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The Latest: A Weekly Federal Update (05/02/22)



Upcoming Events & Activities

May 2nd, 2021 - May 6th, 2022

All events in Eastern Standard Time


Monday, May 2nd

Happy Eid al-Fitr


Tuesday, May 3rd

10:00 AM - Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions Committee: Hearing titled, "Connecting Workers & Communities: Preparing & Supporting the Broadband Workforce"


10:00 AM - Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee: Hearing titled, "DoT FY2023 Budget Priorities"


Wednesday, May 4th

Happy Star Wars Day

9:30 AM - Senate Appropriations Committee: Hearing titled, "FY2023 Budget Request for the Department of Health & Human Services"


10:00 AM - Senate Appropriations Committee: Hearing titled, "FY2023 Budget Request for the Department of Energy"


2:30 PM - Senate Indian Affairs Committee: Hearing titled, "Setting New Foundations: Implementing the IIJA for Native Communities"


2:30 PM - Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee: Hearing titled, "Resources & Authorities Needed to Protect & Secure the Homeland"


Thursday, May 5th

Happy Cinco de Mayo Day

10:00 AM - Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee: Hearing titled, "FY2023 Budget Request for the Department of Energy"


10:00 AM - Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee: Hearing titled, "Ensuring Fairness & Transparency in the Market for Prescription Drugs"


10:15 AM - Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee: Hearing titled, "Securing & Ensuring Order on the Southern Border"


Friday, May 6th

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. 7612 - Desalination Research Advancement Act, To advance desalination research and technological innovation

Sponsor: Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA-49) referred to Natural Resources Committee; Science, Space, & Technology Committee

Date Introduced: April 28, 2022


H.R. 7550 - Oil & Gas Industry Antitrust Act, To direct the Federal Trade Commission to conduct an investigation and submit to Congress a report on gasoline prices

Sponsor: Rep. Val Butler Demings (D-FL-10) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee; Judiciary Committee

Date Introduced: April 21, 2022


News

The Hill: Biden Administration Allows Additional Natural Gas Exports

On April 27th, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that would issue two orders allowing for the exports of a total of 500 million ft³ per day of liquified natural gas projects in Texas and Louisiana. That represents enough energy to heat about 2.5 million homes for a day. In the first half of last year, the U.S. exported an average of 9.6 billion ft³ per day. While it did not specify which countries would receive those exports, the DoE did say that the exports will go "to any country not prohibited by U.S. law or policy."


Politico: EPA Publishes White Paper on Natural Gas Pollution Reduction Options

On April 21st, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency floated a draft white paper on available technologies and control methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from newly built natural gas-fired power plants. The white paper includes an overview of available efficiency technologies that reduce heat rates, reducing fuel usage and thus decreasing emissions. It also examines carbon capture technologies and the possibility of burning hydrogen as a gas alternative — although how the hydrogen is made plays a key role in whether it reduces overall emissions. The paper also reviews the climate impact of various types of fuel, including methane, biogas and industrial byproduct fuels. While it does not set new policy, it could inform future rulemaking efforts. EPA is receiving comments here until June 6th.

 

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. 7597, To protect firefighters from exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances

Sponsor: Rep. Daniel Kildee (D-MI-05) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee; Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

Date Introduced: April 27, 2022


H.R. 7593, To direct the Secretary of Commerce to establish a clearinghouse to assist economic development activities in capacity-constrained communities

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

Date Introduced: April 26, 2022


News

Politico: Appropriators Aim to Strike FY2023 Totals Within "Next Couple of Weeks"

Top appropriators met Thursday to kick off bipartisan negotiations on military and non-defence totals for the upcoming fiscal year, with the goal of locking in those "top-line" numbers before summer. The House Appropriations Committee plans to mark up all 12 spending bills in June, with floor action likely to follow in July. The Senate spending panel has yet to map out a markup schedule.

 

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. 7626, To direct the Attorney-General to establish a pilot program to determine the effectiveness of body-worn camera continuous training programs

Sponsor: Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI-14) referred to Judiciary Committee

Date Introduced: April 28th, 2022


H.R. 7595, To establish the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office within the Department of Homeland Security

Sponsor: Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI-01) referred to Judiciary Committee

Date Introduced: April 27, 2022


News

The Hill: Senate Group to Start Immigration Talks Thursday

On April 28th, a bipartisan of senators met to formally launch immigration talks. According to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the group will include Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Alex Padilla (D-CA), and himself. Asked if he would try to keep the Title 42 fight separate from the immigration group talks, Sen. Durbin replied, “As far as we can.”

 

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. 7573 - Telehealth Extension & Evaluation Act, To extend certain telehealth services covered by Medicare and to evaluate the impact of telehealth services on Medicare beneficiaries

Sponsor: Rep. Cynthia Axne (D-IA-03) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee; Ways & Means Committee

Date Introduced: April 26, 2022


News

The Hill: FDA Proposes Ban on Menthol Cigarettes, Flavored Cigars

On Thursday, April 28th, the Food & Drug Administration proposed a ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars--except tobacco-flavored cigars. However, some social and political leaders have expressed concern that this new policy change could lead to more police interactions between Black and Hispanic Americans who disproportionately prefer menthol cigarettes.

 

Finance & Federal Partnerships


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

Legislation

H.R. 7602 - Preventing Organizational Conflicts of Interest in Federal Acquisition Act, To prevent organizational conflicts of interest in Federal acquisitions

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

Date Introduced: April 27, 2022


Notices of Funding Opportunities

Aviation Grants: Airport Improvement Program

The Federal Aviation Administration is accepting applications for approximately $1.5 billion in FY2022 discretionary grants from April 20th until June 30th. For further information, contact David Cushing, Manager, Airports Financial Assistance Division, APP-500, at (202)267-8827. Eligible projects include those improvements related to enhancing airport safety, capacity, security, and environmental concerns.


Aviation Grants: FAA Contract Tower (FCT) Competitive Grant Program (via IIJA)

The Federal Aviation Administration is accepting applications for approximately $20 million in FY2022 Airport Infrastructure Grant funds from April 20th until May 16th. For further information, contact Robin Hunt, BIL Implementation Team, FAA Office of Airports, at (202)267-3263, or at

9-ARP-BILAirports@faa.gov. The purpose of the FCT Competitive Grant Program is to make annual grants available to eligible airports for airport-owned airport traffic control tower (ATCT) projects that address the aging infrastructure of the nation's airports.


Waterways Grants: America's Marine Highway Program

Due to additional funding made under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022, the Maritime Administration (DoT) has announced the availability of additional funding for grants for the development and expansion of documented vessels or port and landslide infrastructure or also will strengthen American supply chains. Applications must be received by 5:00 PM EDT on June 17th, 2022 using Grants.gov. For assistance, contact Fred Jones (Office of Ports & Waterways Planning, Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation) at (202)366-1123 or email at Fred.Jones@dot.gov.

 

Special Reports


The latest from reports issued from the Office of Government Accountability, the Congressional Research Service, and others.
  • CRS: April 29, 2022 - Offshore Oil & Gas: Leasing "Pause," Federal leasing Review, Current Issues

  • CRS: April 29, 2022 - Recent Litigation over the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases

  • CRS: April 28, 2022 - Equal Protection Does Not Mean Equal SSI Benefits for Puerto Rico Residents, Says Supreme Court

  • GAO: April 29, 2022 - HHS Agencies Need to Develop Procedures & Train Staff on Reporting & Addressing Political Interference