” EIA noted.

 

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. 7379, To transition the non-tactical vehicle fleet of the Department of Defense to electric or other zero-emission vehicles

Sponsor: Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA-03) referred to Armed Services Committee

Date Introduced: April 4, 2022


H.R. 7484, To amend the Clean Air Air to eliminate the corn ethanol mandate for renewable fuel

Sponsor: Rep. Tom Rice (R-CS-07) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: April 7, 2022


H.R. 7456, To address the supply chain backlog in the freight network at United States ports

Sponsor: Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-MN-07) referred to Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

Date Introduced: April 7, 2022


News

Politico: Treasury Issues New Sanctions Against Russian Crypto, Ransomware Gangs

The Treasury Department unveiled a new round of actions Tuesday targeting the use of cryptocurrencies in Russian ransomware attacks and other financial crimes, adding to a growing list of economic sanctions against Russians as the war in Ukraine carries on. Treasury’s actions include sanctions that make it illegal for U.S. persons or businesses to send payments to a cryptocurrency-enabled Russian marketplace where hackers have sold ransomware services and to a cryptocurrency exchange popular with Russian ransomware gangs.

 

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. 7413 - Immigration Enforcement Partnership Act, To authorize States to request that the Secretary of Homeland Security enforce the Immigration & Nationality Act

Sponsor: Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL-08) referred to Judiciary Committee

Date Introduced: April 6, 2022


H.R. 7450, To remove legal impediments preventing construction of a border barrier along the international border between the United States and Mexico, improve the construction requirements for such barrier, make previously appropriated funds available for constructing such barrier until expended

Sponsor: Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC-13) referred to Homeland Security Committee; Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

Date Introduced: April 7, 2022


H.R. 7452, To amend the Immigration & Nationality Act to tighten asylum laws

Sponsor: Rep. John Carter (R-TX-31) referred to Judiciary Committee

Date Introduced: April 7, 2022


H.R. 7464, To place certain limitations on migrant caravans

Sponsor: Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-NM-02) referred to Foreign Affairs Committee

Date Introduced: April 7, 2022


News

New York Post: Hochul Announces Changes to NY's Criminal Justice Reform Laws

On April 7, New York Governor Kathy Hochul vowed to further roll back parts of the state's controversial criminal justice reform law and that her $220 billion budget plan, which will stiffen gun-trafficking laws and allow more repeat offenders to be held in jail. The proposals will close loopholes in the “Raise the Age” law to hold more defendants under 18 accountable and target repeat offenders who would not have been jailed under the 2019 reforms—particularly in gun cases. The new moves will also tweak the state’s speedy trial reforms which set strict timelines on prosecutors to produce “discovery” — evidence that must be turned over to the defense.

 

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. 7383 - Improving Access to Healthcare in Rural & Underserved Areas Act, To establish a program ensuring access to accredited continuing medical education for primary care physicians and other healthcare providers at Federally-qualified health centers and rural health clinics, to provide training and clinical support for primary care providers to practice at their full scope and improve access to care for patients in underserved areas

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

Date Introduced: April 4, 2022


H.R. 7400 - American Made Pharmaceuticals Act, To direct the Secretary of Health & Human Services to conduct a demonstration program to test providing preferential treatment under the Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP programs for drugs and biologicals manufactured in the United States.

Sponsor: Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN-02) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee; Ways & Means Committee

Date Introduced: April 5, 2022


H.R. 7410 - American Made Medicine Act, To provide for credits against tax for domestic medical and drug manufacturing and advanced medical manufacturing equipment

Sponsor: Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-02) referred to Ways & Means Committee

Date Introduced: April 5, 2022


H.R. 7423, To prohibit certain COVID-19 face covering and vaccine mandates

Sponsor: Rep. Carlos Giménez (R-FL-26) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee; Education & Labor Committee

Date Introduced: April 6, 2022


H.R. 7452, To amend the Immigration & Nationality Act to tighten asylum laws

Sponsor: Rep. John Carter (R-TX-31) referred to Judiciary Committee

Date Introduced: April 7, 2022


H.R. 7474, To amend the Public Health Service Act to increase the transparency of pharmaceutical research costs

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

Date Introduced: April 7, 2022

News

Politico: Biden Nominates new ATF Chief, Announces Slate of Gun Reforms

On April 11, the White House announced the nomination of Steve Dettelbach to serve as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. In addition to Dettelbach’s nomination, the White House announced that the Justice Department has issued a final rule to help stop the spread of so-called “ghost guns” — homemade or makeshift firearms that lack serial numbers. The final rule “bans the business of manufacturing the most accessible ghost guns” and “clarifies that these kits qualify as ‘firearms’ under the Gun Control Act,” according to the White House. It also will “help turn some ghost guns already in circulation into serialized firearms.” Furthermore, the White House said the final rule requires firearms dealers “to retain key records until they shut down their business or licensed activity,” and it “ensures that firearms with split receivers are subject to regulations requiring serial numbers and background checks.”

 

Finance & Federal Partnerships


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

Legislation

H.R. 7420 - Responsible Budget Targets Act, To amend the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to set responsible budget targets

Sponsor: Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN-06) referred to Budget Committee

Date Introduced: April 6, 2022


H.R. 7455, To amend the Indian Self-Determination & Education Assistance Act to secure existing Tribal contract support cost reimbursements

Sponsor: Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK-04) referred to Natural Resources Committee

Date Introduced: April 7, 2022


H.R. 7443, To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose an income tax on excess profits of certain corporations

Sponsor: Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY-16) referred to Natural Committee

Date Introduced: April 7, 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 6, 2022 - China's Economy: Current Trends and Issues

  • CRS: April 4, 2022 - How Climate Change May Affect the U.S. Economy

  • GAO: April 6, 2022 - Critical Infrastructure Protection: DHS Actions Urgently Needed to Better Protect the Nation's Critical Infrastructure